Dogs with Cherry Eye

, Health

Cherry Eye is a nasty looking condition that dogs can contract. It appears as a red mass coming from the eye and will not go away without treatment. Its causes are not fully understood but it results from weakness in tissue around an eyelid. All you can do is to prioritise the health of your pet and make regular visits to your vet to have his or her health checked regularly. When it comes to eyes, you know the importance of good vision and that applies just as much to that of your dog as to your own.  The older your dog, the more susceptible he or she becomes to health problems. One thing you can do in relation to the eyes is to apply eye drops that help with your pet’s overall health.

Dogs can catch Cherry Eye in either eye but it is rare indeed that it would happen in both at the same time. It is certainly uncomfortable for your pet dog if he or she gets ‘’Cherry Eye’’ and you will notice their attempt to try to rub against something or paw at the eye in an attempt to relive the condition. While it is not life-threatening, it needs treatment.

You won’t see them, but dogs have a ‘’third eyelid’’, a membrane behind the lower eyelid. If that weakens, ‘’cherry eye’’ is the result. Certain breeds are more susceptible than others to the condition and it can appear suddenly. In younger dogs, a vet will recognise the condition immediately. Its development in older dogs takes more time and a vet is likely to want to take a biopsy as a preliminary. A vet will also access the overall health of the dog at the same time.

Inevitably, it will impact on your pet’s vision, especially if there is a scratch or an infection. Once cherry eye begins, it usually develops rapidly. It can lead to other problems so you should seek help immediately you see it. You will see the redness, often some swelling and the production of excessive tears.

It is more prevalent in dogs of under two years of age with breeds most at risk including Cocker Spaniels, Beagles, Bloodhounds and Bulldogs. It can be treated by antibiotics, anti-inflammatories as well as surgery. In some cases, it needs corrective surgery to put the third eyelid back in the correct position. Previously, the third eyelid was sometimes removed but that can cause dry eyes and problems as a direct result of that. Your pet would need a lifetime of drops from then onwards.

Because Cherry Eye is more common among young dogs, it is not a matter of expecting vision problems simply because of age. It is up to you to be alert and mindful of your dog’s health. Surgery always carries an element of risk; no matter how many times someone has done the procedure. It is also costly because standard pet insurance policies rarely include coverage for their vision; if you have one, why not check now and see? Eye drops are widely available, including on websites such as E bay and Bonanza


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