Sunday, August 7, 2011

Name That Disease #5

This one should be easy!
Image is from Wikimedia Commons under a creative commons license.

This is cherry eye, more properly known as eyelid protrusion or prolapsed gland of the third eyelid, is where the third eyelid is swollen in such a way that it become easily visible. It is called "cherry eye" because of the red color usually associated with the third eyelid when it becomes inflamed. It is believed to be congenital but the inheritance, if inherited, is unknown. Though it can occur in any dog, several breeds are prone to it, such as the bulldog, cocker spaniel, beagle, bloodhound, Lhasa Apso, and Shih Tzu. There is no known way to prevent the condition.

Treatment is fairly straightforward and often involves surgery to repair or occasionally remove the gland. Otherwise, anti-inflammatory medication will be prescribed to reduce the swelling.

Source is PetMD.


  1. There is no question of removal of the prolapsed gland (Hardarian gland). Indeed, this gland is responsible for producing 30% of tear volume of the surface of the eye while the main orbital lacrimal gland accounts for the rest. Should the main lacrimal gland be damaged later in life , there is no backup for tear production.Thus removal of gland is not recommended now as this may lead to " dry eye " condition which often leads to serious eye problem and requires long term treatment which may finally prove to be very expensive. Therefore the only acceptable (traditional) solution for this is tucking the gland surgically to its original position.
    In a newer surgical technique a wedge of tissue is removed from directly over the gland. This technique is more challenging as it is not easy to determine how much tissue to remove. Tiny stitches that will eventually dissolve are used to close the gap so that the tightening of the incision margins pushes the gland back in place. Sometimes both surgical techniques are used in the same eye to achieve a good replacement.When done by an expert, harmful complications from the surgery are unusual and 'cherry eye' has a re-occurrence rate of only 5 to 10%, on condition that the condition is treated immediately soon after the gland starts prolapsing.

  2. I do not claim to be a veterinarian, and I very much appreciate your input. I have heard of removal, but I would assume it would only be done on extreme occasions.

    I have edited the post to add the word occasionally to the statement about surgery.