What is Cherry Eye in Dogs?

Today, we will embark on an enlightening and informative journey into the world of the mysterious eye condition known as “cherry eye” that can often affect our furry friends. Buckle up as we dive into the what, why, and how of Cherry Eye. We will be shedding light on the breeds most susceptible, symptoms to watch out for, and the surgical solutions that are sure to bring those glistening eyes back to perfection. So, grab your doggy treats and join us on this journey into the world of dog ocular issues!

picture of a beagle dog with cherry eye 

What is Cherry Eye?

Cherry eye refers to the prolapse or protrusion of the third eyelid, also known as the nictitating membrane. This membrane consists of a thin layer of tissue beneath the dog's lower eyelid. The third eyelid usually plays a vital role in tear production and eye protection. When the connective tissue holding it in place weakens, it can pop out - resulting in the distinctive appearance of cherry eye. The lump, resembling a cherry (hence the name), is typically pink or red, standing out against the whites of a dog’s eye.

What causes Cherry Eye in Dogs?

The causes of cherry eye in dogs are rooted in genetics and weak connective tissue. Certain breeds are more predisposed to this condition due to their genetic makeup. Unfortunately, there's no way to prevent cherry eye, since it’s often a result of an inherited trait. The connective tissue that holds the third eyelid in place can be inherently weak in some dogs, making them more susceptible to this condition. Environmental factors such as irritants or allergens can worsen the problem, but the primary trigger is a genetic predisposition. Although you can't entirely prevent cherry eye, being mindful of your dog's environment and overall well-being can play a role in managing the condition.

Breeds Most Commonly Affected by Cherry Eye:

  • English Bulldogs
  • French Bulldogs
  • Shar Peis
  • Beagles
  • Great Danes
  • Boston Terriers
  • Cocker Spaniels
  • Shih Tzus

These breeds, with their unique genetic traits, are more prone to experiencing cherry eye. As responsible dog owners, it's essential to be aware of the potential challenges your furry friend might face, especially if they belong to one of these breeds.

Symptoms of Cherry Eye in Dogs:

Detecting cherry eye is relatively straightforward once you know what to look for. Keep an eye out for:

  • Pink or red lump: The most obvious sign is the protrusion of the third eyelid, resembling a cherry.
  • Dry eyes: Dogs with cherry eye may experience dry eyes due to the disruption in normal tear production.
  • Swollen eyelid: The affected eye may appear swollen, contributing to the distinctive appearance.
  • Pus from the eye: In severe cases, there may be discharge or pus from the affected eye.

These symptoms are indicative of the gland's displacement and can lead to discomfort and reduced tear production.

Fixing Cherry Eye:

Addressing cherry eye often involves surgical intervention, and there are two main techniques: 

  • Tacking: This procedure involves anchoring the protruding gland back into its normal position using specialized sutures. Tacking helps secure the gland in place, preventing future prolapses.
  • Imbrication: Imbrication involves folding the prolapsed gland back into its original position and securing it with sutures. This technique aims to reinforce the weak connective tissue to prevent recurrence.

Both procedures are effective in resolving cherry eye, and the choice between them depends on the severity of the condition and the veterinarian's recommendation. Surgery is usually a quick and routine procedure, and with proper care, most dogs recover well.

Squishface for Pups:

Who says our furry friends don't deserve a bit of pampering, despite the occasional cherry eye? At Squishface, we firmly believe that every dog deserves to be spoiled, and we've got the perfect arsenal of dog-safe products to make it happen.

Take our Squishface Wrinkle Wipes, for instance – the ideal convenient option for keeping your pup looking and feeling their best. These wipes contain helpful ingredients such as Ketoconazole and Chlorhexidine, which join in the effective fight against bacteria, yeast, and fungus. And let's not forget those perky ears – that's where Squishface Ear Wipes save the day. These wipes provide an easy and efficient way to keep those ears clean and healthy. So, whether your furry friend is battling a cherry eye or just deserves a bit extra love and care, Squishface is here to help you provide your pup with a bit of extra pampering.

The Bottom Line:

In conclusion, while cherry eye may present a colorful challenge for both you and your furry friend, understanding the condition, its causes, and the available solutions is crucial for effective dog care. By being attentive to your dog's health and promptly addressing any signs of cherry eye, you can ensure a lifetime of vibrant, clear-eyed moments with your cherished furry friend.

Be sure to follow us on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, and visit our blog weekly for more tips on caring for your adored furry friend, and the latest on all things Squishface!