Cherry Eye Treatment – Home Remedy For Dogs

So I wake up one morning and to my surprise my own little rescue puppy from the South, “Dixie”, is greeting me with the signature pink bulging bump from the corner of her eye known as cherry eye.

So what is cherry eye anyway?  Technically, it refers to the prolapse of the nictitating membrane of the third eyelid.  This gland is responsible for about 30% of the dog’s tear production.

Cherry eye is known to be more common in certain breeds and certainly seems to be at least a partially hereditary condition.  It is claimed that the prolapse occurs because of weaker connective tissue around the gland.

Left untreated, cherry eye can cause chronic irritation of the eye and remain as an unsightly red bulge in the corner of the eye.

The usual treatment is surgery, which I have assisted with a handful of times while I worked as a veterinary technician.  Success rate and cost of surgery will vary depending on the veterinarian performing the procedure.

When confronted with the issue myself, I thought if it popped out it must be able to pop back in, and after a little research it seems that others have also managed to massage their dogs’ cherry eyes back into place.  Most recommend using some kind of an eye lubricant.  Since I caught my dog’s cherry eye early and her gland and eye was still very moist – I did the technique without lubricant thinking that the lubricant might also make it pop back out easier.  So, if I was able to get it back in easy without the foreign lubricant I did, since the tears of the eye does act as a natural lubricant.

Researching that the best known reason as to why cherry eye occurs is because of weakened connective tissue around the gland, I immediately placed Dixie on a supplement that is designed to support the connective tissue of joints – which I figured couldn’t hurt in supporting any of the body’s connective tissue.

The result: Within 4 days I had to massage the cherry eye back in 3 times.  I also massaged for a few days afterwards just to seal the deal.  I placed her on Agility supplement, and 7 weeks later still no sign of cherry eye and her eyes look good as new!  You can see the video below of the last time I massaged in the cherry eye.  Remember I am not a veterinarian and there are risks to doing this yourself, including damaging the cartilage around the eye.  Consider this post an alternative and something best discussed with your veterinarian.  Would be interested in any feedback from others who have had success with a similar plan.

116 thoughts on “Cherry Eye Treatment – Home Remedy For Dogs

  1. Thank you!! I felt so bad for our 9 month old Boston. My boyfriend just massaged our babies eye for a minute and it went back in. Amazing! We were about to cancel each others Christmas presents to pay the vet bill!.

  2. Fantastic advice, and thank you sooooo very much! My little yorkie/maltese mix woke one morning with cherry eye and after a quick visit to the vet to find out what we were dealing with, the only option I was given was surgery. Not wnting to put him through delicate and needless surgery, I searched the web for a information and bumped into your site. Again, fantastic info! It works every time. I will try to find the supplements you referenced.

  3. Thank you very much my vet said my boy needed surgery but I can’t afford it now so this was a huge help!!!!

  4. Thank You my dalmatian has cherry eye and I couldn’t get a straight answer from anyone even 3 different vets I went too. She has had it for a year is that too late, it’s pretty red and pertruding. But it does look horrible and a lot of goop collects there, so I am always cleaning out. It seems to be moist not dry. So I will go home tonight and try it. Thank You

  5. Approx 9 months ago, my Pug X JRT had a cherry eye and was due for surgery, but the cherry seemed to right itself beforehand. I opted not to go ahead with surgery and was advised that it would return. This evening it did. I watched your video and tried your technique, very gently. The cherry did indeed pop back in. I will keep an eye on it and seek veterinary advice should it reappear. Thanks for the advice in the video and write-up.
    Just want to reitterate that the massaging I did was ‘very gentle’, keeping in mind that my actions could possibly cause further damage.

  6. Thanks you so much. I came home today and my beagle puppy had a cherry eye and I ended up finding this. It popped back in after a minute of massaging. Thanks so much.

  7. My 9 month old beagle Abby had cherry eye. I found your video and had same great results as others. It popped back in after about a minute of massaging. Thank you so much!

  8. I did exactly what was shown in the video and it popped right back into place! We will keep watching for it incase it pops back out— thank you for the great video/tutorial!!!

  9. So happy you posted this. My poor beagle/basset just walked up to me with cherry eye. I was having a panick attack thinking she was going to have to have surgery. Thank you!!!!!

  10. You made it seem so easy. We did take our dog to the vet today and was given eye drop’s .I will for sure try this .Thanks so much for sharing this technique. It will help alot of pet owners. Have a great day.

  11. Great advice, i just did it with our Beagle, just arrived at home and notice this, glad my search directed me to your tutorial, I will keep watching her, Thanks !

  12. We have a 13 year old Dachshund, had the protrusion (cherry eye) surgically removed in 2011, lasted about 10 months and came back, (they said it may as it was fragmented when removed and they got all they could). We had it removed again this last July (told us same), each time it had grown out to cover at least 1/3 of the eye ball and he kept wanting to rub it. It is back again, covering about 1/3 again. These are expensive surgeries and I really hate to put him through all this but I will do whatever I can to keep him comfortable, he is otherwise in good shape and has a hearty appetite. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated, thank you, Ken Price, Cottonwood, Ca.

  13. Thank you! My Boston/Beagle mix is 3 years old and she has had cherry eye twice. I have used this technique as soon as I see it and it has worked beautifully! The first time it happened I was so scared and did not know what it was. I found your site, tried the massage for approx. 15 minutes and it worked like a charm! It happened about 18 months later and I quickly did the massage again, 5 minutes later it was okay! Thank you again for your how-to!

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