There are many conditions that predispose both Entropion and Ectropion. Foremost among these are congenital predispositions which can easily be passed on from parents to offspring. Other causes include aging, scarring, mechanical factors, nervous system disorders i.e. spasm, and allergic reactions.
Ectropion is commonly seen in breeds of dogs with exaggerated facial appearance such as the Boxer, Basset Hound, Clumber Spaniel, Gordon Setter, Shih Tzu, Bulldog, Springer Spaniel, and Labrador Retriever. Giant breeds of dogs such as the Saint Bernard, Great Pyrenees, Mastiff, and Great Dane have also been observed to be predisposed to Ectropion.
Although Entropion has been observed to affect most dog breeds, there are breeds of dogs which are more prone to the disease compared to other breeds such as the Chow Chow, St. Bernard, Poodle, Akita, Shar Pei, Springer Spaniel, Great Dane, Rottweiler, Bloodhound, Pug, Cocker Spaniel, Bull Mastiff, Labrador Retriever, and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
Since the lower eyelid is turned outwards in Ectropion, there is increased exposure of the delicate structures of the eye to developing hypersensitivity reactions or bacterial conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis is an inflammatory condition of the thin membranes that line the eyelids and cover the surface of the eyes. There are also cases of Ectropion where dogs develop complications such as Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca as a result of the inefficiency at lubricating and cleaning the cornea of the eyes.
Most owners of dogs suffering from Entropion will first observe that there is something wrong when the affected eye remains partially shut and is excessively tearing. Entropion is most common in dogs less than a year old. Both eyes are usually affected at the same time.
Aside from the sagging of the eyelids, Ectropion in dogs is usually accompanied by a mucopurulent discharge from the affected eye. The exposed conjunctiva is also noticeably reddened and there is decreased capacity for tear production. Your veterinarian can conduct a Schirmer Tear Test to assess the tear production of the dog.
Entropion is an uncomfortable condition where the eyelashes constantly rub against the cornea. When it occurs in both eyes, it is called as “bilateral entropion”.
Treatment for Ectropion usually depends on the complications. Mild cases don’t usually need treatment however the presence of conjunctivitis may require treatment. Severe cases of Ectropion may need surgical intervention.
Entropion in very young dogs two to three weeks old may be corrected by temporary tacking of the eyelids. Severe cases of Entropion may need surgical correction.