The Furry Critter Network

Ectropion - Issue Description

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Issue Description

Ectropion is a medical condition in which the lower eyelid turns outwards. It is one of the notable aspects of newborns exhibiting Harlequin type ichthyosis. The condition can be repaired surgically. Ectropion is also found in dogs as a genetic disorder in certain breeds.


Because of increased exposure of the eye, dogs with ectropion are prone to develop allergic or bacterial conjunctivitis - inflammation of the thin membrane which covers the periphery of the surface of the eye and lines the eyelids. Affected dogs may develop keratoconjunctivitis sicca because of reduced efficiency at wetting and cleaning the cornea.


In addition to the sagging of the eyelids, dogs with ectropion commonly have a mucopurulent discharge in the eye, reddening of the exposed conjunctiva, and decreased tear production. To check the latter, your veterinarian will do a Schirmer tear test.


  • Congenital
  • Aging
  • Scarring
  • Mechanical
  • Allergic
  • Facial nerve palsy
  • Treatment

    With mild entropion, no treatment may be necessary. If secondary problems such as conjunctivitis develop, these are treated as required. More severe ectropion can lead to chronic problems associated with eye irritation. In these cases, surgery is performed to remove a small wedge of tissue from the margin of the eyelid.

    Breeds Prone To Ectropion

    Ectropion is most commonly seen in dogs with exaggerated facial features where it is often a breed characteristic. It is found in the Basset Hound, Bloodhound, Boxer, Bulldog, Bull Terrier, Clumber Spaniel, English and American Cocker Spaniel, Gordon Setter, Labrador Retriever, Springer Spaniel, and Shih Tzu.

    Ectropion is also common in giant breeds such as the Great Dane, Mastiff, Saint Bernard, Newfoundland, and Great Pyrenees In these breeds the central lower lid is often ectropic while the lid at the corners of the eye is entropic.

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