The Science Behind: What Causes Cherry Eye in French Bulldogs?

Cherry eye in French Bulldogs is caused by the prolapse of the third eyelid gland. This condition occurs when the connective tissues holding the gland in place weaken or become loose.

Cherry eye is a common concern among French Bulldog owners due to its prevalence in the breed. It often appears as a red, fleshy mass in the corner of the eye, and while it is not usually painful, it can cause discomfort and eye irritation.

Prompt veterinary attention is necessary to diagnose and treat cherry eye, which may involve surgical correction to reposition the prolapsed gland. Regular eye care and monitoring can help prevent and manage this condition in French Bulldogs.

What Is Cherry Eye?

Cherry eye in French Bulldogs occurs when the tear gland in their third eyelid becomes exposed or prolapsed. This condition can be caused by genetics, weakness in the connective tissue, or inflammation in the eye.

What Is Cherry Eye?

Definition And Explanation Of Cherry Eye In French Bulldogs

Cherry Eye is a relatively common eye condition that can affect French Bulldogs. It is characterized by the prolapse or protrusion of the gland located in the corner of the eye, resulting in a cherry-like appearance. This gland, known as the third eyelid gland or nictitating membrane gland, is responsible for producing tears to keep the eyes lubricated.

When this gland becomes inflamed or weakened, it can become exposed and visible, causing the condition known as Cherry Eye.

To summarize:

  • Cherry Eye in French Bulldogs involves the prolapse or protrusion of the third eyelid gland.
  • The third eyelid gland is responsible for tear production.
  • Inflammation or weakness of the gland can lead to its exposure and the characteristic cherry-like appearance.

Breeds Prone To Cherry Eye

Cherry eye, a common condition in French Bulldogs, is caused by a prolapsed tear gland. This breed is prone to this condition due to genetic factors and weakened connective tissue. Seeking prompt veterinary treatment is crucial to prevent complications.

Comparison Of Different Breeds At Risk For Cherry Eye

French Bulldogs are not the only breed prone to Cherry Eye. Several other breeds are also susceptible to this condition. Here is a comparison of different breeds that may develop Cherry Eye:

  • Cocker Spaniels: Known for their beautiful droopy eyes, Cocker Spaniels are one of the most common breeds affected by Cherry Eye.
  • Bulldogs: Along with French Bulldogs, Bulldogs are also at a higher risk of developing this eye condition due to their unique facial structure.
  • Beagle: While Beagles are generally healthy dogs, they are also known to occasionally develop Cherry Eye.
  • Bloodhounds: Bloodhounds have loose skin around their eyes, which makes them prone to Cherry Eye.
  • Boston Terriers: Similar to French Bulldogs, Boston Terriers have prominent eyes that are more susceptible to this condition.

Why French Bulldogs Are Particularly Susceptible To The Condition

French Bulldogs, in particular, have a higher risk of developing Cherry Eye compared to other breeds. This can be attributed to several factors:

  • Facial Structure: French Bulldogs have a brachycephalic (short-muzzled) facial structure, which makes them more prone to eye problems, including Cherry Eye.
  • Genetic Predisposition: Some French Bulldogs are genetically predisposed to developing eye conditions, including Cherry Eye.
  • Weakness in Eye Tissue: The connective tissues that hold the gland responsible for producing tears in place may be weaker in French Bulldogs, leading to the gland prolapsing and causing Cherry Eye.

Other Breeds That May Develop Cherry Eye

In addition to French Bulldogs, there are other breeds that may develop Cherry Eye. These include:

  • Boxers: Boxers have a higher risk of Cherry Eye due to their prominent and round eyes.
  • Shih Tzus: Shih Tzus are prone to eye problems, including Cherry Eye, due to their large and protruding eyes.
  • Pugs: Pugs have a higher chance of developing Cherry Eye due to their prominent and bulging eyes.
  • Lhasa Apsos: Lhasa Apsos can also be affected by Cherry Eye, although it is less common compared to other breeds.

Remember, if you notice any signs of Cherry Eye in your dog, it’s crucial to seek veterinary care promptly to prevent further complications.

