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French Bulldog Cherry Eye (What Is It and How to Treat It?)

If you’re a French Bulldog owner, you know that these adorable little pups are prone to a number of health issues.

One of the most common conditions they face is “Cherry Eye,” a condition that can cause discomfort and even pain if left untreated.

But what exactly is Cherry Eye, and how can you effectively treat it to keep your Frenchie healthy and happy?

This guide will provide an in-depth look at Cherry Eye in French Bulldogs, including the causes, symptoms, and treatment options.

We will also cover the average cost of cherry eye surgery. So, read on for more information about French Bulldog Cherry Eye!

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What Is French Bulldog Cherry Eye?

French Bulldog Cherry Eye is a condition where the third eyelid of your French Bulldog prolapses from its usual position in the eye corner.

This means the third eyelid is visible outside their lower lid and looks like an unusual pinkish-red fleshy mass.

The third eyelid of a French Bulldog contains the nictitating membrane gland, which helps produce tears and protect and moisten the cornea.

Without this layer of protection, your French Bulldog’s eyes can become dry, irritated, and even infected. 

The third eyelid provides additional protection to the eye and cornea, and also spreads the tear film across the eyeball surface.

Cherry eye can be very uncomfortable for your French Bulldog and requires prompt vet attention.

If left untreated, it may cause significant pain and discomfort, leading to further health complications (more on that below).

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Causes of Cherry Eye in French Bulldogs

French Bulldog is prone to developing cherry eye due to their shallow-set eyes and weak muscles around the eye.

A variety of reasons can also cause it. Let’s look at some of the major causes and symptoms of French Bulldog cherry eye.

Congenital defects

Congenital defects are genetic issues that can cause the tear gland of a French Bulldog to protrude. This is often hereditary and can be found in some lines of the breed. 


Traumatic eye injuries can cause cherry eye in French Bulldogs. This can happen if the eye is hit or scratched or an object penetrates the socket.


Allergies can also lead to cherry eye in French Bulldogs. Allergens such as dust, pollen, and mold can cause irritation and inflammation in the eye, resulting in the lash gland protruding.

Hormonal Imbalance

Hormone imbalances can also lead to cherry eye in French Bulldogs. This is because the hormones can affect the production of tears, which will cause the tear gland to protrude. 

Eyelid Abnormalities

Eyelid abnormalities, such as entropion or ectropion, can cause the tear gland to protrude in French Bulldogs. Both of these conditions require surgery to correct.

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French Bulldog Cherry Eye Symptoms

When it comes to the symptoms of cherry eye, you can’t miss the bright red, swollen mass protruding from the eye.

Here are the symptoms and signs to look out for:

  1. Redness and Swelling
  2. Excessive tearing or discharge
  3. Squinting or closing the eye
  4. Rubbing or scratching the eye

Redness and Swelling

The most common symptom of cherry eye in French Bulldogs is redness and swelling around the eye. This is due to the tear gland being inflamed and irritated. 

Excessive tearing or discharge

The affected eye may produce more tears or discharge than usual, which can cause crustiness or irritation around the eye.

Squinting or closing the eye

French bulldogs with cherry eye may squint or close the affected eye, especially if it is causing discomfort or irritation.

Rubbing or scratching the eye

If the cherry eye is causing discomfort or itching, your French bulldog may rub or scratch the affected eye.

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Treatments for French Bulldog Cherry Eye

The most effective treatment for cherry eye in French Bulldogs is surgical correction.

However, a few home remedies and natural treatments may help reduce the inflammation associated with cherry eye and provide some relief for your Frenchie.

Cold Compresses

Applying cold compresses or ice packs to the affected area can help reduce inflammation and provide your dog with some relief.

Wrap an ice pack in a towel and apply it to the affected area for a few minutes, several times daily.

Anti-Inflammatory Eye Drops

Homeopathic eye drops may also help reduce the inflammation associated with cherry eye. These drops can be found at most health food stores and used as directed.

It is essential to consult with your veterinarian before using any homeopathic eye drops as they may contain unsafe ingredients for dogs. 

