|Ectropion... not something you'd wish on your best friend|
Here is the response:
Ian Mason, Chief Panellist of the BVA/KC/ISDS Eye Scheme said:
"When ectropion is present the eyelids, blink reflex and tear film are unable to properly shield and lubricate the eye. The lower conjunctival sac is exposed to air, dust, debris and bacteria resulting in inflammation of the conjunctiva. In some cases corneal changes may also occur. Entropion may further complicate the condition. Published data as to the incidence of ectropion in various breeds are not available, although it would seem apparent that it is highly prevalent in some breeds."
Following Pedigree Dogs Exposed in 2008, the Kennel Club’s Breed Standards and Conformation Group (now a subgroup of the KC’s Dog Health Group) met with the high profile breed representatives to discuss a number of issues relating to conformation, health and welfare. Professor Sheila Crispin, BVA/KC/ISDS eye panellist (and Chief Panellist at the time), provided some detailed information on health issues relating to the eye, which included the following comments on eyelid anatomy:
"Poor eyelid anatomy, which is a largely a consequence of the anatomy of the head and the excessive amounts of skin. The majority of dogs with this type of head shape have a degree of conformational eyelid deformity.
"The conformational deformities of the eyelids and poor support at the lateral canthus (the outer corner of the eye) can produce a combination of entropion (eyelid turning in) and ectropion (eyelid turning out). The deformities result in a so-called 'diamond eye' with a characteristic kink in the central portion of the upper and lower eyelids and, most commonly, upper lid entropion and lower lid ectropion.
- Because of the poor eyelid anatomy, the dog cannot blink effectively, so that there is inadequate distribution of the tear film and a tendency to develop corneal complications (exposure keratopathy and desiccation). Excessive evaporative tear film loss can exacerbate the situation.
- The poor eyelid conformation also means that tear drainage may be compromised as the upper and lower puncta (drainage holes) are malpositioned. This may result in tear overflow (epiphora) and unsightly tear staining.
- The entropion is a possible source of corneal damage and pain because of direct mechanical abrasion of the cornea from eyelashes and skin hairs.The ectropion results in chronic conjunctival exposure and drying - chronic conjunctivitis and a greater likelihood of infection result.
"It is important to recognise that such poor eyelid conformation is a source of pain and chronic low grade misery for affected dogs. The surgical correction of such defects can be expensive - and time consuming, as more than one operation may be needed."