Last Modified on Jun 14, 2014
What is Cherry Eye?
Cherry eye occurs from a congenital defect of the nictitating membrane (also called the third eyelid) which helps supply oxygen and nutrients to the eye via the tear duct. This dog health condition is mostly seen in young dogs. In cherry eye, this third eyelid gland becomes prolapsed and protrudes from the eye as a sensitive mass of red flesh. The gland becomes more susceptible to damage, infections, inflammation, and drying out. Dogs with cherry eye may develop further complications.
Find a Natural Pet Care Remedy for Cherry Eye
On this page you can find a number of user submitted home cures for cherry eye and related eye problems in dogs. Our most popular cures are lubricating eye drops, massage, and ice applications to help cherry eye go away. Let us know if you try anything you find here at Earth Clinic. Know of a cure for cherry eye not yet listed here, feel free to let is know about it!
|Lubricating Eye Drops, Massage||8 YEAS|
[YEA] 01/26/2011: Beagle-dashound Mix from Atlanta, Ga: "My dog had cherry eye yesterday - I put in lubricating tear drops, held an ice cube in a baggy on it for about 5 minutes at most and then my husband massaged it for about 3 minutes tops using moderate pressure, pushing in towards the nose - AND IT WORKED! All of the sudden it was just gone!!!! This happened last night and her eye looks totally normal today!!!"Replies
04/02/2012: Esther from Vilseck, Bavaria, Germany replies: "Thank you, Thank you, THANK YOU! This morning my 5 month old pup woke up with cherry eye and we all had no idea what it was or why it had happened. I called the vet and they said it sounded like "cherry eye" and that I should come in asap as this condition usually requires surgery to fix. I didn't like that, but I did make an appointment. Tooling around the internet led me to this lovely site. I tried this method with my darling little pup and whammo! Perfect! She's as good as new! Okay, almost as good as new. She's a little red around the inner corner of the eye, but I think that's from her scratching at the cherry. I'm so very, very pleased. Next up, apple cider vinegar for the conjunctivitus (sp?). Thank you all!!!!"
05/29/2012: Joel from Hialeah, Fl replies: "I tried rubbing the eyelid toward the nose but the cherry eye was still there just a little hidden. I had a little idea I put my mouth over her eyelid and ever so gently blew a little air into her eye. I mean I had to do it twice cause the first time I hardly put any air in it. I dont mean a whole mouth full. Any ways the entire cherry eye is gone. I tried so hard to see if it finally went away. Its all gone, no sign she ever even had it. I think she got it when my little sister put the blow dryer toward my dogs face. I hope you guys try it. I saved alot of money trying this out."
11/03/2012: Heather from Waltham, Ma replies: "THANK YOU THANK YOU!! I have a 8month old malitzu, I noticed he had cherry eye and right away searched the internet. I used one eye drop, iced and rubbed as directed and it worked! Thank you all so much! Still in shock it worked. took only 3 minutes."
[YEA] 02/24/2013: Corinne from Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey replies: "Thank you thank you!! It worked I just massaged her eye for about 2 minutes and it was gone. I had to wait till she was sleeping because she is a puppy and wouldn't sit still. Thank you so much!!!"
[YEA] 03/31/2013: Briana from Vancouver, Wa replies: "Omg thank you so much for this info. We have a chihuahua and she was getting it. We did the eye drops, ice and then massaged twice last night and when we woke up today it was gone!"
[NAY] 04/06/2013: Wen from Phoenix replies: ":( it did not work on my beagle/bassett hound just tried it"
[YEA] 04/01/2014: Abraham B. from Hialeah, Fl. replies: "I got my Boston Terrier puppy 3 weeks ago. He is just 12 weeks now. He got cherry eyed the day before yesteday and my wife got some iced water with a sterile gause and put it on the puppy's closed eye a couple of times. She then gave the puppy the circular massage and it worked!!!! We got really happy after feeling soooo bad for the puppy. Bostons rock!!!!!!! Thank you all for the help..."
04/01/2014: Theresa from Mpls., Mn replies: "Hey Abraham!
Awesome to know EC helped you and your Boston!"
05/06/2014: Nicole from Chicago replies: "Worked like a charm for me! My dog really liked the ice on her eye—I think she found that soothing. Thanks!"
