To be called an “apple of one’s eye” may be a flattering remark as a metaphor akin to the saying you are valued or important. But for a canine to have a “cherry eye,” then just is not something you should take as a metaphor—it is something else entirely which could be a concern if yours as a pet owner.

What is “Cherry Eye” in dogs?

Cherry eye is a medical condition wherein a dog suffers from a kind of protrusion on his third eyelid – also known as nictitating membrane (NM). Dogs who are most affected on this kind of disorder are those young dogs not older than two years of age.

“Cherry eye” appears to be similar to the fruit it was named from, as this medical condition is a case of a bulging of the pink, fleshy part of the nictitating membrane which strikingly resembles a cherry fruit.

Is it deadly?

A cherry eye medical condition among dogs is not necessarily lethal, and that no dog has ever been recorded to have died resulting from an untreated bulging of flesh on its eyelid. However, if left untreated, the disorder could develop complications for the dog’s health.

What causes Cherry Eye among dogs?

While it is not clear what causes cherry eye among dogs in the first place, veterinary science is not necessarily totally obscure as to the pathophysiology of this medical condition.

Usually, the blame is boiled down to the dog’s erratic connective tissues and ligaments around the third eyelid area which causes a prolapse of the inner tissue, subsequently forming the so-called “cherry eye.”

Although young pups are a common victim of cherry eye, breed type is also a major concern why the disease occurs. Typically, dogs with short muzzles or those which comes from the teacup or toy varieties are at higher risk of developing a cherry eye.

In general, however, all dogs are vulnerable to this condition, regardless of the age—there is that random element at play.

Treatment of Cherry Eye

Not all cases of Cherry Eye require a surgical procedure to be treated. There is actually a more natural approach towards the condition which boils down to a simple TLC (tender love and care).

By this, I meant that with a combination of applying a warm and moist cloth, some eye-drops, and a relaxing massage around the affected area, the dog’s prolapse can be retracted back into the deeper layer of the tissue.

However, while the aforementioned technique to naturally addressing the cherry eye may have efficacy, it does not guarantee an absolute fix towards the pet’s medical condition. There is still a chance that the same condition might re-occur again at a later time.

For a total resolution of the problem, visiting a trusted veterinarian is always the best option.

Equipped with the skills and the know-how about cherry eye as a medical disorder among dogs, a licensed veterinarian will treat the problem by means of minor surgery which either pushes the prolapse back into an enclosure and be stitched or an altogether removal of the affected tear gland.

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