What is Cherry Eye in Dogs and How Can it be Treated?

Cherry eye in dogs is an eye condition caused by the weakening or tearing of tissue that supports the tear glands. It causes a red, prominent bulge to form near the inner corner of the eye. This condition can be treated successfully and there are several ways to do so. With proper diagnosis and treatment, cherry eye in dogs can be corrected with minimal risk of recurrence. Read on for more information about this common canine issue and learn how it can be treated.

What is Cherry Eye in Dogs?

Cherry eye in dogs is an eye disorder that occurs when the third eyelid’s tear gland becomes swollen and protrudes from the inner corner of the eye. The medical name for this condition is known as prolapsed gland of the third eyelid, or nictitans gland prolapse. This gland is responsible for producing more than 30% of the tears produced by a dog’s eyes.

Although cherry eye can affect any breed of dog, it is seen most frequently in young dogs with short noses such as Boxers and Bulldogs. Typically, only one eye will be affected but occasionally both can be involved. Depending on the severity, signs of cherry eye may appear suddenly or gradually over time and include a visible red mass in the inner corner of the affected eye, excessive tearing, conjunctivitis (inflammation of the white part of the eye), painfulness or redness around the eye area, irritation, discharge and light sensitivity.

Many times, no underlying cause is found for cherry eye though trauma can sometimes be attributed to the condition. If not treated, long-term problems with vision can occur due to corneal ulcers and, if left untreated long enough, eventually lead to blindness. A veterinary ophthalmologist should be consulted if you suspect your pet has cherry eye and treatments may range from topical medications to surgery depending on severity.

Symptoms of Canine Cherry Eye

Canine cherry eye is a condition in which the third eyelid gland of a dog prolapses and pushes forward to form a red bump called a “cherry eye” in the corner of the dog’s eye. This condition is also referred to as nictitans gland prolapse or a prolapsed gland of the third eyelid.

The exact cause of canine cherry eye is unknown, but some breeds are predisposed to it due to anatomical traits that hereditarily predispose them. Since it affects the eyes, early diagnosis and treatment is important for swift recovery and reduced chance of complications. It can lead to irritation, uncomfortable rubbing of their face, decreased vision and sometimes ulceration if left untreated.

Common symptoms of canine cherry eye include redness or swelling around the eye accompanied by mucous discharge from the corners of the third eyelid. If accompanied with pain, itching and squinting can be observed in your pet throughout this condition. Other signs may include tearing or developing cloudy material on the eyeball surface, gagging or drooling excessively and problems blinking or keeping an eye shut.

Treatment Options for Cherry Eye in Dogs

Cherry eye in dogs is an abnormality of the third eyelid, also known as the nictitating membrane, that results in a red, swollen “cherry” appearing in the corner of the dog’s eyes. While it can be quite dramatic to look at, cherry eye is usually a minor medical condition with many treatment options available.

The most common treatment is a simple surgical procedure under general anesthesia where the affected gland (the valve or tarsal gland of the third eyelid) is pushed back into its normal anatomical position and stitched in place. This technique is relatively simple for experienced surgeons and has a high success rate with few reported post-operative complications.

In some cases where surgery is not possible, or if owners do not want to pursue surgery due to cost or other reasons there are medicinal treatments that can offer novel solutions. These include using anti-inflammatory drugs combined with immune system boosters to reduce inflammation and swelling associated with cherry eye. Other medications may be used to reinforce the supportive tissues surrounding the gland to help keep it in place.

Overall, treatment for cherry eye varies depending on the individual circumstances but regardless of which option you decide upon, early diagnosis and intervention are important for achieving successful outcomes when dealing with this condition.

Prevention and Management of Canine Cherry Eye

Canine cherry eye is a painful red protrusion of the third eyelid gland (gland of the nictitating membrane) from within the lower corner of a dog’s eye. If left untreated, this disorder can cause long-term damage to your dog’s vision and eventually lead to blindness.

Prevention of canine cherry eye often includes regular check-ups with a veterinarian, particularly if you have an at-risk breed such as Pugs, Shih Tzus, Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, Lhasa Apsos, Beagles, Cocker Spaniels or Bichon Frises. It is important to ensure that these at-risk breeds routinely have their eyes checked in order to spot and prevent any issues before they develop into more serious conditions. Additionally, keeping your dog healthy through proper nutrition and regular exercise can help strengthen the structures around the eyes and reduce their chances of developing cherry eye.

If your dog does develop canine cherry eye, there are a few different treatment options available. The most common course of treatment is surgical removal of the affected tissue in order to release pressure on the area and eliminate discomfort for your pet. In some cases, medical treatments may be used in conjunction with surgery depending on your pet’s individual needs. These treatments include antibiotics to reduce inflammation and daily ointments or drops to promote healing and keep the area moisturized. Your vet will discuss all available options when it comes to treating and managing your pet’s condition.

In conclusion, Cherry Eye in Dogs is a fairly common eye condition where the third eyelid, which contains tear-producing glands, becomes swollen and is visible. Treatment depends on the severity of the issue, but usually involves surgically tucking the gland back into its normal position or removing part or all of it. Other potential treatments include antibiotics, steroids and eye drops, depending on the cause of Cherry Eye in Dogs. Regardless of your approach to treatment for this uncomfortable condition of your pup, always consult with a veterinarian for medical advice.

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