Cherry Eye in Boston Terriers: The Quirky Wink You Didn’t Ask For

Close up Boston Terrier with Cherry eye

Cherry eye might sound like a quirky name from a children’s book, but for Boston Terrier owners, it’s no laughing matter. Picture your pup’s eye sporting a red bump that could easily be mistaken for a misplaced berry — that’s cherry eye for you. It’s actually a prolapsed gland of the third eyelid, and it’s not just a cosmetic issue; it can lead to more serious eye problems if not treated. Boston Terriers, with their unmistakable tuxedo-like coat, are unfortunately one of the breeds that often get tangled up in this sticky situation.

Now, before visions of cherry eye start haunting your dreams, know that you’re not alone. Our buddy, Dr. Diane Hendrix, DVM, DACVO, happens to be a true cherry eye whisperer. She’s dealt with more of these bulging eyes than you could shake a stick at! While Dr. Hendrix won’t be popping out of this article to examine your pooch’s peepers, her smarts on the subject will surely light the way. So, chuckle if you will at the “cherry” moniker, but rest assured, you’re about to get the lowdown on what it means when your Boston’s beautiful eyes start looking a tad more fruity than usual.

So, What Is Cherry Eye In Boston Terriers?

Cherry eye in Boston Terriers occurs when the gland of the third eyelid prolapses, becoming visible as a red, swollen mass in the corner of the eye. This common condition can lead to discomfort and eye issues if untreated, requiring medical or surgical intervention to reposition or remove the affected gland.

Ever noticed your pup’s eye getting a weird red bump like they got their own tiny tomato stuck in there? That, my friend, is what the dog world calls cherry eye. It’s when the gland in their third eyelid – yup, dogs have a third eyelid, surprise! – pops out like it’s trying to see the world too. In technical speak, it’s called prolapsed gland of the third eyelid.

This looks like a pink bump on the inner corner of your dog’s eye.

In Boston Terriers, this cherry eye can be a bit of a party crasher. But, don’t worry, it’s more common than dogs chasing their tails! This problem loves to say ‘hello’ to our flat-faced pooches like the Boston Terrier, Bulldogs, and more. Quite the attention seeker, isn’t it?

Now imagine putting on goggles that don’t fit. That’s what your poor pal’s eye feels like. It’s not the new fashion trend, but a sign that you might need to visit the vet. It looks like a little red bulge, and as much as your doggo might rock the red-eye look, it can bug them after a while.

So, what to do? Your vet can tuck that gland back in! Sometimes, they need to get crafty with surgery to keep that little red bump from making an encore appearance. After all, your dog’s only glam accessory should be their collar, not their eyelids!

Remember, here’s the deal with Boston Terrier and their cherry eyes:

  • Red bump alert: Looks like they’re cornering the market on cuteness, but nope, it’s cherry eye!
  • Quite the crowd: This gland loves a good Boston Terrier party.
  • Fashion faux pas: It can bug your buddy, so keep an eye out.
  • Vet’s the best: A quick visit can help your pal lose the bump.

Keep your peepers peeled for that pesky pop-out in your Boston buddy’s beautiful eyes!

Close up Boston Terrier mix with bilateral cherry eye

Understanding Cherry Eye

When your Boston Terrier gives you those big, round eyes and one seems a bit… off — with a red mass sticking out — it’s likely they’re dealing with what’s known as “cherry eye.” Let’s get a closer look into what this means for your dog and how it affects their peepers!

Defining Cherry Eye

Cherry Eye is a crimson curveball for any dog owner. Imagine your dog’s third eyelid — normally tucked away and out of sight — decided to stand out, literally. The gland of the third eyelid, which usually minds its own business beneath the nictitating membrane, goes rogue. It prolapses, creating a red bulge in the corner of your pup’s eye. Taking its name from its resemblance to a cherry, this condition is not just a cosmetic issue; it can seriously affect the eye health of your adolescent Boston Terrier.

Anatomical Overview

Let’s dive into the anatomical theatrics behind the scenes. Your dog’s eye setup includes a nifty little feature called the third eyelid which houses a pertinent gland. This unsung hero contributes a sizable 35% of your dog’s tear film, crucial for moist, happy eyes. But when this gland pops out of place — a condition known as a prolapse — things can get teary, and not in a good way.

