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Ectropion - Eyelids Roll Outwards

Ectropion - Eyelids Roll Outwards

Health & Safety

Ectropion is an eye disorder that affects many dogs including giant breeds, certain hounds and a lot of sporting dogs. It is quite a common eye problem in breeds that have droopy eyes and it can affect both or just one of their eyes. Ectropion is a hereditary eye disorder that's more often seen in young dogs although older dogs too can be affected, especially if the eye has suffered any sort of nerve damage or injury. Ectropion can also come on when a dog suffers any kind of corneal injury, infection or some other form of severe inflammatory eye disorder.

Breeds More Susceptible to Ectropion

There are certain dog breeds that are more predisposed to the condition which includes most dogs that boast having droopy skin around their faces and eyes. The breeds that seem to be the most affected by Ectropion include the following:

  • Great Danes
  • Bloodhounds
  • Bullmastiffs
  • Newfoundlands
  • Saint Bernards
  • American Bulldogs
  • Basset Hounds
  • Boerboels
  • Cane Corsos
  • Clumber Spaniels
  • Dogue de Bordeauxs
  • English Bulldogs

Unfortunately, in certain breeds the condition is seen so often that it is thought of being quite normal, but it is not and should never be ignored or left untreated by a vet.

Symptoms to Watch Out For

Dogs suffering from Ectropion will typically have very obvious signs of there being something wrong with one or both of their eyes. The symptoms to watch out for include the following:

  • Lower eyelids droop quite obviously or just a little
  • Inflammation of the Conjunctiva
  • Excessive tearing
  • Tear staining cause by poor drainage
  • Constant eye infections
  • Foreign bodies entering the eye causing painful irritation

Diagnosing the Problem

A vet would need to examine a dog's eye or eyes to confirm whether they are suffering from Ectropion. It is very important for a vet to carry out a thorough examination as soon as possible because the condition often develops at the same time as another eye disorder called Entropion which can make things that much harder to treat and manage.

Treating a Dog with Ectropion

If the condition is not deemed too severe, it is relatively easy to manage without the need for any sort of surgical intervention. A vet would typically prescribe certain eye drops and ointments. However, if the condition is more severe, surgery would not necessarily correct the problem, but with this said a vet would be able to carry out certain procedures that may help reduce the effect of Ectropion has on a dog's eyes so that life is made more comfortable for them.

Prevention Better Than Cure

Ectropion is a hereditary eye disorder which parent dogs can pass down to their puppies. As such, stud dogs that suffer from severe Ectropion should not be used in a breeding programme to reduce the risks of their offspring inheriting the disorder. However, this eye issue can also be bought on by trauma to a dog's eye which is something owners need to bear in mind.


When a dog suffers from a mild form of Ectropion, the prognosis is generally good more especially if they respond well to eye drops or some other form of eye ointment treatment. However, if the condition is deemed to be severe, a vet might recommend carrying out a more invasive surgical procedure to correct the problem. Supportive care is all important when living with a dog that suffers from Ectropion, bearing in mind that as a dog ages, the condition often becomes more severe. As such, a dog would need to see the vet on a regular basis so they can assess the condition of a dog's eyes before recommending the type of treatment that would be best for them so they are made to feel more comfortable.