06/14/2014: Shawnee from Central Oregon replies: "What if your dog has had the cherry eye for a long time... does the massaging and eye drops work?"
[YEA] 09/15/2009: Violet from St. Pete, Fl: "Cherry eye is an unsightly swelling and protruding of the tear duct gland in dogs (prolapsed gland). It is most commonly seen in Bulldogs, Boston Terriers and Boxers.
Vets will usually recommend expensive surgery to correct this, but I was able to correct it at home on my own dog.
When my male Boston Terrier got cherry eye I started doing research and was dismayed to find that the surgery has a poor success rate. Even after surgery the cherry eye can come back, and I read so many messages from people who had shelled out hundreds of dollars for more than one surgery. But I came across a non surgucal fix on a bulldog website and I tried it for myself. It was super simple, it was cheap, it look less than 15 minutes, and it worked!
Here are the instructions I somewhat followed from Bullwrinkle.com:
"There are old timers with extensive experience with "Cherry Eye Condition" that recommend an alternative to surgery, especially those breeds that have high surgical risks. The first thing that is done to "treat" this condition is to prescribe an antibiotic ointment, second use warm compresses to the corner of the eye, third is to massage the gland lightly with the index finger applying even gentle pressure in a circular motion. Once the tear duct becomes "unblocked" even if it is out of its normal place it is now of a size that usually can be returned by pulling very gently the outer tissue and "popping" the tear duct back into place. You may have to replace the tear duct several times over a two week period, sometimes I have heard for even a month, but then it does not require surgery, and the dog as a general rule has no more problems with the condition whatsoever. We urge new pet owners to be very careful when attempting to use this technique because you can cause injury to the eyeball if you scratch it when trying to massage the tear duct. Try to find another owner of a bulldog or similar breed to walk you through it the first time to make sure you are doing it correctly. We do urge you to seek veterinarian assistance if the condition worsens or if this technique fails to make an improvement. There are some bulldogs that have an inflamatory disease as well and you may see a worsening of the condition. Inflamatory conditions must be treated with an anti-inflamatory antibiotic drop or ointment."
I made a few changes to the above instructions. I used OTC lubricating eye drops I bought at a pharmacy. They were called Gen Teal. I trimmed my fingernail all the way down. I did the massage and popped the gland back in keeping light pressure on it for about 5 minutes. I repeated the process for the next 2 days but I saw immediate results after the first day. It has been 3 months and we have not had another occurence of cherry eye!"
12/27/2009: Sam from Alpharetta, Georgia, United States replies: "Hello,
I read your article about cherry eye. My shichon puppy has it and I was really worried. I went to Banfield at Petsmart (a veterinary clinic) and they said the only way to correct this is surgery. I started doing some research and found your website. I am going to try to massage it and use eye drops first. Can you tell me where you got the OTC eye drops and what exact brand you used and the technique that you used for massaging.
Thanks so much,
(PLEASE HELP MY PUPPY)"
03/09/2010: Theresa from Glendale, Az replies: "I have 7 SHIH TZUS between me and my fiancee. I wish I read this earlier on Cherry Eye. Laverne is going to be 12 years old, have one on her left eye, Grimlin is going to be 11 yers old and has one her left eye.
And Amos who is going to be 11 years old has one on each eye.
Is it 2 late to do this corrections?
Laverne is the one who had intervertabal disc disease, could not walk (legs dragged in back) and thanks to this web page and a poster I had chinese herbs made for her.
In 2 weeks she was running and dancing on her back.
Hope you can help on the cherry eye problem.
[YEA] 04/01/2010: Monica from St. George, Utah replies: "Thank you for this site and the information of what to do with cherry eye. I tried it on my puppy and it worked. It popped out a few hours later. I did the warm compress and then massaged again, and there hasn't been another problem with it. Everyone else is saying surgery. Thank you for the real remedy! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!"
[YEA] 01/16/2012: Lily from Baton Rouge, La replies: "Thanks so much for this feedback! About a month ago, I was bathing my Shinese puppy and shampoo got in her eye. The result was a inflammation to her tear duct. I took her to the vet, and she was prescribed eye drops. For several weeks, I saw no improvements and eventually took her back to the vet, where I was told she might need eye surgery in the future.