Now, if this third eyelid’s gland — let’s call it the tearful gland for kicks — joins the ocular surface, it’s a game-changer for tear production. Not only can it cause a decrease in tear film, but it can also trigger an uproar in the stability of the tear’s mucin layer. And you know what that means? More dry-eye days and increased lobbying for eye drops.

So, when you’re staring down at a case of cherry eye, it’s not just an aesthetic hiccup for your Boston Terrier; it’s an invitation for him to join the dry-eye club. Keep your eyes peeled for this common issue, protect the tear producing champions, and maintain the sparkle in your dog’s eyes. Remember, a healthy tear film makes for a gleaming, glistening gaze.

Causes and Risk Factors

Cherry eye can be like that annoying guest who shows up uninvited to your party. It’s particularly pesky for your Boston Terrier — and when it comes to the why, think genes and breeds.

Genetic Links

Your pup’s DNA could roll out the red carpet for cherry eye. Research points to a funky gene fling on canine chromosome 18 that boosts the likelihood of this eye issue. It’s a bit like a family heirloom you wish you didn’t inherit. This genetic quirk is linked with connective tissue problems, and it’s not the sort of thing your dog can just shake off.

Common Breeds at Risk

The guest list for cherry eye’s favorite breeds includes some VIPs like our Boston Terriers, Bulldogs, and Bloodhounds. Brachycephalic sweethearts like the Shih Tzu also get a special mention. Other breeds may want to peek in, such as the Beagle and Cocker Spaniel. This condition doesn’t play favorites; it can crash the party for other pooches, including the likes of Rottweilers and Shar Peis. If your dog’s breed is known for a squished, oh-so-adorable face, keep an eye out — cherry eye could be trying to snag an invite.

Signs and Symptoms

close up view of a Boston Terrier mix dog showing clear signs of cherry eye

When your Boston Terrier starts looking like they snagged an extra red eyeball, it might just be the sneaky condition known as cherry eye. Let’s take a quick peek at how you can spot the signs before your pup starts winking at you for all the wrong reasons.

Early Indicators

You’re lounging with your doggo and notice their eye is throwing a red flag – literally. An early sign of cherry eye in your Boston Terrier is when the third eyelid (that’s right, they have a third one) pops out like an unwanted guest. It’s like they’re trying to store a cherry tomato in there for later. But hold the giggles, because it can lead to more serious issues.

  • Redness and swelling: You can’t miss the hallmark puffy, bright red bulge in the corner of the eye.
  • Pawing at the eye: If your pup is fussing with their eye more than they’re fussing with their toys, it’s a clue.
  • Irritation: When they keep giving you that “something’s in my eye” look, they’re not just practicing for puppy drama class.

Associated Conditions

That protruding third eyelid can be the tip of the iceberg. Get ready for the possibility of a few more pesky problems.

  • Conjunctivitis: Red eyes could mean a case of the icky pink eye, and that’s no fun for anyone.
  • Dry eye: When they’re not blinking back tears of joy but because they have keratoconjunctivitis sicca, the fancy term for dry eye.
  • Ocular discharge: Look out for the goopy stuff that might follow suit after cherry eye, which is neither cherry-flavored nor a new eye accessory.

Remember, seeing these signs means it’s vet time, because while cherry eye can be common in cuties like your Boston Terrier or their wrinkly cousins, the Bulldogs, it’s something to take seriously. Plus, no one likes seeing their precious pooch turning into a pirate.

Diagnosis and Professional Care

When your Boston Terrier’s eyes start looking more googly than usual, it’s time to hop on the vet visit train! Tinier than a teacup in a giant’s hand, that eyeball problem called “cherry eye” could be crashing your pup’s style.

Vet Consultation

You march into the vet’s office, your Boston Terrier in tow, ready to play detective on this eye mystery. The vet will take the lead — think Sherlock Holmes but with a stethoscope — conducting a thorough evaluation of your pooch’s peepers. They’ll check for the usual suspects like ulcers or glaucoma, and age might give them some clues. Imagine the vet’s light as a spotlight on a stage, with the cornea as the star of the show!

