Cherry Eye in Dogs

Pet Health

HIF Australia

Video Transcription

Dr. Melissa:  The gland in the third eyelid is called a lacrimal gland and dogs and humans both have one just up here. Dogs have an extra one in their third eyelid. In dogs this is responsible for the majority of tear production and without tears the health of all of our eyes would rapidly deteriorate. The most common sign of Cherry eye is a red oval mass protruding from the dogs third eyelid, it will often be swollen and can be irritated if let prolapsed dry eye can definitely develop and this is something you want to avoid.

The exact cause of cherry eye is still unknown but it’s thought to be due to a weakness at the base of the gland, allowing it to flip up and become visible. Surgery is the only treatment. The medical condition commonly known as cherry eye or more correctly as prolapsed gland of the third eyelid commonly occurs in breeds such as the American cocker spaniel, beagle, bulldog and Pekingese. But as gorgeous staffy Jedi here and his owner Sheridan know all too well it can occur in any breed and occasionally in cats. Sheridan tells us what happened to Jedi.

Sheridan: Well when he was three months old he developed this pink mass which was protruding from his inner eyelid, so I took him to the vet and they gave me a topical ointment to reduce the swelling which didn’t seem to work, and he ended up needing surgery.

Dr. Melissa: So it just kept on popping out.

Sheridan: Yep.

Dr. Melissa: What it aggravated or annoying him.

Sheridan: Yeah it was quite, it didn’t seem to annoy him but it can obviously get irritated and red and aesthetically it looked quite angry and sore.

Dr. Melissa: Yeah I can imagine and so then how did the treatment or surgery go, what happened there?

Sheridan: Really good, it was just a day procedure he did need a general anesthetic they put some stitches, some dissolvable stitches so he wasn’t in any discomfort or although then the next week the following eye also went so we had to go through the whole procedure again.

Dr. Melissa: But his eye looks great now, so it obviously worked very well, but did you expect to be having to pay money for surgery at the age of 3 months?

Sheridan: Absolutely not, I was quite surprised, luckily the breeder had organized a 6-week complementary pet insurance which ended up covering all of his bills, so we’ve continued with that so we definitely see the value throughout his life cause you just never know what’s going to happen.

Dr. Melissa: Lucky Jedi, a lot of owners don’t consider that their pet may have accidents or illness at any age and cherry eye can definitely affect younger animals. Now if you’re like me and you’ve fallen in love with this handsome fella, you can follow him on Instagram @_masterjedi_. To find out more about how your pet can be covered at any age, visit the HIF website for more details.


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