Natural Supplements

Natural supplements such as omega-3 fatty acids and herbal remedies may also help to reduce the inflammation associated with cherry eye.

Consult your veterinarian before giving any natural supplement to your dog, as some supplements may interfere with other medications or treatments. 


Massaging the area around the eyes can help to strengthen the muscles and reduce inflammation.

Gently massage the area using circular motions for a few minutes daily to help reduce the inflammation associated with a cherry eye in French Bulldogs. 

By following these home remedies and natural treatments, you may be able to reduce the inflammation associated with a cherry eye in your French Bulldog and provide some relief.

Before trying these remedies, you must consult your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. A professional diagnosis and plan are the best way to ensure your dog receives the care needed for a successful recovery.

Treatment of Cherry Eye in French Bulldogs

Surgery is the most common treatment if your French Bulldog has been diagnosed with cherry eye.

The procedure involves removing and replacing the prolapsed gland in its original position.

A sad French Bulldog with cherry eye looking up

This operation is usually performed under general anesthesia and is considered relatively low-risk. After surgery, the dog should be monitored to ensure the condition does not recur.

In cases where the cherry eye cannot be corrected surgically, medications or other treatments may be used to reduce the inflammation and discomfort associated with the condition.

In more severe cases, your veterinarian may recommend having the gland removed permanently.

The only way to get rid of cherry eye completely is through surgery. If the tear gland has to be removed, your dog will have to be treated long-term with artificial tears to prevent further eye conditions.

It is important to consider this option carefully since it may result in your dog having dry eyes and requiring lifelong lubrication.

There is a possibility of a cherry eye recurring after surgery and requiring further treatment.

If your French Bulldog continues to experience symptoms after the initial treatment, you should consult your veterinarian for further evaluation.

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French Bulldog Cherry Eye Surgery & Treatment Costs

The cost of surgery to treat cherry eye in French Bulldogs depends on the severity of the condition, the procedure used, and the veterinarian’s experience.

Generally speaking, most surgeries to treat cherry eye start at around $400-$600, plus additional pre-and post-operative care fees. 

In some cases, specialized surgeons may be needed to perform the procedure. The cost may be higher in these cases, ranging from $1,000 to $2,000 or more.

There may be additional costs for medication, laboratory testing, and other associated procedures. 

Compare the prices of several veterinary practices to ensure that you receive the best treatment for your Frenchie at the lowest cost.

In addition, you should contact your pet insurance provider to find out if they will cover the cost of cherry eye surgery for French Bulldogs.

What Happens If Cherry Eye Is Left Untreated?

If Cherry Eye is left untreated, it can lead to a number of complications that can be both uncomfortable and painful for your Frenchie.

  1. The most common complication is dry eye, which occurs when the tear gland in the affected eye is no longer able to produce enough tears to keep the eye moist.
  2. Another potential complication is corneal ulcers, which occur when the dryness and irritation of the eye cause damage to the cornea.
  3. In severe cases, Cherry Eye can impair your Frenchie’s vision.

You can avoid any of these complications by seeking treatment quickly and not waiting for the cherry eye to go away on its own.

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Wrap-Up: French Bulldog Cherry Eye

French Bulldog Cherry Eye is a common health condition that affects many dogs, particularly the French Bulldog breed.

It is important to understand the symptoms and causes of this condition in order to provide proper treatment to your furry friend.

While it can be alarming to see your pet’s eye appear swollen or red, it is important to remain calm and seek veterinary care as soon as possible.

Treatment options for French Bulldog Cherry Eye may vary depending on the severity of the condition but may include surgical or non-surgical options.

Your veterinarian will be able to provide you with the best course of action to ensure your pet’s health and well-being.

Have you ever experienced cherry eye in your French Bulldog? What was your experience like, and how did you treat it? Let us know in the comments below!

Feature image credit: molly.happyfrenchie

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Lisemaine is a dog lover. She currently owns two Frenchies and enjoys working with and training them. She'll share her best tips with you to keep your Frenchie happy, healthy, and active.

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