Causes Of Cherry Eye In French Bulldogs

Cherry eye in French Bulldogs can be caused by the weakening of connective tissues in the eye, genetic predisposition, or environmental factors. It is important to address this issue promptly to prevent discomfort and potential complications.

French Bulldogs are adorable and beloved companions, but unfortunately, they are prone to certain health issues, including Cherry Eye. This condition occurs when the tear gland located in the inner corner of the eye protrudes and becomes inflamed. Although the exact cause of Cherry Eye in French Bulldogs is not fully understood, several factors contribute to its development.

Let’s explore these causes in more detail:

Genetic Factors And Hereditary Predisposition:

  • Certain genetic factors and hereditary predisposition make French Bulldogs more susceptible to Cherry Eye.
  • It is believed that some bloodlines may carry genes that weaken the connective tissues and supporting structures around the tear gland.
  • Genetic abnormalities can cause the tear gland to weaken or detach, leading to the development of Cherry Eye.

Weakness In Connective Tissue And Supporting Structures:

  • French Bulldogs with weak connective tissue and supporting structures are at a higher risk of developing Cherry Eye.
  • Weakened tissue can fail to hold the tear gland in its proper position, allowing it to protrude and become inflamed.
  • Conditions such as eyelid laxity or poor collagen production can contribute to the weakening of these supporting structures.

Environmental Factors That Contribute To Cherry Eye:

  • While genetics play a significant role, certain environmental factors can trigger or exacerbate Cherry Eye in French Bulldogs.
  • Eye trauma, excessive rubbing or scratching of the eyes, and irritants like dust or allergens can increase the risk of developing Cherry Eye.
  • Environmental factors can further weaken the connective tissue and supporting structures, making them more susceptible to the condition.

Understanding the causes of Cherry Eye in French Bulldogs is essential for both prevention and treatment. If you notice any signs of Cherry Eye in your furry friend, such as a visibly swollen or red protrusion in the corner of their eye, it’s important to consult with a veterinarian.

Early detection and appropriate management can help alleviate discomfort and preserve your French Bulldog’s vision. Remember, your furry friend’s health is in your hands, and with proper care, you can ensure they live a happy and healthy life.

Recognizing The Symptoms

Recognizing The Symptoms

Cherry eye in French Bulldogs is caused by the prolapse of the tear gland, leading to a red protrusion in the corner of the eye. Recognizing symptoms such as swelling and discharge is crucial in determining the condition and seeking appropriate treatment for your pet.

Picture this: you’re happily playing with your French Bulldog when you notice something unusual about their eyes. They might appear teary, reddish, or swollen. Could this be cherry eye? Recognizing the symptoms is essential in identifying this common condition in French Bulldogs.

Let’s dive into the signs to look out for, understand how to distinguish cherry eye from other eye conditions, and recognize the impact it can have on your furry friend’s overall health.

Common Signs And Symptoms Of Cherry Eye:

  • Swollen appearance in the corner of the eye:
  • Bulging red or pink mass visible in the inner corner of the eye.
  • Excessive tearing or discharge:
  • Noticeable watery discharge, which might be clear or have a cloudy appearance.
  • Irritation and redness:
  • Inflamed and reddish eye, accompanied by discomfort and itching.
  • Frequent blinking or squinting:
  • Excessive blinking or squinting due to discomfort caused by the condition.
  • Vision impairment:
  • Sometimes, cherry eye can lead to temporary or permanent vision issues.

Distinguishing Cherry Eye From Other Eye Conditions:

It’s important not to confuse cherry eye with other eye conditions that may share similar symptoms. By understanding the distinct characteristics, you can identify the problem correctly. Here are some key factors to consider:

  • Cherry eye vs. Conjunctivitis:
  • Unlike cherry eye, conjunctivitis typically affects both eyes and involves inflammation of the pink tissue lining the eyelids.
  • Cherry eye vs. Corneal ulcers:
  • Corneal ulcers are characterized by a visible erosion on the cornea, whereas cherry eye involves protrusion of the gland in the inner corner of the eye.
  • Cherry eye vs. Cataracts:
  • Cataracts cause clouding of the eye’s lens, resulting in impaired vision, while cherry eye affects the gland in the corner of the eye.
  • Cherry eye vs. Dry eye:
  • Dry eye, or keratoconjunctivitis sicca, involves decreased tear production, whereas cherry eye is a protrusion of the gland in the eyelid.

