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Published: Dec 22, 2011

A fairly common canine eye condition is ectropion. VCA Animal Hospitals reports ectropion is the abnormality of the eyelids in which the lower eyelid "rolls" outward, causing it to look "droopy."

According to VCA, this disorder can expose delicate eye tissues to the outside elements, causing dry eyes, which can then lead to the development of conjunctivitis. Ectropion may also cause the cornea to dry out, resulting in keratitis, or corneal inflammation. All of these issues may be very painful and can sometimes lead to scarring or may result in obscuring a dog’s vision.

Certain breeds such as the cocker spaniel, bulldog, saint bernard, bloodhound, basset hound and mastiff, are more prone to developing ectropion, though any breed may be affected.

Acquired ectropion looks similar in appearance, however, it is not something a dog is born with. Instead, an underlying medical or traumatic condition is responsible for the eyelid to roll outward and become droopy. Common causes of this type of the disorder include facial nerve paralysis, hypothyroidism, scarring due to another injury, neuromuscular disease and more. Dogs who have had neurological issues either from brain injury or repeated dog seizures may also be more likely to develop "droopy" eye.

Owners who notice any changes in their dogs' eyes should bring them to a vet so the condition can be diagnosed and treated—relieving the animals of unnecessary pain.