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What is “Cherry Eye” in English bulldogs?

Owning an English bulldog puppy is a dream come true for many who often tell us while visiting our puppies; that they have been wanting a bulldog for years or since they were kids, but wanting a bulldog should include doing the research to confirm that in fact the English bulldog breed is the one for you and your family. While doing such research one will find that a very common issue with bulldogs is called cherry eye; but what is cherry eye?

In simple words cherry eye in English bulldogs is the non medical term used to describe a prolapsed “nictitating membrane” or third eyelid. Basically this third eyelid is a gland that comes out of place and mispositioned, showing as a result a red or pink swollen mass and unfortunately for those of us who love the breed ; this is a common condition found in English bulldogs as well as other brachiocephalic breeds and does not have to do with the quality of the puppy, bloodlines, or breeding practices.

Although the cherry eye may look ugly on your English bulldog puppy it is important for you to know that it does not cause any pain or discomfort to your bulldog puppy. There are two common practices used by bulldog owners as well as veterinarians to resolve this issue. One is performing a small surgery called “the pocket surgery” where the gland of the puppy will be pushed back into place and secured with stitches. The second option is also a small surgery where the gland that popped out of place is easily removed.

You may find controversy among the two different practices. Some say the “pocket surgery” is temporary because in many cases after the surgery is done the gland or cherry eye will eventually pop out again leaving your English bulldog with the same issue as before, making you loose what you have already paid the animal clinic. Some others will tell you that removing the gland is not such a good idea because if performed the wrong way the gland which produces about 35% of the lubricant for the eye will eventually stop working causing what is commonly known as “dry eye”

We at WB English bulldogs based on our experience and the experience of veterinarians we have reached out to in regards to their opinion about cherry eye will rather take the second option where the gland is removed to avoid any future complications. This is a minor surgery but it is important that the veterinarian performing it has enough knowledge about the English bulldog breed conformation to avoid issues such as “dry eye”

For those of you who are in the Dallas, TX area and happen to have a bulldog puppy with cherry eye we will be happy to provide you with advise and veterinarian recommendation where the fees for such surgery will not break the bank. For those of you out of state, we do recommend doing your research on honest and reputable veterinarians or veterinarian clinics familiar and knowledgeable about the English bulldog breed who will not only care for your pet but also provide you with fair pricing.