Ophthalmologist’s Role

Now, if things are looking as tricky as a crossword puzzle on a Monday morning, your vet might refer you to a veterinary ophthalmologist. These are like the Jedi Masters of eye problems. They’ll dive deeper, using all sorts of cool gadgets to see if that cherry eye is just the tip of the iceberg or the whole sundae. It’s top-notch care that might have your pup wearing those cone collars, which, let’s be honest, is both a fashion statement and a snack deterrent.

Treatment Options

When your Boston Terrier has that signature pop of red in their eye, known as cherry eye, you want the best treatment to get those puppy eyes back to normal. Let’s talk about how you can tackle this unsightly issue.

Medicinal Treatments

Got a case of the early-stage cherry eye? Don’t freak out! Some simple meds might just do the trick. Your vet might prescribe a combo of antibiotic and steroid eye drops that you’ll need to squeeze in four times a day for about a week. And no, this isn’t the time to skimp and save – make sure there’s no ulcer first. If you’re lucky, these drops along with some good ol’ artificial tears will calm down the inflamed tissue and get your terrier tearing up (in a good way) again. But remember, just like that TV show you binged last weekend, good things take time. Keep at it for the full course.

Surgical Interventions

If the meds are a no-go, surgical options for cherry eye might be your buddy’s next adventure. There’s the tucking method, where the vets play a game of hide and seek with the gland, tucking it back into place. Or the imbrication method, which is like giving the eye a snug blanket stitch to keep that gland from popping out.

The real superstar, though, is the modified Morgan pocket technique — a fancy way to create a new pocket for the gland without stopping those tears from doing their job. Risks? Sure, there are a few. Think of it like a tiny eye heist — things can go awry. But the prognosis? Generally good, especially if your pup sports one of those trendy E-collars and rocks post-surgery recovery like a champ.

Remember, these surgeries are not an express lane to recovery. There will be some healing time needed, and your vet will want to see your dog back for a victory lap — or, you know, a check-up.

Aftercare and Recovery

After that pesky cherry eye has been tucked back where it belongs, it’s time to ensure your Boston Terrier’s peepers stay in tip-top shape. Your furball’s recovery hinges on nailing the aftercare routine.

Post-Surgery Care

First things first: Expect a bit of postoperative swelling. It’s as typical as squirrels driving dogs bonkers. Your vet might suggest an Elizabethan collar to stop your Boston from pawing at its eye. Yes, it looks like a satellite dish, but it’s so your buddy doesn’t undo the vet’s handiwork.

You’ll be getting up close and personal with antibiotic drops. Drip, drip, directly into Fido’s eye to fend off germy invaders. Make sure to follow the vet’s blueprint to a T.

  • Elizabethan Collar: Absolutely non-negotiable — wear at all times
  • Swelling: Normal, but chat with your vet if it seems more ‘balloon’ than ‘puff’
  • Antibiotic Drops: Keep ’em coming as directed
  • Lubrication: Dry eyes are a no-go; administer vet-recommended drops to maintain a healthy tear film

Monitoring Eye Health

Keep your eyeballs on your Boston’s eyeballs. Post-surgery, that plucky tear film needs to stay glistening. Lubrication’s key here — think of it as a spa treatment for your pup’s peepers.

Should old cherry eye come a-knockin’ again, don’t stress. Recurrence can happen, but it’s like getting the last muffin at the coffee shop — not super likely, but possible.

Keep a stash of tried-and-true home remedies handy for dry eyes, but only those approved by the vet.

  • Check Daily: For unusual redness or if pooch seems so over it
  • Elizabethan Collar: Keep it on. Yes, still.
  • Tear Film Spa: Lubricate as prescribed to avoid a scratchy sequel

Remember, a smooth recovery means sticking to the game plan and keeping things mellow. Your Boston will be back to chasing pigeons in no time!

Preventing Cherry Eye

Get this: Cherry eye might sound like a funky new snack, but for Boston Terriers, it’s a bit of an eye-opener — literally! The good news is, keeping those peepers in check might not involve a secret agent, but it does need some smart moves on your part.

