Classy Country Cockers | Cherry Eye
Created 5-Sep-12
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One of the more common issues Cocker Spaniels can have crop up is the cherry eye. I assure you it is not as bad as it looks. It is easily fixed and once it is corrected you don't have to worry about it again. This is one of those things that is unpredictable and just happens on a puppy or young adult. Normally cherry eye will break before one year of age.

Triggers of cherry eye:

~ I have found that at times stressful situations can trigger a cherry eye to appear. Examples would be first groomings when pups seem to get highly stressed out with the clippers and a new grooming environment. Some dogs are more stressy than others and will be more prone to "blowing a cherry eye" as I say.
~ I have found the the more plush headed Cocker Spaniel may break with cherry eye in their youth. It actually makes a lot of sense as their heads being plush there is just that little extra droop in the lower lid that as they mature this "firms up" for a beautiful eyeset. A little droop in puppy/teenage Cocker Spaniel is actually desired and is reassuring that your Cocker Spaniel will have a nice eye set and not a "Bug Eye" look.

~ males vs females: over the years I have found that males in their youth are more prone to cherry eye than females. I have found that once a male grows into their heads the risk of a cherry eye cropping up minimizes.
I talk about this a lot when families come to visit and we discuss the maturing process. I always tell my families males take about 2 years to fully come into their beauty.

~ when you have a pair of pups cherry eye is more likely to crop up. This is due to romping and rough play where a slight irritation to the eye may cause the eye to break with a cherry eye.

~ what I have found over the years is that if a young pup comes up with a cherry eye I try to encourage my owners to massage it back down with the thumb. Its very easy to do. Sometimes, not all times you can do this when it crops up for a period of time and it will eventually stay back in as the dog matures into their heads and eyes.

~ I have always made it a point to tell my families to let me know if your pet gets a cherry eye and I can help walk you through options if you'd like.

I highly recommend getting your new puppy pet health insurance. In this day in age with health care costs continuing to rise it just makes sense. The important thing to remember as a new pet owner is that we can take two sound in health adults that have been
found to be free and clear for eye issues, hips the list can go on and on. But the reality is just because the parents test free does in no way what so ever guarantee a puppy will not develop some type of unforseen problem.

With all "purebred" dogs and now the "designer" dogs, everyone needs to understand that all breeds of dogs come with a variety of issues that may pertain to their own breed. Cockers along with a list of many other purebreds can be prone to what we call Cherry Eye. The photo to the left is an excellent representation of what this looks like.

I can assure you it looks far worse than it actually is. This is very common and quite easy to fix. Yes, it will need to be fixed. My advice to you before purchasing a Cocker Spaniel is to ask your vet how they repair a cherry eye and the cost to do so.

Cherry Eye is something that crops up from one minute to the next. You can be playing with your dog, turn your head for an instant and there it is. Cherry Eye will usually occur within the first year. It may show up in one eye or both.

Breeding for over 30 years I have seen my share of Cherry Eyes, and helped families with information on treatment. How could I not? What I do advise is this. First off DON'T PANIC, it is far from serious. It is however an inconvenience that will need to be corrected. If not by its self with gentle manipulation until the pup matures a bit. Feel free to call your vet and have it looked at. If you would like to wait a few days to see if the other eye may break that is most preferred. At this time you can schedule an appointment to have it fixed, saving time and money on extra visits.

I would say that you need to ask your vet what procedure they use and if they do a cut or tuck, their success rate. Some vets are excellent at this procedure and it does not reoccur. If they are not.... it may pop back up. There are a couple different procedures, so do not hesitate to ask about success rate and cost.

Cherry Eye is just something that happens, we cannot track or anticipate what puppy may break with this. It falls under the category of "things just happen" and will need to be addressed.

I have added a couple of links for you to visit that will help with any more questions.

Here are two very good links that you need to read before going to the vet for a cherry eye!

I have told my families for years that Stress often is the cause for a cherry eye to pop up. A lot of times. I have and continue to tell families to do this exact procedure and wait it out. I'm thankful that someone else shared my thoughts and understands why a cherry eye most likely crops up and to understand this is a purely cosmetic issue that may correct itself over time as the pups matures and if not is easily fixed.
What Cherry Eye looks like

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