If you detect a pinkish-red protrusion in the edge of your pet’s eye that wasn’t present, you might worry about everything that might be wrong. A few conditions can affect your dog’s eyes; however, if it’s a red bump inside the edge of the eye, it might be cherry eye.
What is cherry eye?
Dogs have three eyelids for each eye. The third eyelid is known as the nictitating membrane that’s present in the lower eyelid. The membrane provides the dog with an additional layer of eye protection.
The membrane also contains the gland that supplies your dog’s tears. At times, the membrane can detach or stretch from the orbital bone. The gland containing the tears can prolapse and wind up being visible above the membrane or third eyelid in such cases.
These occurrences will lead to a condition called cherry eye. Cherry eye can affect any dog, but different factors can cause it to happen. For example, certain breeds like cane corsos, cocker spaniels, and English bulldogs have a genetic predisposition to the condition.
In such breeds, it can occur in their first year of life. Other dog breeds that are likely to get cherry eye include:
In short, younger dogs under one year are susceptible, and breeds with shorter muzzles are more prone than their long-nosed counterparts.
Symptoms of cherry eye
It’s easy to spot early cherry eye in dogs. The easiest way of knowing whether your pet or dog has prolapse or cherry eye is a plump pinkish-red bulge at the edge of their eye. The bulge is mostly present at the corner near the nose, and its shape is similar to that of a cherry pit.
The ailment can occur in most dogs, and you can notice it in one or both eyes. In its early stage, cherry eye isn’t painful for your dog. Most dogs won’t even know that there is a problem. However, after some prolonged time, your dog can experience infections and dry eyes.
The tear gland is responsible for at least 40% of your pup’s tear production. Therefore, you should not ignore cherry eye symptoms in your dog. Cherry eye will affect the productivity of the gland, thus causing dry eyes and discomfort.
Treating cherry eye
Treating or resolving cherry eye will require a professional who can preserve and reattach the gland. It’s advisable to visit your vet when you discover cherry eye. It’s not a medical emergency, but it can cause some health concerns.
If cherry eye remains untreated, it can damage the gland and lead to chronic dry eye. It’s also possible for the gland to swell, thus restricting blood flow to the eye. The welling will make your dog uncomfortable, and they might wind up scratching the eye heightening the chances of infection and damage.
After visiting the vet, he or she might recommend dog-safe eye drops to reduce inflammation. The drops will provide additional moisture that will comfort your dog and boost eye health. These eye drops won’t, however, be the cure.
Most vets will recommend surgery to treat cherry eye and preserve the eyelid. The surgery entails a surgical repositioning of the gland since it’s crucial for the dog’s tear production. Professionals will correctly reposition and preserve the gland in no time.
Even if you don’t want surgery for your dog, typical topical treatments and ointments won’t solve it. It might lead to some prolonged damages that will still require surgery later. The gland can’t resolve or reposition itself without surgery.
The recovery is short, and you rest assured that you have dealt with cherry eye problems. In a couple of weeks, your dog should have recovered fully and gotten back to normal. However, you will need to follow up so the vet can assess the surgical site.
Your dog will also require an e-collar to ensure that they don’t keep on pawing or scratching the eye. The e-collar will assist with preventing any eye infections.
Furthermore, some people have been able to treat cherry eyes without surgery.
However, for the treatment to be successful, you will need to recognize the symptoms, calm your dog and begin rubbing the eye until you feel the cherry eye pop back into its place. It’s advisable to use a warm, damp cloth to massage or eye drops to ensure that the eyes won’t dry up.
To some, it might be stressful, but it’s a solution that you can try, and if you aren’t successful, you can schedule a visit to the vet. Using the DIY approach can save you time, money, and stress. However, you should understand that it isn’t clinically proven that the massage might work.
Preventing cherry eye in dogs
After learning about cherry eye symptoms and the treatment options, you might want to know how to prevent cherry eye. Before this, you need to acquire some facts about cherry eye. For example, if you have more than one dog, it isn’t contagious. Therefore, it won’t pose a threat to your other dogs or pets.
Even though there is no way of preventing cherry eye in dogs, you can consider choosing a breed that isn’t susceptible to the condition. You can as well ensure that your dog eats healthy, gets all the vaccinations and preventative care. If worried about your dog’s eye health, contact your vet.
Paisley Hansen is a freelance writer and expert in pets and pet’s health. When she isn’t writing she can usually be found reading a good book or hitting the gym.