Cute Name, Not-So-Cute Condition: Cherry Eye In Dogs
As a pet parent you probably notice a lot of little things about your pup; when their nose is dry, a change in appetite or a sore paw, but have you ever noticed that your dog has three eyelids? Like humans, dogs have an upper and lower eyelid but they also have a special third eyelid which we rarely see. Lacking opposable thumbs or the ability to wipe their eyes, dogs have developed this third eyelid which acts like a wipe to clear the eye of dust and debris and provide extra moisture to protect the eye. While this third eyelid is necessary, occasionally it can enlarge and pop out – resulting in a condition known as Cherry Eye.
Obviously it can be alarming to suddenly see a large red blob protruding from your precious pooch’s eye, so we’ve got a guide to everything you ever wanted to know about Cherry Eye in dogs.
What is Cherry Eye?
Cherry Eye in dogs is when the gland in the third eyelid prolapses and creates a small, oblong red bulge which protrudes out of the corner of one or both eyes.
What causes Cherry Eye?
No one knows exactly what causes Cherry Eye. What we do know is that the connective tissue around the tear gland weakens resulting in the gland prolapsing and protruding from the eye.
Which dogs get Cherry Eye?
While there are no known links between genetics and Cherry Eye, the following dogs are more prone to Cherry Eye:
- Small dogs
- Dogs aged 6 months to 2 years
- Certain breeds including: Newfoundlands, Bloodhounds, Bulldogs, Cocker Spaniels, Shar-Peis, Shih Tzu, Beagles, Pekingese, Lhasa apso, Miniature Poodles and Neapolitan Mastiffs
Should owners worry?
While Cherry Eye in dogs can be unattractive, it usually isn’t uncomfortable or painful for the dog and rarely is it life-threatening; however it is important to consult with your vet immediately to prevent any permanent damage including vision impairment or blindness. Besides cosmetic reasons, your vet may recommend treatment on the gland to hinder abnormal discharge, prevent the dog from pawing at or irritating the eye, minimize irritation and injury to the tissue and reduce the risk of secondary bacterial infections.
What’s the treatment for Cherry Eye?
If you are concerned about your dog’s Cherry Eye, consult your vet at ZippiVet to discuss the treatment option best for you and your pup.
Non-surgical treatment: Your vet may be able to pop the gland back in place or use antibiotics or steroids to keep the gland in place and reduce exposure to environmental irritants.
Surgical treatment: If surgery is recommended for the Cherry Eye, your ZippiVet vet will use state-of-the-art surgical techniques to reposition the gland. After treatment the chance of recurrence is low and your pooch will be back to its happy, healthy self.
If your dog has Cherry Eye, or any other condition that’s troubling you, schedule an appointment at ZippiVet today!