Dogs have an additional eyelid called a third eyelid. At its base is a gland that helps keep the eye moist. Sometimes this gland moves out of position and protrudes from behind the eyelid. This pink or red mass sticking out of the dog’s third eyelid can be an alarming sight to a dog owner. Veterinarians call this condition cherry eye or in medical terms, a prolapsed lacrimal tear gland or an eyelid protrusion. The good news is that it is a treatable condition.
When a dog has cherry eye, the protruding pink or red fleshy mass is a visible sign that something is wrong with your pet’s eye. The tissue has an oval shape and usually appears suddenly in the corner of the eye closest to the nose. However, there are other visible symptoms. Before the red mass appears, owners may notice watering or a pus-like discharge from one or both of the dog’s eyes. Most dogs also experience swelling and irritation of the affected eye, and it may appear dry and irritated. Sometimes cherry eye develops in one eye, but it can also develop in both. The mass is sometimes small, barely covering the cornea, which is the clear dome that protects the surface of the eye. However, other dogs may experience a large mass that covers the cornea entirely.
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