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Basset Hound Cherry Eyes & Eyelid Problem

Basset Hound's Eyes CareBefore you take your Basset Hound home, it is very important to know something about its care. One of the problems that are prevalent in Basset Hounds and other hunting dogs is called cherry eye. This usually happens when your dog is young.

Cherry eye is a condition that is common to Basset Hounds and other small dogs. In general if this happens it will be when they are puppies. No one really knows why this happens but when it does it is important to seek help from your vet.

Most people are familiar with the fact that animals have a third eyelid that protects the eye. The third eyelid also helps in producing tears. Often when you can see the third eye it may be an indication that the animal is ill. A prolapsed eyelid, which means an eyelid that pops out, will create irritation and become a red bump that looks like a cherry next to the eye–hence the name of “cherry eye”.

Usually this happens in dogs that are less than two years old and no one really knows the cause. If left untreated your basset hound can have problems with dry eyes which can turn this into a chronic condition.

Sometimes in the early stages of cherry eye the vet may give you an ophthalmic ointment that can be used to take the swelling out of the eye. However, the eyelid may prolapse again. Many vets say that the only treatment for this problem is surgery and they usually have to replace the eyelid.

When your basset hound needs surgery, it may be one of these procedures:

  • Tacking — where the vet takes sutures and puts the swollen gland back into its usual position. This is a good idea if the vet is used to performing this procedure. If this is effective, it won’t bother your dogs tear production. However, there may be a re-occurrence of the prolapse in 10-30% of the dogs.
  • Removal — the gland is removed through lasers or through regular surgery. The challenge if the gland is removed is that your dog’s tear mechanism will not produce. This leaves the dog susceptible to another disease called keratoconjunctivitis or “dry eye”.
  • Morgan Pocket technique — this procedure can perform the least amount of trauma for your dog. It is a technique that puts the eyelid gland and ductules back into place. This operation usually means that you dog will be under anesthesia for the process and they will probably need analgesics afterward.

As your Basset Hound gets older, there are other types of challenges you may see and it is a good idea to know about these.

Responsible basset hound ownership allows you to make sure that your dog is taken care of to prevent most health problems and illness such as cherry eyes. Learning more about your bassett and their needs for regular routine checkups can keep your dog healthier.

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