- Cherry eye is a prolapse of the tear gland in your dog’s third eyelid, also known as the nictitating membrane.
- The common sign of cherry eye is a red, swollen mass in the corner of your dog’s eye. It can affect one or both eyes.
- While it’s not a life-threatening condition, you shouldn’t ignore it as it could lead to further complications if left untreated.
- Take your dog to the vet as soon as you notice signs of cherry eye.
There’s nothing fun about noticing something unusual on your pup. It can send your mind racing with worry and uncertainty. But if your dog develops a red bump in the corner of its eye, it’s likely cherry eye.
The good news is cherry eye is not a life-threatening condition, however, that doesn’t mean you should ignore it. Leaving cherry eye untreated may cause further complications like conjunctivitis, chronic dry eye, and in some cases, even a ruptured eye. Follow along to learn more about what cherry eye is, the common signs to look out for, and how to treat it.
What Is Cherry Eye in Dogs?
Did you know your dog has not two, but three eyelids? The third eyelid (also called the nictitating membrane) serves an important purpose of providing additional protection to the eye and cornea. It also helps spread tears across their eyes.
The nictitating membrane is located inside the lower eyelid and usually remains hidden so you can’t see. However, sometimes “the ligament that holds this gland in place stretches or detaches entirely from the orbital bone,” explains the Daily Paws. When this occurs, the gland may prolapse (pop out of place) and become visible, causing the condition known as cherry eye.