Popping the Cherry

Gold star to anyone who guessed correctly what this blog post is about!

Hint number the first: It’s not about sex. Seriously.

Hint number the second: It’s about eyes.

Still don’t know? Well, I will tell you! I’m going to write about another surgery I enjoy that involves eyes! This time, it’s not about removing them, but about making them look nicer. By correcting cherry eye. Woot woot!

Not familiar with cherry eye? I’ll try to break it down for you… there’s a gland in the third eyelid, and in some dogs it prolapses. In other words it pops out of the eyelid and sticks out like a sore thumb. So you see this red lump in the inside corner of the eye, that can get all inflamed and irritated and unpleasant looking. Sometimes you can try eye drops and pushing it back in. . . but typically it will just pop back out.

When puppies have cherry eye, we usually recommend correcting it at the time of spay or neuter – they’ll be under general anaesthesia anyway, why not do everything at once?

Now, unlike enucleation, correcting a cherry eye is not a sure thing. I mean, once I’ve removed an eye, that sucker ain’t growing back. Sometimes, though, when you correct a cherry eye, the gland prolapses again. It has maybe about 80% success rate. Which is pretty good, when you think about it. Not much in life is perfect, so I’m pretty pleased with 80%.

Some people actually opt not to repair it, and let the dog live its life with a wonky looking eye. These dogs usually aren’t bothered by the gland, but may be more prone to eye irritation and/or infection. The ones who have a lot of problems with the prolapsed gland generally have owners who opt to remove it rather than deal with a constant problem. Off the top of my head, I can think of two patients I have who have lived years with a cherry eye without major issues. Either the owners are waiting for an opportunity to combine the repair with another surgery, or they adopted the dog that way and since it doesn’t seem to be a problem for the dog they’re leaving well enough alone.

For those who do go for the repair, it is a finicky lil’ surgery. The third eyelid isn’t super huge, and you’re RIGHT beside the eyeball, which you don’t want to injure. So you need good lighting and a steady hand, for sure. An assistant to hold out the eyelid is also helpful. Ideally one who doesn’t get grossed out by eyeball surgery. (I have one assistant who has to look away while she’s holding the eyelid. . . not super effective. . . )

There’s a few different ways surgeons approach the repair. My preferred approach is to make an incision on either side of the prolapsed gland. Then you suture the outside edge of each little incision together. Bingo bango, as you pull the suture material through, and like magic the gland gets sucked up in this new little pocket you’ve made! Which is why I enjoy this surgery. It’s just so neat! I never get tired of seeing the gland just disappear. Zwoop! Gone! Weeheeheehee!

(Yes, I giggle in surgery.  I also dance. You wish you were cool like me.)

Now, if you happen to have a puppy with cherry eye, and you let your veterinarian repair it, they will send you home with an e-collar, or Cone of Shame. This is so the dog won’t rub at the eyes and improve the chance of repair failure. So if you don’t keep that cone on, when the gland pops back out because the dog rubbed his or her eyes to much, it’ll totally be your fault. Just saying.


About dottiemaggie

A veterinarian living and working in St John's, Newfoundland. I love my job, and I love my home. Professionally I am passionate about critical care and client education. Away from work I am passionate about enjoying life, spending time with friends, enjoying hobbies of all sorts, and exploring this wonderful province I call home.
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86 Responses to Popping the Cherry

  1. JaniceP says:

    There was a newfie in my old neighbourhood with a cherry eye. His face always looked nasty and sore, like there was an infection. The owners left it that way for a few years. I haven’t seen him since I moved, but I often wonder if they got it fixed for him.

    • dottiemaggie says:

      this made me laugh a lot, because I always think of a person when someone says “newfie” ;D Newfs, the dogs, though, can have nasty gross eyes 😦 Cherry eye wouldn’t help. Poor thing.

  2. linlah says:

    Three eyelids? I can’t get passed the three eyelids part. Also, I’m a big fan of big red stuff disappearing too.

    • dottiemaggie says:

      ahaha, yes, three eyelids! The third comes up from the inside corner, and can cover the whole eye. Some people are unaware, and when it’s up they freak out. (or it has a cherry eye and they think it’s a tumour)

  3. Kate says:

    Yea, that’s messed up. 3 eyelids…who needs 3 eyelids? Now 3 eyes, I could use. One in the back of my head.

    I love you and I know you and care for your patients and they are so lucky to have you, someone who loves animals AND gross medical stuff. I have to admit I somewhat scan these vet posts of yours because they make me nauseous. It’s really great that someone can do the important work you do, someone who is not me, me who just threw up a little bit!

    Yes, I am a big baby, thanks for asking. Thus the reason I’m not a nurse or a doctor or a vet or do anything where I have to be around gross things because now I’m pretty sure you’ve ruined cherries for me. Just saying is all.

