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Cherry eye in dogs

Cherry eye is when a lacrimal gland in the dog's eye falls out. Cherry eye can look quite unpleasant as the lacrimal gland appears as a large, red, fleshy lump in the inner corner of the dog's eye. Here you can read more about symptoms and how cherry eye can be treated.

What is Cherry Eye?

Cherry eye is a prolapsed lacrimal gland. The cause is a weakness in the connective tissue that holds the gland in place, which can lead to it falling forward and then becoming inflamed. The gland then resembles a red cherry, hence the name.

Dogs younger than 1 year old are mainly affected, and it is often in both eyes - though not always at the same time.

The dog's third eyelid

Dogs have three eyelids. An upper, a lower and a third eyelid, which is usually seen as a pink membrane in the corner of the dog's eye. Dogs have two glands that produce tear fluid that has a protective function for the eyes. One gland is located under the upper eyelid and the other under the eyelid. If the dog suffers from cherry eye, the eye can be irritated, inflamed and even have corneal ulcers.

How is a dog with cherry eye treated?

Cherry eye is not always treated, but usually people choose to treat it to reduce the risk of problems in the eye. In some cases, the vet judges that surgery is needed. This is done by sewing the lacrimal gland back into its original position. There is a risk of recurrence and, in severe cases, the vet may have to operate on the entire lacrimal gland. It can best best to avoid this where possible as operating on the lacrimal gland can cause issues with dry eyes.

Is cherry eye hereditary?

All dogs can suffer from cherry eye but it is more common in certain breeds and there is a genetic risk factor. Heredity has not been established.

Contact your vet if you suspect cherry eye

If you suspect that your dog has suffered from cherry eye, you should contact a veterinarian who can examine the dog's eye.

As an Agria Pet Insurance customer you can download the Agria Vet app for 24/7 access to veterinary help and advice.

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