Understanding The Impact On A French Bulldog’S Overall Health:

Cherry eye not only affects your French Bulldog’s eye appearance and comfort but can also have implications for their overall health. Some key points to consider include:

  • Increased vulnerability to eye infections:
  • The exposed gland in cherry eye can make French Bulldogs more susceptible to infections.
  • Potential for chronic eye irritation:
  • If left untreated, cherry eye can lead to chronic eye irritation and discomfort for your beloved pet.
  • The importance of timely treatment:
  • Seeking veterinary attention early is crucial to prevent complications and ensure your French Bulldog’s eye health.
  • Impact on quality of life:
  • Cherry eye can cause varying levels of discomfort and vision impairment, affecting your furry friend’s overall quality of life.

Understanding the symptoms of cherry eye, distinguishing it from other eye conditions, and acknowledging its impact on a French Bulldog’s overall health are essential steps towards providing proper care for your four-legged companion. Stay vigilant, seek professional advice when needed, and offer your French Bulldog the love and attention they deserve.

Seeking Veterinary Diagnosis

French Bulldogs can develop cherry eye, a condition that causes the gland in the eyelid to prolapse. Seeking veterinary diagnosis is crucial to determine the underlying cause and the appropriate treatment options for your furry friend.

Cherry Eye is a common condition in French Bulldogs that requires a professional veterinary examination for accurate diagnosis. Seeking proper veterinary care is crucial to ensure the well-being of your furry friend. During the examination, your veterinarian will perform diagnostic procedures to confirm the Cherry Eye condition and identify any potential complications or secondary conditions that may arise.

Let’s explore the importance of professional veterinary examination, the diagnostic procedures used, and the potential complications to consider.

Importance Of Professional Veterinary Examination

  • Seeking a professional veterinary examination is vital for an accurate diagnosis of Cherry Eye in your French Bulldog.
  • Veterinarians possess the expertise and knowledge to properly diagnose and treat this condition.
  • Early detection through a veterinary examination can prevent further complications and provide your furry friend with immediate care.
  • A professional examination ensures that the underlying causes of Cherry Eye are properly identified, enabling an effective treatment plan to be put in place.

Diagnostic Procedures Used To Confirm Cherry Eye

  • Your veterinarian may conduct a physical examination of your French Bulldog’s eyes to assess the presence of Cherry Eye. They will carefully observe the eye to determine if the glandular tissue has prolapsed.
  • Fluorescein staining may be utilized to rule out any other eye conditions, such as corneal ulcers or conjunctivitis, which can present with similar symptoms.
  • In some cases, your veterinarian may recommend additional diagnostic tests like blood work or an ophthalmic examination to evaluate the overall health of your French Bulldog’s eyes.
  • By performing these diagnostic procedures, your veterinarian can confirm the presence of Cherry Eye and establish a tailored treatment plan for your furry companion.

Potential Complications And Secondary Conditions To Consider

  • If left untreated, Cherry Eye can lead to complications like dry eye syndrome, conjunctivitis, corneal ulcers, or other eye infections.
  • Some French Bulldogs may also develop an immune-mediated response, resulting in inflammation of the affected eye.
  • It is crucial to address these potential complications and secondary conditions as part of the overall treatment plan for Cherry Eye.
  • Regular follow-up visits with your veterinarian are important to monitor the progress of the treatment and ensure there are no further complications.

Remember, seeking a professional veterinary examination is essential to properly diagnose and treat Cherry Eye in French Bulldogs. By doing so, you can help your furry friend stay healthy and enjoy a better quality of life.

Medical Management Options

Cherry eye in French Bulldogs can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics and environmental triggers. Effective medical management options, such as surgical correction, can help address this condition and improve the health and well-being of affected dogs.

French Bulldogs with mild cases of cherry eye can often be managed through non-surgical treatments and the use of medications and ointments to reduce inflammation. While surgical intervention may be necessary in more severe cases, medical management options can provide an effective approach to treating cherry eye.

