Ectropion is a condition which cause the eyelids to fold outward away from the eye. Ectropion can occur on the upper eyelids, the lower eyelids, or both. Ectropion is easily treated, or in some cases does not need to be treated.
Entropion is a condition which cause the eyelids to fold inward toward the eye. When the eyelashes then brush against the eyeballs, irritation, pain, and damage to the cornea will occur. Entropion can occur on the upper eyelids, the lower eyelids, or both.
Entropion usually occurs in dogs due to an inherited condition, and it is more common in breeds whose faces are flattened or breeds that have excessive skin folds on the face. Breeds which are prone to entropion conditions include: Akita, Bloodhound, Boxer, Bull Mastiff, Cavalier, Chow Chow, Cocker Spaniel, Great Dane, Irish Setter, King Charles Spaniel, Labrador Retriever, Mastiff, Neapolitan, Poodle, Pug, Rottweiler, Shar Peis, Springer Spaniel, and St. Bernard. Entropion may also develop as a result of skin conditions or obesity leading to thickening of the skin and traumatic injury to the eye.
Symptoms of Entropion in Dogs
The most common types of symptoms associated with entropion are excessive tearing and squinting. When these symptoms develop depends on the cause of the condition. Inherited conditions usually cause symptoms to appear in puppies, whereas entropion caused by obesity or skin conditions may develop over time. Entropion caused by injury to the eyelid will usually develop soon after the injury occurred.
The symptoms of entropion can be relieved by eye medication, but the only way to cure the condition is through surgery. Young puppies that are affected by entropion due to excessive facial folds are usually treated with a tacking procedure. This procedure uses multiple sutures to roll the eyelids away from the eye in the hopes they will remain that way as they mature. Mature animals are treated with a plastic surgery type procedure that removes the excessive skin fold allowing the eyelid to assume a more normal position.
Outlook for Dogs with Entropion
The outlook for entropion is excellent as long as puppies and dogs are treated in a timely manner. Without surgical treatment, entropion can lead to permanent corneal damage which will eventually cause blindness.