Yesterday, I stumbled upon this website and followed the instructions, hoping to pop the gland back into place. After applying a warm compress and massaging the area for a little while, the cherry eye disappeared -- only to come back immediately. I repeated the process today, and it worked!! She has been playing with other puppies and going about her normal activities, and her eye is completely back to normal. This is absolutely incredible! Thanks for the advice!"
03/22/2013: Yordey from Lagos, Nigeria replies: "Hello, I have two cane corso, male and female, I have had the male a few months before bringing in the female and they are both 7months and 5months respectively, the male first had this cherry eye popped out from the right then after a few months which I brought into the house the female, two days later it popped out from her eye, after few days again I noticed the same thing on the other eye of the male and the next day the female had it popped out too so now the both puppies are having a cherry eye in their both eyes and I have tried this massaging of a thing, though it worked for the right eye of the female but the rest are still out. what can I do please somebody help! I can't afford a surgery for the two dogs."
[YEA] 12/18/2013: Stephanie from Springfield, Mo replies: "I came home from work today to see that my 3 year old puggle had a, what I found out was, a cherry eye. This website seemed to know what it was talking about, but I'm always questioning if the stuff you read on websites actually work. It was too late to take her to the vet, so I got a warm cloth and put it over her eye adding a little pressure for about one minute. Sure enough, it was gone! I was shocked it was that easy! Thank you all so much!"
[YEA] 02/25/2013: Dbldutch from St Charles, Illinois: "WOW! I am new to the site and a new dog owner. Our 4 month old puppy, Lexi, is a border beagle and things have been going relatively well. She has big brown (Disney style) 'puppy dog' eyes that just make one fall in love. While I've noticed that the whites will often be a bit pink or look irritated, I had run across cherry eye pictures while trying to see if this was normal and she did not have this problem - though beagles apparently are proned to this. Well, today she clearly did have this in her right eye but I was fortunate to come across the posting here! About five minutes of massaging mixed between 15 minutes of squirming and it is gone!!! I did not add any drops, put a compress on it, or 'push it back in' but I did the massage almost immediately after noticing it and it had not progressed very far. Thanks to all who posted. This not only provided me with an alternative, but all the postings gave me the courage to try this on my own."
[YEA] 06/19/2012: Anon from New York, New York: "Luis and Joanne from New York. Thank you all for all the feed back that you guys posted on this website about cherry eye. We have a 7 year old female cocker spaniel. About three months ago, we noticed what appeared to be a red ball bulging from her left eye. We freaked out and took her to the vet. We were told that it was Cherry eye and the only way to fix that problem was surgery. The cost of the surgery was very expensive and we were not able to do it at time.
Anyways, We've been saving for the surgery but today we came upon this website and read all of your posts. We decided to give it a try. We could not believe how helpful they were and especially how much we saved.
We started off by massaging the cherry eye directly with her bottom eye lid in circular motion counter clockwise towards the nose, gently pressing down on the cherry eye until you feel it tucked in or back into place. In other words, keep massaging it until you don't feel anything bulging. It didn't take more than 15 minutes. Once you don't feel the cherry eye bulging, stop and take a quick look at it. If you don't see the cherry eye continue massaging it for another mintute and then just hold it down for five to eight minutes. The results are amazing. The eye is going to be irritated so they are going to scratch it or rub it on the floor. We decided to put a cone around our baby, her name is Lady Molly. Her cherry eye was gone in 15 mintutes. Again, thank you all. We are very satisfied with the results."
08/27/2013: Mary from Puyallup Wa: "I tried the eye lub, ice cube, & massage on lil Amore for her cherry eye, hope it stays in. Hers comes and goes, first time for trying this, thank you."
04/03/2014: Marlene from Pittsburgh, PA: "Hi, we have a 11 week old shicion and she developed a cheery eye about two weeks ago and we can't seem to get the massage to work. Do you think it's too late and do you think we can locate someone in pittsburgh area that might be able to help us? We really want to avoid surgery, which is what the vet recommends when we get her spayed. Can someone please help us?"Replies
04/04/2014: Theresa from Mpls., Mn replies: "Hey Marlene!
