Australian Shepherd Health & Genetics Institute

Australian Shepherd Health & Genetics Institute

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Entropion & Ectropion


What are entropion and ectropion?

Entropion is an eyelid that rolls in and ectropion is an eyelid that rolls out.  Both conditions tend to be associated with loose skin on the face.

How do I know my dog has entropion or ectropion?

You will notice the lid(s) bending in toward the eye or curling out, exposing the pink skin inside.  Diagnosis should be confirmed by a veterinary ophthalmologist.

What does having entropion or ectropion mean for my dog? 

Both can be painful to the dog.  When a dog has entropion the lashes and even hair on the lid may scrape against the cornea every time the dog blinks, abrading its surface. The exposed mucosal skin caused by ectropion can become irritated or be damaged.  In the worst cases surgery may be required to restore the lid to a natural shape.

How common are entropion and ectropion in Aussies?

Extremely rare.

Are entropion and ectropion inherited in Aussies?

These eyelid abnormalities are associated with loose facial skin, which is itself inherited.  Both the ASCA and AKC standards describe the head as “clean” and “dry,” both of which indicate that facial skin is NOT loose.  Clean means tight to the skull and dry means no looseness of the lips with associated drool.

What do entropion and ectropion mean for my breeding program?

That you have some dogs that have poor breed type as regards the facial skin.  An Aussie should have skin that is tight to the face.  Eyes should appear almond-shaped, not round, and the lids should not droop.  The lips should be smooth and tight to the mouth with no tendency to drooling or a wet face.  Loose facial skin is faulty.  Selecting for “clean,”, “dry” faces should help prevent both ectropion and entropion.