Prolapse of the Lacrimal Gland of the Third Eyelid (“Cherry Eye”)

“Cherry Eye” is relatively commonly encountered. Glandular prolapse arises as a result of defective connective tissue development and consequent glandular laxity in predisposed breeds. Partial or complete prolapse of the lacrimal gland of the third eyelid, presenting as a smooth pink to red tissue mass, which protrudes from the posterior surface of one or both third eyelids. Third eyelid gland prolapse typically affects young animals. Associated symptoms may include conjunctivitis, ocular discharge and /or decreased lacrimometic function as well as secondary ulcerative keratitis. Severe secondary inflammation and or bacterial infection may develop, particularly in cases of chronic glandular prolapse. Commonly affected canine breeds include the English Bulldog, Cocker Spaniel & Shih Tzu. This condition may also affect feline patients, with the Burmese being most frequently noted.