Cherry Eye in Dogs: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Cherry eye in dogs

As a pet owner, it’s important to be aware of various health issues that may affect your furry friend. One prevalent ailment that can affect dogs, especially specific dog breeds, is referred to as “cherry eye” in canines. This ailment can be distressing for both dogs and their owners.

Understanding the factors behind the occurrence of cherry eye in dogs, as well as recognizing its symptoms and exploring treatment options, is essential for safeguarding the health and welfare of your pet.

What is Cherry Eye in Dogs?

Cherry eye in dogs is a health issue that typically affects younger dogs, usually under the age of 2. It happens when the gland in the third eyelid, called the nictitating membrane, pops out of place. While it’s rare, cats can also experience this condition. In dogs, cherry eye is marked by swelling and redness of the third eyelid gland. While it’s not definitively proven to cause severe pain in dogs, experts unanimously agree that it’s crucial to treat it promptly.

What Causes Cherry Eye in Dogs

What causes cherry eyes in dogs

Although the precise cause of cherry eye remains uncertain, there are various factors thought to contribute to this condition in dogs:


Genetics play a big role in why some dog breeds are more prone to cherry eye. Certain breeds like Bulldogs, Beagles, Cocker Spaniels, Lhasa Apsos, and Shih Tzus tend to have this issue more often. This means if a dog’s parents had cherry eye, the puppy might be more likely to develop it too.

Weak Connective Tissues:

Dogs with weaker connective tissues might be more at risk of getting cherry eye. Connective tissues hold the gland in place, so if they’re not strong enough, the gland can pop out more easily.

Abnormal Eye Structure:

Dogs with shallow eye sockets are more likely to get cherry eye. This is because their eye structure doesn’t provide enough support for the gland, making it easier for it to pop out of place.

Inflammation or Infection:

If a dog’s eye gets irritated or infected, it can cause the gland to swell up and move out of place, leading to cherry eye.

Symptoms of Cherry Eye in Dogs

The primary indicator of cherry eye in dogs manifests as a reddish, fleshy protrusion at the corner of the eye. However, other symptoms may include:

  • Excessive blinking
  • Watery or thick discharge from the eye
  • Rubbing or pawing at the affected eye
  • Inflammation or redness in the eye

Treatment Options for Cherry Eye in Dog’s

Timely intervention is imperative when addressing cherry eye to avoid exacerbating any potential complications. There are several treatment options available:

Surgical Correction: Surgical intervention is typically the primary approach for addressing cherry eye, aiming to surgically relocate the gland to its original position. Veterinarians are skilled in performing a procedure to securely reattach the gland to nearby tissue, minimizing the risk of future protrusion.

Medication: In some cases, your vet might prescribe medications to reduce inflammation and prevent infection before or after surgery.

Natural Remedies: Some natural remedies, such as warm compresses, may help alleviate discomfort, but they are not a replacement for medical treatment.

Preventing Cherry Eye in Dog’s

While it’s not always possible to prevent cherry eye, there are steps you can take to potentially lower the chances:

Regular Eye Examinations: Schedule regular check-ups with your veterinarian to monitor your dog’s eye health.

Prevent Rough Play: It’s important to discourage excessive roughhousing or any activities that could potentially cause trauma around your dog’s eye area, leading to irritation.

Prioritize Overall Health: Maintain your dog’s wellbeing by offering a balanced diet, regular exercise regimen, and ensuring up-to-date vaccinations.


Cherry eye in dogs is a concerning issue, but with proper awareness and timely veterinary attention, it can be effectively managed. Identifying the symptoms, comprehending the underlying causes, and promptly seeking suitable medical intervention are essential for safeguarding your pet’s ocular health and overall welfare. It’s imperative to consult a veterinarian promptly if you suspect your dog is experiencing cherry eye to discuss the most appropriate treatment strategies.

Familiarizing oneself with the causes and treatment modalities for this condition is pivotal for all responsible pet guardians. By staying informed and attentive to your dog’s health, you can ensure a happy and healthy life for your beloved companion.

Read Also:

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Hello there! I'm Madhav Mantri, the person behind this PetSavvy Solution blog. I'm a digital marketer and a pet enthusiast too! I spend my time making sure everything here is interesting and helpful for you and your pets. I love sharing cool stuff about pets, from the latest trends to heartwarming stories and useful tips to keep our furry friends happy and healthy.

5 thoughts on “Cherry Eye in Dogs: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

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