    • dottiemaggie says:

      Haha, sorry to make you throw up a bit 😉 And ruining cherries 😉

      It takes all kinds of folks to make the world turn… you may not be able to handle the gross medical stuff. . . but I would throw myself off a cliff if I had to teach a room full of small children 😉

  4. Jeff Gollop says:

    Hi Maggie!
    Great post….I noticed this in my 4 month old English Bulldog two days ago and massaged it back into place but today it’s staring me in the face again! Just wondering the approximate cost of surgery to have it repaired? I’m planning on having the little guy neutered in a couple of months as well since you said most people will wait to combine surgeries.


    • dottiemaggie says:

      Cost will depend a bit on where you are. . . I think at my clinic it’s about $300. It’s a bit less when combined with a neuter, because you only have to pay one anesthesia fee. The two combined could be anywhere from 300-500, just guesstimating.. truth be told, it’s been a while since I did one so I could be way off on my numbers!

  5. Cortney says:

    Hi Maggie,

    I know this was posted a long time ago but doing research about Cherry eye has led me here. I have a Boston Terrier, he is 16 weeks old. A week ago today at 10pm at night we noticed this red lump on his eye. Being the over protective Boston mommy I am, I called and took him into our vet the next evening. The doctors said it was Cherry eye. Two doctors tried to massge it back into place and said it was too irritated and protruding to go back in, he needs surgery. So they left us with an estimate and recommended we do his neutering at same time. So the following evening, got home from work and noticed it was gone. Very confused by this I called the vet immediately and she didnt sound surprised. She said that was good and we are postponing the surgery because she doesnt want to work on his eye unless she has to. I asked what if it comes back? She said give it a few days (since it took a few days to go away) and if it doesnt go away call her. So it went 2 days being fine. Then it came back 2 days later at night, but was gone the next morning. Then went another day and came out the next night again. Since then it has been out for 2 days now. I read a lot of different things. I’ve read this is a cosmetic surgery and not necesary. Ive read there are antibiotics or steroid ointment you could try. So basically I’m looking for advice. I love my vet but I’m a little unnerved that they never told there was a chance it would go back in and just went straight for surgery. My significant other has a big problem with doing the surgery if its purely a cosmetic surgery. However if it is going to run risk that our puppy loses vision or causes awful problems, he wants to do the surgery. I am so very torn. I am very nervous about his having work done so close to his eye. What is someone has a bad day in the OR and nics his eye?! Is this something that it will come and go, itll go out but correct itself? Could we just put drops in his eyes? What is your advice? Sorry this is so long.

    • dottiemaggie says:

      Hello! Wow, okay, so… I have patients who have lived years with a cherry eye without doing the surgery… First time I see it, if I can coax it back in, yay. If I can’t, we discuss surgery. I am always willing to try eye drops with a steroid in them to try to bring down the inflammation and try to help the gland pop back in where it belongs.
      I don’t know that I would consider it strictly a cosmetic procedure – some dogs suffer constant irritation and get recurring infections. Also, as humans do not have a third eyelid, or the accomanying gland, it is impossible for us to know how it feels to have the gland prolapsed.

      Typically, if it prolapses in a dog before they are spayed or neuter, I strongly urge the client to consider surgical correction at time of spay or neuter (therefore only requiring one anesthesia). There is always a risk of the repair not holding, however the longer the gland is prolapsed the higher that risk becomes.

      If it keeps coming in and out on it’s own, and you were my client, I would still consider surgery to prevent possible issues down the road. However, if the gland is not enlarged and prolapsed at the time of surgery I can’t imagine it would be an easy surgery to do… I use the gland as a landmark and have never tried to pocket one that wasn’t prolapsed! So I guess there is that possibility that the gland may be tucked away all normal like the day of the neuter 😉

      I’m not sure if this answer helped at all or not… shoot me another tweet if you have more questions!!

  6. Kerry says:

    Hello everyone. I bought my mum a cavapoo less than 2weeks ago and yesterday morning we noticed a red lump in her eye so visited the vet. They told us it was cherry eye and required surgery. They gave us eye drops to use twice a day and I wondered if anyone knew whether fucithalmic will help over the next few days. The vet never mentioned massaging it back just surgery which is £600-£700. Do any vets massage it back in first? We are new to this and typical the pet insurance has a 14 day period of being uninsured.

    • dottiemaggie says:

      Sorry for not responding, my personal life has kept me away from this blog for some time.
      I hope you were able to get things sorted out… but it is uncommon to be able to “massage it back in”.

