Ectropion in Dogs

Have you ever come across a dog with drooping eyes? Most dog owners believe this is typical for some dogs, particularly hound dogs, but you might be surprised to hear that droopy eyelids represent a medical ailment known as ectropion. What causes ectropion, and what steps can you take to manage it?

What is ectropion in dogs?

Ectropion is a drooping of the lower eyelids caused by a condition called ectropion. The lower eyelid rolls widely, exposing the conjunctivae, which are delicate pink tissues. It can also cause corneal dryness and inflammation, which is known as akakeratitis. Because the cornea is so sensitive, this can raise the risk of infection and cause a lot of pain.

Ectropion is frequently inherited. This implies that particular breeds are more likely to develop it before reaching the age of one year. Some of the most popular breeds include Cocker Spaniels, English Bulldogs, Saint Bernards, Mastiffs, Bloodhounds, and Newfoundlands.

Diagnosis and treatment

Ectropion can be easily identified by a physical exam. The lower lid will drop outward, revealing pink conjunctival tissue. Mucoid discharge along the eyelid edge and/or tear stains on the fur right behind the eyes might occur as a result of this.

It is most likely hereditary in origin when identified in a young dog. The rapid occurrence of ectropion in an adult or senior dog indicates an underlying reason, and testing will be required to rule out numerous disorders. Blood and urine tests are crucial baseline studies, but more invasive testing, such as muscle tissue biopsies, may be required to establish a neuromuscular condition in some circumstances.

To rule out an ulcer or abrasion over the cornea in any dog with coloured conjunctiva, eye discharge, squinting, or other acute eye issues, corneal stain testing is required. Schirmer tear testing can be used to help rule out dry eye if it is suspected.

Topical eye ointments or drops will be required to treat corneal ulcers or keratitis in dogs. There are drugs available to help lubricate the eyes if they are dry. If certain eye diseases recur more than once, surgical treatment will be required.

This type of surgery can be performed by veterinary ophthalmologists and even certain general practise veterinarians. It entails the removal of a little bit of the surrounding skin in order for the eyelid to reconnect with the eye. However, extreme caution must be used to avoid overcorrecting the eyelid. Entropion, the polar opposite of entropy, is formed in this scenario.

Thyroid medicine is given and provided twice day to dogs with hypothyroidism. Thyroid blood levels are then examined again several weeks later to confirm that your puppy’s medication is correct. Based on the diagnosis, drugs such as steroids or immunosuppressives may be required if a neuromuscular condition is proven by biopsy.


Ectropion can be a minor issue in some breeds, but if it leads to eye infections and discomfort, treatment is required. Medical therapy can help with short-term care, but in situations where these issues repeat, surgical intervention may be necessary. Eye lubricants can assist your dog’s eyes stay moist and avoid drying out.

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