In dogs, cherry eye occurs when a red, bulbous mass appears in the corner of the dog's eye. This condition is most common in dogs under two years, but can occur in dogs of any age and any breed.
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There is no definitive answer for what causes cherry eye, but it is thought that the problem arises when the gland on the third eyelid prolapses, leaving the eye vulnerable to irritants.
Cherry eye appears as a pink or red mass protruding from the tear duct area of the eye, close to the dog's nose. The mass will be round or oval, and can cause the rest of the eyelid lining to be red and inflamed.
A dog of any breed can get Cherry Eye, but some breeds are more susceptible than others to this condition, including bloodhounds, beagles, English bulldogs, miniature poodles, shar-peis, cocker spaniels, Newfoundlands, shih tzus and lhasa apsos.
Surgery is required to reposition the prolapsed gland. In the most extreme cases of cherry eye, removal of the gland may be necessary, but this practice is discouraged because it will cause a lifetime of dry eye for the dog.
Because cherry eye is a genetic condition, there are no preventive measures, but an owner can spare his dog discomfort by identifying the problem in its early stages.
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