How to Treat Cherry Eye French Bulldog (Video)
Because of their short muzzle, large eyelids, and big eyes, our little friends are prone to various eye problems.
Cherry eye French bulldog is probably one of the most annoying diseases the dog can develop. However, if not treated in time, the dog can develop a serious eye infection. The cherry eye problem is defined as a protruding third eyelid that results from weakened, stretched, or loose retinal attachment tissue.
If you are a proud and loving parent of a French Bulldog, cherry eye is one of the most common problems you need to know and how to treat it.
A cherry eye French Bulldog is the third eyelid that falls outwards. This condition manifests itself as a pink, oval bulge on the nose of the eye. The third eyelid is also known as the nicotinic membrane and is believed to produce 30% of the total tear film.
It also physically protects the cornea and promotes the flow of tears into the eye. Unfortunately, cherry eye in French Bulldogs can occur in one or both eyes and is common in young puppies and usually in males.
But what is cherry eye French Bulldog, how does it occur in French Bulldogs, what can be done about it, and is there an easy solution other than surgery?
In this guide, we explain everything you need to know about cherry eye French Bulldog, including symptoms, causes, and treatment.
What Is Cherry Eye French Bulldog?
Cherry eye occurs in the French Bulldog when a gland develops in the third eyelid. Most French Bulldogs have a third eyelid on the lower eyelid.
The third eyelid further protects the French Bulldog’s eye. It produces most of the tear film in the eye. However, the third eyelid may dilate or droop. When this happens, it is referred to as cherry eye. In the French Bulldog, it can occur in one or both eyes.
Does Cherry Eye Hurt?
Although it is not the worst pain in the world, Cherry eye can be painful for the dog, especially as it often worsens when you try to treat it. If you look at the symptoms, you will understand why it is so important to treat cherry eye French Bulldog correctly and on time when it occurs.
How Do French Bulldogs Get Cherry Eye Problems?
Causes of Cherry Eye French Bulldog
We do not know the real cause of cherry eye, but we do know that it is more common in young French Bulldogs, especially in puppies. However, most veterinarians and experts believe that French Bulldogs have cherry eyes due to hereditary and congenital causes.
The congenital disease is hereditary, which means that puppies of French Bulldogs with the cherry eye are more likely to develop the disease in the future.
Other causes of cherry-eye disease in French dogs can be a weakness of the eye area or environmental factors that cause swelling and allergic reactions.
Cherry eye is most common in young bulldog and franc puppies and is usually caused by weak ligaments.
It is thought to be partly due to the compressed shape of the skull.
The French bulldog’s eyes, as in younger dogs, droop between 2 months and 3 years of age. The French bulldog rarely develops cherry eyes after the age of 3 years, but it is not impossible.
Brachycephalic breeds most commonly suffer from the cherry eye because they have large, bulging eyes that tend to pick up all kinds of allergens from the air.
The brachycephalic components syndrome are as follows:
Entropion: a condition in which the eyelid curves upwards, forming hairs that irritate the cornea. It usually involves the inner side of the lower eyelid.
Epiphora: (tearing) and discolouration of the tear film – occurs due to irregular outflow from the tear ducts.
Trichiasis and Distichiasis: extra abnormal eyelashes that curl inwards and irritate the cornea.
Reduced eye openings: this means that the eyeball is less protected, which, along with the larger size of the eyeball, means that the eye itself is more vulnerable and more susceptible to damage or dryness.
Reduced corneal sensitivity: this can prevent the cornea from recognising problems that irritate and can prevent the healing of corneal ulcers.
Tear Deficiency: reduced tear production aggravates corneal changes and causes corneal dryness.
The ideal treatment for brachycephalic syndrome is an operation called a medial canthoplasty. This procedure closes the inner corners of the eyelid and reduces the size of the eyelid opening, providing a permanent curvature of the inner surface of the lower eyelid, improving tear drainage, improving eyeball coverage, and improving eye movement. The overall result is an eyeball that is better protected from damage and dryness.
What are the Symptoms of Cherry Eye French Bulldog?
The symptoms of a cherry eye in French Bulldogs are obvious. The dog will scratch and scratch its eye. It will become red, dry, and irritated.
There is also swelling around the dog’s eye. They will close their eyes, cry excessively, have abnormally dry eyes, etc.
The cherry eye of a French Bulldog can be large and can cover a large part of the cornea. It can also be small in size and appear only occasionally.
