Cherry Eye for Dogs: What Actually It Is? Best Treatment and Affordable Home Remedies For Your Dog

This is a story about our experience when our dog had a cherry eye and how we dealt with it. 

It’s not cool to see your own dog dealing with these kind of things, but it’s better to be ready than clueless when unexpected happens. 

We have a French Bulldog girl named Vivi, she is very energetic and fun. She is with us for almost 4 years, and her every day is filled with walks, games, and, of course, eating (when she’s not sleeping). 

She was around 7 months old when the first cherry eye popped out. 

We were choked and scared, but luckily, I knew what it was and we acted immediately. 

Knowing what it is and how to deal with it can save you from a lot of stress and worries. Most importantly, It also helps to avoid various complications. 

Read more to find out what is a cherry eye for dogs, how to prevent it and our story about it.

Our personal anxious experience with the Cherry Eye with our French Bulldog Vivi

Our French Bulldog Vivi was 7 months old when we first faced this problem. 

Cherry eye in French Bulldog
Picture with Vivi and her Cherry Eye

Luckily my friend had the same problem with her dog and I immediately knew what was the problem. She gave me advice and I could learn from her experience. 

At that time, I was still studying to get my veterinary diploma and one of my professors was the best dog eye doctor in the country. 

So, I was able to quickly gather the information I needed and booked an appointment with the professor to decide the next steps regarding treatment. 

Of course, we had to wait for a few weeks before the surgery, because she was fully booked at that time. While we waited day by day the cherry eye got itchier for Vivi, so we had to use eye drops that soothe the sensitive area. 

At that time, I was scared she will rip the gland off because she was scratching like crazy therefore we purchased a dog cone and put it around her neck in order to protect her. 

Thank God she didn’t damage the gland. 

I was also worried about anesthesia, because she was very young. 

In the end it all went well. She had her surgery and the recovery was fast. 

But then.. 

After 3 or 4 months the same thing happened for the other eye. Yes, You guessed it. Cherry eye… 

I was so relieved when I saw it was the other eye, not that I was happy that it happened at all, but I was happy that the eye she had surgery on was fine. 

Meaning, if the gland that she had surgery would pop out again, that would mean that we have to take the gland out for good. And for the future it means that we would have to use eye drops on to her eye every day, to maintain a humid environment. 

So, she had a surgery for her other eye too and it all went well. 

To this day, we hadn’t had any complications with her eyes and we’re really grateful about it.

From our experience I can say that it seems scarier that it actually is.

But don’t worry.

It’s not life treathning and you can easily deal with it.

Here are the picures of Vivi after the surgery and now, 3 years later.
Cherry eye in french bulldog after the surgery
Before and after picure of the Cherry eye in French Bulldog

1. What is this scary Cherry Eye in dogs and is it contagious?

Many dog owners don’t know that, but dogs have a third eyelid that’s also called a nictitating membrane. It is located onto the lower eyelid closer to the dog’s nose. 

Normally you can’t see it (it appears when the dog has just got up from a sleep). 

Its function is to give additional protection to the dog’s eye and it also has a tear gland that gives the eye the necessary moisture. 

“Cherry eye” is a prolapsed nictitating membrane forming like a red cherry piece in the inner corner of the eye and is very visible. 

It doesn’t hurt, but it may be uncomfortable or cause itching because of the irritation. And it’s not a contagious thing.

Common symptoms: 

  • The pink or red cherry-like bulge in the corner of the eye(s) 
  • Tears more than usual, watery eyes 
  • Scratching the eye 
  • Red-eye 

Related posts:

Everything you need to know about Dog Ears

Dog Teeth Problems And How To Avoid Them

How To Properly Take Care Of Your Dog’s Paws

Cherry eye in bulldog
Image by Mylene2401 from Pixabay

2. What causes the Cherry Eye to pop out for dogs? 

It’s not a normal thing, but it happens. 

Usually it’s genetic predisposition, but can also result from some kind of physical injury. 

It is known that certain breeds, like Bulldogs, Spaniels, Beagles, have a weak attachment or holes in their membrane, which allows the gland to prolapse easily from its place. 

That’s why it’s important to know the history of ancestral diseases if possible. 

3. Treatment of the Cherry Eye for dogs

It’s important to get to your veterinarian as soon as possible. 

Your veterinarian will examine your dog and will indicate the most appropriate treatment. 

Sometimes the gland pops back to its place, but if not, it can be fixed with a surgery

There are several surgical treatments you can try, but the replacement of the gland would be the best choice. In this way, the gland stays in its original place and continues to perform its functions. 

Although, there is a possibility that the Cherry Eye comes back again and you will need to remove the gland to prevent the cherry eye from popping out again. 

But know that, if the gland needs to be removed, there may be a possibility for a dog to develop a chronic dry eye. 

Cherry eye in bulldog

4. How to prevent Cherry Eye from happening and home remedies for healthy dog eyes

There is no clear knowledge of how to prevent Cherry Eye from happening, but there are few things you can do to maintain good health for your dog’s eyes. 

  • One thing that you can do is to know your dog’s genetic history – you would know what to expect in the future from your dog’s eyes 
  • You can check your dog’s eyes yourself or take him to a veterinarian to have a check-up
  • In the summer period, there can be all kinds of external irritants like wind, dust, and sand. There can also be an allergic reaction to pollen, which can lead to eye irritation. After you come back inside from a walk, you can sweep your dog’s eyes with clear water or chamomile tea 
  • If your dog has sensitive eyes, before every walk you can use eye drops for protection 
  • If your dog’s eyes are red or swollen after the walk, you can make a chamomile tea compress. Keep them 3-5 minutes on your dog’s eyes. Just keep an eye on him, most likely he will not sit still alone