In the few experiences I have had with this condition, the gland popped out and I immediately returned it to its place; it did not get red, inflamed, infected -etc. as there was no time for those conditions to arrise. The condition did not recur - but there are some dogs who have this issue recur again and again, and for those dogs surgery is usually indicated.
So is the gland red and inflamed and infected? If its too swollen to be manually replaced into position, then you do need to see your vet to explore your options. Its possible your vet can treat with antibiotics to get the gland back to a healthy state, to where it can be manually pushed back into place, however if this cannot be done your best option might be the surgery - either to tack it back in place, or to remove the gland altogether."
04/13/2011: Theresa from Glendale, Az: "In reference to Shirley with the Cherry Eye which in pervious post I want to know if I could place the Cherry Eye back in place if she is going to be 14 years young and I don't want to damage her eye. Many indiduals as I read here have done it.
I've been reading this website for about 5 years and wish I came across it sooner. My question is should I take her to the veternerian to see if he can do this rather then an operation as I beleive in natural healing
Laverne's sister Gremlin has a cherry eye and it is lite pink no problem and small. Amos had one in each eye never a problem. Like to mention it was this web page that I found out only to late I could have saved my AMos who passed on last year in March.
My retired vet friend said he had swollen glands , then I took him to my vet of 15 years, as I like to say their are 5 veternerians. They took blood and also x rays and really didn't see anything. Gave him medication to help him eat and also to stop having soft bowel movement.
I went to my favorite web page pawhealer.com and Holly made herb for him which did help as when I goggle found out before he passed on that from swolen glands you get lymphoma cancer and he had all the signs.
My vet of 15 years as I had a another veternerian not him didn't really know what was wrong. Even with the mom Gidget as she couldn't walk and was in pain.. I think she had Cancer and mayby Valley Fever.. as I got it 6 years ago n my joints and had the same systoms.
Always goggle on your own to find information. My vet of 15 years is great for operations and one of the holistic vet that was their. Found out that they have 15 arrowhead hospitals out here and one is holistic.
I then went to a retired vet back in practic and he knew that Amos had cancer. If only I looked sooner here I might jave beeen able to save him with the remendy and the herbs.. Even found another web page that delt with cancer. I receive everything and he passed on at home with his brother and sisters in peace. The day before he was sitting in my arms and licking me. He is in a better place now.
Getting back to Laverne I would appreciate if someone can tell me their opinion and if I can do this on my own or go to the veternerian and tell him so he can assist me especially that she is going to be 14 years young.
on another note if you go to pawhealer.com you can see her picture and some of her sisters and brother and dad. You have to go back to the older pictures.
I also give them chinese herbs for cateracts, organic pumpkin for their digestive system and organic apple cider vinegar for the immune system.. been doing this for 7 years the cider..
Thank you for your reply and concern.. good health to all the pets out their.
08/25/2012: Payton from Calgary, Alberta : "Hi I'm Payton from Canada and I'm 11 years old my baby Lola she is A Boston terrier, she has cherry eye, she had it once and I fixed it now it came out again and won't go back in.. Does it grow out? I'm worried for her. I had fixed it before but am failing repeatedly this time. Any suggestions? Get to me ASAP
Thanks _ Payton"
[YEA] 08/09/2013: Mandy from Slc, Utah: "This is what I did for my english bulldog of 9 months. At the first sign of cherry eye I gently rolled her onto her back and just let her stay there with my help for a few minutes. When on her back she usually closes her eyes and relaxes (this is her submission stance). I don't think this had anything to do with it but I did also put one hand above her head (which is her jaw, essentially since she is upside down) and I envisioned her blood circulating better especially on her cherry eye so the swelling would go down. This worked for me. I'm pretty sure it was just because she was upside down and it made her close her eyes and let the cherry go back in without force. At the time she seemed to have fallen asleep for the 3-5 minutes she was upside down on her back. This was over a week ago and it has not come back as of yet... BTW no ice, no drops, nothing else was needed. Hope this can work for other peoples dogs."
[YEA] 01/12/2010: Vicki from Mesquite, Tx: "Hand Manipulation, Ice Packs & Similasan for Cherry Eye
I have a little male Chihuahua/JRT mix dog that looks like a puggle (blocky head, slightly bug eyes). About 3 years ago, when he was around a year old, I went on a trip and he cried the whole 3 days I was gone. He had a cherry eye when I got back. He also suffers from some sort of allergies and they'd been bothering him also.
