Cherry Eye in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs can be seen when the third eyelid (i.e. nicotinic gland) prolapses out showing a rosy oval shaped protrusion. Your French Bulldogs Puppies ,English Bulldogs Puppies and American Bulldog Puppies have three eyelids, the typical top and bottom and a third passive one shaped as a pink membrane originating from the nasal corner of the eye. The Cherry Eye medical term is “nicotinic membrane” and is designed to physically protect the cornea by acting as a windshield wiper, helping distribute the tears over the eye. Your bulldog puppy third eyelid also contains lymphoid tissue, suggesting immune protection of the eye.
Cherry Eye in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs is more common in young bulldogs and french bulldog puppies and is usually due to weakness of the ligamentous attachments. Cherry Eye in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs cause is not always known (i.e. idiopathic), possibly heritable, and sometime due to environmental conditions causing inflammation (swelling) of the lymphatic tissue. Other common eye and eyelid problems in bulldogs and french bulldog puppies are entropion and Distichiasis .
Cherry Eye in Bulldogs and French Bulldog puppies can often be massaged back in to place. In contrast to most eye problems, cherry eye in bulldogs in its mild form is usually a non-emergency. Nevertheless, seek veterinary advice for your bulldog puppy cherry eye as soon as you can, especially if it’s getting worse and/or with any signs of discomfort.
Cherry Eye medical management in Bulldogs and French Bulldog puppies includes ophthalmic anti-inflammatory with antibiotics. Massaging the gland back in can be attempted, however this maneuver rarely helps, thus surgical correction is recommended.
Dr. Kraemer’s Cherry Eye in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs Tip #1: (DrKraemers.com) To prevent unintended suture injury to the cornea, I prefer rapidly dissolving suture material.
Dr. Kraemer’s Cherry Eye in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs Tip #2: (Vet4HealthyPet.com) The suture knot should always be placed on the outside surface of the third eyelid membrane so to avoid contact with the cornea. Any corneal contact with the suture material can lead to abrasions (cornea ulcers).
Dr. Kraemer’s Cherry Eye in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs Tip #3: (StemCell4Pet.com) In many bulldogs and French Bulldog puppies only one side prolapse, yet often the other cherry eye prolapse soon after. To prevent the other gland from prolapsing, the unaffected gland may be also repaired by forming a cut on each side and suturing both ends together to create an extra layer of scar tissue over the gland.
Dr. Kraemer’s Cherry Eye in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs Warning #1: In many French Bulldog puppies and English bulldogs there’s a good chance that the opposite eye will also “cherry”.
Dr. Kraemer’s Cherry Eye in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs Warning #2: Up to 20% or surgically repaired cherry eyes might re-prolapse.
Dr. Kraemer’s Cherry Eye in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs Warning #3: Cherry Eye Surgery in bulldogs is more likely to be successful if it’s done soon after the gland prolapses. With time, the prolonged chronic swelling of the gland can make the surgical re-positioning more difficult, thus increasing the chance for recurrence.
Dr. Kraemer’s Cherry Eye in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs Warning #3: I don’t recommend using thick suture material. I used very thin and rapid absorbing suture
Dr. Kraemer’s Cherry Eye in Bulldogs and French Bulldog Warning #4: Most Important, as much as 40% of your bulldog’s total tear production is situated in the third eyelid (the “cherry” origin) , therefore the surgical repair must include the preservation of the “cherry”. Removal of the “cherry” will deplete you bulldog tear production, and increase the chances of developing an eye condition called “bulldog dry eye”, the medical term to this serious eye condition is Keratoconjunctivitis Sica (KCS) .
Dr. Kraemer’s Cherry Eye in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs Warning #5: Removal of the “cherry” is strictly reserved for rare cases of cancer and trauma.
Dr. Kraemer’s Cherry Eye in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs Warning #6: If post operatively your bulldog appears in pain blinking with his or her eye half shot, please see your vet as soon as possible. The chances are that the suture material or knot are rubbing agains the cornea and forming a corneal ulcer