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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Cherry Eye




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.


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


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


Diagnosis is made by physical examination.


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.


There is no prevention for Cherry Eye.


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

Show Sources & Contributors +


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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