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Entropion and ectropion

By Brandon Brooks, DVM
Copyright 1999, Brandon Brooks. Used with permission.

Entropion is a condition of the eyelids wherein they roll in on the eyeball itself, causing irritation and secondary infections, sometimes causing ulcerations of the cornea itself. This is very common in American bulldogs and Shar Peis, among many other breeds, especially ones with loose skin and many facial folds. It requires surgical correction and sometimes multiple surgeries are in order, depending on how young the animal is when entropion is first diagnosed. It can be fairly mild, involving only certain portions of the lids, or it can be very extensive and lead to many other eye problems. An eye-tacking procedure exists that will roll the eyelid out without removing any tissue, but this is only temporary and delays the inevitable corrective surgery that will remove excess tissue and provide a more permanent repair.

Ectropion is the opposite of entropion, and this describes the condition where the eyelid tissue is everted, or rolled out, leading to increased exposure of the eyeball. It can be caused by excess eyelid length, weak eyelid muscles, or over-correction of entropion. It is easily fixed by either resecting a wedge of the eyelid or sewing the lids together at their outer margins of the eye. If not fixed, ectropion can lead to chronic irritation, drying out, and subsequent damage to the cornea.

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