Eyelid: Ectropion

What is Ectropion? 
Ectropion is an outward rolling of the eyelid with exposure of the conjunctival tissues. This may result in a lack of complete closure of the eyelid (termed lagophthalmos). The lower eyelid is usually affected and this condition is commonly associated with an excessively long eyelid opening. Sometimes patients with long eyelids may have both entropion (an inward rolling of the eyelids) and ectropion in one or both eyes.

Predisposed Breeds
Ectropion can be seen in all breeds of dogs but is most commonly seen in the bassett hound, St. Bernard, bloodhound, great Dane, Newfoundland, bull mastiff, and several spaniel breeds. Many of these dogs are bred for this “droopy eyed” appearance.

In some cases, ectropion does not require treatment. It may result in only low grade conjunctivitis. If corneal disease is present as a result of the ectropion, surgical correction is recommended. There are many surgical procedures used to correct ectropion, and the proper technique is decided by the specific conformational abnormalities in the eyelid and surgeon preference. In most cases, the eyelid conformation can be corrected with one procedure. In complicated cases, especially those resulting from scarring due to eyelid trauma, multiple surgeries may be required to obtain successful results. In some patients, medical treatment and surgery may be necessary to improve the condition.