Bulldogs are one of the loveliest dog breeds out there, their sweet nature makes owners consider them as family, and they always try to look out for them. This is a guide on knowing, managing, and taking care of the cherry eye in Bulldogs.
Seeing your dog in some sort of pain or discomfort is something that can cause worry and make us unsettled. However, with the right information and resources, the majority of Bulldog illnesses can be cured, treated, and managed, which of course include cherry eye.
While many are just hearing the term for the first time, many have heard it before but are not sure of the meaning of cherry eye; we will give you a description of what cherry eye means.
What is Cherry Eye in Dogs and Bulldogs?
Studies have established that dogs have three eyelids and which is known as ‘nictitating membrane’, which is very important in the visual power of the dog – it assists the dog to see clearly by supplying it oxygen and nutrients.
Cherry eye is a non-medical term for prolapsed nictitating membrane. This eye problem occurs when the third eyelid which is in the lower corner of the eyelid pops and gets red and irritating.
It should be noted that cherry eye in Bulldogs does not threaten their lives; however, if not treated on time, it can lead to other eye complications.
When buying a Bulldog, it is advisable you ask about the health history of the Bulldog’s lineage; while asking this, ask the breeder about blue eyes in the Bulldog’s father or mother.
Bulldogs don’t feel pains or discomfort when they have cherry eyes; this is because it is not painful, so they tend not to show discomfort. You should however call on your vet to check out your dog as soon as you notice cherry eye as it may lead to other complications if left unattended.
Before we move to the treatment of cherry eye in Bulldogs, it is important we know and understand the causes too.
Causes of Cherry in Bulldogs
In understanding the Bulldog cherry eye, it is important to know the causes of this ailment, and know if one can prevent it or not.
The cause of cherry eye in Bulldogs is unclear; it is however believed that the cause of cherry blue eye is genetic. There is the possibility of passing these health issues from parent dogs to their puppy.
It is advised by vets that Bulldogs with a history of the cherry eye should not be allowed to breed in order to avoid breeding unhealthy dogs.
While we cannot completely rule out a cause, it is believed by vets that weakness in the connective tissues in the eyes is the cause of cherry eye in Bulldogs.
Dogs with the flat nose (brachycephalic dogs) usually have connective tissues that are not strong enough to hold the lacrimal gland. Cherry eye usually affects one eye at first; however, there is a high tendency that it will affect the other.
Other possible causes of cherry eye in Bulldogs include:
- A particular type of parasite
- Immune system that has been compromised
- Fungal infections
- Bacterial infections
- Fungal infections
Knowing the Symptoms of Cherry Eye in Bulldogs
If your Bulldog has a cherry eye; it is something you will notice and know quickly. This is because they appear quickly on dog eyes, and the more they are infected the more reddish the eye becomes – this is the most prominent symptom of cherry eye in Bulldogs.
Another symptom of cherry eye in Bulldogs is the sudden reddish and protruding mass in the lower part of the eye corner – they are obvious, they stand alone and the eye tends to bulge.
The protrusion of the eye is a common symptom that will tell you that your Bulldog has this health issue.
Another possible symptom of cherry eye in dogs and Bulldogs is the eyeball becoming irritated, dry, and red. Cherry eye is caused by a shift in the position of the tear gland and the nictitating membrane.
Continuous scratching and pawing of the eye by dogs could also indicate cherry eye in Bulldogs. Vets have however warned that this could complicate the health issue.
What are the Signs of Cherry Eye in Bulldogs/Dogs?
Here are the signs of the cherry eye to look out for in your dogs and Bulldogs:
- Eye color changes to black
- Eye drainage (uncontrolled tears)
- Eye redness (conjunctivitis)
- Impaired vision
- Rubbing the eye from time to time
- Dry eyes
- Swelling around the eye
How to Treat Cherry Eye in Bulldogs
In the majority of cases, treating the cherry eye in Bulldogs always involves surgery; especially when dog owners don’t discover this health condition on time.
If the cherry eye is discovered early, you may not need surgery to correct such an eye. In such cases, antibiotics eye drops, and subtle massage might help in treating it.
There are two ways of treating cherry eyes in Bulldogs; they are:
- Repairing the nictitating membrane (the pocket technique)
- Removing the nictitating membrane
Repairing the Nictitating Membrane (The Pocket Technique)
One way of treating cherry eye in Bulldogs is by repairing the nictitating membrane; with this method, your dog will have the chance of keeping both the tear duct and the membrane.
This method is more common nowadays, as it is the latest method. The vet treating the Bulldog will put the membrane back into where it ought to be.
In performing the surgery through the ‘pocket technique’, a pocket will be created by making two incisions; the membrane will then be sutured back into the pocket together with the gland.
Removing the Nictitating Membrane
This is the earliest surgical method used in treating cherry eyes in dogs. This method is not as common as it used to be, as vets have discovered a better way of treating the cherry eye.
With this method, the nictitating membrane of the dog will be completely removed; this method tends to cause immediate and future eye problems to dogs.
The function of the nictitating membrane is to protect the eye from dirt, clean the eye, maintain vision, moisten the eye, and production of tears. The moment this membrane is removed, those functions will cease, except you administer eye drops on daily basis.
Cost of Surgery for Bulldog’s Cherry Eye
Surgery for cherry eye in Bulldogs and dogs generally costs between $250 and $1,000; depending on the vet and your location. It is important you do the surgery; not minding the cost, as this had to do with the vision and wellbeing of the dog.
Treating Bulldog’s Cherry Eye with Eye Drops and Supplements
Another way of treating cherry eye in Bulldogs is through the use of eye drops and supplements. This method however requires you to do it on time – as soon as cherry eye appears in your dog.
How do you get the eye drops and supplements to use for the treatment of cherry eye in dogs? Visit your vet, he will decide which and which is best for your dog.
Home Remedy Treatment for Cherry Eye in Bulldogs
The home remedy treatment for Bulldog’s cherry eye is by massaging the eye.
Treating Cherry Eye in Bulldogs with Massage
With the help of massage, you can actually treat cherry eye in dogs; follow us carefully on these steps:
- Find a clean cloth and dampen with warm water
- Calm your dogs for the massage – this process is not usually easy; but you have to
- Place the warm cloth on the affected eye and allow the area to warm up for some minutes
- Slowly and gently massage the area with protruded gland
- Remove the warm cloth, and gently rub your thumb over the eyelid and rub with little or no pressure
- This should help push in the protrusion
If this method does not work for you, then you need to visit your vet to recommend the best treatment plan for you.
Final Thoughts on Bulldog’s Cherry Eye
Is there a way of preventing cherry eye in Bulldogs? The latest research on Bulldogs does not suggest this; as of now, there is no known way of preventing cherry eye in Bulldogs.
It is however important you take a look at your dog’s eye regularly, as early detection of the cherry eye can be treated without needing surgery.
Cherry eye does not go away on its own; you need to treat it as soon as possible in order to avoid other eye issues and complications.