Causes of Cherry Eye in Dogs

Cherry eye is a condition which affects the gland of your dog's third eyelid. A dog's third eyelid contains a tear gland located in the corner which is not visible under normal circumstances. When the gland prolapses, or moves and swells, it produces the condition of "cherry eye."Cherry eye may occur in one or both eyes and is more predominant in young dogs.

Causes of Cherry Eye

Cherry eye in dogs is thought to be caused by a weak attachment of the connective tissue between the tear gland and the structures of the eye. This weakness may be inherited. The prolapse of this gland may also occur as a result of inflammation. The gland will become red, irritated and swollen. If your dog rubs at his eye, this may cause mucous discharge or create ulcers on the surface of the eye.

Breeds That are More Susceptible

Some breeds are more predisposed to cherry eye including:

  • American Cocker Spaniel
  • English Bulldog
  • Beagle
  • Chinese Shar-pei
  • Newfoundland
  • Bloodhound
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Miniature Poodle
  • Boston Terrier
  • Bull Terrier
  • Saint Bernard
  • Shih Tzu

The best treatment is surgical repositioning of the gland, since the exposed gland is at risk for further infection.