  7. Danielle says:

    Hi Maggie,
    My bichon/poodle (I hate calling hima bichonpoo) has cherry eye on his left side. He’s 8 and he’s had it about 3 years with no problems. The past few days it seems like it has gotten bigger and spread to under his eye ball and the white of his eye ball is all red and blood shot. Is this something I should be concerned about? He doesn’t seemed bothered by it but I don’t want him to have or get an infection.
    Thanks Danielle

    • dottiemaggie says:

      Hi Danielle,

      Sorry for the slow response. I haven’t been active with this blog for awhile, as my personal life got a bit busy.
      I hope you’re little guy is doing okay! It does sound like he was developing a bit of an infection or some inflammation.

  8. Jennifer says:

    Hi, my little dog has had the cherry eye for about a year and ahalf. It started out in one eye and then one day, the other eye had it too. But it was only in one eye for a day and then it never came back. But the one she does have still in her other eye, will stay for the longest time and then leave for a day and then came right back. The last time it went away, it stayed away for two weeks. And we thought it was because i changed her food from having grain in it, to not having any grain in it. My question is, is i possible that my dog has grain allergies? Because when it came back after being gone for two weeks, i am thinking it could be just allergy season for my dog. Is that possible? Thank you.

    • dottiemaggie says:

      Grain allergies aren’t impossible, but a lot more uncommon than people think. I have not heard of cherry eyes being linked to allergies, but I can see how it could be possible – increased irritation will make the gland more pronounced.
      I would recommend speaking to your veterinarian about allergies, and making sure it is what you think it is.

  9. Beagle from India says:

    Hi Maggie,

    I got two Cherries popped since I was 60 days old.
    My human decided to get me operated
    The tuck surgery failed & the cherries re appeared
    The problem is they got bigger after the surgery
    Now at Age 18 months it is considered too chronic
    My human administers two doses of Visso Tear drops,
    Of course I ensure a ‘chase’ every time I see the bottle.
    I don’t get irritated by the two cherries, Yet.
    But the look in my human’s eyes suggest worry.
    Confusion to allow me keep cherries with care.
    Or let me undergo another surgery to get rid of em.
    What advice can you give my Human?

    P:S: It kinda killed my “puppy look’
    which helps my bros & sis
    when they want more Food 😦

    • dottiemaggie says:

      Surgery could still help, but I find the more chronic the problem the harder surgery is/less likely to “stick”
      I have had a few patients who live long happy lives never bothered by their cherry eyes!

  10. Heather says:

    I have a small dog, she’s a mix between three breads and I noticed this thing sticking out of the corner of her eye. I’ve been looking it up and was wondering what I should do about it. She’s was born July 21st and I feel so bad it just appeared out of no where today. Should I take her to the vet? And if so how soon? I’m going to keep an eye on it to see if it gets worse but until then a little confused about what to do.

    • dottiemaggie says:

      I can’t really diagnose your pup through blog comments – I would make an appointment with your vet at your earliest convenience. It sounds like it could be cherry eye, which is not an emergency, but it would be a good idea to get it checked out.

  11. Katie L says:

    Hi Dr. Maggie – I loved reading this. Our Basset has had pretty bad cherry eye for the first 4 years of her life, and today, we finally had it taken care of. Our vet did the more intricate procedure of “zip-locking” the glands down. (We’d had them tacked when she was young, and they came back pretty soon after. And we would never want to remove the glands, of course). My question is …. she’s had a little bit of bleeding this evening from one of the eyes. It’s seemed to subside, but of course our vet’s office is closed for the night. The eyes are SO SWOLLEN that we can’t really tell if a stitch has pulled or something like that. But any professional thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks!

    • dottiemaggie says:

      As I’m not familiar with the techniques employed by your clinic specifically, I cannot say whether some post op bleeding and swelling is normal. If your clinic does not provide out of hours services, do you have an emergency clinic you would call for out of hours issues?
      It’s difficult for me to say whether this is cause for concern, though typically if he bleeding has stopped and the animal is comfortable I am okay with waiting until morning to have a patient come in for a recheck.

      • Katie L says:

        Thanks for your advice! “Zip-lock” is the very non-technical term that I gave the procedure (because it reminded me of a zip-lock bag, lol). It’s actually the “tucking” technique (or “pocket” technique?), as I understand it. When we noticed the bleeding, and at first, there were a few tears of blood. I used a dry gentle washcloth to very lightly dab below her eye, and then as I sat there gently dabbing, it became less and less and has seemed to stop. She’s had all her meds for the night, and is currently passed out. So, we’re hoping it’s done! Fingers crossed a stitch didn’t pull or something – but perhaps that would create a lot more blood? We called an ER vet who gave similar advice as you, actually. Note to self: ask the vet who performed the surgery for her phone number next time! LOL. Thank you again.

      • dottiemaggie says:

        You’re welcome, I hope everything worked out!

