French bulldog cherry eye can be spotted when the third eyelid prolapses out. This condition looks like a rosy and oval-shaped protrusion placed in the nasal corner of the eye. The third eyelid is also known as the nictitating membrane which is believed that produces 30% of the total tear film water. Beside, it provides physical protection to the cornea, and helps the tears to distribute over the eyes. Unfortunately, French bulldog cherry eye can occur in one or both eyes, and often affects young puppies.
French bulldog cherry eye- Why does it occur?
Cherry eye in French bulldogs usually occurs due to the weakness of the ligamentous attachments. On the other hand, the trigger can also be found in genetics or inflammation of lymphatic tissue. Cherry eye is often seen in dogs between 6-12 months of age and less frequently occurs in older dogs.
What are the symptoms of a French bulldog cherry eye?
Besides a visible pink lump in the corner of the eye, your dog will also show the following symptoms:
- epiphora (excessive tear production)
- rubbing eye onto the floor
- showing anxious behavior
- Blepharospasm (excessive squinting)
- pawing and scratching
- Inflammed conjunctiva
How to treat it?
In most cases, you can treat cherry eye in French bulldog by massaging the affected place. Of course, you should perform it by using a sterile gauze soaked into natrii chloride or other dog safe eye drops. In relation to other eye issues, the cherry eye in Frenchies usually comes in a mild form and doesn’t require surgery.
However, if it’s not treated in time, the condition may only get worse, so because of that it’s advisable to see a vet. Your vet will prescribe you an antibiotic and anti-inflammatory therapy (eye drops) and should teach you how to massage the eye. If this doesn’t work for your dog, the last stage would be the surgery.
Cherry eye surgery in French bulldogs
French bulldog cherry eye surgery should be performed by a certified vet. Removing the cherry is not advisable because a big part of tear production is found in the third eyelid. Therefore, if it remains removed, your Frenchie may develop a condition called ‘bulldog dry eye’ syndrome.
To fix the prolapsing, a vet will try to return it to a natural and normal position by tying a suture knot of rapidly dissolving material. Unfortunately, in extreme cases of cancer or other severe health issues, the French bulldog cherry eye must be removed.
According to many vets’ opinions, there are high chances that the second eye will prolapse and that up to 20% of surgically repaired cherry eyes might re-prolapse.
How to prevent French bulldog cherry eye?
Like with many other potential health issues in French bulldogs, this one can also be prevented. It’s true that Frenchies are naturally prone to this issue due to their big and protruding eyes, however, a regular massage and eye hydration are some of the tips to follow. Ask your vet to tell you what dog-safe eye drops to use to hydrate your Frenchie’s eyes and pay attention to regular rinsing.