Understanding Cherry Eye in Your Dog – Causes and Treatments
Cherry eye is a common condition affecting many dog breeds, and can sometimes be alarming for pet owners. It is typically diagnosed by a veterinarian and treated in one of several ways depending upon severity. This article aims to provide an overview of the underlying causes of cherry eye, symptoms to look out for, and how it can best be treated. Understanding the cause of this distressing condition can help maintain the health and wellbeing of your beloved four-legged friend.
Causes of Cherry Eye in Dogs
Cherry eye, is a common and often contagious condition among canine breeds. It is an inflammation or prolapse of the tear sac located in the corner of the dog’s eyes. This swollen lump looks like a small patch of red tissue and is commonly referred to as “cherry eye”.
This condition can be caused by several things, including infections, allergies, or trauma to the eye area. However, it is most commonly attributed to genetics or congenital abnormalities. Regardless of what causes the initial inflammation or prolapse of the gland, once this occurs, the tear sac will stay enlarged without treatment and possibly put pressure on the nearby area.
In order to prevent further damages from becoming more serious, prompt and effective treatment is essential when cherry eyedogs are identified. This may include treatments such as simple flushing with saline solution for mild cases. Other treatment options include antibiotics for infection-based cases; antihistamines to reduce swelling if allergic reactions are present; surgical interventions if corrective measures are needed, including tacking and reconstructing the gland’s position back into its natural place under the eye lid.
Symptoms of Cherry Eye in Dogs
Cherry eye, also known as canine nictitans gland prolapse or third eyelid gland prolapse, is a common and relatively minor condition in dogs. It occurs when part of the tear producing gland (the nictitans gland) located in the dog’s third eyelid protrudes and becomes visible in the corner of your dog’s eye. Despite its innocuous name, Cherry eye can lead to serious long-term consequences if left untreated.
Symptoms of cherry eye can be easy to spot and vary from mild to severe cases. The most obvious symptom is the bright red colored mass located on the inside corner of your pet’s eye. This swelling may be accompanied by frequent blinking, discharge from the eyes, difficulty closing the eyelids completely, inflammation around the eyes and/or squinting. If these symptoms become painful or overly bothersome for your pet consider seeking veterinary care right away as it can worsen over time if not treated correctly.
In addition to causing discomfort, Cherry Eye can negatively impact your pet’s vision if left untreated due to improper function of their tear ducts which may cause dryness and irritation of their ocular surface tissue. Additionally, untreated cases may have a risk for ulceration of the cornea due to insufficient moisture production or damage caused by delayed diagnosis and treatment of this condition.
Treatment Options for Cherry Eye in Dogs
Cherry eye, or Prolapse of the Nictitans Gland, is a fairly common eye condition affecting dogs. It is characterized by a red mass that appears in the corner of the dog’s affected eye and can cause signs of irritation or infection if left untreated. In certain cases, cherry eye can progress to an ulceration, which could mean a more complicated recovery period.
Treatment for cherry eye generally involves complicated surgery to push the gland back into place. Generally, this requires anesthesia and stitches as well as possible antibiotics and/or anti-inflammatories for post operative swelling or discomfort. If the condition does not improve within a few weeks to a month post-surgery, then medical re-assessment may be necessary with other treatments such as topical ointment in extreme cases depending on your veterinarian’s advice. Other conservative treatments may be attempted to support existing tissue structures before operating like using warm compresses on the affected area every few hours throughout the day but only under advisement from your vet.
Given how serious cherry eye can be it is important that treatment options are discussed with your veterinarian as soon as the issue presents itself. With early intervention, successful surgical and long-term management outcomes can be achieved in most cases of cherry eye in dogs.
Long-Term Prognosis for Dog with Cherry Eye
The long-term prognosis of a dog with Cherry Eye is mostly positive. This condition typically responds well to treatment, and many dogs make a full recovery. Most treatments involve surgically repositioning the gland back into its proper, normal position behind the eyelid. As long as the procedure is successfully completed and there are no complications, the affected eye should return to full functionality.
Recovery times will vary depending on the size and breed of the dog, but most dogs take between 2-6 weeks to heal. During this time, owners should monitor their pet’s progress closely and keep any follow up appointments that have been scheduled by their vet. With careful attention, the majority of dogs with Cherry Eye can expect good results with minimal adverse effects over the long term.
In conclusion, cherry eye in dogs is a common condition that causes the third eyelid to protrude from the corner of their eye. Most cases, if caught quickly enough, can be treated with topical ointments or simple surgeries such as tacking down the eyelid or removing the gland. Cherry eyes can also be managed through medicated drops, antibiotics and warm compresses. The most important thing to remember when dealing with a cherry eye is to chat with your vet right away to get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.