Here are some potential options and considerations for medical management:

Non-Surgical Treatments For Mild Cases:

  • Warm compresses: Applying a warm compress to the affected eye can help reduce swelling and promote tear duct drainage.
  • Massage: Gently massaging the area around the affected eye may help in some cases, as it can stimulate tear production and alleviate inflammation.
  • Lubricating eye drops: Using lubricating eye drops can help keep the eye moist and prevent dryness, which can exacerbate cherry eye symptoms.

Medications And Ointments To Reduce Inflammation:

  • Steroid eye drops: Steroid eye drops are commonly prescribed to reduce inflammation and swelling associated with cherry eye. These drops work by suppressing the immune response in the affected eye.
  • Antibiotic ointments: In cases where cherry eye is complicated by secondary bacterial infections, antibiotic ointments may be prescribed to prevent or treat these infections.
  • Anti-inflammatory medications: Oral medications, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), may be recommended to help reduce inflammation and discomfort.

Potential Limitations And Challenges Of Medical Management:

    • Incomplete resolution: While medical management can be effective in mild cases, it may not completely resolve the cherry eye condition. Some dogs may experience recurrent or persistent symptoms despite treatment.
    • Side effects: Medications, especially steroids, can have potential side effects. It’s important to monitor your Frenchie closely while they are on medication and consult with your vet if any adverse effects are observed.
    • Long-term management: In some cases, ongoing medical management may be necessary to control symptoms. This can involve regular use of eye drops or other medications, which may be inconvenient or costly for some owners.


    Remember to consult with your veterinarian to determine the most appropriate medical management options for your French Bulldog’s cherry eye condition. They can provide tailored advice and recommendations based on the severity of the case and your dog’s individual needs.

    Surgical Intervention

    Cherry Eye in French Bulldogs can be caused by a prolapse of the gland of the third eyelid. Surgical intervention is often necessary to correct this condition.

    Cherry Eye in French Bulldogs is a common condition that can cause discomfort and potentially lead to complications if left untreated. Surgical intervention is often necessary to correct this condition. In this section, we will explore different surgical techniques for repairing Cherry Eye, the risks and considerations associated with surgery, as well as post-operative care and the long-term prognosis.

    Different Surgical Techniques For Repairing Cherry Eye:

    • Tuck technique: In this procedure, the gland is repositioned and sutured back into its proper place within the eyelid.
    • Pocket technique: With this method, a small pocket is created in the conjunctiva to house the gland and prevent it from protruding.
    • Gland replacement: In some cases, the affected gland may need to be removed and replaced with a healthy gland from the opposite eye.

    The choice of surgical technique is determined by the severity of the condition and the surgeon’s expertise. Each method aims to restore the gland to its normal position and improve the dog’s ocular health.

    Risks And Considerations Associated With Surgery:

    • Infection: There is a risk of infection following surgery, which can delay healing and may require additional treatment.
    • Recurrence: Despite successful surgery, there is a chance that Cherry Eye may reoccur. This is more common with certain surgical techniques.
    • Anesthesia risks: Like any surgical procedure, there are inherent risks associated with administering anesthesia to dogs. However, these risks are minimal when performed by a skilled veterinarian.

    It’s important to discuss these risks with your veterinarian to fully understand the potential complications and make an informed decision about the appropriate course of action.

    Post-Operative Care And Long-Term Prognosis:

    • Medication: Your veterinarian may prescribe antibiotic eye drops or ointment to prevent infection and anti-inflammatory medication to reduce swelling and discomfort.
    • Activity restrictions: It is crucial to limit your French Bulldog’s physical activity to ensure proper healing and prevent complications. Avoid activities that may strain the eyes, such as rough play or rubbing the face against surfaces.
    • Follow-up appointments: Regular check-ups with your veterinarian are essential to monitor your dog’s recovery progress and address any concerns that may arise.
    • Prognosis: With timely surgical intervention and proper post-operative care, most dogs have a favorable prognosis. However, there is a small percentage of cases where the condition may reoccur or complications may arise.

    Remember, the specific details of post-operative care and long-term prognosis will vary depending on the individual dog and surgical technique used. Your veterinarian will provide you with tailored instructions and recommendations to ensure the best outcome for your furry friend.

