Cherry Eye in French Bulldogs

Cherry eye is a health disorder that occurs when the tear gland of this third eyelid pops out of position.

~2 minute read
last updated November 04, 2019

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Cherry Eye

Did you know dogs have a third eyelid?

You’ve probably noticed it when your Frenchie was sleeping; it’s a red membrane in the eye that sometimes makes it look like their eyes are rolling back in his head. This membrane serves to protect the eye from debris, fight off infection, and produce some tears for the eye.

Cherry eye is a health disorder that occurs when the tear gland of this third eyelid pops out of position.

french bulldog cherry eye
french bulldog cherry eye

Symptoms of Cherry Eye in French Bulldogs

  • Swollen, red appearance to eye
  • Drainage from the eye (overproduction of tears)
  • Dry eyes (underproduction of tears)
  • Impaired vision

Causes of Cherry Eye in French Bulldogs

A congenital weakness of the tear gland in the eye is usually associated with cherry eye, however, it has not yet known whether it is inherited from parents.

Cherry eye is much more common in younger French Bulldogs, however, it can happen at any point in your Frenchie’s lifetime. Unfortunately, Frenchies are one of many breeds more susceptible to developing cherry eye.

Common Causes of Cherry Eye

  • Infections
  • Cancer
  • Dermatitis
  • Sun Damage
  • Compromised immune system

Treatment of Cherry Eye in French Bulldogs

If your French Bulldog has a large, red mass protruding from its eye, take them to your veterinarian immediately.

It’s important that you seek treatment quickly in order to minimize damage to the eye.


Sometimes cherry eye will simply go away on its own. Unfortunately, this isn’t usually the case.

When cherry eye doesn’t just go away, your next best option is to try topical antibiotics or steroids. If caught early enough, this is likely to do the trick.


Tried all the non-surgical options, and your Frenchie’s cherry eye still won’t go away?

There are multiple surgeries to fix cherry eye:

Reposition the eyelid

Removal of affected tear gland

Don’t wait

Left untreated, cherry eye may cause damage to the eye or third eyelid gland which may result in chronic dry eye and irritation. Severe cases of dry eye can seriously impair your French Bulldog’s vision.

Don’t wait for cherry eye to go away on its own; go see your vet ASAP if you notice any symptoms.

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