What is ... ?: 

 Entropion is the inward rolling of the eyelid, most commonly the lower lid. This irritates the surface of the eye (the cornea) and may ultimately cause visual impairment.

Entropion is a common hereditary disorder in dogs. Selection for a particular conformation, of exaggerated facial features with prominent eyes and/or heavy facial folds, has created or worsened this problem in many breeds.

How is ... inherited?: 

It is likely that ectropion is influenced by several genes (polygenic inheritance) that affect the skin and other structures that make up the eyelids, the way the skin covers the face and head, and the conformation of the skull.

What does ... mean to your dog & you?: 

 The problem is usually evident before a year of age. Discomfort from entropion will cause increased tearing and squinting. Your dog may be sensitive to light and may rub at its eyes. Chronic irritation by the turned-in eyelid may cause corneal ulceration and scarring which is painful and, if not corrected, can impair vision.

Dogs who have had surgical correction for a defect such as entropion may not be exhibited in the show ring.

How is ... diagnosed?: 

 The inrolling of the eyelid is readily apparent. Generally both eyes are affected. Depending on the degree of corneal irritation and the duration, there will be other signs such as those mentioned above. Your veterinarian will evaluate the degree of entropion and use flourescein dye to determine if there is any corneal ulceration.

How is ... treated?: 

 Entropion is corrected surgically. If possible it is best to delay surgery until the dog is an adult since the involved facial structures are still growing and changing.

More than 1 operation may be required. It is better to correct the entropion conservatively and repeat the operation later if necessary, than to overcorrect causing ectropion. In breeds such as the chow chow that have particularly severe entropion related to heavy facial folds, several surgeries may be required.

For the veterinarian: 

  The use of topical ophthalmic anaesthetic to anaesthetize the cornea and conjunctiva will enable eliminatation of the spastic component of the entropion in order to better evaluate the anatomic component. This is important before surgery is performed.

Breeding advice: 

 Entropion is one of the eye conditions that is a result of selection by breeders and a demand by the public for such features as excessively prominent eyes and heavy facial folds. A responsible breeding programme will choose animals for breeding with a more normal head conformation, so as to select away from these exaggerated facial features and the problems associated with them.

The Vizsla Club of America has recognized entropion as an unacceptable problem in their breed, and advises breeders not to breed affected animals. Such leadership by breed clubs is important in discouraging this and other undesirable traits.


 Slatter, D. 1993. Textbook of Small Animal Surgery. p. 856-889. W.B. Saunders Co. ,Toronto.

What breeds are affected by ... ?