The eyelids protect the eyes from trauma and prevent drying. The term ectropion describes a drooping of the eyelids. Ectropion is not only a cosmetic issue, but it is a medical problem that causes a breakdown in the protective barrier of the eye to cause chronic inflammation, infections, and pain. Certain breeds such as St. Bernards and Cocker Spaniels have a higher incidence of this heritable condition. Symptoms related to ectropion include watery eyes, red eyes (conjunctivitis), pus discharge, and pain. Treatment for ectropion varies based on the severity of the defect. Asymptomatic dogs may not require treatment. Dogs with mild symptoms may be treated conservatively with topical medications to keep the eye lubricated and free of infection. Severe abnormalities causing chronic infections and pain require surgery to restore eyelid conformation and relieve pain.

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