Conjunctival dermoid is the fold of normal skin that forms on the white of the eye, known as conjunctiva. Common breeds of dogs affected are the German Shepherd, dalmatian, Saint Bernard and dachshund. Conjunctival dermoid can affect only one eye, or both. It can occur simultaneously or on separate occasions.
Causes of Conjunctival Dermoids
Conjunctival dermoids are congenital and present from birth. Young puppies can be affected if they were born with the eye disorder. Since Conjunctival dermoida are inherited, many breeders are careful not to breed dogs that have a history of the condition. This allows future generations of dogs to have less of a chance to develop it.
Symptoms, Signs and Risks
Noticeable signs of conjuctival dermoids are corneal opacities located on the eyelid margins or directly on the cornea. An abnormal mass or hair growing directly on the eyeball or an inappropriate area of the eye are also common signs. At times, pet owners don't notice the eye condition until they see the first sign of hair growth coming directly out of the eyeball. Severe ocular pain can occur depending on the location of the dermoid. When dermoids are located on the lid margins, they can prevent blinking and interfere with natural eye lubrication. Ulceration of the cornea and interference with vision is a possible risk due to severe irritation and placement of the dermoid and hair growth.
Diagnosis of Conjunctival Dermoids
Conjunctival dermoids are usually diagnosed by their appearance. Veterinarians will conduct a canine ophthalmic exam to confirm the eye condition. Clinical signs and the age of the dog are also taken into consideration during the exam. At the first sign of unusual abnormalities, pet parents should immediately seek veterinarian assistance.
Treatment and Prognosis
Surgery to remove the dermoid from the eye is a common treatment performed by a licensed veterinarian. The surgical procedure removes the dermoid mass by separating it from the normal eye tissue. Special care is taken especially when removing dermoids that are located directly on the cornea, to avoid any disturbances or interference with vision in the future. Veterinarians will schedule follow visits to examine the affected eye. Special care may be necessary immediately after the surgery during the healing process. Once the eye is healed from surgery, the outcome is favorable and generally good.