THE MERCK VETERINARY MANUAL
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Eyelid Lacerations

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Eyelid lacerations should be reapposed as soon as possible. Lacerations involving the lid margin require exact apposition to prevent longterm v-shape defects and an impaired lid function. Small dogs and cats require a single layer of sutures (usually single interrupted 4-0 silk sutures), whereas large and giant breeds require a two-layer closure; the deep layer involves the tarsus and orbiculis oculi muscle (single interrupted 4-0 absorbable sutures) and the superficial layer (skin) apposed with simple interrupted 4-0 silk sutures (remove after 7–10 days). Horses require double-layer closure. When skin sutures are in place, the lid must be protected from self-trauma by either an Elizabethan collar (dogs and cats) or hard eye cup (horses). Because the blink response is often impaired by the swollen lid, a temporary tarsorrhaphy is necessary to protect the cornea. Postoperative therapy often includes topical antibiotics and corticosteroids, as well as systemic antibiotics and NSAIDs.

Last full review/revision August 2013 by Kirk N. Gelatt, VMD, DACVO

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