Cherry eye French Bulldog symptoms
The following is a list of symptoms of cherry eye French Bulldogs:
- Red eyes (called cherry pit)
- Constant rubbing, and itching in the dog’s eye
- Cherry tearing, which is a very dry eye
- Swollen eyes
- Blurred vision
- Excessive production of tears
- Discharge from the eye
- Inflammation of the eye
Should I Take My Dog To The Vet For A Cherry Eye?
If you suspect your dog has cherry eye, you should see a vet as soon as possible. While it is not a medical emergency, it can cause long-term health problems.
If the cherry eye is left untreated, it can cause damage to the tear duct and chronic dry eye. The gland can also swell over time, restricting blood flow. And the swelling will makes your dog even more uncomfortable, he is tempted to scratch or poke at the eye, increasing the risk of injury and infection.
When your dog first goes to the vet, they can prescribe safe eye drops that will reduce swelling. These drops can also provide much-needed hydration for eye comfort and health. However, eye drops are not a cure for cherry eye.
The standard treatment recommended by veterinarians for cherry eye in dogs is eyelid conservation surgery. “The recommended treatment is reoperation of the gland, rather than its removal, as this preserves the important function of the tear duct,” explains Vygantas.
The vet should be able to preserve and reposition the gland in a simple procedure.
While it may be tempting to avoid surgery for a cherry eye, topical creams and treatments will not solve the underlying problem and your puppy will likely need surgery anyway. According to Vygantas, the problem after gland removal cannot be solved without surgery.
But even minor surgery can be stressful for the pet owner. However, rest assured that recovery after eye surgery is usually short and pleasant.
Most dogs recover within a few weeks. In the meantime, your dog will need to visit the vet once or twice to check the surgical site. He will also need to wear a collar (also called a pubic hair collar) to protect the eye from itching, stinging, and infection during recovery.
How To Fix Cherry Eye In French Bulldogs
The treatment for your French bulldog’s cherry eye depends on the severity of the condition. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary, while in milder cases, ointment and massage will help.
How To Treat Cherry Eye In French Bulldogs
Treatment Of Cherry Eye French Bulldogs
As the cherry eye is a relatively common problem in French Bulldogs and other breeds, there are several ways to treat the problem. These are listed in order of difficulty:
4 ways to treat cherry eye in French Bulldogs
- Anti-inflammatory eye drops
- Antibiotic drops
Non-surgical treatment of cherry eye is always the first step, with cherry eye surgery recommended for the most severe and recurrent cases.
Cherry Eye French Bulldog Anti-inflammatory eye drops
This is usually the first ‘point of attack’ recommended by the vet. These safe eye drops for dogs help to reduce inflammation in the tear itself. It also has the advantage of significantly reducing symptoms.
In mild cases, only appropriate treatment with drops can reduce them more or less and help the gland to return to its normal position. It will not cure the cherry eye, but it will help your French Bulldog to return to normal.
Cherry French Bulldog Antibiotic drops
In mild cases, these are sometimes used in combination with anti-inflammatory drops. In mild to moderate cases where the prolapse is more severe, antibiotics and anti-inflammatory are often given together. In this way, you can be sure that your dog’s eye will heal properly, without the risk of infection.
Cherry Eye French Bulldog Massage
In moderate cases, even a gentle, expert massage can help. Your vet can help by gently massaging the area around the eye to relieve your dog. This will encourage the gland to return to its place in the corner of the eye.
This method is often combined with eye drops, which are safe for dogs’ eyes. Remember, you should never rub your dog unless your vet has recommended it and you know how to do it. If it is not done properly, it can make the situation worse.
How To Massage Cherry Eye French Bulldog
Massage is another non-surgical way to treat the cherry eye. It works by massaging the gland in the third eyelid, which helps the navel snap back into place. It is cheaper and easier than surgery.
The massage technique is usually more effective in cases treated early. Because the diaphragm is strong, it can hold the gland in place even after it is inserted.
If in doubt, take Frenchie to the vet as soon as you notice symptoms suggestive of a cherry eye.
Combination of massage and eye drops
In addition to massage, this technique also involves squeezing and applying eye drops.
Apply warm compresses, pressing gently on the lower eyelid and pressing against the nose. This allows the gland to regenerate.
Be very careful when massaging the cherry eye. The eye is a delicate organ, so you don’t want to permanently damage it. If you are concerned about damaging Frenchie’s eye, you can always follow your vet’s advice.
