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Cherry eye is a prolapsed gland of the third eyelid also referred to as an Everted Third Eyelid. Certain breeds are predisposed to this condition such as Cockers, Bulldogs, Shih tzu’s, Beagles and Boston Terriers. While the exact cause is unknown, it is generally believed it is the result of a weakness of the connective tissue that attaches the gland of the third eyelid to the surrounding structures of the eye. Because of this weakness the gland comes out of its normal position and is exposed to the air and airborne irritants that can cause it to be infected. As a result, the gland becomes irritated, swollen and red. Surgery is required to fix cherry eye and the preferred treatment is to reposition the gland rather than remove it. This procedure is often referred to as the “tuck method”. Removing the gland is surgically a cheaper option but may result in dry eye because the gland is responsible for producing around 35% of the watery part of tears. All of the cockers in our care have the “tuck” method unless there is no alternative but to have the gland cut out.
Below is a very information video about cherry eye and the different treatment options available: