Is Cherry Eye Genetic?
Cherry eye is a very common issue for English Bulldogs, as well as other breeds with loose eyelids, such as the St. Bernard, Cocker Spaniels, Bloodhounds, etc. Simply put, this is a prolapse, or protrusion of the third (inner) eyelid.
This is not a life-threatening condition, but it can affect their vision if it becomes infected or is not corrected immediately. Some dogs, even with immediate treatment, can have lifelong issues following Cherry eye.
Although there are many opinions regarding the genetic, or inherited, aspect; there are no confirmed studies that can prove either way. From our experience, and in-depth research with universities across the country, no direct link to genetics have been proven.
The studies show that this is more of a breed-related issue, one that can affect any Bulldog. This may be due to the exposed lower eyelid, allowing dirt and debris into the eye, in which the body attempts to protect itself from further foreign objects entering they eye.
The younger the dog, the more hyper-sensitive their eyes seem to be. This could be why Cherry Eye is commonly seen at a very young age, when puppies are playing with littermates or exposed to the outdoors for longer periods of time.
Treating cherry eye can be accomplished with two forms of surgery. One being simply removal of the tissue; and the other being replacement of the protrusion into the eyelid. With either method, lubricating eye drops should be administered for several weeks following surgery.
If the protrusion is removed, these drops may be required for the life of your Bulldog. Vetericyn Eye Wash, and Vetericyn Gel can help with the irritation prior to surgery, as well as after treatment.