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Red Lump in the Corner of Your Dog’s Eye? Learn About Cherry Eye in Dogs

04/03/2016 by Colleen Williams
April 3rd, 2016 by Colleen Williams


If your dog looks like he’s got a red bump under his eye, he may have a condition called “cherry eye.”  Cherry eye is a common condition when a dog’s third eyelid (tear gland) moves out of its normal position and is exposed in the corner of the eye as a pink or red swelling. Sometimes, the condition may just show up periodically and then return to its normal position under the eyelid.

Though it’s still not completely understood why dogs have this condition, weakness of the ligament to this gland is considered to be hereditary. Cherry eye can occur in any breed of dog, but is most commonly seen in these breeds:

  • Beagle
  • Bloodhound
  • Boston Terrier
  • Cocker Spaniel
  • English Bulldog
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Neapolitan Mastiff
  • Pekingese
  • Shar Pei

Cherry eye can be diagnosed by the appearance of the affected eye during the veterinary exam. And sometimes this condition can occur in both eyes. In some situations, your veterinarian may want to do further diagnostic tests such as eye staining and a biopsy to check for abnormalities in the tissue, such as cancer.

Treatment of cherry eye is a surgical procedure where your veterinarian will “tack” the third eyelid back in its normal position. Once the procedure is completed, you’ll have to apply eye ointments to your dog’s eye(s) according to a schedule. The ointments contain steroids that help reduce the size of the gland and your dog will have to wear the dreaded e-collar (also known as the cone of shame) to keep him from rubbing his eye. In most cases, this procedure is very successful.

Pet parents report that if it’s diagnosed early, surgery can be relatively complication-free without reoccurrence of the condition. The surgery is usually a one-day procedure with quick recovery times. If you see a red bump under your dog’s eye, please schedule an appointment to take your dog to your veterinarian.