Swelling on Eye
My 12 week old Cocker Spaniel suddenly developed a red swelling along the lower part of his eye. It doesn’t appear to bother him. I called the breeder and she said it was probably a cherry eye. What is a cherry eye?
You raise a very good question about your pet’s eye. But first, congratulations on your new member of the family, and here’s to many years of love and enjoyment!
Dogs, like other domestic animals, have an extra eyelid called the third eyelid. This extra eyelid lies behind the lower lid near the nasal side of the eye. In most dogs you must look closely to see this structure. Just behind the third eyelid is a gland which secretes tears that help to lubricate the eye and prevent it from drying.
A cherry eye happens when this gland becomes swollen and inflamed. It can then protrude from behind the third lid and look like a small cherry, hence the term “cherry eye”. This condition almost always happens in young dogs and is usually not painful. Certain breeds such as the Cocker Spaniel, Bulldog, Beagle, Lhasa Apso, and Shih Tzu have a greater incidence of this condition. It may occur in one or both eyes.
Treatment involves surgically replacing this gland into its proper location and suturing it in place. Veterinarians in the past removed the gland to treat this condition, but in recent years have learned that this gland is important in tear production. Therefore, removing the gland could result in a dry eye at an older age. Visit with your veterinarian to determine the best course of treatment for your pup.