Labradors Have Droopy Eyes

Why Do Labradors Have Droopy Eyes? Meaning 101

Owning a pet Labrador is undoubtedly a beautiful feeling, but it also comes with a lot of stress and responsibilities. What if your Labrador is suffering from any health condition or disability? For not very common but alarming condition Labradors and their human parents can stress with is ‘Droopy Eyes.’

Yes, Labradors can have Droopy Eyes, and a major percentage of them suffer from the same. Droopy Eyes mean drooping upper eyelids or abnormally low-lying eyelids that usually make a dog’s face appear sad. However, the issue does not end just visually. If a Labrador has Droopy Eyes, it is either because of some genetic inheritance or any severe underlying health condition.

Here is more about Droopy Eyes amongst Labradors, its symptoms, causes, and risks. If you are sceptical about when you should get concerned, make sure you go through the entire guide below.

Labradors Have Droopy Eyes

Are Droopy Eyes Normal In Labradors?

Droopy Eye is a normal condition amongst many dog breeds, including Labradors. They are not commonly prone to conditions that lead to Droopy Eyes, but it isn’t unusual for them to catch one. 

Droopy Eyes can affect one or both eyes on Labradors, and it is usually inheritance. However, before you conclude your Labrador for having Droopy Eyes, make sure you know the visual (appearance) difference between Normal and Droopy Eyes. Knowing what lazy Eye looks like in comparison to regular eyes is very important before taking any further steps. 

Labs Droopy Eyes: 9 Causes And 2 Solutions

Droopy Eyes is an eyelid problem in Labradors where the dog’s eyes look a bit limp instead of how usually captivating and beautiful they must be. Droopy Eyes in canines are also known as Ectropion which refers to abnormal eyes.

Ectropion results in lower eyelid droop and rolls out in an everted manner where they look unusual and sad.

This condition causes some sensitive conjunctival tissues to line the inner exposed surface of Lab’s eyelid and cover the eyeball.

Ectropion isn’t very common in Labradors like it is in Bullmastiffs, Great Danes, or St. Bernards, but it isn’t rare either. 

When Labradors suffer from conditions like Ectropion, they begin showing symptoms even before they turn a year old. Droopy eyes, though, can affect Labradors in one or both eyes and at any given age.

Labs suffering from Droopy eyes can display a range of other symptoms as well, including,

  • Red and Inflating Conjunctiva (or generally Eye Redness)
  • Thick Mucoid on the Lower Eyelid
  • Heavy Tearing
  • Repetitive Eye Infections
  • Excessive Eye Itching.

9 Causes of Droopy Eyes in Labradors

Labradors are one of those canines, most of whom likely encounter Droopy Eyes at a very early age. Some may comfortably live with it for their entire life, but others might find develop some underlying conditions due to it. 

Here are some of the common causes of Droopy Eyes in Labradors

  1. Hereditary Issues, mainly Genetic Ectropion. Though Droopy Eyes, which are a result of genetic inheritance, aren’t very troublesome and appear lightly. A small degree of Ectropion isn’t usually uncomfortable, and Labradors learn to live with it without any kind of pain or discomfort.
  2. Weight Loss. Excessive loss in weight can occasionally lead to sagging skin around the eyes. 
  3. Age. Some Labradors develop Droopy Eyes or Saggy Eyes naturally when they age. It isn’t an alarming condition, given age can show this impact on many body parts, especially if the dog was bulkier before and has lost weight as years passed.
  4. Trauma. Accidents, Injuries, Burns, or Surgical experiences can lead Labradors to trauma. This may, at times, result in Ectropion or Droopy Eyes.
  5. Transient Ectropion. This condition of Ectropion is temporary and short-lived and thus goes away on its own. Transient Ectropion is often a result of fatigue, hunger, thirst, and sickness. 
  6. Facial nerve paralysis. If any facial nerve goes through the blockage and leads to paralysis, it causes Ectropion on that particular side of the face. 
  7. Brain and spinal tumour. The brain and Spine are two major body components that control many other body parts. And if these major components experience any condition, especially one like a tumor, it will undoubtedly impact other body parts as well. Brain tumors and spinal tumors can affect the sympathetic nervous system and make the Labrador experience Ectropion, other eye infections, and Droopy eyes. 
  8. Long-term skin issues. Any long-lasting skin issue due to infection or injury too can lead to Droopy eyes in Labradors. 
  9. Horner’s syndrome. This neurological disorder affects the Muller’s muscle making Labradors lose any muscle control over the eyelid resulting in Droopy Eyes.

Droopy Eyes in Labradors- What is the Diagnosis?

Diagnosing Droopy Eyes in Labradors is quite simple since the condition is quite visible. However, knowing the reason behind it is extremely important, and it is where the need for a medical diagnosis steps in.

If and when you spot Droopy Eyes in your Labrador, make sure you reach a registered Veterinarian immediately. 

