Cherry eye is by definition a prolapse of the gland of the 3rd eyelid, which is also referred to as the Nictitans or Lacrimal (tear) gland. Some refer to this gland as the “Haws.”
When the gland of the third eyelid pops out of position, it protrudes from the inner corner of the eye and looks like a pinkish-red colored mass. This prolapsed tear gland, also called the Lacrimal or Nictitans Gland is commonly called “cherry eye”. This condition can affect one or both eyes and is usually seen in young dogs, including Cocker Spaniels, Lhasa Apso’s, Shih-Tzu’s, Poodles, Beagles, and Bulldogs. Occasionally certain cat breeds including Burmese, may be affected.
Despite its appearance, cherry eye itself is not painful. However, the longer the tear gland is exposed, the more likely it is that it can become irritated and inflamed. If your dog rubs at his or her eye(s), the gland can bleed or become infected. Furthermore, the function of the tear gland, which is to produce tears, can become compromised if it is exposed for long periods of time.
The gland of the third eyelid plays an important role in maintaining normal tear production, and makes nearly half of the eyes tears. Dogs that have had the tear gland removed are predisposed to developing Dry Eye, referred to by vets as Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca later in life. Dry Eye is uncomfortable for pets, and requires the owner to give pricey topical eye medications several times a day for the remainder of the dogs life. Dry eye often leads to corneal ulcers, which are very painful for pets and costly for owners to treat.
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Chagrin Falls, Ohio- February 6, 2009- Our pets can enjoy the benefits of good dental health through routine brushing and visits to the veterinary dentist. Like us, pets suffer from gingivitis, loose teeth and other oral problems. Unlike us though, a lack of dental care in our pets could easily become a life or death situation!
Over 80% of pets older than three years develop some form of dental disease. Sadly, a good percentage of these pets will go on to acquire more serious illnesses, like heart problems or bone infections that shorten their lives. Others end up in animal shelters for the fact that, unknown to the owners, the pain of dental disease can cause aggressive behavior. These animals are often considered unadoptable and ultimately euthanized.
Fortunately, there is good news! Veterinary dentists are available with the needed expertise and advanced equipment to help many pets who might otherwise lead a much shortened life. Digital x-rays, root canals, and even oral surgery are now accessible across the country. The work of these pet dentists is saving lives and lessening pain in millions of our four-legged family members. Shelter employees might now have an answer to a dog’s aggressive behavior and some euthanasias could even be avoided.
But what’s even better is that proactive pet owners are helping to reduce the possibility that their pets will ever need the services of a veterinary dentist. By discussing proper at home dental care with their family veterinarian, owners are now using a combination of brushing, dental diets, and even chew toys and treats to keep their pets’ smiles as healthy as possible. A barrier sealant for pets is available to help discourage the development of plaque and it only takes about a minute every week to apply!
To learn more about exciting new advances in pet dental health care, visit www.carolonpets.com for more information. Veterinarian and author, Dr. Carol Osborne, DVM is available for pet health questions and consultations for dogs and cats Toll Free at 1-866-372-2765.
Cleaning your pet’s teeth is a great way to save yourself from smelling horrendous pet breath. But, dental cleanings also save some pets from serious heart disease and occasionally, you might hear how dental procedures saved a pet’s life!
Smokey did not feel well. The young Golden Retriever mix missed her family and was completely confused by her surroundings. Smokey had never been confined in a cage, nor had she ever been somewhere with such strange smells and noisy neighbors. On top of everything, her mouth hurt terribly!
At this city shelter, the staff realized Smokey’s attitude was not normal for her breed. Investigating, they found the crowns of her four canine teeth had been literally cut off at the gum line! Known as crown amputation, some people have used this practice as a means to disarm a dog’s primary defense mechanism of biting. Without large canine teeth, the severity of bite wounds is supposedly reduced. But, the use of bolt cutters or wire snips to cut the teeth at the gum line and the lack of anesthetics or sterile technique often leads to major complications. Veterinary organizations, including the American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC) have expressed serious concern with this painful practice.
These dogs are so painful and prone to nipping (as a compensation mechanism) that shelters will often euthanize these dogs without seeking medical care. For Smokey, her condition became a life or death situation!
Fortunately, a Golden Retriever Rescue heard of Smokey’s plight and sought to find a solution that would not only save her life, but free her from pain as well.
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