Eyelid Protrusion In Cats: What Do You Need To Know About It?


Prolapsed gland of the eyelids or cherry eye or eyelid protrusion in cats refers to a pink mass that protrudes from the eyelid of the cat. Commonly, the development of the gland is anchored by an attachment that’s made up of fibrous matter. This particular medical condition may happen in the younger cats, rather than in the old ones. Get to learn more about this feline malady, read on to this article.

Eyelid Protrusion in Cats: What is this feline eye condition?

Even though the condition known as cherry eye or eyelid protrusion in cats might appear so painful, it isn’t. Nonetheless, when you leave it without any treatment, the gland might become painful, irritated and inflamed. If the cat rubs the eye area, the gland may start to become infected and may even bleed. Moreover, an immediate vet evaluation is important in preventing any serious injury to the eyes.

Moreover, it is quite terrifying to look at the cat and see a huge mass bulging from its eye. This reddish-pink mass often appear to be painful, and it might seem to appear abruptly. In most of the cases, this red mass isn’t a fast-growing cancer as you might have feared it to be. Rather, it is a tear gland that is situated below the third eyelid of the cat. Cherry eye or eyelid protrusion in cats is a somewhat common illness, which happens when the tear gland of the cat protrudes or prolapses from the eyes.

Causes of Cat Eyelid Protrusion         

The possible reasons the cat has acquired eyelid protrusion might be one of the following causes:

  • Idiopathic
  • Inflammation
  • Congenital condition
  • Defect in the retinaculum
  • Weak ligament attachment

Symptoms of Cat Eyelid Protrusion

There is actually one apparent symptom of eyelid protrusion in cats and that’s the presence of a red mass that sticks out off the corner of the eye of the cat. Furthermore, the cherry eye might happen in one or even both eyes of the cat. This particular protrusion may occur when the third eyelid of the c at is being displaced and the causal gland tend to push outward and starts to become noticeable. You might also see a discharge that comes from the eye. Further the membrane or the conjunctiva underneath the eyelid might appear irritated and red at the same time.

The nictitating membrane or the third eyelid has a function of adding protection to the eyes of the cat. Moreover, the gland that’s associated with this membrane is what provides the eye of the cat with about half of the tear production. The tears are what protect the eyes of the cat from drying out as well as in getting injured and irritated. Further, the tear gland yields essential antimicrobial elements, which fight the infections and help in keeping the eye of the cat healthy and hydrated.

For all of these reasons, it is really important to have the cat examined or evaluated by a vet as promptly as possible.

Prognosis of Cat Eyelid Protrusion

 Even though eyelid protrusion in cats is quite easy to diagnose as it presents a bulging red mass, the vet may need to make sure that the mass is due to an eyelid protrusion and not any other primary cause, just like injury or cancer of the eye.

  • Ophthalmic examination –The vet might perform a complete eye examination, including taking a biopsy of the mass when needed.
  • Physical examination –A thorough physical examination is important in evaluating the overall health of the cat. This tests help the vet in confirming the prognosis, as well as decide the best way in treating the condition.
  • Medical History –The vet may want a complete medical history of the cat, including when you first noticed the red mass on its eyelid.

On rare instances, the vet might need to use some other diagnostic tools, like magnetic resonance imaging or ocular ultrasonography to make sure of the appropriate diagnosis.

Treatment for Cat Eyelid Protrusion

Even though eyelid protrusion in cats is an obvious and unsightly condition of the eye of the cat, surgical operation isn’t done for any cosmetic reasons. Surgical procedure is necessary in ensuring the eye functions in a proper way, as well as to prevent any serious complications from happening.

Orbital Rim Tracking

In some instances, the vet might prefer to tack the tear gland on the orbital rim.

Pocket Technique

This technique is a common process, which may correct the condition. Since the gland can’t e moved back to its original position, a new one is made close to the presurgical position of the gland.

Gland Repositioning

Vets commonly recommend surgical repositioning of the gland. By this way, the eye of the cat must return to its normal function without the need for any daily medications.

Gland Surgical Removal

Removing the tear gland might seem to be one of the easiest fix. Nonetheless, once the gland is detached, the cat may be vulnerable to dry eye condition. This is because the eye’s normal lubrication might be compromised. n


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