Pet Ectropion Surgery

Dorothy a tuxedo kitten with a red collar and gold bell sitting on a grey blanket in a brown basket.

Learning that your pet needs surgery can be an overwhelming experience, especially if you are unsure of what the procedure entails. At Anicira, we work with pet parents to ensure you are well-informed before your pet’s surgery. Our veterinary team provides compassionate care before, during, and after surgery to ensure your pet is safe and comfortable.

What is ectropion repair surgery? What happens if ectropion is left untreated?

An ectropion repair is surgery to correct a condition in which the eyelid rolls outward. Pets with ectropion have dry, runny, or frequently irritated eyes and irritation. Left untreated, your pet’s vision may diminish.

Pre-Surgical Instructions

Admission Time – Bring your pet to Anicira at 7 am.
Food – You may feed your pet a quarter of their normal breakfast no later than 6 am.
Water – Your pet may have water until the surgery.
Pre-surgical exam – Your pet must be in good health and show no signs of sickness such as coughing, sneezing, or diarrhea.
Medical records – Please bring proof of rabies vaccination if you have not already provided this. If your cat or dog has not been previously vaccinated or lacks proof of vaccination, we will administer a rabies vaccine on the day of surgery. If you have not already sent your medical records, please bring all relevant medical records.

Ectropion Surgery

Before surgery, our veterinary team will perform a thorough pre-surgical examination to ensure your pet is a good candidate for anesthesia. It is strongly recommended that your pet receives pre-anesthetic blood work to ensure that no health concerns go undetected.

Your pet will be under general anesthesia. The surgical team will prepare the surgical site by shaving and cleaning the area to remove bacteria and decrease potential infection risk.

The veterinarian will then perform the surgery to modify the eyelid to a more normal conformation.

How long does it take to recover from ectropion surgery?

Your pet’s eye will be swollen after ectropion repair surgery. Swelling will be at its worst 24 hours after surgery and should subside within two to four weeks.

Can ectropion come back after surgery in dogs?

After surgery, ectropion typically does not recur.

Caring for Your Pet After Ectropion Repair Surgery

Anesthesia takes 24 to 48 hours to wear off.

  • Your pet may be groggy during this time period.
  • Keep your pet confined in a secure, quiet, and comfortable space. We recommend a crate or a small room.
  • Isolate them from other pets and children while recovering.

Make sure your pet wears their Elizabethan Collar (E Collar / Cone)

  • Your pet’s surgical site will take 10 to 14 days to heal. During this period, they should wear an e-collar at all times.
  • The e-collar will prevent your pet from rubbing their face or pawing at the surgical site, which could cause significant damage to the repair.

Offer food & water after surgery

  • When your pet returns home, offer them food and water
  • Anesthesia may cause nausea so your pet may not be interested in food
  • If vomiting occurs, wait 12 hours before offering more food.
  • Resume normal feeding the day after surgery. Your pet’s appetite should be back to normal within 24 hours.
  • If your pet refuses to eat, you may try offering a bland diet such as white rice and boiled chicken breast while they regain a normal appetite.
    Please do not feed your pet junk food, table scraps, or milk.

Give all medications as directed

  • Your pet will be sent home with oral pain medication. Please follow the instructions on the label.
  • If possible, please give the pain medication with food. If your pet has no appetite, please ensure they still take the pain medication.
  • OTC pain relievers such as Tylenol and Advil are toxic to pets. Please do not give these to your pet.

Check surgical incision daily for the first week

  • Your pet’s surgical site will be healing for 10-14 days.
  • What you see on the day of surgery is what we consider normal

Other shaved areas

  • Your pet may have shaved areas on one or more legs from where an IV catheter was placed as well as under the tail for monitoring equipment during anesthesia.
  • These areas may be irritated or bruised. If your pet is excessively licking please use a taste deterrent spray or e collar to prevent self trauma.
  • If your pet went home with a brightly colored wrap on their leg, this should be removed 30 minutes after returning home.

Limit your pet’s activity and keep them clean, dry, and warm for 10 days after surgery.

  • Ensure your pet is supervised around all potential hazards (including stairs)
  • Pets should be kept indoors so they can stay clean, dry, and warm.
  • Dogs should be walked outside on a leash to urinate and defecate. No off leash activity during the entire recovery period.
  • No running, jumping, playing, swimming, or other strenuous activity.
  • Do not bathe your pet or have it groomed during the recovery period.

Rare, but Serious Complications of Ectropion Repair Surgery

Complications from an ectropion repair are rare. If your pet experiences these issues after surgery, please contact Anicira.

  • Infection of the surgical site
  • Discharge or bleeding
  • Dehiscence of the surgical site – both sides of the surgical site should be touching. Watch for any gapping.
  • Inflammation
  • Under correction – not enough of the skin is removed, so the pet’s condition is not completely fixed

Please contact Anicira, your primary care veterinarian, or an emergency clinic if any of the following occur:

  • Pale gums
  • Severe pain, depression or weakness
  • Vomiting or Diarrhea
  • Labored breathing
  • Decreased appetite for more than 24 hours
  • Lethargy lasting more than 24 hours