We all love our pups dearly, and it can be deeply upsetting to learn that there is something wrong with our companion. Unfortunately, French Bulldogs are susceptible to a large variety of health problems, particularly in the eyes and face resulting in french bulldog cherry eye.
If you happen to notice a small mass about the size of a cherry protruding from the eye of your French Bulldog, this is likely a result of an affliction known as Cherry Eye.
The exact cause of Cherry Eye is still unknown, but it is suspected to be caused by either genetics or environmental factors. Thankfully, Cherry Eye is not a life-threatening condition, and veterinarians can usually treat the condition, as well.
What is Cherry Eye?
Cherry Eye is a very common occurrence in brachycephalic breeds (dog breeds whose skulls are longer and flatter than is considered healthy). This is because their eyes are generally large and protruding, allowing them to collect a variety of allergens from the air.
Cherry Eye is caused by a prolapse in the gland of your French Bulldog’s eyelid. While humans only have two eyelids, most dogs have three eyelids to provide more protection from the elements.
Unfortunately, in Frenchies, this eyelid may pop out, producing the extremely irritating and uncomfortable condition known as Cherry Eye. This condition can occur in only one of your French Bulldog’s eyes, or it can even occur in both.
While we still don’t know exactly what causes Cherry Eye, many people believe it is congenital. When buying a French Bulldog, you should consult with the breeder about whether or not the parents of your puppy have suffered from Cherry Eye in the past.
Cherry Eye typically occurs in younger French Bulldogs, and it is most likely to occur in dogs who are no older than two years old.
What are the Associated Symptoms of Cherry Eye?
While Cherry Eye is extremely uncomfortable, one bonus is that it is not at all hard to discover and diagnose. Because it is so irritating, your Frenchie will immediately begin pawing and itching at the affected area.
However, this can damage the eye’s connective tissue, and as such, you should take care to treat the condition right away. If you live in a particularly dry area, your dog will likely be more susceptible to itching, as well.
The affected area will also be visibly red and irritated, as well as swollen. Your Frenchie will likely squint and produce an excessive amount of tears or discharge.
The size of your dog’s Cherry Eye can vary. In some cases, the affected area will be extremely large, covering a big area of the dog’s cornea.
In other cases, however, the prolapsed eyelid can be very small, and it might not be visible at all times.
If you notice your dog frequently rubbing and itching the same area of its eyes, take a careful look at the affected area to determine whether or not it might be Cherry Eye.
How Worried Should You Be?
Although extremely uncomfortable, Cherry Eye is not a fatal condition, and you shouldn’t worry too much. However, you should never leave this condition to fester.
Firstly, it causes a great deal of discomfort and irritation to your poor dog. Secondly, if left alone, Cherry Eye can lead to eye infections, which are painful and harder to treat.
While you shouldn’t panic if you notice that your Frenchie has Cherry Eye, it is an issue that should be resolved as soon as possible.
How Do You Treat Cherry Eye?
Watching your beloved pet itching and whining in pain can be heartbreaking, especially if you have no idea how to treat the problem. Thankfully, there are a variety of possible treatments that your veterinarian can employ to get rid of Cherry Eye.
These techniques may be surgical or non-surgical, and in some cases, your vet may use a combination of both.
One non-surgical method includes a special massage technique that can gently move the protruding gland back where it belongs. This is not something you can do on your own, however, and your veterinarian will have to monitor closely to make sure it doesn’t come back.
Another non-surgical option is to use Antimicrobial Ophthalmic Gel, which, when applied topically, can greatly reduce the uncomfortable symptoms of Cherry Eye.
If you are nervous about taking your dog to surgery, or if you are waiting for your surgical date, this can be a gentle way to at least alleviate some of your dog’s pain.
In some cases, your dog may undergo a surgical process known as an attachment procedure. During the surgery, the protruding eyelid will be attached to a strong piece of fleshy membrane before it is moved back into place.
Sometimes, even this surgical method may be unsuccessful, which can lead to chronic Cherry Eye. At this point, your veterinarian may discuss the option of removing your dog’s third eyelid altogether.
While it is not ideal to remove this third eyelid, it can save your dog a lot of pain and discomfort in the future.
How to Prevent Cherry Eye
While you can’t always avoid Cherry Eye, there are some steps you can take to try and lessen the chance of it occurring. If you live in a dry area, investing in a humidifier can keep your dog’s eyes moist, making them less likely to develop the condition.
Regular and gentle eye massages around the eyes can also help to prevent this issue. By using a warm cloth and eye drops specifically meant for dogs, you can create a regular massage routine that will help to keep your dog healthy.
With the proper treatment, your French Bulldog will likely be perfectly healthy once again after a few weeks. However, it is important to note that approximately 20% of French Bulldogs do experience a relapse of Cherry Eye, which may result in additional surgery.
Furthermore, if your dog’s third eyelid prolapses in one eye, the chances of a prolapse occurring in the other eye rise significantly.
Overall, Cherry Eye is a common affliction in French Bulldogs, and while we can do our best to prevent it, it can still occur. However, there’s no need to worry too much; treatments exist which can help your dog return to its happy and healthy self in a matter of weeks.
other useful sources skin care for Frenchies.