    Surgical intervention is often necessary to repair Cherry Eye in French Bulldogs. Different techniques, such as the tuck technique, pocket technique, or gland replacement, can be employed to restore the gland to its normal position. While there are risks associated with surgery, proper post-operative care and regular veterinary check-ups can help ensure a positive long-term prognosis for your beloved French Bulldog.

    Preventive Measures

    Cherry eye in French Bulldogs can be caused by a variety of factors, such as breed genetics, inflammation, or trauma to the eye. Taking preventive measures like regular eye cleaning, avoiding rough play, and consulting with a veterinarian can help reduce the risk of this condition.

    Tips For Preventing Cherry Eye In French Bulldogs

    French Bulldogs are prone to developing a condition called Cherry Eye, where the gland in their third eyelid becomes swollen and visible. While Cherry Eye can be treated with surgery, the best approach is to prevent it from occurring in the first place.

    By taking certain preventive measures and prioritizing the eye health of your French Bulldog, you can minimize the risk of Cherry Eye. Here are some tips to help you do just that:

    • Regular cleaning and grooming: Clean your French Bulldog’s face and eyes daily to remove any dirt or debris that may cause irritation and lead to Cherry Eye.
    • Avoid exposure to irritants: Minimize your French Bulldog’s exposure to dust, pollen, chemicals, and other potential eye irritants as much as possible.
    • Proper nutrition: Feed your French Bulldog a balanced diet that includes essential nutrients and vitamins to support overall eye health.
    • Maintain a healthy weight: Obesity can put additional strain on your French Bulldog’s eyes, so make sure to keep them at a healthy weight through proper diet and regular exercise.
    • Provide regular exercise: Regular exercise not only helps maintain a healthy weight but also promotes good blood circulation, which is essential for eye health.
    • Avoid excessive rubbing: Discourage your French Bulldog from rubbing their eyes excessively, as it can worsen eye irritation and potentially lead to Cherry Eye.
    • Use appropriate eye protection: Consider using protective goggles or eyewear designed for dogs during activities that may pose a risk to your French Bulldog’s eyes.
    • Keep the environment clean: Ensure that your French Bulldog’s living environment is clean and free from potential eye irritants, such as dusty or moldy areas.
    • Regular veterinary check-ups: Regularly schedule visits to the veterinarian to monitor your French Bulldog’s overall health, including their eyes. Early detection of any potential issues can help prevent Cherry Eye from occurring or worsening.
    • Early treatment: If you notice any signs of eye irritation or abnormality in your French Bulldog, seek prompt veterinary attention. Early treatment can help prevent conditions like Cherry Eye from developing or progressing.

    By following these preventive measures, you can significantly reduce the chances of your French Bulldog developing Cherry Eye. Prioritizing their eye health with proper care, regular check-ups, and early intervention can go a long way in safeguarding their vision and overall well-being.


    Understanding the causes of cherry eye in French Bulldogs is crucial for their overall health and well-being. By knowing the potential factors that contribute to this condition, such as genetics or environmental triggers, pet owners can take necessary preventive measures.

    Regular eye care, including gentle cleaning and avoiding irritants, can help minimize the risk of cherry eye occurrence. Early detection and prompt veterinary attention can greatly improve the chances of successful treatment. It is important to remember that each French Bulldog is unique, and what works for one may not work for another.

    By being proactive and attentive to any changes or symptoms, owners can provide their furry friends with the best possible care. Ultimately, taking care of a French Bulldog’s eye health is an integral part of ensuring their overall happiness and quality of life.

    Frequently Asked Questions On What Causes Cherry Eye In French Bulldogs

    What Triggers Cherry Eye In Dogs?
    Cherry eye in dogs is mainly triggered by weakness in the connective tissues around the third eyelid.

    How Do You Treat Frenchie Cherry Eye?
    To treat Frenchie cherry eye, consult a veterinarian who may recommend surgery or medication.

    How Do You Fix A Cherry Eye On A French Bulldog Puppy?
    To fix a cherry eye on a French bulldog puppy, consult a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment options.

    Are Cherry Eyes Common In French Bulldogs?
    Yes, cherry eyes in French bulldogs are common.

    Leave a Comment