Cherry Eye in Dogs

Cherry Eye in Dogs


Cherry eye, also known as “prolapse of the third eyelid gland” is a condition that primarily affects dogs, although it can occur in other animals as well. This condition occurs when the gland of the third eyelid, located in the inner corner of a dog’s eye, becomes swollen and protrudes from its normal position. It gets its name because the swollen gland can resemble a red, cherry-like mass.

Causes of Cherry Eye

The exact cause of cherry eye is not definitively known; however, there is a combination of genetic, anatomical, and environmental factors contributing to it. Some potential causes include:

  • Weak connective tissue: Dogs with weak connective tissue around the gland are more prone to cherry eye.
  • Breed predisposition: The problem primarily affects young dogs, including the Cocker Spaniel, Lhasa Apso, Shih-Tzu, Poodle, Beagle, and Bulldog. Additionally, it’s also seen sometimes in certain cat breeds including the Burmese.
  • Trauma: Physical injury or eye irritation can trigger the condition.

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Symptoms of Cherry Eye

The most obvious symptom of cherry eye is the protrusion of the gland, giving the eye a red and swollen appearance. Furthermore, other common signs include:

  • Excessive tearing and discharge from the affected eye.
  • Blinking or squinting of the eye.
  • Additionally, pawing at the eye or rubbing it against objects.
  • Moreover, discomfort or pain.
  • Lastly, potential secondary eye issues if left untreated, such as conjunctivitis, Keratoconjunctivitis, and corneal ulcer.

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Treatment Options

Treating cherry eye is essential to prevent discomfort, secondary eye problems, and potential vision issues. Several options are available for addressing cherry eye:

  • Surgical Correction: This is the most common and effective treatment. Moreover, the veterinarian will reposition the prolapsed gland back into place and secure it with sutures. This procedure usually has a high success rate.

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Cherry eye after surgery
– Medications: In some cases, topical or oral medications may be prescribed to reduce inflammation and help manage the condition. However, this is often a temporary solution.


Cherry eye is a condition that can affect dogs, and early recognition and treatment are crucial to ensure your pet’s eye health. If you suspect your dog has cherry eye or notice any of the symptoms mentioned, it’s essential to consult with a veterinarian. Furthermore, with prompt and appropriate treatment, your furry companion can enjoy a happy and healthy life.

. If your dog is suffering from cherry problem, call us at 905-898-1010 to book an appointment with our vet in newmarket to discuss cherry eye surgical repair.