Cherry Eye In Dogs

Have you ever heard of a strange condition called Cherry eye in dogs?

This is a condition of the third eyelid and rarely affects cats.

Unlike people, pets have 3 eyelids- the upper and lower lid- just like people have and a third lid under the other 2 that comes out from the corner of the eye- near the nose. This third eyelid has a gland underneath it that helps to provide moisture to the eye.

In dogs with cherry eye the gland of the third eyelid protrudes out from under the eyelid. It looks red and rounded which is why people refer to it as a cherry eye.

This is a genetic condition and is passed through litters in certain dog lines. Any breed of dog can get a cherry eye but there are some breeds we see this in more commonly, for example Bull dogs and Chihuahua’s among many more. A cherry eye can show up at any age- from a puppy to an older dog and it can be only 1 eye affected or sometimes even both eyes can be affected.

The main treatment for cherry eye is surgery, and there are a few different types of surgery that can be done. With any of the surgical procedures there is always a chance that the cherry eye can recur. This is especially true if it has been present for some time.  Generally your vet will choose the procedure that best suits your dog. This can be a pocketing technique- where the gland is placed back into a little pocket made in the inside of the third eyelid, the other is a tie down technique where the gland is anchored down behind the eyelid.

Petfocus Renee with Dog

If caught very early sometimes the gland can be massaged back into place and may stay that way- meaning you can avoid surgery. Usually it will recur if this technique is used. Dogs that experience cherry eye without surgery have a much higher chance of developing dry eye over time which presents complications for your dog. If you notice any type of redness in your pets eye then we recommend a veterinary visit as soon as possible. It is better to be safe than sorry, especially this time of year.

Happy Christmas shopping everyone