Last Modified on Aug 22, 2015
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!
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[YEA] Thank You so much. My little coton de tulear developed a cherry eye during the night, I took the advice from this site regarding the Ice and massage and I can't believe after half an hour of using the ice and massaging the big bubble has gone!!! x
[YEA] Hello , my name is Tasha, I am a white shitzu cross, I would like to thank you for the advice you have given for cherry eye, I am a little tired of mum messing with it, I don't like going to the doctors and don't need an operation, the eye drops are so soothing, and now I don't run into every thing, with the ointment she was giving me, I nearly zonked out the last time I walked into something hard, well thanks again folks and keep up the good work.
Best wishes from Tasha
Replied by Daphne
[YEA] 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!!!
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Vilseck, Bavaria, Germany
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Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey
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[YEA] 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!
Replied by Sam
Alpharetta, Georgia, United States
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St. George, Utah
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Baton Rouge, La
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[YEA] This was so easy. My 3-year-old puggle suddenly had a protruding swelling in the corner of her eye, so I Googled "dog swelling corner eye" and arrived at this site. I didn't have eye drops in the house, so I just wet a towel with warm water and held it to her eye for a minute while massaging, and voila! The swelling was gone. Thanks everyone!
[YEA] 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] 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.
Replied by Lisa
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Lake City, Fl
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.
[YEA] 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] 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).
Replied by Ray Ray
[YEA] 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.
Replied by Judy