All dogs have a special protective eyelid on the inside corners of their eyes that is normally not visible. Cherry eye in dogs is a condition that develops when this eyelid swells and comes out of its position. One or both eyes can be affected. You may be wondering what causes this problem.
Many dogs develop this condition because of weak tissue connecting the eyelid to to other areas of the eye. The tissue isn’t strong enough to hold the eyelid and place and allows it to drop out of position. This condition can also occur because of inflammation. Sometimes, the condition develops for an unknown reason.
The main sign of cherry eye is the appearance of a pink or red mass in the inner corner of the eye. The affected eye may also produce a thick or watery discharge. The gland will become more traumatized if your dog rubs at the eye to try to relieve the irritation.
Diagnosis of this condition is very straightforward. The veterinarian will visually inspect your dog’s eye to see if the eyelid has prolapsed. Both eyes need to be examined even if only one of them is seemingly affected.
Anti-inflammatory medications are needed to treat cherry eye. The gland and conjunctiva shouldn’t be inflamed after taking the medication. However, this medication only relieves inflammation. It won’t cause the gland to return to position.
In most cases, the gland will need to be replaced. There is also the option of simply removing the gland. One side effect of not replacing the gland is that your dog would be at risk for chronic dry eye. This is because the gland aids in tear production.
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