Entropium is an inward rolled eyelid that can result in an irritation of the eye. Dogs suffering from ectropium have sagging eyelids that do not meet the eyeball and thus expose the conjunctiva.
In the case of entropium, coat hair is pressed against the cornea. As a result the eye appears inflamed, reddened, and suffers from heavy watering. Affected dogs blink constantly or hold their eye shut. Very severe cases can produce ulcers and clouding of the cornea. Dogs suffering from ectropium show symptoms similar to chronic eye inflammation.
Entropium may be present either in one or both eyes. The lower eyelid is commonly affected. The condition is often a result of a genetic predisposition, but it can occur as a result of the growing process. It can also be the result of pain in the eye that leads the animal to squeeze their eye shut constantly. Ectropium is common in breeds with very loose skin (i.e. Bloodhound, St. Bernard, Spaniel). The condition can also be acquired when the eyeball shrinks as part of another pathological process. Entropium is also possible as the result of trauma to the eyelid and the scarring that occurs afterwards.
If they are causing complaints, anomalies of the lids usually have to be corrected surgically. In case of entropium, this is done by excising a wedge of skin from the eyelid, thus tightening the lid and drawing it away from the eye. Ectropium is corrected by removing a section of lid margin, in order to close the gap and align it with the eyeball. If the condition is caused by another painful process of the eye, this has to be treated first.
If you are suspecting an entropium/ectopium is irritating your dog's eye, mention it to your veterinarian upon your next visit.