There are a number of different conditions that can affect the appearance and function of your pet’s eyes. One relatively common condition is known as cherry eye, which is characterized by a prolapse of the gland in the third eyelid. Although this condition may sound concerning, it is generally not painful and treatment can be quite straightforward. In this article, we’ll discuss what you need to know about cherry eye in dogs, including risk factors, symptoms, causes and treatment options.
Cherry eye is a fairly common condition for dogs.
Cherry eye is a fairly common condition for dogs. It occurs in about 5% of dogs and is more common in certain breeds, including the:
- Boston Terrier
Cherry eye can occur in both eyes and also affects both sexes. It can occur at any age; however it’s most often seen in young puppies between 6 months and 2 years old.
Cherry eye is caused by prolapse of the gland of the third eyelid.
The gland of the third eyelid is called the nictitating membrane. The nictitating membrane is located in the third eyelid, and it helps keep your dog’s eye moist and lubricated.
If the nictitating membrane becomes enlarged or prolapses (protrudes through the opening of its socket), it can cause a cherry eye to develop. This condition is also known as “cherry eye” because of its appearance when viewed through an ophthalmoscope.
The portion of the eye that is affected may swell up, look red, or protrude from its normal position.
When the gland is swollen and red, it may protrude from its normal position. This can cause a bulge in your pet’s eye that looks similar to a cherry, which is how this condition got its name. The gland may also be visible on the surface of the eye or on the inner surface of your dog’s eyelid.
Treatment mainly consists of surgical repair to ensure that the gland remains in its proper place.
If your veterinarian diagnoses cherry eye, treatment will usually begin with surgery. This is because surgical repair to ensure that the gland remains in its proper place is quick and easy, and it is successful in almost every case. As a bonus, surgery can also prevent future problems with the eyelids and tear ducts.
Surgery can be performed under general anesthesia or local anesthesia if you prefer a less-intense procedure. The dog must have an empty stomach prior to surgery (usually 4 hours).
Surgical treatment has a high success rate (80-90%) and can result in improved appearance and comfort for your pet.
If you choose not to have surgery performed on your dog, the condition is likely to persist and may cause more serious complications. Surgery has a high success rate (80-90%), and can result in improved appearance, comfort and function for your pet. The surgery itself is minimally invasive, relatively painless, quick and safe.
Untreated cherry eye can lead to complications including inflammation, infection and corneal ulceration.
The condition often leads to complications including inflammation, infection and corneal ulceration. Untreated cherry eye can cause pain and discomfort for your dog as well as lead to blindness in the affected eye.
If you notice any issues with your dog’s eye or eyes, seek treatment immediately.
If you notice any issues with your dog’s eye or eyes, seek treatment immediately. Early treatment is important to prevent permanent damage to the eye and keep your pet comfortable. Treatment can be simple and effective, but it may also be expensive depending on what is causing the cherry eye in dogs.
If you have pet insurance, check with your provider about coverage for this condition. The cost of treating a cherry eye can vary significantly depending on whether medical or surgical intervention is required.
While it’s true that cherry eye is a common condition, and it may not seem like a big deal on the surface, it can actually lead to severe and painful complications. These include inflammation, infection, corneal ulceration (an ulcer on the surface of your dog’s eye), increased risk of blindness and even glaucoma. In short: don’t take this condition lightly! If you think your dog has cherry eye or any other eye problems, get them to the vet as soon as possible.