Breeding Recommendations

Think matchmaking, but for pups. Cherry eye can be like the unwanted heirloom that keeps being passed down in the family — it’s got a genetics vibe. So, when you’re playing Cupid for dogs:

  • Aim for pooches with the sturdiest tissue fibers in their eyelids.
  • Check the fam history — no repeats of cherry eye if you can help it.
  • Gaze into those puppy dog eyes — well, their parents’ — for a cherry-free zone.

Proactive Measures

You can put on your superhero cape for your Boston Terrier by doing the daily drill of eyeballing their eyes for any weirdness. If allergies are the villain, keep those allergens at bay like it’s a game of dodgeball. And hey, if cherry eye does pop up, don’t let it make a comeback — recurrence can be a real party pooper.

Here are the deets for prevention:

  • Daily eye checks: If it’s looking weirder than your aunt’s casserole, time for a checkup.
  • Sniff out allergies: Defend your four-legged buddy from sneezy triggers like pollen or that mystery perfume.
  • No roughhousing with your pup’s face — those eyes are more precious than the last slice of pizza.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Hey there Boston Terrier buddies! Let’s tackle those eye-popping questions about your furry pal’s peepers and that pesky thing called cherry eye.

What’s up with my Boston Terrier’s wacky eye? Could it be cherry eye?

If your Boston Terrier’s eye is looking more tomato than terrier, it could indeed be cherry eye. This is when the gland in their third eyelid pops out. It looks as red and round as — you guessed it — a cherry!

How can I fix my Boston Terriers cherry naturally at home?

Sorry to burst your bubble, but home remedies or DIY hack won’t fix cherry eye. You’ll need to visit the vet, as they’re the pros at tucking that unruly gland back where it belongs.

Is cherry eye surgery for dogs expensive?

Generally, the cost can range from $300 to $800 per eye. It’s important to note that these prices may not include additional costs for pre-surgical exams, anesthesia, post-surgical medications, and follow-up visits, which could increase the overall expense. For the most accurate and current pricing, it’s best to consult directly with a veterinary clinic or a specialist in your area.

While not as cheap as your morning coffee, cherry eye surgery isn’t usually as steep as the latest gaming console. It’s an investment in your pup’s health, so start saving those coins just in case.

Is cherry eye a common health issue in Boston Terriers?

Well, cherry eye does throw a party in the Boston Terrier world more often than we’d like. They’re one of the breeds that often get VIP invitations to this not-so-fun bash.

What are the signs that my Boston Terrier might be giving me the ‘cherry eye’ stare?

Keep an eye out for redness and swelling — it’ll look like they’ve got a tiny tomato in the corner of their eye. Also, watch for any pawing they might do at their face; it’s their version of saying, “Hey, this doesn’t feel right!”

Will my dog’s cherry eye go away on its own?

Unfortunately, cherry eye is like that one guest who overstays their welcome. It won’t just vanish into thin air. You and your vet need to show it the door with proper treatment.

Final Thoughts

Hey there, dog lover! So, you’ve got a Boston Terrier with a bit of an eye decor, huh? That pesky cherry eye isn’t the cutest accessory. But don’t fret; you’re not alone, and your dog isn’t doomed to a life of awkward winks.

First off, let’s get some facts straight:

  • Cherry eye happens when the gland in the third eyelid pops out. Think of it as an uninvited party crasher.
  • No, it’s not just your dog trying to start a new fashion trend.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Keep an eye on the eye. If it looks irritated or red, it’s vet time.
  2. Don’t go DIY. Pushing the gland back in yourself could make things worse.

Remember, it might look scary, but it’s manageable. Treatment options are just a vet visit away, and they’re usually super successful. So keep those spirits high and those tails wagging!

Alright, brave Boston parents, take a deep breath. Your pooch’s peepers can get back to normal with a little help. They’ll be back to giving you those puppy dog eyes in no time. Stay optimistic, stay informed, and give your pup an extra treat for me, will ya?

Source :

Dr. Sara Kim, DVM

Dr. Sarah Kim combines her veterinary expertise with her passion for Boston Terriers in a warm, engaging manner. Alongside her own Boston Terrier, she offers heartfelt advice and insights drawn from personal experience. In her book, she welcomes readers into the Boston Terrier Hub world, sharing her professional knowledge with the warmth of a friend to both pets and their owners.

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