Cherry eye (prolapsed 3rd eyelid)

Condition where the tear gland in the eye bulges out and becomes swollen

Cherry eye (also known as prolapsed third eyelid or nictitating membrane) can cause a variety of symptoms in pets. Signs may include:

  • Visible red or pink mass in the corner of the eye
  • Swelling or bulging of the affected area
  • Excessive tear production or eye discharge
  • Squinting or rubbing of the eye
  • Irritation or redness in the surrounding eye tissues

Other health conditions may share similar symptoms with cherry eye, including eye infections, Corneal Ulcer, or eyelid tumors.

If you notice any of these signs or have concerns about your pet's health, consult with your veterinarian. Early detection and intervention can improve the chances of successful management and prevent complications.

When you visit your veterinarian for concerns related to cherry eye, the following may occur

  • Medical History: They will take a detailed medical history, including any signs and their duration.
  • Physical examination: The veterinarian will perform a thorough physical examination of your pet's eye, checking for any abnormalities and evaluating the severity of the cherry eye.
  • Diagnostic testing: In most cases, a physical examination is sufficient to diagnose cherry eye. In some cases, additional tests may be recommended to rule out other eye conditions.
  • Treatment options: Treatment options for cherry eye can vary depending on the severity and duration of the condition. It may involve medical management with anti-inflammatory medications or surgical correction.
  • Follow-up care: Your veterinarian will discuss a follow-up plan, which may involve regular monitoring of your pet's condition, additional tests, or adjustments to the treatment regimen.

Your veterinary healthcare team will partner with you to decide which treatment option is best for your pet's and your family’s specific condition and situation.

Unfortunately, there are no known preventive measures to avoid cherry eye in pets. However, there are things you can do to promote overall eye health:

  • Early detection and intervention: Be vigilant in observing any changes in your pet's eyes or overall health. In addition to routine veterinary checkups, seek veterinary attention promptly for evaluation if you notice any changes or abnormalities in your pet's eyes, including excessive tearing, redness, or squinting.

Consult with your veterinarian for personalized advice and guidance on managing cherry eye in your pet.

Please note that the information provided here is not a substitute for professional veterinary advice. If you suspect your pet has cherry eye or any other health concerns, consult your veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Nationwide® pet insurance claim example

Veterinary bill

$1,065

You pay only

$106

Cherry eye (prolapsed 3rd eyelid)

You save

$958

Example reflects Accident & Illness plan with optional Congenital & Hereditary rider as well as the optional Cruciate rider added after the first year of coverage, with unlimited annual limit for each category with 90% reimbursement after the $250 annual deductible has been met. This plan may not be available in all areas. Pre-existing conditions are not covered. Veterinary bill amount is based on expenses incurred in the first 30 days after initial diagnosis.

Nationwide® pet insurance claim example

Veterinary bill

$1,065

You pay only

$106

Cherry eye (prolapsed 3rd eyelid)

You save

$958

Example reflects Accident & Illness plan with optional Congenital & Hereditary rider as well as the optional Cruciate rider added after the first year of coverage, with unlimited annual limit for each category with 90% reimbursement after the $250 annual deductible has been met. This plan may not be available in all areas. Pre-existing conditions are not covered. Veterinary bill amount is based on expenses incurred in the first 30 days after initial diagnosis.

Nationwide® pet insurance claim example

Veterinary bill

$1,065

You pay only

$106

Cherry eye (prolapsed 3rd eyelid)

You save

$958

Example reflects Accident & Illness plan with optional Congenital & Hereditary rider as well as the optional Cruciate rider added after the first year of coverage, with unlimited annual limit for each category with 90% reimbursement after the $250 annual deductible has been met. This plan may not be available in all areas. Pre-existing conditions are not covered. Veterinary bill amount is based on expenses incurred in the first 30 days after initial diagnosis.