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, Agility, which is designed to support the connective tissue of JOINTS – which I figured couldn’t hurt in supporting any of the body’s connective tissue.  It is important to note that no company, to my knowledge, that manufacturers joint supplements has done any research or makes any claims about the effectiveness  of these supplements on the connective tissue associated with the eyes and other non-joints.

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 maintained her on the joint supplement and 7 weeks later still no sign of cherry eye.  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.  I would be interested in any feedback from others who have had success with a similar plan.

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

  1. Melanie

    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. DonnaM

    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. Lillian C

    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. Jolene

    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. Joe (London UK)

    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. Syrena

    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. Leenette

    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. Christy

    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. Heather

    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. ronda

    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. Rodrigo

    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. Ken Price

    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. Kristin

    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!

  14. Marissa

    Hello,

    Our dog just had cherry eye and we used your method to remedy it. Thank you so much! It took us awhile though and I am really worried about it coming back out. Any advice on what to expect? Thats an open question to all with experience with this. We would really appreciate it.

    Thanks

  15. Lois

    Annie, my ten year old wire haired minature dachshund, had her teeth cleaned at our Vet’s on a Wednesday. She became very stressed as she recuperated, and I was called to pick her up early .
    On Thursday I noticed a little red bump on the corner of her eye . By Saturday morning she had a large Cherry Eye. We went to the Vet and were told the condition was definitely not
    stress related and that the only treatment to correct Cherry Eye was surgery. The Vet provided me with a print out from the Intrenet that verified her position. At home I found your information and I thank you so much.
    I gently massaged her closed lid, gradually getting familiar with the shape of the eye socket. I guided the bump toward her nose, as Annie was fed bits of chicken. The perfect fix for a smooth positioning of the gland back to its proper place. I am very grateful and appreciative of your post !

  16. Angelica

    Thank you soooo much ! My 7 month old daschund who is also named Dixie got cherry eye . Me and my mother were researching it and came across this . I did the massaging for about 2 minutes and it was gone ! Again thanks for this .

  17. Amy

    My 11 month old Beagle picked up a respiratory infection at a dog show. She had a cough and discharge from her eyes the she was constantly rubbing at. I woke up to find her with a cherry eye and googled what to do – I really didn’t want to do surgery and was so happy to find your video! I was able to massage it back in easily and am using eye ointment with steroids to hopefully keep it where it belongs!

  18. Louise

    Thanks so much for this information. I used the technique on my daucshund and it worked wonderfully. The vet never suggested it . My options were eye drops and probable surgery. Again thank you.

  19. Donna w

    thank u very much,i did what u said and it worked,my shitz zue mix,even had surgery,and that did not work.thank u.

  20. Janelle

    I was so worried about my 12 week old pup. I tried other techniques for cherry eye to no avail. He finally fell into a deep sleep allowing me to massage his eye and it worked. Thank you so much!

  21. Hello Dolly

    This looks great, but I read where the cherry eye will pop back out again. Doing this procedure over and over again I wouldn’t think would not be very safe for the dog after numerous times of doing this procedure.
    I spoke with my vet and her assistants. They had never heard of this procedure before. Hmmmm. They do suggest we have the surgery done.

  22. Mike Post author

    The dog in the video has no relapse since the video (a few years ago). Surgery is definitely an option for dogs, but I would certainly beware of any vet that only suggests what makes her the most money. Various non-surgical medical treatments are very common before surgery is suggested, even in veterinary practices. Read the other 100+ comments. Some vets will actually surgically remove the gland which makes the dogs prone to dry eye and discomfort for the rest of their lives.

    Many vets treat their practices as a business first and what’s in the best interest of the animals’ long term health second. For instance, it has long been taught in all the Veterinary colleges in the US that vaccines are not needed or recommended yearly. Yet, many still continue to weaken the immune systems of their clients’ dogs by overdosing them on unneeded booster shots every year. Be your own dog’s advocate.

  23. Brittany

    Thank you so much for this video. I have a 4 month old pug/ Maltese – shih tzu mix and saw she had a cherry eye out of nowhere. I was in panic mode because I felt so helpless for her. I did some research on what I could do to help her and ran across your site. I did what was advised and sure enough it work! I’m keeping a diligent eye on her to make sure I catch it when it happens. She is one happy pup thanks to your advise.

  24. Zoe lee

    Hi all our 9wk old frenchie got cherry eye, we did go for surgery but this is not a fail safe as tonight 3wks after surgery looked like it was coming back out my husband tried ur technique & worked like a dream we will keep an eye on it but seems to have done the trick thanx to your website, we were quoted £750-£1000 for surgery but found a cheaper one & ended up paying £350

  25. Matt Ward

    Wow, i was at home and about 15 mins ago i noticed my dogs eye had this bump in the corner. I had never seen anything like this before so i panicked. I googled bump in the corner of the eye and found pictures of exactly what my dogs eye looked like. The term was cherry eye, I read on wikipedia that the only remedy is surgery and removal of the eye or gland. I started crying honestly i didn’t know what to do i felt completely helpless. Its Friday night and the vets office are closed and im panicking like crazy. I found this site and read the directions, I honestly didn’t believe in this remedy. I watched the video and my dog’s eye looked exactly the same, so i tried the massage and it worked….I really cant believe it. i hope my dog is comfortable and this helped. I’m going to follow up with the veterinarian soon. Thank you so much for the help and after reading all the comments I feel alot better. Sorry for my grammar and spelling I’m still shaking.

  26. Stephanie Cottrell

    thank you for posting this. I have a 4 month old Tibetan Spaniel puppy that has developed a cherry eye. I was working with her and my essential oils (Young Living ONLY is safe for the animals) and was looking for massage instructions. I loved seeing your video to help me with the process. I am documenting her progress and trying oils that are dedicated to helping with connective tissues as well as the massage. Her father had this at age 1 year and I had it surgically removed. I don’t want to do this again if possible as later in life the lack of a lubricating tear duct can cause other discomfort or problems. I will also add a supplement called Young Living BLM (capsule only – powder has xilotol in it and not safe for animals). I will have to reduce amount for her as she is barely 5 pounds. Wish us luck and thank you for your dedication to the comfort, training and well being of our furry friends and family members.

  27. Elizabeth

    Thank you for the video… This morning i awoke to my 9 week old Chiauahua Terrier with a cherry eye.. Took awhile to get him to stay still but i was able to get it to pop in … Thanks again

  28. Kelly

    My 15 week old puppy developed a red blob in the corner of her eye on Monday. Not knowing what it was, and thinking it might be a foxtail, I took her to our vet. He told me it was a cherry eye, and sent me home with an antibiotic ointment. He told me it might go back in on it’s own…if it didn’t, there were two different surgery options to correct it. I went online to research the condition, and found your post, and video. I tried to massage it in on Tuesday evening (last night), and did not have any success. I wasn’t sure if it was because it had been a day and a half since it popped out, and if I should keep trying. I don’t want to cause more damage, but would love to repair it non-surgically. Any advise would be appreciated.

  29. kaylaMariie

    Thank you much i have a Boston terrier Maltese mix and he’s only 3 months old but he had a cherry eye so I went out and bought eye drops then I rubbed the area as you explained and less than ten minutes the cherry eye was gone and his eye looks as if it was never there . surgery was not an option I’m always looking for natural remedies not matter what it is and this was a big help so thank you so much if is was never for you and your post my puppy eye would have never been fixed. ☺

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