Ectropion (droopy eye) in dogs: symptoms, causes and treatments

A Cocker Spaniel mixed breed dog with ectropion or drooping eyelids

(Photo Credit: Mary Swift/Getty Images)

Ectropion in dogs is a medical condition that affects a dog’s eyes. It occurs when a dog’s lower eyelid begins to droop away from the eye which is why the condition is often popularly referred to as a drooping eye.

The condition can cause a number of problems, including pink eye, an inflamed cornea, and impaired vision. The condition seems to affect certain breeds more than others, including Saint Bernards, Chow Chows and Cocker Spaniels.

If you see any signs that your dog may be developing eye problems, see your vet for a proper diagnosis and advice. Here’s what you need to know about the symptoms, causes, and treatments of ectropion in dogs.

Symptoms of Ectropion in Dogs

Ectropion in dogs causes symptoms that affect a dog’s eyes, including making a droopy look appear. Some of the most common symptoms are:

  • Limited view
  • pink eye
  • Dry eyes
  • Discharge from the eyes
  • Inflamed cornea
  • Brown discoloration under the eyes
  • Eyes appear reddish

Causes of Ectropion in Dogs

A Basset Hound dog with ectropion or drooping eyelids

(Photo Credit: Mary Swift/Getty Images)

The cause of ectropion in dogs is often thought to be hereditary. In addition, suffering from facial trauma or injuries to the eye can also cause the condition.

Some of the dog breeds most likely to develop a droopy eye include:

  • Cocker Spaniels
  • Chow Chows
  • boxers
  • Great Danes
  • Labrador Retrievers
  • mastiffs
  • Newfoundlanders
  • Basset Hounds
  • Saint Bernards
  • Bloodhounds
  • English Bulldogs

Veterinary Treatment

If you begin to suspect that your dog is developing ectropion, your vet will want to perform a detailed examination of the eyes. They will also order blood and urine tests if your vet suspects an underlying cause may be causing the condition.

In mild cases, using eye drops can help control the condition; although more severe cases require surgery. The surgical process to correct a drooping eye involves an attempt to shorten the eyelids.

While recovering from surgery, dogs must wear Elizabethan collars. In addition, as part of the recovery process, veterinarians may also prescribe medications to soothe the eyes.

As always, if your vet prescribes a drug for your dog, it is vital that you adhere to the precise dosage and frequency instructions and complete the full course of medication.

Has your dog developed ectropion? What corrective actions have helped to solve the problem? Tell us all about it in the comments below.

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