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Info on cherry eye/third eye?

I have a English bulldog pup and i think shes developed cherry eye/third eye.I know there is a operation that stitches the eye gland back to where it should be,is it dangerous and expensive?
Any info on this would be extremely appreciated.


  1. The normal canine eye receives its tear film from two lacrimal (tear-producing) glands. One gland is located above the eye and the other is found within the animal’s third eyelid. The gland of the third eyelid contributes a significant portion of secretion to the tear film.
    In the smaller breeds — especially Boston terriers, Cocker spaniels, bulldogs and beagles — the gland of the third eyelid is not strongly held in place. The gland prolapses out to where the owner notices it as a reddened mass. Out of its normal position, the gland does not circulate blood properly and may swell.
    In older times, the prolapsed gland was treated like a small tumor; it was simply removed. This was before the full significance of the gland was realized.
    If the third eyelid’s tear gland is removed, it cannot be put back. If the other tear gland cannot supply adequate tears (not uncommon in older small breeds) then treatment for “dry eye” must be instituted. Not only is dry eye uncomfortable for the pet, its treatment is often frustrating and time-consuming. We would like the dog to maintain the greatest amount of functioning tear producing tissue possible thus removing the gland for cosmetic reasons is not an acceptable treatment method.
    The only acceptable treatment of “Cherry Eye” is replacement of the gland in its proper location. There are two techniques for doing this. The traditional “tucking” method is probably most commonly performed. Here, a single stitch is permanently placed drawing the gland back where it belongs. Complications are uncommon but the owner should be aware of the following possibilities:
    If the stitch unties, the surface of the eye could become scratched by the suture. If this occurs, the eye will become suddenly painful and the suture thread may be visable. The suture can be removed and the problem solved.
    The tuck may not be anchored well enough to hold permanently. In fact, this surgery is notorious for this type of failure and frequently a second tuck is needed. If this occurs, we recommend that a board certified ophthalmologist perform the second surgery to maximize the chances of permanent resolution.
    Sometimes Cherry Eye is accompanied by other eyelid problems which make the repair more difficult or less likely to succeed. In these cases, again, if the simple surgery is not adequate, we recommend that a veterinary ophthalmologist perform the second surgery to maximize the chances of a permanent resolution.
    In a newer surgical technique a wedge of tissue is removed from directly over the actual gland. This technique is more challenging as it is not easy to determine how much tissue to remove. Tiny stitches which will eventually dissolve are used to close the gap so that the tightening of the incision margins pushes the gland back in place. Complications may include:
    Inflammation or swelling as the stitches dissolve.
    Inadequate tightening of the tissue gap may lead to recurrence of the Cherry Eye. As mentioned, if the surgery fails, a veterinary ophthalmologist should perform the second surgery.
    Failure of the stitches to hold and associated discomfort. Loose stitches could injure the eye depending on the type of suture used.
    Sometimes both surgical techniques are used in the same eye to achieve a good replacement. Harmful complications from Cherry Eye surgery are unusual but recurrence of the Cherry Eye is not. If a Cherry Eye recurs it is important to let your veterinarian know so that a second surgery either with your normal veterinarian or with an ophthalmology specialist can be planned. An owner should expect some postoperative swelling after Cherry Eye repair but this should resolve and the eye should be comfortable and normal in appearance after about a week. If the eye appears suddenly painful or unusual in appearance, it is important that it be rechecked as soon as possible.
    The American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists also has a web site which includes an index of veterinary eye specialists. This site may be visited at:
    last updated: 9-7-2004

  2. It is not dangerous and is a lot cheaper if you have it done at the same time as the spay. That way she is only under anesthesia once. I had two beagle mix puppies that I got both done at the same time and it went really well. I am seeing a lot more cherry eye in younger puppies. I had always known it in older dogs so it must be bad breeding for it to be happening in puppies. If you got her from a breeder I would certainly see about them reimbursing you for the surgery.

  3. The surgery is a safe and simple procedure. I am not sure of the cost. I do know that if left untreated the dog can scratch the eye (it causes dry eye) and cause corneal abrasions.

  4. There are two types of surgery available for cherry eye. There’s one that willl “tuck” the tear duct back to where it’s supposed to be, and one that will remove the gland altogether.
    Talk to your vet about both procedures. The opinions vary widely. Some vets believe tucking is the way to go, some believe in removal. The downside to the tuck is that it may not hold, and would have to be repeated. The downside to removal is that your pup will run the risk of dry eye.
    The cost again will vary from place to place, as will the procedure itself. Some vets can do it as a quick procedure, and some require your puppy to go under anesthesia (which isn’t good for bulldogs, with their short little noses).
    Seriously, I know you’ll get a lot of it, but talking to your vet about both procedures is the best way to go. He/she knows your puppy best.

  5. Victor, I’m gonna get in trouble with vets on this, but be sure to speak with your breeder about this. Many of the old time bulldog breeders are adept at fixing most of these themselves, but apply a sterile gauze to the cherry, and working it back into place..If you do a online search, you will even see illustrated sites for this.and the stats about its success, as opposed to surgical correction…So, its worth a try to speak with the breeder, or find other bulldog people in your area that may be able to show you..

  6. hi my puppy had cherry eye it was going to cost us privately £400 but luckly my mum was registered with the pdsa.so she if friends are registered if not another way is to get her insured and let the insurance pay.


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