Cherry eye in dogs is a condition where the gland of the third eyelid prolapses, causing a large red bulge to form in the corner of the dog's eye.
Cherry eye is not a life-threatening condition, but it does have the potential to cause various Eye problems in dogs if it's left untreated for too long.
Here we'll discuss the nature of cherry eye in dogs, as well as its causes and potential Dog First Aid treatments that can be used to deal with it.
Unlike the human eye, which only has two eyelids, a Dogs Eyes has three. Like us, they have an upper and lower eyelid, but beneath these two, there is a third eyelid known as the nictitating membrane.
Dogs aren't the only animals that have this feature; this membrane also exists in birds, sharks, some reptiles and a few types of mammals. The nictitating membrane acts as sort of a wipe, clearing dust and debris from the surface of the eye to add an extra layer of Eye Protection for Dogs in case the primary eyelids aren't enough.
The third eyelid also has a tear gland, which produces about 35 percent of the moisture in the dog's eye. Cherry eye in dogs occurs when the connective tissue around the tear gland becomes weak, causing the nictitating gland to move out of place before swelling into a reddish bulge.
It isn't known exactly what causes the nictitating gland to slip out of place. However, if it happens in one eye, there's often a high chance that it will happen to the other as well—although, sometimes the other eye remains unaffected until months later.
You'll want to keep an eye out for any unusual discharge of liquid in your dog's eye, as well as any redness or swelling around the eyelid. If your dog is constantly scratching at its eye, that's another warning sign to look out for. There's a chance that cherry eye in dogs will fix itself eventually.
However, you should not simply assume that this will be the case. Just waiting it out will give the nictitating gland time to swell even further, and the more it swells, the more difficult it will be to reposition it. Eventually, your dog will be at risk for developing more serious Dog Eye Problems later on. It's important to consult with a vet immediately upon noticing the symptoms of cherry eye so that it can be dealt with as soon as possible.
While the true causes of cherry eye in dogs is unknown, some people think that it may in part be due to a parasite, or a problem with the dog's immune system. Others think it's caused by infections, such as Dog Cancer, overexposure to sunlight and dermatitis.
Whatever the cause may be, it's generally agreed that cherry eye is a hereditary condition. As such, it's generally advised not to breed dogs that have it. It usually occurs in younger dogs between the ages of six weeks and two years, and certain breeds are more likely to acquire it than others.
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