Cat Cherry Eye
Cat Cherry Eye
Signs and Symptoms
The term cherry eye is most often used to describe a prolapsed gland that is in a cat’s third eyelid. It can take place in one or in both eyes at the same time. It is not a common occurrence for cats, but it does happen and is generally linked to an inherited trait. Some breeds of cats are more prone to it than others, with the Bombay cats being the most prone to Cherry eye in many cases than any other breed of cat.
In dogs the case of cherry eye is more common and may be very significantly displayed so that the gland is really predominantly displayed when the dog is facing you. Your vet will be able to tell you if the problem is cherry eye or is an inflammation or a foreign body in the eye as these sometimes mimic cherry eye.
Causes of Cherry Eye
In many cases the cause of cherry eye can’t be pinpointed but the underlying causes may be these:
- A weakness of the attachment ligament in the gland of the eyelid is generally believed to be the most common causative factor.
- A predisposition to cherry eye or the weakness that causes it can be heredity.
- An inflammation may cause the gland to prolapse and may actually cause blindness, such as Cat Pink Eye
- An idiopathic cause–or to state it more clearly, no one knows or understands the reason for the prolapse that has taken place.
Symptoms of Cherry eye in cats
A reddened mass that comes out of the eye on the side of the eye toward the nose.
Thick fluid discharge coming from the eye.
Redness or inflammation in the eye or the conjunctiva of the eye.
Diagnosis and treatment
Your veterinarian will diagnose the cherry eye by his or her inspection of the eye and the surrounding tissue. Treatment will quite likely be surgical in nature, but if the cherry eye is caused by an inflammation the inflammation may be treated first to see if it treats the cherry eye condition.
It used to be in past days that the gland was just removed in a surgical intervention to cure the case of Cherry Eye. This is not often done these days as the surgery caused the pet to require eye drops from that day on. In many cases now, although surgery is still required to heal the condition in about half of all cases, the surgery is not done to remove the gland.
As more people are aware of the need for the glands and their overall use today the surgical removal of the gland is a last ditch effort. In most cases the gland is brought back to the normal position and then surgically attached. Eye drops and anti-inflammatory drugs are used to assure that the surgery is a success.