When it comes to taking care of your dog, you may be unsure about many of the issues and conditions that can affect them. One such condition is cherry eye. Many dog owners do not know about cherry eye until it affects one of their four-legged friends. Get to know some of the facts about cherry eye in dogs and what you can do about it. Then, you can be sure you take care of your dog well if they ever develop this unfortunate condition.
What Is Cherry Eye?
Cherry eye is the common term for a condition in which a tear gland in a dog's third eyelid becomes irritated, inflamed, and swollen. The gland technically is prolapsed which means it is not in the correct place. This all results in a large, cherry-like appearance to the eye. It looks like a growth but is just an enlarged gland in the eye.
This condition can be irritating to your dog. It is not thought to be a painful condition, but dogs may find it itchy and their vision could potentially be affected by the gland depending on how swollen and inflamed it is.
What Causes Cherry Eye?
Cherry eye may be caused by a poor connection of the tear gland to the structure of the eye. Certain breeds are more prone to this condition than others. Some breeds commonly affected include beagles, cocker spaniels, and bulldogs, among others. There is not really a known reason why these breeds are more prone to developing cherry eye. However, they do tend to have more issues with it than other breeds.
What Can Be Done about Cherry Eye in Dogs?
The first thing you should do with your dog if they develop cherry eye is to seek out veterinary services as soon as possible. The veterinarian will examine your dog's eye and determine whether the cherry eye has caused a secondary infection like conjunctivitis. If there is an infection, it will need to be treated right away with eye drops and potentially oral medications. To treat the cherry eye itself, you will need to have your dog undergo surgery.
Fortunately, the procedure to surgically correct cherry eye is a minor one. This procedure is designed to put the gland back in the correct position in the eye, thus correcting the cherry eye and removing it. The idea is to restore the third eyelid and gland so that the eye is not permanently damaged by the prolapsed gland. The sooner you act when your dog has cherry eye, the better your dog's eye will do in the long term. This condition can cause eye damage if not treated properly.
Now that you know more about cherry eye in dogs and what you can do about it, you can seek out veterinary services right away if your dog ever has cherry eye.