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Entropion & Ectropion

- The following article was written and contributed by Jacqueline A. Vernot, D.VM -

Entropion and Ectropion are different manifestations of the same condition. Many of our pets have been genetically designed to have more skin on their face than necessary to cover the skull. These saggy- or wrinkly-faced individuals often have more eyelid than necessary to cover the eye (macrobleharon). The excess lid has two choices. It can either hang outward (Ectropion) or roll inward (Entropion).

Ectropic lids create a pocket between the lid and eye. This pocket is a lovely place to catch debris, which can lead to irritation or infection. If any cause of discomfort occurs, the patient will squint the eye. Squinting may cause the lid to roll inward, allowing the skin hairs to contact the eyeball. This increases irritation and squinting, which worsens the entropion, and so it goes.

entropion surgery eye
The above photo shows a Bulldog's eye, immediately
following surgery to correct a case of entropion.

Medical therapy is always attempted prior to resorting to surgery. The goal is to maximize comfort by use of pain reducers, anti-inflammatories, and frequent lubrication. Often, increasing comfort reduces the squinting and allows the lid to "unroll" into it's normal position. If this does not occur, surgery is required to correct the Entropion.

Many pets with Ectropion never develop Entropion, but are prone to recurrent conjunctivitis. These patients can usually be maintained with long-term therapy. In severe cases, lid surgery may be recommended.

It is important to catch inflammation in its early stages to prevent Entropion. Signs to watch for are redness, squinting, rubbing or increased discharge such as tears or mucous.

Note: This document is provided for information purposes only. Lord Goliath's Bulldog Domain does not guarantee the veracity of this information. Under no circumstances should this information replace the advice of your verterinarian.