Hmm...did some research...and can only find where they say it CAN be genetic. Guess they don't know for sure? Anyhow, here ya go: When the gland of the 3rd eyelid becomes inflamed, swollen, and protrudes from the lower lid, the condition is known as glandular hypertrophy. It is often referred to as "cherry eye" due to its resemblance to the fruit. It can occur in one or both eyes and usually occurs in dogs under one year of age. It can be quite frightening to a pet owner when seen for the first time. There are many breeds that are predisposed to "cherry eye," most notably the Cocker Spaniel and Boston Terrier. However, even the larger breeds, including the mastiffs, are not exempt from the defect. "Cherry eye," though often associated with irritation to the 3rd eyelid, can have a genetic factor as well, as evident by some breeds displaying it more often than others. There are three treatment choices: 1.) leave it alone and hope it falls back into place after the irritation has passed; 2.) remove the gland; and 3.) surgically reposition the gland and tack it down. The third choice is the newest and best procedure to try initially. It is called the "imbrication technique" but in layman terms is the "pocket procedure." A pocket is cut in the 3rd eyelid and the gland pushed into it. This is then sutured to close the pocket and keep the gland in place. Sometimes, the gland breaks back through, and removal of the gland then becomes the only other option.
Thanks a lot Bullyluv. I was having a disscussion with another breeder about the topic. I myself believe it to be mostly likely genetic. For the reason stated above, some breeds are predisposed to it or it appears more often. In certain breeds, but it could also be the way that breeds eye is made up? But it can be seen to appear more in certain lines so that points to genes for me. I've never seen a Pit Bull with cherry eyes ever. Its probably possible for any breed to come down with it. But another breeder (not the same one I was talking to) has a female that has one cherry eye. So thats how we started talking about it. The dogs it is bred down from (5+ gens back) don't/didn't have it. But I still believe it can be genetic, a recessive trait and even though it can be genetic I also believe that it won't always be. Kind of confusing huh? A dog that doesn't have it as a genetic disorder can still get it due to environment & the eye itself. Maybe even a problem that occured during/before birth. Thanks for all the info:)
It can be genetic-only in the regards that some breeds are predisposed due to the breed generally having large eyeballs. You guys are right as to the Bostons and Cocker Spaniels. It most generally takes an injury or infection to cause the Cherry Eye...which is why you don't see it all that often in some breeds but any pooch CAN get one. Sometimes it will get it's start when the dog is a puppy from playing with its litter mates (i.e. scratching of the eyes/tear ducts). It will then progressively get worse over time (if it is truly injury related). If it is infection related, Scout1--from another thread, is right it should probably be removed. That and it can be an eyesore (pardon the pun) to the owner.
RE: the cherry eye, I have a Boston Terrier, now 4 months old. He got the cherry eye at about 3mos. I had it surgically fixed. The vet tucked it back in. So far so good, some green goup comes out and it is alittle irritated still. But I am so glad I had it done, it was to a point where it was bleeding!
Ok, so I tried unsuccessfully to find my Cerf book, so I went over to a friends and looked it up. Now admittedly this is an edition from either 2000 or 01, and things may have changed. Cerf states for Cocker Spaniels, American that the mechanism of in heritance for a prolapsed gland is unknown, and that breeding is breeders choice.
I have a Weimarainer who is now 5 years old and has had Cherry eye in BOTH eyes at one point when he was around one year old. The right eye healed by itself but the left eye continued to be a problem. I took him to one of the best animal hospitals in the country and during the first surgery they tried to stitch the gland back down into the third eyelid. This did not work at all. When I picked him up after the surgery the gland was still protruding which I thought was very strange but the vet told me it was due to swelling and it would go down. It never did. So, I put him through a second surgery where they tacked down the gland to a bone in his face, not a pleasant surgery for either my poor dog or myself. Needless to say, it didn't work...now that he is 5 I found out that it is extremely painful and am now considering after a recent vet visit to have the gland removed. After speaking to his new vet he advised me that this should have been done in the first place as most cases of Cherry eye will return. Had I known this in the beginning I would have put him through just ONE surgery and obviously reduced the pain he has been going through for 4 years. In the end it cost thousands and the best solution in the beginning would have been to remove it....