“She did two have two cherry eyes,” Weller said. “So we pulled her knowing what her medical situation would be.”
Many mammals, including dogs, have a third eyelid gland. A “cherry eye” occurs when that third gland prolapses. Treatment is surgery to replace the gland, Weller said.
According to the VCA Animal Hospital website at vcahospitals.com, a fibrous attachment keeps the gland in place on the eye’s lower inner rim. A weak attachment causes the prolapse, the website also said.
“I imagine it’s painful,” Weller said. “A portion of her eyelid was sticking out of her eye socket. I also imagine it obstructs the vision.”
Many dogs will have cherry eye in both eyes, either at the same time, like Cherry Pie, or with the prolapse occurring in the unaffected eye at a late date, the website said.
Even with surgery, it’s possible for the gland to protrude again, necessitating a second surgery, the website also said
Without timely treatment, the gland may become permanently damaged. Since that gland produces up to 50 percent of water tear film an untreated dog could wind up with permanent dry eye, the website also said.
“As time progressed, Cherry’s eyes became worse, so we knew surgery would have to come a little it sooner than we had anticipated,” Weller said.
Hopeful Tails did not initially realize the puppies also had cherry eye. They were only a few weeks old and their eyes had not fully opened, she said.
But the rescue continued to monitor the puppies for the condition, too. But they were surprised at the results.