Imagine having an eyelash in your eye all the time. Here's what to do if that happens to your pet - Dr. Marty Becker

Imagine having an eyelash in your eye all the time. Here’s what to do if that happens to your pet

Thursday, Feb 9th, 2017 | By Dr. Marty Becker

We humans have all had a stray eyelash get onto our eyeball, and we moan and groan like there’s a rosebush rubbing on our cornea. It’s uncomfortable. It hurts. I know, because I’m a big baby about it. I take action immediately and won’t stop until the tiny hair is out.

There’s a condition is dogs called distichiasis, which is where one or more eyelashes grown on the underside of the eyelid and rub directly on the cornea. Ouch. Or should I say, OUCH!

Can you just pull it out? Well, you could, but it will just grow back. Effective solutions to remove extra eyelashes include:

Surgery. Vets remove a small slice of the eyelid containing the hair follicle(s).

Laser. Kills the hair follicles, just like laser hair removal in humans.

Freeze. You can freeze and kill the hair follicles, but his method isn’t favored because scaring can cause a deformity of the lid and disrupt normal functioned of the eye (such as blinking and having the eyelids spread a tear film over the cornea). A scar can make the lower lid like a defective pair of windshield wiper blades, that in this case, don’t spread tears over the cornea, but instead allow tears to pour out of the eye and onto the face.