  12. Karen says:

    Just rescued a little terrier mix and he has 1 eye that is full out Cherry and the other eye has one that keeps popping in and out multiple times per day. Had no idea what it was until I dropped him at the neuter clinic this morning and the Vet Tech mentioned Cherry Eye so I hit the ground running when I got to work to research which brought me to this blog. Thank you very much not only for the blog itself but also the replies. I have found all of it very useful.

    Have a great New Year and thank you for the info! 🙂

  13. Shalisa says:

    My 4 1/2 month Rottweiler just had cherry eye surgery. The doctor said it went great. His eyes are red but they say that is normal. Will my dog’s eyes return to normal or will they forever look different since the surgery?

  14. lennox11 says:

    My dog had op about 4 month ago and today I’ve notice it’s come out again am I still covered by the vet

    • dottiemaggie says:

      That is a question you need to ask your veterinarian – different clinics may have different policies. Unfortunately, this is a condition that does sometimes recur after surgery.

  15. CJ says:

    Tons of people massage their dog’s cherry eye. Numerous blogs and even youtube videos on how easy, safe and surgery free and quick it is. I don’t understand why this isn’t the first, second and third line of defense for vets or why so many vets do not know about this. So confused.

    • dottiemaggie says:

      First of all, I feel it is important to point out that “numerous blogs and youtube videos” existing does not make something fact.
      Next, I do mention in my post that “Sometimes you can try eye drops and pushing it back in. . . but typically it will just pop back out.”
      And most of the videos on YouTube that are worth considering will mention that massaging it back in *may* work – it is not a guarantee.

      Many vets will advise a client to try lubrication and massage first, before going to surgery. I have gotten the gland back in while in the exam room, to show the owners it can be done. However massage rarely works unless you begin it shortly after the glad first prolapses. The longer the glad is prolapsed, the more swollen and inflamed it becomes, and the less likely it will simply squeeze back into place. Unfortunately, in many cases by the time a vet sees the cherry eye, it has been out for over a day and massage becomes less and less likely to work. Finally, some dogs are just simply not cooperative for the massage – it will never work if you have to fight to keep them still and they are struggling the whole time.

      The reality is even if you go to massage as your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd line of defence, the gland will likely persist in prolapsing, and this is why we give clients to option of surgery, which is more likely to be a permanent fix. (Though, as I said in my post, it is not a guaranteed fix.)

  16. Andishae says:

    Hi dottiemaggie,

    I noticed cherry eye in my 10 month old puppy for a few moments today but it popped back in on its own? What do you suggest I do, see a vet asap? See if it happens again before seeing a vet? Get the steroid eye drops? Also his eyes water alot prior to this and we did the fluorescent drops test which showed us that he doesnt have developed tear ducts!

    Let me know thanks…


    • dottiemaggie says:

      Definitely worth mentioning to your vet. Not necessarily ASAP, but I would call and set up an appointment at your earliest convenience. That way you can discuss your options if it does happen again.

  17. Krista says:

    Hi, my four month old English bulldog had his cherry eye tacked 4 days ago, but this morning it popped back out. What is the next step in correcting this? When I originally discussed the surgery with her she mentioned at times the gland is completely removed? Is this recomended? Does the gland serve any real purpose?

    Thanks for any insight

    • Krista says:

      Sorry autocorrect missed part of my email address

      Thanks again

    • dottiemaggie says:

      Hi Krista!
      I’ve never considered removing the gland – it is important for tear production, which protects the eye. Removing it would put the dog at risk for “Dry Eye” and requiring meds for the rest of his life.
      I hope you go in to see your surgeon for a follow up – they’ll be better able to direct you in what the next step is, as it’s hard to say without knowing exactly what was done and how it looks now!
      Poor little guy.. hopefully it’s not bothering him.

  18. Krista says:

    Thanks for getting back to me. I met with the surgeon this afternoon and she wants to try it again, she is going to have a different surgean give it a shot as he was successful when his other eye was fixed when he was only a few weeks old. Fingers crossed! Thanks again for the reply I was so upset.

  19. Marissa says:

    This blog entry, comments included, has been the most well-rounded source of information on treating the cherry eye that I have found yet.

    Two years ago I rescued my cocker spaniel (Remi) from a local shelter. At that point, I did not know what a cherry eye was. However, the local cocker rescue had sent someone to pull him from the shelter in the case that he wasn’t adopted, and she informed me that it was a cherry eye and just a cosmetic issue. That was the summer between my graduation from undergrad and before I entered law school, so I was staying back home with my mom. Unfortunately, that meant I was not anywhere near the vet I had taken my other dog to throughout undergrad. I also didn’t need a permanent vet in the area, because I was about to move away and start law school, so I took Remi to the nearest Banfield Pet Hospital to be neutered. The vet there was alright, she was older and I did not feel as though she gave an adequate amount of her attention to us as clients. Remi had pretty bad separation anxiety, which I tried to voice my concern to her about, but she always just brushed me off. She also did not pay any mind to his cherry eye until I specifically asked about it, but even then she did not really present the different surgical options and seemed generally not worried about it. Given this, and what the cocker rescue lady had told me, I was not very concerned either. After having people gawk at my poor baby and having to explain his eye to so many people, I began attempting to research cherry eyes on my own. That proved to be even more confusing. I have read that it’s just cosmetic, that it’s more than cosmetic, that I should just have it removed, that having it removed is worse, that tacking it will be successful, that tacking it has a high failure rate, etc. I had no idea what to do.