In cases like Droopy Eyes, a veterinary ophthalmologist is the recommended expert one must reach. The professional on duty will conduct a physical visual examination of the Lab’s Eye.

If the test results out as positive (which determines the existence of a Droopy Eye), the diagnosis will continue further.

Ectropion, when it is hereditary, is often easy to determine.

However, in some selective cases, veterinary ophthalmologists also perform an advanced diagnosis (including Blood and Urine tests) to learn about any underlying condition that might have led to Droopy eyes.

For a few Labradors, the professional in charge may also suggest/ perform tests, including Corneal staining and/ or Muscular or Nerve biopsies.

Further, depending on what the underlying condition is, a series of many other tests too may continue. 

Solution/ Treatment for Droopy Eyes in Labradors

There is no permanent solution for Labradors’ Droopy Eyes though a few treatments are there to help the canine. Here they are

Genetical Droopy Eyes usually do not require any treatment since they are not very painful or troublesome for the dog. Labradors with mild genetical Ectropion can live with it for their entire life.

  1. Droopy Eyes with excessive dryness may go away with some ointments or eye drops that ensure lubrication.

Given the severity of the condition, Vets also suggest giving antibiotics to combat corneal ulcers in Labradors.

Antibiotic or tropical medicine if the Labrador is suffering from any Bacterial infection which has led to Droopy Eyes.

  1. Given the Ectropion is very severe, it might necessitate reconstructive eyelid surgery. If any test diagnoses that surgery is important, make sure you reach only a qualified vet ophthalmologist. Eye surgeries are often very complicated and therefore need a well-qualified and experienced doctor only.

Do Puppies Grow Out Of Droopy Eyes?

Yes, by reaching the age of one year, many puppies outgrow the Droopy eye condition.

Especially if the dog has a droopy upper eyelid, the chances of improvement are very strong. 

Eyelid Ectropion In Dogs: Can Ectropion Be Fixed?

Eyelid Ectropion is a common eye condition in dogs where their eyelids roll outward and thus appear baggy or droopy. Until it is very serious, Eyelid Ectropion is well-treated and not at all harmful. 

Eyelid Ectropion in dogs is of two types Hereditary and Damage or Injury based.

Hereditary Ectropion is most common amongst young dogs who are less than one year old. It is also known as Development Ectropion, isn’t very troublesome and it times goes on its own.

However, Damage or Injury based Ectropion is served and can occur in dogs of any age. This type of Ectropion requires treatment or, at times, even surgery. 

Eyelid Ectropion Treatment

Ectropion is usually treated with medical therapy, including oral antibiotics and topical medications like lubricating eye drops and ointments.

The initial treatment is meant to keep the cornea and conjunctiva from drying out. Some antibiotic medicines also aid in combating corneal ulcers.

However, if the Ectropion condition serves and has another underlying medical condition to it, then the suffering dog might need surgery.

Surgical corrections improve the normal contour of the eyelid. Either a general veterinary practitioner or a veterinary ophthalmologist with handle this surgical procedure.

Is Ectropion Hereditary In Dogs?

Ectropion in dogs can be genetic or hereditary, regardless of their breed.

Many dogs inherit the condition right from birth if any of their parent or other dogs in the family already have them.

However, Hereditary Ectropion isn’t alarming, and nor does it causes much discomfort/ pain to the dog.

How Much Does Entropion Surgery Cost For Dogs?

An Entropion Surgery for dogs can cost anywhere between $1,100 to $2,000. The cost may vary depending upon the severity of Entropion, dog breed, age, number of eyelids involved, the underlying condition (if any), and the area of treatment.

Dogs recover well after the surgery, and the condition usually doesn’t reoccur.

How Do I Fix My Dogs Droopy Eyes?

There are only two ways to fix Droopy Eyes in Dogs:

  • Either Medicinal Treatment (both oral and topical)
  • Or Eye surgery (if the condition is severe).

However, instead of using home remedies or above-the-counter drugs, it is advisable to consult a reputed Vet first.

Using any non-recommended medicine in areas like the eyes can result in making the condition worse as well.

What Does It Mean If Your Dog’s Eyes Are Droopy?

If your dog’s eyes are droopy or red, there could be multiple reasons. Foremost, consider ruling out if he has an eye infection or injury which might trigger redness or Droopiness.

If that’s not the case, reach a Vet, and he will perform certain diagnoses to rule out conditions like nerve damage, infection, accident, or severe chronic eye inflammation.

Wrapping up…

Your Labrador, or any other dog for that matter, may have Droopy Eyes. Since Labs commonly suffer from this condition, you may encounter it at any stage of your life. And if you do, make sure you take the dog to a reputed Vet immediately. 

Droopy eyes, in most cases, can be irritating and painful, and therefore treatment is necessary. Also, if left untreated, this condition can lead to permanent blindness in dogs.