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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Cherry Eye

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Condition Overview

There is a tear gland wrapped around the cartilage of the third eyelid that is a major source of tears for the eye. In a dog with cherry eye, the fibrous attachments to the undersurface of the third eyelid are weak.

Symptoms

You will see a red sac protruding from the inside center of the eyeball.

Causes

Cherry eye is a congenital (damage to a developing fetus) defect that occurs most commonly in Cocker Spaniels, Beagles, Boston Terriers, and Bulldogs.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is made by physical examination.

Treatment

Removing the third eyelid or the tear gland seriously interferes with tear production and may result in a dry eye syndrome in breeds so disposed. If the gland is removed, your dog may require artificial tears daily for life.

Alternatively, surgery can be performed that repositions the third eyelid and the tear gland. This corrects the problem while maintaining tear production.

Prevention

There is no prevention for Cherry Eye.

Support

Please contact your veterinarian if you have questions regarding this condition.

Show Sources & Contributors +

Sources

Dog Owners Home Veterinary Handbook

Publisher: Wiley Publishing, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Authors: Debra M. Eldredge, Liisa D. Carlson, Delbert G. Carlson, James M. Giffen MD

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