    When I found a vet near my law school, I took Remi in and asked for his opinion on the matter. He examined Remi’s eye and took the time to explain every surgical option to me (with drawings). He said that Remi’s cherry eye looked as though it had been there for a while, so it was more likely that tacking would not work. He also explained dry eye and made it clear that he did not recommend removing it. I don’t really care about the funny look, and Remi has never had trouble with or seemed irritated by it, so we decided to leave it. He also mentioned the tucking method, but he is a little older, so I am not sure that he was as familiar with it (since, as I understand, it is the “newer” method). After reading this, I feel as though it might be worth looking into once I am done with law school and have the appropriate funds.

    I guess my question is whether you have a recommendation for me? He honestly has never been irritated by his cherry eye and he is 6 years old, so I think it is likely that he has had it for quite some time. I am positive that I do not want to remove it and I feel as though it would just reoccur after tacking. Is it more likely that the pocket technique would be unsuccessful since he has had it for so long?

    Thanks in advance!

    • dottiemaggie says:

      If you were my client, and Remi has had this cherry eye for a number of years without any complications, I would be inclined to say let’s just leave it alone. If he needed surgery for another reason, we could try to correct it… but I tend to prefer not to anesthetize an animal unless necessary, and if the cherry eye is not a problem it doesn’t seem necessary to do surgery. There definitely is a higher chance of failure with the procedure when the gland has been protruding for a long time, which for me gives more reason to save it as something to do if he needs anesthesia for something else. It is a fairly quick procedure, and would not add a significant amount of time to his anesthesia if he were, for example, getting his teeth cleaned. Anesthesia is not without it’s risks, so I don’t chose surgery lightly.

  20. Hadley says:

    my dog just got her eye popped out and I was wondering if it was possible if her eye could ever grow back

  21. Kevin says:

    About how long does the recovery period take? My dog had cherry eye tucking surgery about a month ago and doesn’t look normal still. I don’t know if it is supposed to look completely normal ever again, but as of now you can see a very visible bit of red tissue at the base of the eye. The doctor said the sutures would dissolve in a couple of weeks and it shouldn’t be so red, but it’s obviously very red. You can’t see the gland in the left corner of the right eye like you can in the other, unaffected eye. What’s your experience with post-op and when should I go back to the doctor?

    • dottiemaggie says:

      If it has been a month and you’re still not comfortable with how it looks, I would certainly make an appointment to have your veterinarian assess it. Suture material does dissolve in a couple weeks, so it should certainl be gone by now. In my experience if the surgery was successful, the eye should look normal within a week.

      Good luck.

      • Kevin says:

        Thanks. I will try to make an appointment with the vet. My dog is a Boston Terrier with large eyes already, so I don’t know if that means anything (like you could see the tissue in the lower portion of the eye on another dog you might otherwise not).

        It looks very different than the normal eye, though.

  22. Tony Hart says:

    3 months ago my female bulldog had surgery to fix a cherry eye, it has since returned and I’m wondering if I take her to the same vet should I expect to pay another $600 to have surgery again?

  23. Rebecca L. Lerner says:

    My coton de tulear developed a cherry eye this afternoon. He had a vaccination for bortedella this morning, and being a very concerned Mommy, I wigged out sent pics to my vet and made it into their office within 45-60 minutes from when I first noticed it (and most likely not more than 90 min from when it first presented – he’s around me as well as many other people all the time who would notice and tell me right away). My vet was able to pop the gland back in very quickly, and gave him drops to address and decrease any swelling or irritation.

    My dog is around 2 and has never had this issue before. My question is, does this condition always recur? Is it possible that he will live out his days and not have the condition reappear?

    Thank you so much for your clear description of everything in your article. Definitely the best and most informative I’ve come across!

    • dottiemaggie says:

      It is certainly possible that it will not occur again – unfortunately only time will tell for sure! Some breeds are more prone to it than others, but even then we see plenty of individuals from those breeds who do not develop cherry eye. The best thing you can do is just always be vigilant about any eye issues – which it sounds like you will be. Any inflammation or irritation of the eye would likely predispose the gland to prolapsing again.

