Dog eyelashes grow back within 5-6 weeks, so if you accidentally cut your dog’s eyelashes, don’t worry, they’ll quickly grow back! However, eyelashes help protect dogs’ eyes, so if you accidentally cut them off, be sure to “keep an eye” on your dog’s eyes for the next few weeks.
If your dog’s eyelashes were cut at his last grooming session, don’t worry about it. They should grow back in 5-6 weeks.
However, if your dog’s eyelashes are falling out or had to be surgically removed, that’s a different story.
Disorders That Cause Dog Eyelashes to Fall Out
All mammals with hair or fur have eyelashes, including dogs. Eyelashes serve as a protective shield against dust and dirt when they’re healthy. But sometimes something can go wrong, causing eyelashes to fall out or grow inward.
Below are a few of the most common eyelash disorders, some of which result in eyelashes falling out or require removal of the eyelashes.
In most of these disorders, the eyelashes will not grow back.
Blepharitis is an inflammatory condition that affects the eyelids and meibomian glands.
Blepharitis is not only very painful but can cause blindness if not caught and treated in time.
- Red, watery eyes
- Swollen eyelids
- loss of hair around the eyes
- eye discharge
- skin around the eye area loses color or is flaky
Because blepharitis can be caused by many things, treatment will vary depending on the cause.
Common causes for blepharitis are:
- parasites or infections
- eye injury
- congenital eyelid disorders
Trichiasis is a fancy word for eyelashes that grow down and in towards the eyeball rather than out and away.
This condition can be very painful for your dog, resulting in damage to or infection of the eye.
Symptoms of Trichiasis include:
- visible eyelashes growing in towards the eye
- red and watery eyes
- eye infections
- excessive blinking
Trichiasis can be caused by a number of reasons, such as:
- eyelids with excessive folds
- weakening of the skin around the eye due to age
Treatment for trichiasis includes:
- Treatment of any infection or damage caused by the condition
- Destroying the hair follicles so they will no longer grow back
- Surgically altering the dog’s eyelid, so the eyelashes point in the right direction
Distichiasis is a condition in which long hairs grow out of the meibomian glands around your dog’s eyes.
Meibomian glands are oil-producing glands that help lubricate the eye. They are located just inside the lid, near the base of the eyelashes. Hair is not supposed to grow out of them.
This condition can result in these rogue hairs poking into the dog’s eye, which causes pain and discomfort, along with:
- eye infections
- redness and tearing
- corneal ulcers
The hairs are sometimes very fine, and may not be detectable if you check for them, so make sure to have your vet take a look if your dog’s experiencing any of the above symptoms.
Treating distichiasis calls for permanently removing the hairs with:
Another painful condition that involves eyelashes rubbing against the cornea is ectopic cilia. “Cilia” is the scientific term for eyelashes, and “ectopic” refers to something growing in the wrong place.
As you may have guessed, then, ectopic cilia refers to eyelashes that are growing in the wrong place – namely, through the back of the eyelid, into the eye.
This is incredibly painful and can cause a lot of damage to the cornea.
The symptoms are:
- red, swollen eyelid
- watery eyes
- eye discharge
- rubbing at the eye
Treatment for ectopic cilia is killing the hair follicle using surgery or freezing.
Entropion is a condition that presents itself very similarly to trichiasis, where the eyelashes grow inward towards the dog’s eye.
The difference between the two conditions are:
- trichiasis is caused by the hairs themselves growing in the wrong direction
- entropion is caused by the actual eyelids rolling inwards towards the eyeball, causing the eyelashes to point inwards
There are two types of entropion:
- congenital, which means that they’re born with the condition and will have it until treated
- spastic, which is intermittent eyelid spasms that cause the eyelashes to temporarily bend inwards to the eye
Treatment differs depending on the cause of the entropion, but can involve one or multiple of the following:
- treatment of eye infection or damage caused by the condition
- treating the underlying causes of spastic entropion
- surgery to correct the eyelid shape
- stitching the eyelids slightly open as a temporary measure
Skin infections can often cause hair loss, especially if they’re not treated right away. This can include the hair around the eyes, including the eyelashes.
Skin infections can be caused by:
If you suspect a skin infection, your vet will likely prescribe topical and/or oral medication.
- antibiotics (topical or oral)
- anti-itch (usually topical cream or spray)
- anti-parasitic (topical or oral)
Hair often grows back after successful skin infection treatment within a few months.
In addition to causing skin infections, skin pests can cause excessive scratching and stress, making hair fall out.
Mange mites are especially known to cause hair loss and often affect the face, including the eye area. Mage is a difficult condition to treat, but it can be done.
Severe tick and flea infestations can also cause hair loss.
As with anything else when it comes to your dog, prevention and early detection are your best friends when it comes to fighting pests that can affect your dog’s health.
Dogs get allergies just as often as humans do, and they have many of the same symptoms:
- constant scratching (dogs with allergies will often lick their feet a lot as well)
- red, watery eyes
- sneezing and coughing
- rash and hives
- hair loss, thinning, and bald spots
Dogs can have seasonal allergies, just like us. They can also be allergic to:
- fleas and ticks
- laundry detergent
- certain grooming products
If you think that your dog has allergies, talk to your vet about getting him some allergy medication.
It goes without saying that if your dog is suffering from malnutrition, his eyelashes falling out should be the least of your worries.
But hair loss is a common symptom of malnutrition, along with:
- dry, brittle coat
- weight loss, ribs showing
- skin issues
- bad breath
- lethargy or weakness
Keep in mind that malnutrition isn’t only reserved for starving dogs. It can also be caused by:
- not eating enough, even if food is provided
- not getting the right balance in diet
- intestinal parasites
Hormone disorders in dogs are known for causing hair thinning and sometimes even baldness, if severe enough.
Fortunately, a lot of them are treatable, such as diabetes and hypothyroidism.
Signs that your dog might have a hormone imbalance will vary depending on the hormone affected and whether your dog’s body is producing too much or too little. Possible symptoms may include:
- weight loss or gain
- increased or decreased appetite
- thickened, oily skin
- scaly skin
- excessive thirst
- excessive urination
- excessive panting
Some of the most common hormone imbalances that affect dogs are:
- hypothyroidism: too little thyroid hormone
- hyperthyroidism: too much thyroid hormone
- diabetes: not enough insulin being produced, or the body isn’t processing it correctly
- Cushing’s disease: overactive adrenal gland
Of course, just as the symptoms will differ based on what hormone imbalance your dog has, most imbalances are treated with medication.
Eyelashes Will Grow Back in Healthy Dogs
Whether or not a dog’s eyelashes will grow back largely has to do with why they’re not there in the first place.
If the eyelashes were trimmed, they should grow back in a few weeks, as long as they’re healthy. If the eyelashes fell out, whether or not they’ll grow back has a lot to do with the condition that caused them to fall out to begin with.
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