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Cherry Eye

Unfortunately, the Cherry Eye is a frequently occurring problem in the Cane Corso. With this condition, the third eyelid is inflamed or irritated, and shows itself like a little red ball (Cherry) under the eye. A time where this inconvenience often occurs is when a pup is teething. Sand and draft are also often considered as a cause for a Cherry Eye. The gland which is inflamed has the function to keep the eye clean from bacteria and dirt, but sometimes gets infected itself.

There are 3 methods to remove a Cherry Eye:

1.   Removal
With this method, the entire Cherry Eye is cut away. This is quite a simple procedure. Unfortunately, it has a con. In the infected glance the tear glance is also present. With the removal of the Cherry Eye, this tear glance is also removed. As a result of this, the dog might not produce enough tears. A dry eye could be the result. To prevent blindness, one can keep the eye moist with drops. A dry eye is however rare. Many veterinarians fully remove Cherry Eyes on a regular basis and never had the dry eye problem.

2.   Attaching
With this method, the Cherry Eye is pulled back on its original position and reattached with a few stitches. In the past, they often showed up again, after which they had to be fully removed after all. Now there is a new stitching method and the chances of the Cherry Eye showing up again are much smaller. For this surgery, the dog has to go under a complete anaesthesia. The costs of the surgery are considerably higher than with the removal method. And there are still vets that use the “old” stitching method to reattach the Cherry Eye, meaning that it might show up again.

3.   Partial removal
With this method, only the infected glance is removed. The tear glance will stay intact. Because the infected glance is removed, the rest of the Cherry Eye will pull back by itself. This will also be nicely stitched. This is a precision work and the dog also has to go under a complete anaesthesia. With this method, it is very important that surgery is done within days after the appearance of the Cherry Eye. After a few days, the tear glance will bend because of its unnatural position, causing it to be damaged. Unless surgery is done before this time, chances that the tear glance will not function any more are present. When the Cherry Eye gets lighter in color, the damage is usually already a fact. This is also a risk with the attachment method, if one is too late with the attachment of the Cherry Eye. Partial removal excludes the chances of the Cherry Eye showing up again. If surgery is done in time, it also reduces the chances of a Dry Eye to the maximum. This method has the pros of both earlier mentioned methods. But, because of the full anaesthesia and the precision work, this method is also the most expensive one. But considering all the pros of partial removal, we highly recommend this method.

An good site (in English) about a Cherry Eye is: http://www.eyevet.org/cherry.html . Here the pros and cons of the methods 1 and 2 are discussed. Unfortunately, method 3 (partial removal) is not discussed.

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Nancy Koper