  24. Dee says:

    We adopted a pitbull mix, who had her eye enucleated because of cherry eye! The shelter tried to repair it, the surgery failed, so they removed her eye. That seems so extreme to me. Everytime I look at her I wish there had been another alternative. Poor baby runs into things on that side of her.
    Doesn’t enucleation seem extreme? I saw a picture of her and it looked like a typical photo of cherry eye you wouldn see on Google.

    • dottiemaggie says:

      Hi Dee,

      That does sound extreme to me, but it is hard for me to comment when I don’t know the whole scenario. In a shelter setting they may have felt managing the cherry eye would be too challenging, or inhibit her chances at being adopted.

      Can’t undo enucleation – no point dwelling on what could have been, and enjoy the one eyed beauty I am sure she is 🙂

  25. kevin snead says:

    Have mountain feist puppies that are 6 days old and one of there eye is swollen but they have not open them yet.

  26. christine says:

    Hello dr my name is Christine. I have a 12 week old puppy three different times I have seen her 3rd lid. Forvno apparent reason it doesn’t last long. Do you think its going to be a problem. Thanks chris

    • dottiemaggie says:

      Hi Christine,

      If the third eyelid is just elevated, that is likely not something to worry about. If the gland in the eyelid is swollen, as long as it goes back down you might be okay. Basically, I would just be keeping a close eye on it. There’s no need to worry about surgery unless the gland pops out and stays out!

  27. Amy Moore-Nickens says:

    Hi. I have put off the surgery due to divorce costs and moneys needing to be allocated to care for my two legged kiddo first. I am ready to have the surgery for my cockapoo in September. My question is since she has lived with it for a few years is it still a good idea? Poor girl rubs her eyes on carpet etc so it must be itchy. If it makes her more comfortable and the itch goes away and the surgery/anesthesia is safe for her then Im for it. She will be 8 soon. In your experience is this safe for a dog her age?
    Thanks for your time, Amy

    • dottiemaggie says:

      The longer the cherry eyes are present there is a higher chance the surgery won’t work, but I do believe it is still worth trying – especially if the eyes are bothering her. Surgery in older dogs can be safe, but there may be risks depending on your individual dog. I would recommend you set up a pre-surgery appointment with your vet to fully assess your pet and discuss the pros and cons of going forward.

  28. Richard says:

    Hi Maggie! First of all, i really enjoyed reading what you wrote =).
    Now, i have a 9 months Rottweiler and he has the cherry eye since last Friday. For the moment i cant afford the cirgury, so, i have some doubts that are worring me a little bit cause, well, i dont know anything about this haha.
    1- Could the cherry eye become dangerous if i dont take my dog to cirgury soon?
    2- He loves to play with other dogs when i take him for a walk, but im afraid that he could get injured while he plays with them. Should i let him play?
    And i think that’s all for the moment. Thanks for your time!

    • dottiemaggie says:

      Hi Richard,

      There are risks with cherry eyes that are not treated, most importantly if there is infection.
      It is quite possible that it is not a big deal, and he can go ahead and play, but I can’t say that for certain without having examined your dog. Even if you can’t afford surgery, you should have an exam with your veterinarian to get a better idea of the situation.

  29. mommie6 says:

    our 5 month old English bulldog has cherry eye it has been corrected by surgery and he is now 3 wks post op and it has returned . what are our options now to fix this .

    • dottiemaggie says:

      Your best bet is to see your surgeon again and discuss it with them. The surgery, unfortunately, cannot be guaranteed to hold. Depending on how it looks now will affect what options you have, so it is difficult for e to say much more than to have your surgeon reassess it.

  30. My little, girl pug an boxer mix, has a cherry eye, that, I hav tried to put back in with no luck, I asked the Vet, if, he, would do her cherry eye, at same time, he, did her spaying , an he, would not do it! Why? I do not know, unless, he, wanted more money, to put her asleep again! I, cannot take her right now, with her being recently spayed, she, still has stitches in her, so, I thought, I would wait, an give her time, to recoop before, surgery #2….but, I am so mad at this VET,for not doing this, an fixing her cherry eye while she, was asleep for spaying…..but, I am still thinking it is all about money! An I may contact another Vet, after her stitches come out…..but, I do not want to her , but, I hav rubbed an rubbed that eye, an it will not go back in, I went by video, of how, to push it back in but, did not work she, is 6 months old…..an her name is baby girl….I hav put warm rag on her eye, an massaged it trying to get it back in an nothing works…..any other suggestions before she, goes to another VET, TO HAV THIS CHERRY EYE FIXED…..?????? THANKS, SO MUCH…..VGGENT*************

    • dottiemaggie says:

      I’m sorry you are feeling frustrated, but it sounds as if you have tried everything short of surgery – which would mean your only option is surgery. If you are uncomfortable with your original vet and have the availability to see another one that is what I would do.

