The owner of this young bull terrier has asked you to snip out this ‘cherry eye’ under local anaesthetic – that’s what she’s always had done before with other puppies. Is that an acceptable therapeutic option and if not what should be done?
This is the prolapsed gland of the third eyelid or nictitatns gland which accounts for about 25-30% of the aqueous tear production in the eye ( Saito A et al The effect of third eyelid gland removal on the ocular surface of dogs.Vet Ophthalmol. 2001 4:13-8). Removing the gland may predispose to keratoconjunctivitis in the future. Replacement of the gland can be acheieved by the orbital rim anchoring techinque of Kaswan (Surgical correction of third eyelid prolapse in dogs. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1985 186:83) or the mucosal pocket technique reported by Morgan (Prolapse of the gland of the third eyelid in dogs: a retorspective study of 89 cases (1980 to 1990). J Am Anim Hosp Assoc 1993 29:56-60).