Watch the Below Video on How To Massage Cherry Eye French Bulldog
Cherry Eye French Bulldog Surgery
Experienced and well-trained vets can perform a variety of eye surgeries. Their recommendation is based on the severity of the case and the dog’s overall health and wellbeing. Other factors determine which will give the best result.
Rotator cuff suture
This is the operation with the quickest recovery time. The surgeon attaches the gland to the eyelid wall using permanent sutures. This makes it easier to hold it in place and reduces swelling.
Creating a new gland pocket
The surgeon creates a new gland socket when the suture is not adequate. This allows the dog’s glands to settle into place.
Complete removal of the third eyelid.
In particularly severe cases, the surgeon may recommend complete removal of the third eyelid gland. Total removal is the only way to permanently remove the cherry eye and make the French Bulldog back to normal life again
As you can see, the more severe the case, the more intense the dog’s recovery will be. This is why early detection is so important. It helps if the problem is as small and as simple as possible, watch the below video for a better understanding of the cherry eye French Bulldog surgery
Video: Cherry Eye French Bulldog Surgery
What Can I Expect After Cherry Eye Surgery?
After surgery, you can expect some swelling that will subside in about a week or two. If your dog is in pain or you notice that the eye looks unusual, you should take him or her to the vet quickly.
There are cases where the cherry eye relapses after surgery. However, in most French Bulldogs, the gland heals and becomes normal within a few weeks.
Otherwise, it is best to follow your veterinarian’s advice to recover quickly and avoid complications.
Prognosis Of Cherry Eye
In many cases, the French Bulldog’s gland returns to normal within a few weeks of treatment. However, in up to twenty percent of French Bulldogs, the gland covers the third eyelid. This may mean that a second operation will be necessary. If your French Bulldog has a prolapse in one eye, he will often have a prolapse in the other eye.
French Bulldog Cherry Eye Surgery Cost
$800 and $1,000 Per Eye
Cherry eye surgery can be expensive. Costs can range from $800 to $1,000 or more, depending on the breed, the location, and the vet’s fee for the surgery. Since 45% of dogs with cherry eye in one eye also have cherry eye in the other eye, the cost can double.
If you plan to operate on both eyes, expect to pay a high price, between $800 and $1,000 per eye.
How To Prevent Cherry Eye In French Bulldogs
As you know, experts are not entirely sure what the official cause of cherry eye is, so there is no guarantee that your puppy will not get it. However, there are some things you can do to protect him as best as possible.
When buying a French Bulldog from a breeder, the first thing you should do is do your research. The breeder should be able to give you information about the puppy’s parents, including Cherry Eye and any other problems. While a family history without Cherry Eye does not guarantee that your French Bulldog will not have Cherry Eye problems, it does help reduce the likelihood!
Second, give him a good diet and make sure he gets enough exercise to keep him healthy.
The third thing you can do to protect your dog is to make sure his eyes are as healthy as possible. Check regularly for signs of problems and don’t hesitate to ask your veterinarian what safe dog eye drops you can use for rubbing and vaccinating your pet’s eyes, and contact your veterinarian if you are concerned about the health of your pet’s eyes.
Can Cherry Eye Cause Blindness In French Bulldogs?
While cherry eye itself does not normally cause other diseases, it can be susceptible to other eye diseases and complications that can lead to infections, dry eyes, and even blindness.
Since the optic gland produces about one-third of the tears needed to keep the eye moist and free of dirt, reduced tear production can lead to diseases such as keratoconjunctivitis (KCS), also known as “dry eye.”
This can lead to reduced vision or even total blindness of the affected eye. This condition usually lasts a lifetime, but can be avoided if dry eye is treated as soon as it is detected.
Does Pet Insurance Cover Surgery To Remove Cherry Eye?
Most pet insurance policies cover the surgery unless it is a pre-existing condition. Pet insurance is sometimes overlooked or considered a non-priority, but it can be very helpful in cases such as the cherry eye in a French Bulldog.
Cherry eye often develops at an early age in French Bulldogs and can be easily corrected if diagnosed early.
It is important to remember that the cherry eye does not go away on its own. If you wait, the disease will worsen, which can lead to blindness.
Take your dog to the veterinarian as soon as you notice that the disease has started to appear.
It’s important to keep them healthy by feeding them a balanced diet and giving them plenty of exercise to maintain a healthy weight.
Make an appointment with your veterinarian to ensure that he or she is up to date on all preventative care and immunizations, and get in touch with your veterinary physician if you have any worries about the condition of your dog’s eyes.
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