  31. Emma says:

    Hi! I have a question about the cherry eyes. I recently got a cocker spaniel puppy few months ago, he always had teary eyes which i usually would clean it up with a warm cloth. About a month ago i notice that his both of his third eyelids came out the morning after I had clean his face. I took him to the vet, my vet said he would need surgery to fix the problem. With the new vet they hired she wasn’t so fund of me cause of all the questions and worries I had. After his surgery, she did not come out to talk to me at all on anything but let the assistants tell me what I would need to do to take care of him which is to put ointment on both of his eyes. After a few days I looked at his eyes and it just didn’t look right to me after all the pictures online of before and after cherry eye surgeries.

    I notice he was trying to rub both of his eyes on the carpet so I put the cone on him to prevent anything from happening. After a couple of weeks of the cone of shame, I decided to take it off to let run free without running into everything. One day I notice he was rubbing one of his right eyes and one of the sutures came out, I decided to take him to vet which he needed another surgery to fix that eye. After a few weeks I needed to give him a bath since it’s been almost over a month that I have had a chance to give him a bath with all his neutering/cherry eyes surgeries. His left eyelid popped back out. Which I know I’ll need to spend another $300 for the surgery.

    My question is, is it possible to email you a picture of my puppy to let you see if his right eye looks correct for a puppy that had the surgery done. I just feel like part of the eyelid should not blocking side of his iris.
    He is only 5 months old, I just feel so bad for him to have to go through all this. I know Cocker Spaniels are prone to cherry eyes but with him already having 2 surgeries for his eyes and now going to be a 3rd surgery I would like to know the second vet I am going to is doing it correctly.

    Thanks 🙂

    • dottiemaggie says:

      Hi Emma,
      It would be really difficult for me to judge based off a photograph – and not really appropriate for me to comment on another veterinarian’s work without having my own hands and eyes on the patient.

      Is it possible for you to go to another vet clinic for a second opinion? I know that is not always possible depending on where you live – but an in person second opinion is really your best option.

  32. Claire says:

    Hi, we’ve had our American cocker spaniel pup for just 3 weeks. She’s just under 6 months old. 2 nights ago, we noticed a rather larger red lump appear on her eye. We took her straight down to the after hours vet and it turned out to be cherry eye. The vet said not to worry, and that we will need to get it fixed surgically when she’s sterilised in a month’s time. The vet didn’t give us a cone for her head. However, this morning, we noticed the eye was very red, inflamed, bleeding and seemed like a part of it was scabbing. We went back to the vet where we were given a cone, and told to come back if she gets worse. Perhaps I’m ‘over worrying’, but it’s been just under 4 hours since we went to the vet, and my normally playful puppy is hiding in the corner of our yard with her tail between her legs. I’m really worried about her. Her eye is getting worse! And she seems almost scared of me now too, because she knows that when I come over to her, I’m probably going to be putting more drops in her eye, which she HATES! I’d love some advice here. More specifically, is the fact that her cherry eye seems scratched and a little scabby going to be a problem when we get her the surgery?

    • dottiemaggie says:

      I’m sorry you’ve had such a stressful experience – sometimes our pets get very upset about having an e-collar on.
      The surgery will definitely be easier and more likely to be successful if the gland is not inflamed. I hope you have noticed some improvement since you left this comment – the e-collar really is the best thing for her if she was rubbing at the eye!

  33. Dee says:

    Hi there,
    We just brought home our baby English Bulldog, yesterday. Her eye was fine when we picked her up. Today, she has cherry eye in one of her eyes. She is only 8 weeks old. Is this normal?

    • dottiemaggie says:

      It isn’t “normal”, but it is very common in bulldog puppies. Brachiocephalic dogs (smushy faced dogs) are the most affected. You should have a health check with your family veterinarian to discuss options for your new little pup.

  34. Kara moore says:

    I found a puppy , pit mix with Mastiff I think. She has cherry eye but idk how long it has been popped out. Will I be able to pop it back into place if it has already been out for weeks?

    • dottiemaggie says:

      If it has been out for a long time, it is unlikely it will go back in without surgery. I would recommend a vet check on any found pet, for a number of reasons, but especially if there is a visible issue like cherry eye. There could be an infection or irritation that required medicated drops.

  35. Sasha Galvan says:

    She just had her surgery for cherry eye it looks so red shes on her med how can i clean the eyes they look like they need be wipes down im scared because i just she her eyes so red and she is wearing the cone

    • dottiemaggie says:

      I’m sorry you are so worried about your pup post-op. I can’t really give advice without having seen the patient – if you’re worried about how the eyes look, I would suggest bringing her back to the clinic where she had the surgery to have them assess them. Some irritation shortly after surgery is expected, but you certainly want to be careful about cleaning the eye and accidentally irritating it further.

