Cherry eye in dogs – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Cherry eye in dogs is a non-painful but disfiguring condition in which the third eyelid containing a lacrimal gland has prolapsed.

It is more common in small breeds and can occur in one or both eyes. In this article, we will explain how it originates, its symptoms and which treatments are the most recommended.

What is cherry eye in dogs?

Cherry eye in dogs is what many call “the third eyelid” is the prolapse of the canine nictitating gland that usually appears due to a weakness in the third eyelid and the tissues that surround this gland.

When a prolapse occurs, it usually protrudes from the corner of the eye, coming out to a greater or lesser extent.

This disease is not fatal or alarming, it is quite common in puppies or young dogs and it is not painful as long as there is no other complication, but it must be treated in time to avoid complications in the health of dogs.

This prolapse can cause:

  • Conjunctivitis.
  • Lacrimal obstruction.
  • Pain and irritation.
  • Injuries in the area if scratching is attempted.
  • Ocular dryness.
  • Infections.

Symptoms of eye cherry in dogs

It is a quite visible disease, to detect it in time. You must identify a cherry-colored shape in the inner area of the eye, as a small red ball of fleshy structure in the eye.

The main symptoms are

  • Loss of vision
  • Dryness of tears or excessive production of secretions.
  • Redness, swelling and inflammation of the lacrimal gland of the third eyelid of one or both eyes.
  • Tendency to keep the eyes half closed
  • Tendency to rub the eyes to reduce irritation.
  • Pain and discomfort.

Treatments for cherry eye in dogs

Unfortunately there is absolutely no remedy that allows us to solve the cherry eye without going to the operating room.

In the first days when a prolapse of the gland of the third eyelid is generated, the veterinarian can administer anti-inflammatories, to make this gland return to its place, although in many cases it can come out again.

However, these drops will not remove the fleshiness of the eye, they will only help to control the conjunctivitis.

If the anti-inflammatory medication does not work, surgery is required to remove the gland completely.

with this procedure there is a possibility that the dog will stop producing the tears necessary to keep the eye hydrated, and owners should apply eye drops to avoid consequences.

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