Cherry Eye in Dogs and Eye Surgeries

Cherry Eye in pets and other eye surgery performed on your pet may seem scary and will most likely be expensive to treat, but in most cases, it is the best option to keep your pet comfortable and allow him/her to enjoy life pain free. Often surgery is recommended after other treatments for the condition have proven to be unsuccessful. Many pet owners find that their dog or cat feels much better after the procedure, and they no longer need to keep up with a regimen of topical or oral medications to address the problem.

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Our goal at The Animal Shelter Inc. of Sterling’s On-site Veterinary Clinic is to provide affordable care and to relieve the pain that your pet may be suffering from. Sterling Shelter Clinic offers several low-cost eye surgeries which may be recommended for your pet. Below are just some of the most common eye issues that we can repair in our clinic. If your pet has any medical issues/conditions or needs a specific surgery/procedure PLEASE CONTACT US ….We MAY be able to offer your pet an affordable way to fix your pet/s medical issue/s.

small dog with cherry eye surgery

Chihuahua with Cherry Eye

Cherry Eye Surgery Repair

Unlike humans, dogs and cats have a third eyelid called the nictitans or nictating membrane. This extra eyelid is located at the inner corner of each eye. The third eyelid also has its own tear-producing gland, which helps lubricate the eye. Cherry Eye is a displacement of this tear-producing gland of the third eyelid. The gland appears as a round, red mass protruding from the inner corner of one or both eyes. It looks almost like a cherry pit, thus giving this condition the name Cherry Eye.

Cherry Eye is particularly common in small breed dogs and in brachycephalic – or short-nosed – breeds such as Boston Terriers, Boxers, and Bulldogs. This condition is believed to be due to a weakness in the fibers that hold the gland in place, and it may be genetic in some breeds. Although some cases of Cherry Eye can occur due to infection or trauma, most cases are spontaneous and an underlying cause is never identified.

Cherry Eye not only looks unpleasant, but it can also cause problems for your pet if left untreated. Damage to the gland, chronic dry eye, and ulceration of the cornea can all occur if the gland is not returned to its normal position.

The best treatment for Cherry Eye is surgery to put the gland back in its normal position. The gland is moved back into place and held there with small sutures. There are several different techniques used to accomplish this, and your veterinarian will decide which technique is best for your pet.

Following surgery to repair the Cherry Eye your pet may initially experience some inflammation and discomfort around the surgery site. Your pet will likely be sent home on pain medications and possibly antibiotics. The most common complications of this type of surgery include failure of the sutures holding the gland in place, which can lead to the recurrence of the Cherry Eye. If this occurs, a second surgery may be necessary to put the gland back in place. In rare cases, damage to the gland can occur, causing chronic dry eye. Careful follow-up care will be necessary to ensure the area is healing well.

Affordable Dog Entropion Surgery

Dog with Eye Entropion

Eye Entropion Surgery

This is a common condition affecting the eyelids in many breeds. Entropion is an inward rolling of the eyelid, causing hair to contact the eye. The hairs rubbing against the eye can cause pain, inflammation, excessive tearing, and damage to the cornea. Over time this can lead to other problems, such as corneal ulcers and infections.

Entropion most commonly affects the lower lids and may occur in one or both eyes. Some cases of entropion can occur due to spasms of the eyelid that result from painful conditions like corneal ulcers or trauma to the eye. These cases may be treated with topical pain medications, and the entropion may resolve. However, it is more common for entropion to occur due to a conformational abnormality which cannot be cured with medication alone.

Conformational entropion is common in many breeds, including Golden Retrievers, Labs, Great Danes, and Rottweilers. Young puppies with entropion may eventually outgrow the condition, but adults will likely be affected for life. If your pet is having chronic eye problems as a result of entropion, your veterinarian may recommend surgery to correct the position of the eyelid.

The surgery to address entropion is fairly simple and several different techniques are used. In most cases, a small piece of tissue will be taken from the eyelid and sutures will be used to close the defect. These sutures pull the eyelid taut and prevent it from rolling inward. Once the eyelid has healed, the sutures will either absorb or will be removed by your veterinarian.

Young puppies with entropion may eventually outgrow the condition. While your puppy is still growing, your veterinarian may recommend a temporary tacking procedure to stop the eyelid from rolling into the eye. In this procedure, temporary sutures are placed to pull the eyelid away from the eye. Your puppy’s eyes will need to be rechecked every week or two as he or she continues to grow. In most cases, the sutures are removed after about four weeks.

Most pets recover quickly from entropion surgery. There may be mild swelling around the surgery site for the first few days following the procedure. Pain medications will likely be given to your dog to manage any inflammation or discomfort. Sutures are typically removed about 10-14 days after the procedure as long as your pet is healing well. Once the sutures are removed, your pet can typically return to normal activities.

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Eye Removal Surgery for Cat or Dog

Cat with Enucleation on Left Eye

Enucleation (aka Eye Removal)

Despite our best efforts, sometimes we cannot restore your pet’s vision or reduce the pain in a diseased eye. Enucleation – or surgical removal of the eye – may be recommended in these cases. An enucleation is also a cost-effective option for pets with conditions that may be too expensive to treat.

When enucleation is performed, the entire eye and its associated tissues are removed. In most cases, the eyelids are preserved and are sutured closed over the empty eye socket. This provides a cosmetic outcome that is comfortable for both pet and owner.

Complications from this type of surgery include swelling and discharge from the surgery site. Infections are possible, so your pet may be sent home on antibiotics following the surgery. Although it is uncommon, in some cases tear-producing tissue may be left behind when the eye is removed. This can cause chronic tearing and discharge from the surgery site. In these cases, a second surgery may be necessary to find and remove this tissue, which will stop the discharge.

Limit your pets activity for the first few days after surgery. This not only helps the healing process but will also give your pet a chance to adjust to having reduced vision on one side. Follow up visits to your veterinarian may also be necessary to ensure the surgery site is healing well.

Most pets quickly adapt to having only one eye. Often, removing the diseased eye relieves a great deal of pain, and pet owners immediately notice that their pet is happier and more comfortable without the eye! After they have recovered from surgery, many pets return to their usual activities and do not have any changes in behavior as a result of the Enucleation.

Request a quote form Please note: We are located in Central Massachusetts.

Aftercare for Animal Eye Surgeries

Following surgery for cherry eye in dogs and any other type of surgery on your pet’s eye, careful aftercare is necessary to ensure the best possible outcome for your pet. Please give any prescribed medications according to your veterinarian’s instructions. Your pet may be sent home with an Elizabethan collar (also known as an e-collar or “cone”) to prevent any scratching or rubbing of the surgery site. Keep the collar on at all times until the surgery site has fully healed.

Remember to visit the clinic for any scheduled recheck appointments so that your veterinarian can assess your pet’s healing and comfort after surgery. If you notice anything unusual with your pet, such as excessive pain or swelling from the surgery site, discharge, loss of appetite, vomiting, or diarrhea, be sure to contact your veterinarian right away for further instructions.

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