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Dog Cherry Eye

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Dog Cherry Eye

Signs and Symptoms

What is called the third eyelid in dogs, is actually tissue that has various functions for healthy eyes and tear production. If this tissue collapses or even protrudes from the socket, the appearance is somewhat similar to the cherry fruit - which if you hadn't guessed, is where the name Cherry Eye actually comes from.

Prolapsed gland of the third eyelid (Cherry Eye) in a dog.

The Causes of Cherry Eye

It is mostly an issue for dogs who are still in their early, youthful years, but can happen to any age or breed of dog. That being said, there are certain breeds that are more susceptible to Cherry Eye than any other breeds, such as the Basset Hound and Cocker Spaniel.

Unfortunately, medical experts in the veterinary field don't yet have an exact answer as to why Cherry Eye can appear.

Although it is believed to be a weakness of the connective tissue between the third eyelid and the rest of the eye. When it moves out of position, the third eyelid can swell and give this round, pinkish form to 'pop out' of the eye.

When this gland comes into contact with dry air it can cause irritability to your dog who may try to scratch the area - this will only make things worse so treatment must be sought as soon as possible. In older dogs, the occurrence of Cherry Eye could be the cause of a more serious medical condition such as a tumor.

How Cherry Eye is Treated

Cherry Eye in dogs is usually counteracted by having surgery done. During this surgery the Cherry Eye will literally be pushed back in to the dog’s eye socket and this is generally performed whilst your dog is under a gentle local anesthetic. There still remain some veterinarians who will remove the third eyelid all together - although this is not the best means of treatment as it comes with the risk of dry eyes for your dog, as they have difficulty to produce tears. What is more common these days is the removal of only part of the gland, or optionally, surgery to tack it to the inner section of the third eyelid - both of which have had many successful results.

How To Take Care At Home

If your dog has undergone surgery to either remove or re-position the Cherry Eye then you will need to give them lots of TLC once they are back at home. Most importantly though, is to try and prevent your pet from scratching or rubbing around their eye. Even after surgery, there could still be some discomfort for a while and a little swelling which will prompt your pup to scratch around that area. To defeat this issue, you should ask your veterinarian to provide an Elizabethan collar that will act as a barrier to claws and paws! You might even ask them to put it on for you whilst you are still at the veterinary clinic - it should never be too tight. The only downside to the collar is that you may have to remove it and replace it every time they wish to eat or drink - you really need to have plenty of time for them until they recover.

Cherry Eye should never be confused with Dog Pink Eye or Conjunctivitis.

Suggested Products

Eye Easy for Dog Conjunctivitis

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