Ectropion in Dogs

Ectropion in Dogs

Ectropion is a canine disease in which the eyelid rolls outwards, exposing the inside of the eyelid. With the conjunctiva - inner eyelid - being exposed, the dog is prone to suffering eye problems of various types, and even runs the risk of losing its sight.

This disease has different possible causes. A primary or direct cause is simply improper development of the dog, whilst secondary or indirect causes can include the dog's previous diseases. This AnimalWised article will show you the symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of ectropion in dogs.

Symptoms of ectropion in dogs

The symptoms of this ocular disease are very obvious and easy to detect. They include:

  • Drooping lower eyelids and separation from the eyeball, allowing you to see the conjunctiva and the third eyelid.
  • Red or inflamed conjunctiva.
  • Marks on the face, caused by the flow of tears that don't pass through the tear ducts.
  • Inflammation of the eye.
  • Recurring bacterial eye infections.
  • Recurring irritation of the eye caused by foreign objects.

Causes and risk factors

Canine ectropion is known as "primary" when caused by the poor development of the dog, with a well-known genetic predisposition.

On the other hand, it is "secondary" when it results from other factors. In this case, it's generally caused by trauma, inflammation, foreign bodies, infections, corneal ulceration, paralysis of facial nerves, rapid and notable weight loss and loss of muscle tone around the eyes. Dogs suffering from hypothyroidism may also suffer from ectropion as a consequence of myxoedema and facial paralysis.

Primary ectropion usually occurs in puppies, and is more common in larger breeds and those with very loose skin and folds, such as Saint Bernards, Great Danes, Bloodhounds, Bullmastiffs, Newfoundlands, Shar-peis and some Spaniels and Retrievers. Secondary ectropion, on the other hand, is more common in older dogs.

How is ectropion diagnosed

Canine ectropion can usually be diagnosed simply by looking at the pet. The dog's breed and medical history help to identify the probable causes, which are very important to know in order to request other complementary studies.

Once canine ectropion has been diagnosed, the vet will perform a complete eye examination on the dog to identify the probable causes and decide on the best course of treatment.

Treatment of ectropion

The treatment of this disease is usually very simple. A prescription of eye drops or other lubricants is given in mild to moderate cases to help keep the eyeball moist. Antibiotics are also administered for secondary infections.

If the ectropion is caused by another disease, such as hypothyroidism, it should be treated in the same way. Treatment for severe cases of ectropion requires surgery. Whatever the case, the prognosis is positive.

How to prevent ectropion in dogs

Canine ectropion is prevented by keeping the dog's eyes healthy before more serious problems develop. It's also recommended not to breed with dogs that suffer from this condition.

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Ectropion in Dogs, we recommend you visit our Eye problems category.