<<<<<Normal Third Eyelid
When the tear gland on the inner surface of the third eyelid enlarges (because of infection) the condition is referred to as Cherry Eye. As it swells it is forced out from beneath the lid, exposing a red, cherry like growth at the nasal corner of the eye. It most commonly occurs in Cocker Spaniels, Beagles, Boston Terriers and Bulldogs. Usually it must be removed surgically. A few cases may respond to antibiotics.
This is an inflammation of the lining membrane that covers the inner sides of the eyelids and the surface of the eyeball up to the cornea. It is the most common disease of the eye.
Normally the conjunctival membrane is pink (the same color as the inside of the lip). In conjunctivitis the membrane is red. Choking with a leash can produce hemorrhage beneath the conjunctiva, as can some bleeding disorders. These flame hemorrhages can be confused with conjunctivitis.
Conjunctivitis usually is accompanied by a discharge from the eye. If the discharge is clear or watery (serous conjunctivitis), one of the following may be the cause: foreign bodies, Misdirected hairs, physical irritants (such as wind) and various allergens. An allergic conjunctivitis is accompanied by itching. The dog rubs at the eyes.
A discharge from one eye suggests a local infection or foreign body. When both eyes are involved, suspect a contagious disease.
A discharge that looks like pus and presents a thick, tenacious appearance, often crusting over the eyelids, indicates a bacterial problem (purulent conjunctivitis). Cultures may be required to identify the bacteria and to determine the most effective antibiotic for treatment. When this condition persists for a long time it becomes chronic. A deep-seated infection is difficult to clear up. In such cases, one should consider the possibility that the tearing system has been affected, in which case the eye will appear dry. Repeated cleansing of the eye, correction of any underlying problem and specific antibiotics determined by cultures and sensitivities are the primary approach to this problem.
Treatment: Mild irritative forms of conjunctivitis can be treated at home. The eye should be cleansed with a diluted solution of boric acid made up for ophthalmic use. This can be purchased over-the-counter. Use as is directed for people. You should expect to see definite improvement within twenty-four hours. If not, see a veterinarian. A foreign body or other serious eye disturbance may be present.
The backside of the nictating membrane and the eyelids enlarge to form a rough cobblestone surface, giving an irritated look to the eye membranes. The eye discharge is mucoid. This type of conjunctivitis is frequently caused by an allergy or an infection. Occasionally, after the inciting factor has been removed, the follicles remain enlarged and the roughened surface of the conjuctiva acts as an irritation to the eye. This roughened surface must be removed by a cauterizing process in which copper sulfate crystals are applied to the affected parts. This causes the tissue to slough. A smooth membrane regenerates.
Conjunctivitis resulting from a fungal or parasitic infection is rare and requires laboratory diagnosis.