  36. Mick says:

    Dr. Our 12 year old Wheaton has this condition and a vet service recommended a surgery to remove at a whopping cost of $3,000. First of all, our dog has no other symptoms of this “third eye”. No discomfort etc. they want to remove due to the possibility of a tumor. My thinking is that the anesthesia and recovery may be worse than living with this condition based on his advanced age. What are your thoughts?

    • dottiemaggie says:

      Sorry to have missed this comment for so long… I think that in a 12 year old dog, it is not unreasonable to be suspicious of what the underlying cause might be. The pros and cons of surgery vs not surgery can be difficult to balance.

  37. Shaun says:

    I have a 9 month old English bulldog with has had surgery for cherry eye in both eyes but one have come back for the third time and now the vet say it has to be removed. now is there any other way to get the gland back in place, he do have some irritation and reddens when it out I don’t know what the best thing to do with lot of different opinions about cherry eye

    • dottiemaggie says:

      I’m sorry to hear your dog has had a hard time with his gland. It is difficult to make a comment on your options without examining the dog myself – if you are feeling uncertain about what your vet is recommending, the best thing to do is to get a second opinion from another vet. If you’re able to take him to another clinic where a new vet can examine his eye and review his history you may find that your original vet had given you the best option, or you may get a new option.

  38. Jongri says:

    Hi Dottiemaggie,
    My six month old Great Dane pup has just had 2 unsuccessful Cherry eye surgeries 1/31/18, 3/8/18 on his right eye. The first failed surgery was performed by my regular, long time VMD ($592). So I went for a consultation to a Veterinary Ophthalmologist ($255) and she diagnosed him as having the prolapse of his nictatins gland along w/ a scrolled cartilage of the 3rd eyelid and arranged for her more experienced colleague to perform the second surgery 3/8/18 ($2100). Two weeks post op w/ only minimal improvement and gland w/ scrolling of eyelid cartilage still there partially blocking his lower right eye. I know they’ll suggest additional surgeries to repair the eyelid when I see them 3/22/18 for post op follow up. However, w/ no guarantee of success I’m opting for removal of the gland at this point and I’m aware of the daily eye drops for life. Either way, a 3rd surgery won’t be financially possible for me until much later this year. I’d appreciate hearing what you’d suggest, I’m not willing to go bankrupt attempting to repair his obviously abnormal third eyelid? The only good news I’ve had is that his eye issue is unilateral, his left eye is normal.

    • Jongri says:

      Update As of 3/22/18 2nd surgery post op follow up w/ Veterinary Ophthalmologist.
      Cherry eye surgery was successful (Nictitans Gland replaced & no longer protruding). Current diagnosis: Scrolled Third Eye Lid Cartilage OU. A third surgery to repair right eye’s Scrolled Third Eye Lid Cartilage will be scheduled later this year. For now, follow ups w/ Veterinary Ophthalmologist every 4-6 weeks, 1 drop of Neo-Poly- DexaMethasone
      in both eyes twice daily. Veterinary Ophthalmologist prognosis is good provided I have the third surgery to repair his unsightly scrolled third eye lid cartilage in right eye. I will take the Veterinary Ophthalmologist advice never to remove the gland of the third eye lid since it continues to function and have the Third Eye Lid repair surgery despite the expense of 1 or 2 additional corrective surgeries. In the long run it’s what’s best for my Great Dane pup.

    • dottiemaggie says:

      I’m sorry to hear you’re having so many struggles with you young pup. It is hard for me to make any kind of suggestion without having seen the dog myself – I hope on your follow up appointment you were able to make a plan that works for you and your dog.

      • Jongri says:

        Hi dottiemaggie,
        7 1/2 month old 59 kilograms Great Dane pup’s right eye is still a mess w/ the scrolled third eyelid cartilage blocking lower part of his eye. Ophthalmologist says he will use
        cautery tool (low heat) to remove scrolled portion of third eyelid cartilage in third surgery
        which I can’t afford until much later in the year. His cherry eye may be fixed but his eye looks just as bad as it had before the two expensive surgeries. At this point I wish I had
        my regular Veterinarian remove the eyelid since I’m having to give him daily eye drops
        regardless of these surgeries and his eye still looks so terrible!

  39. Reggie says:


    My English Bulldog developed cherry eye at 8 weeks, he is now 13 weeks. I don’t plan on getting him neutered, so what is the recommended age for him to have correctional surgery for his eye. Since the longer it’s left untreated, the harder it may be to correct. I would like to fix ASAP.

    • dottiemaggie says:

      The best thing to do is to have him seen by the veterinarian of your choice and see what they have to say – I have certainly repaired it in dogs younger than 6 months of age. It depends on how bad it is, the size of the pup, and some other things (surgeon comfort, etc.). Would be hard for me to say what I would be comfortable with, when it may not be consistent with the veterinarians local to you!

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