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What on earth is a Cherry Eye?

A Cherry Eye is a prolapse of the tear gland of the third eyelid. This is a common presentation in short nose dogs, particularly in puppies. Cherry eye often happens in both eyes. As a quick fix, the tear gland can sometimes be tucked back under the third eyelid to settle the problem but it rarely stays there. The Cherry Eye then recurs.

At PAH we recommend surgery on Cherry Eyes. The surgery does not remove the tear gland, (this would create an eye with not enough tears). In the surgery, a pocket is made in the third eyelid, then the tear gland is pushed in the pocket and sutured inside. It is a neat little surgery which needs to be done with a lot of care for good results.

This is Nova. She is a 4 months old Staffie puppy with a Cherry Eye in her right eye. It is causing irritation of the eye and the red section dries out and becomes inflamed without treatment.

Nova came in to PAH for surgery. Once anaesthetised the third eyelid is pulled out to expose the tear gland (or nictating gland which is present on the inside of the third eyelid). Normally this gland tucks away deep in the corner of the eye. Nova’s tear gland is swollen and can be seen pushing against the surface of the eyeball.

An incision is made around the gland then a pocket is created burying the gland deep in the third eyelid. The third eyelid is swollen for a few weeks after surgery then everything settles down the eye looks perfectly normal.

After Nova’s surgery the suture was irritating the eye so it was removed 2 weeks later.

The Cherry eye problem should never recur in the right eye but may happen in her left eye in the future.

What a cute little thing she is!

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