A cherry eye is also called a third eyelid.
A cherry eye is not life threatening but can cause irritation and other medical problems such as inflamed nose wrinkles due to excessive teary eyes. This way it becomes infected and causes injury to the eye. The cause of cherry eyes is not yet determined with certainty. Some think due to the hereditary predisposition and the degree of folding in the face is a possible cause.
If a dog has a cherry eye, you can see a pink lump in the corner of the dog’s eye. The size of the lump differs between 0,5 and 1,5 centimetres.
Cherry eye can be treated in two different ways.
First people will first try using ointment massaging the third eyelid into place. However a lot of times this does not work or will only work temporarily. If so, it is necessary for medical intervention.
Secondly, there are two ways of corrective surgery for cherry eyes. The veterinarian can remove the entire third eyelid performing a small medical procedure with a local anesthetic. The disadvantage of this method and that is that the eyes can dry out quicker causing damage to the cornea. With this option you will have to give your dog eyedrops several times a day for the rest of its life.
The other surgical procedure preserves the third eyelid. Here the lid is attached to the inside of the eye with several stitches. This ensures the probability a shortage of tears does not occur. The disadvantage of this method is that the dog needs to go undergo general anesthesia which is always a risk. There is also a chance that the stitches tear making the third eyelid reappear. Repeating the operation is than the only option.
Leaving a cherry eye untreatened will cause your dog unnecessary discomfort and pain and when not treated for a long period of time can cause blindness due to constant irritation of the eye.
Before starting any medical treatment always consult your veterinarian.