What Are The Treatment Options For Cherry Eye And The Average Cost?


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The normal canine eye receives its tear film from two lacrimal (tear-producing) glands. One gland is located above the eye and the other is found within the animal\'s third eyelid. The gland of the third eyelid contributes a significant portion of secretion to the tear film 30-50%. Both of these glands are vital, and if either one is removed, you may end up with a dog that has dry eye when it gets older which can result in a corneal ulceration :( In Boston terriers, bulldogs, cocker spaniels and neapolitan mastiffs and other breeds. But it can happen to any dog (and or cat) the gland of the third eyelid may not be strongly held in place by its ligament. Although it may appear to you that a pet only gets the Cherry Eye now and then, this isn't actually the case. They may have the genetic problem, but you may not always notice it, because the ligament may occasionally pull the gland back into its normal position. The gland will prolapse out again...where you will notice it as a reddened mass. It looks like this because out of its normal position, the gland does not circulate blood properly and swells up and a secondary bacterial infection is possible. The only acceptable treatment of "Cherry Eye" is replacement of the gland in its proper location, and there are two techniques for doing this. Sometimes both surgical techniques are used in the same eye to achieve a good replacement. The traditional tucking/"Tacking" Method is probably most commonly performed. Here, a single stitch is permanently placed drawing the gland back where it belongs. Complications are uncommon but the owner should be aware of the following possibilities:* If the stitch unties, the surface of the eye could become scratched by the suture. If this occurs, the eye will become suddenly painful and the suture thread may be visible. The suture can be removed and the problem solved. * The tuck may not be anchored well enough to hold permanently. In fact, this surgery is notorious for this type of failure and frequently a second tuck is needed. In a newer surgical technique The "Pocket Technique" a wedge of tissue is removed from directly over the actual gland. This technique is more challenging as it is not easy to determine how much tissue to remove. Tiny stitches which will eventually dissolve are used to close the gap so that the tightening of the incision margins pushes the gland back in place. Complications may include:  * Inflammation or swelling as the stitches dissolve.  * Inadequate tightening of the tissue gap may lead to recurrence of the Cherry Eye. * Failure of the stitches to hold and associated discomfort. Loose stitches could injure the eye depending on the type of suture used. Complications from Cherry Eye surgery are unusual. Recurrence of the Cherry Eye after surgery can happen, as noted above, so it is important to let your veterinarian know if it reoccurs, so that a second surgery either with your normal veterinarian or with an ophthalmology specialist can be planned. You can expect some postoperative swelling after Cherry Eye repair but this should resolve and the eye should be comfortable and normal in appearance after about a week.The American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists has a web site which includes an index of veterinary eye specialists. This site may be visited at: www.acvo.com A highly experienced DVM surgeon is desired for ALL and in the Bulldog breeds special requirements are absolutely necessary regarding pre-medicating and administering anesthesia. Cost depends on procedure chosen but expect to pay several hundred dollars in the northeast USA = Pocket Technique; approx $500.00. But depending on the area it can range from several hundred to 1000.00 -. Please Never opt to remove the gland FIRST, because It is an OUTDATED Practice ( Any vet who proposes this is out of touch with current science and you should go elsewhere). Not to mention Inexpensive it is NOT ( just initially it may seem so - A quick and easy Fix Not). Because ultimately there is somewhere around an 80-87% chance the dog will get dry eye down the road and require daily admin of meds for the remainder of it's life 3-4X daily $$$ also corneal ulceration and blindness has been known to occur as a consequence. Of course a dog can get dry eye regardless down the road but why predispose your pet to it's onset unnecessarily!

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