The nictitating membrane, which is otherwise known as the third eyelid, will usually appear as a tiny pink structure located at the inside corner of the Beagles’ eye. Sometimes the gland which is located on the underside of this membrane will become swollen and inflamed. It is this swelling and inflammation that in turn will cause the Beagles’ third eyelid to turn inside out. The ending result? A fairly nasty-looking red mass above the edge margin of the third eyelid, hence the name “Cherry Eye (or Prolapse of the Gland of the Third Eyelid)”. The Beagle may have increased redness of the eye, blinking, and tearing. Cherry Eye is more commonly seen in dogs between the ages of six months and two years and is considered to be the result of a congenital weakness of the attachment of the gland to the third eyelid..
Diagnosis and Treatment of Cherry Eye:
The diagnosis of Cherry Eye in a Beagle is fairly simple and it can be treated by having the gland surgically tacked into place. Surgery will prevent the gland from prolapsing again and will allow it to continue to produce tears. There is a very high chance that the second eye will prolapse at a later time even if only a single eye is affected. A predisposition for Cherry Eye can be inherited in some Beagles.
Cherry Eye Image via Wikipedia