Ectropion and entropion in dogs are both conditions that can affect a dog’s eyelids. Dogs who have ectropion have eyelids that roll outward, where as dogs with entropion have eyelids that curve inward. Both are problematic for the cornea. With entropion, the lid rubs against the cornea, causing irritation. With ectropion, the cornea is exposed and can easily become irritated or infected.
Both of these eye conditions are linked to genetic factors, and some breeds are predisposed. Entropion is common among Retrievers, Spaniels, Great Danes, many Terriers and Bulldogs. Ectropion is common among Basset Hounds, Retrievers, Spaniels, Bloodhounds and Bulldogs. Often, when the conditions are inherited, the symptoms are seen when dogs are a year or younger. Other causes include trauma to the eye. Entropion can occur as the result of other diseases, as well as genetic causes.
With both ectropion and entropion, you will notice that your dog’s eyes appear red and irritated. The main observable symptom will be the dog’s eyelids: if they curve inward, this is a symptom of entropion, and if they curve outward, this is a symptom of ectropion.
Other symptoms of ectropion include discharge, watery eyes, and conjunctivitis (pink eye). With entropion, some of the common symptoms are watery eyes, conjunctivitis and with both conditions the dog will result in rubbing at their eyes with their paws.
Ectropion can often be managed with eye drops, which keep the eye moist, and ointments. In some severe cases, surgery may be helpful in correcting the problem.
Entropion is best treated with surgery. The surgery will remove part of the eyelid, tightening it so that it will fit properly, and not roll outward. One of the risks of this surgery is removing too much tissue, causing ectropion to develop. Often, the surgery will be done in two phases to prevent that outcome.
With both entropion and ectropion, the prognosis for the dog’s treatment is very good.