Ectropion in Dogs
Definition of Ectropion
Ectropion is a condition where one or both of a dog’s lower eyelids roll outward. Dogs with loose facial skin are predisposed to this disorder, and ectropion has a strong genetic component. It can also be caused by trauma, foreign bodies, infection, corneal ulceration, marked weight loss or loss of facial muscle tone around the eyes due to old age or laxity of the skin. Developmental or inherited ectropion is most frequently seen in young dogs. Acquired ectropion can be seen at any age but is more common in older animals. One or both eyes can be affected. Ectropion is almost always obvious. Affected dogs have pronounced droopy lower eyelids, watery eyes, swollen or red conjunctiva and facial staining from an overflow of tears. Since ectropion exposes the sensitive lining of the lower eyelid (the conjunctiva) to potentially harsh environmental conditions, eye infections are common in dogs with this disorder. This disorder can be treated.
Canine ectropion can show up in dogs of any age or gender, depending upon the underlying cause of the condition. It frequently is developmental, with a definite genetic predisposition in certain breeds, especially those with loose facial skin. Ectropion can also be acquired from trauma, inflammation, foreign bodies, infection, corneal ulceration, marked weight loss or loss of muscle tone around the eyes. Developmental ectropion tends to be seen in young dogs. Acquired ectropion is more
Clinical signs of ectropion are usually obvious to owners. The most common sign is a pronounced droopy lower eyelid. Affected dogs also commonly have watery eyes, swollen or red conjunctiva, facial staining from tear overflow, ocular inflammation and/or eye infections. Since ectropion by definition causes the sensitive lining of the eyelid to be exposed to environmental conditions, bacterial eye infections are common in dogs with this disorder. A condition known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca (“KCS" or
By definition, ectropion is a rolling-outward and “drooping” of all or part of the margin of a lower eyelid, usually with accompanying redness. Diagnosis is not difficult and normally is based simply upon the dog’s breed, history and clinical presentation, without any further testing.However, to help determine the reason for the condition in non-predisposed breeds and in dogs with late-onset ectropion, veterinarians usually will perform a complete ophthalmic examination. This includes a Schirmer tear test,
The goals of treating canine ectropion are to resolve any underlying painful conditions and to correct severe cases that are causing continuous eye pain and irritation. Mild to moderate cases may require little treatment other than supportive care with topical lubricants (drops or ointment, with or without antibiotics) and thorough, regular and consistent facial hygiene by the dog’s owner. Severe cases of ectropion may require surgery.Only occasional treatment may be called for in cases of