I couldn't afford a vet & didn't believe it was necessary anyway, so I thought I'd try to work it back in myself. I had some Simalisan redness relief eye drops, so I put a few drops in his eye, then an ice compress for a few minutes. This shrank it down a bit, so I closed his eye and began working the lid around in a tiny circle, pressing in toward the corner where the "cherry" was. I keep my fingernails really, really short, by the way, not even out to the ends of my fingers. If you have long fingernails, they'd need to clipped off to do this because you have to form a little compress "tool" with your thumb and either your first two or first three fingers held all together, depending on the size of the dog's eye or what will contain the "cherry" in the little space between the ends of your fingers.
After a few minutes I could feel it slightly "pop" back in. I pressed on it for a couple of minutes with my thumb, then I put the ice compress back on for a few more minutes, gave him a weight appropriate dose of benedryl liquid and let him go. I put the drops in again a few more times the next couple of days, and an ice pack on whenever it looked like the eye was getting irritated the rest of his allergy season. It's been 3 years and it hasn't popped out again.
I also changed my dogs' food to one that doesn't have any grains in it, because his granny dog has really bad corn allergies and I figured that might be part of the cause of cherry eye in his case (she itches and looses hair)."
10/10/2012: Ray Ray from Gary, Indiana replies: "my cane corso has an cherry eye and it been out for at least 3weeks and I got ointment for her that I bought from the vet and im trying to do the reminy to pop it back in but it wont go in."
[YEA] 12/05/2012: Piper from Toronto, Ontario: "Our puppy developed a small cherry. I tried a few things so I am not sure which worked after a couple of days of giving supplements her cherry eye is gone.
I first checked online and tried massage. I did not have any success with this. I tried applying cold. Not much success with this either.
I checked what the cause of the affliction and it seems to be a deficiency in the connective tissue so I looked to see what would support and encourage the development of connective tissue. I bought a dog food that had glucasamine and chronditin in it. It is an all ages food.
I added salmon oil, glucasamine sulfate and shark cartilage to her food. Salmon oil capsule - snip end and squeeze. Glucasamine sulfate tablets ground with a knife. Shark cartilage caplets powder - just open capsule.
The supplements were all from the human drug store. The salmon oil was really for my cat, but I thought it would help the powder stick to the food and encourage her to eat.
Shark cartilage - I didn't buy but a friend was going to throw away so I thought I would take it. I thought it might help develop her connective tissues."Replies
02/15/2014: Judy from Toronto replies: "Hi my name is Judy I have a shipoo who is 5 years old and he had surgery on one eye - I spent $650 a couple of months later he developed it on the other eye - I could not afford to do another surgery so I left it like that as the vet said if it does not get infected it is ok and I should use "fucithalmic vet eye gel" - I have used it for a week now I am worried I want to use all the info here and try to push it in but I am scared that I could aggrevate it - is there anything else I could do - please someone help me - is there a cheap place in Toronto that I could do the surgery - I would be so grateful if someone could give me advice other than trying to push it in.
02/17/2014: Theresa from Mpls., Mn replies: "Hey Judy!
I have had to deal with the start of cherry eye twice with one dog; he had done some straining while pooping and when he came back into the house the gland was visible in the corner of his eye. I used my thumb to apply pressure under his lower lid and just rolled upward and inward. I didn't touch the gland as I had the skin of the lower eye lid between my finger and the gland.
It was easy, quick and didn't hurt. Try it on your own eye to see what kind of pressure to use on your dog's eye.
That said, and that was the advice you didn't want ;-)
If you don't manually replace the gland and leave it out then you run the risk of the gland becoming dried out, irritated and infected, hence the 'cherry' in cherry eye. You need to keep the eye and gland cleaned and well lubricated - its work as you know.
I cannot help with locating an inexpensive vet - but you might try calling around; vets out in the boonies typically are less expensive than those in the heart of the city. So google vets in your area, make up a list and start calling and ask: have you done the gland tacking [or gland removal if that is what you are after] surgery before? And if yes, how many cases and what success rate have you had? Write the answers as well as the cost of the procedure down and then compare notes to find your cheap but well qualified vet."