Serious eye problems should always be treated by a vet, but sometimes you have to act quickly at home to protect your pet from further damage. If your pet gets cherry eye, for example, and for some reason you can't get to a vet, you may have to readjust the popped-out gland yourself, says Virginia Garrison, D.V.M., a veterinarian in private practice in Lexington, Kentucky.
It sounds scary, but it is often easy to do. Sliding the eyelids up over the "cherry" will usually cause the gland to pop back into place. Put your finger or thumb at the edge of the lower eyelid near the nose, says Dr. Garrison. Applying gentle pressure, slide both the outer and inner eyelids over the swelling. "This only works if you do it the very same day it popped out," she adds. If the lump doesn't pop back into place easily or if your pet seems to be in a lot of pain, give up right away and do your best to get to a vet.
Sometimes putting the gland back in place will correct the problem for good. But in many cases, pets will need surgery to eliminate the underlying cause. "The sooner we see a pet with this type of eye problem, the more quickly we can help him," says Dr. Nasisse.
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