Cherry eye snipping vs surgery
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Thread: Cherry eye snipping vs surgery

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    Senior Member kimrisa's Avatar
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    Cherry eye snipping vs surgery

    Good afternoon! My 13 week old English bulldog has cherry eye. We just got back from the eye doctor who says that we'll need surgery to reposition (medication and massaging the gland back in have proven unsuccessful). I know that the new trend is to reposition the gland as opposed to snipping it because there is a risk of dry eye if I remove the gland. However repositioning would mean putting my dog through surgery and post op care (not to mention paying over $1000) and there is a 50%-70% chance the gland will pop out again and I'd have to put my pup through another surgery. Snipping would just require a local anesthetic and no recovery time and my vet could do it in a matter of minutes. My breeder and several bulldog owners prefer the snipping method because of the risk of surgery and high incidence of failure with the replacement surgery. And my breeder says she's seen worse cases of dry eye from the surgery than from merely snipping. I was leaning toward just snipping but the dog opthamologist says removing the gland could lead to blindness later in life. Is this just a scare tactic or should I heed her warning?

    I'd love to hear from those of you who have done either the snipping or tacking to get some much-needed input!

    Thanks
    Tuffy's doting mama

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    Super Moderator cshellenberger's Avatar
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    Re: Cherry eye snipping vs surgery

    Aboslutely positively DO NOT allow the gland to be removed, you wil have a dog that will end up with dry aya and get ulcers in his eyes.

    The gland should be TACKED to the bottom of the orbit, this save the gland (which is hte tear duct) and keeps the eye healthy.

    If you're looking for a vet to do the surgery go to http://www.bullynet.com/vets.aspx to find a vet
    Carla
    "A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control" Proverbs 29:11

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    Senior Member kimrisa's Avatar
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    Re: Cherry eye snipping vs surgery

    Thanks for the post, Carla! I appreciate the advice. We actually have a good eye opthamologist who can do the procedure and she pretty much conveyed what you did!

    Thanks again...
    Tuffy's doting mama

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    Re: Cherry eye snipping vs surgery

    I'd take the opinion of a board certified veterinarian over a breeder's any day.

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    Super Moderator cshellenberger's Avatar
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    Re: Cherry eye snipping vs surgery

    Quote Originally Posted by kimrisa View Post
    Thanks for the post, Carla! I appreciate the advice. We actually have a good eye opthamologist who can do the procedure and she pretty much conveyed what you did!

    Thanks again...

    NP, I've been there and done that, my vet, who's bred Frenchies for 20 years did the surgery on a rescued EB I pulled from a local shelter, he charges $125.00 per eye and does any 'fixes' for free, sometimes if the CE has existed for a while it won't tack succesfully the first time and Xena had the condition for nearly a year before I got her. Ge the procedure done as soon as you can, the earlier this is caught an taken care of the more successful the surgery will be.

    Oh, and seriously, shop around for a vet to do the surgey. A vet with a large EB clientele will be able to do the surgery as well, if not better than the Opthamilogist and most likly for a fraction of the price. My vets clietele is nearly 70% English or French Bulldogs, he knows both breeds extreamely well and regulary performs not only this surgery, but others common to both breeds on a regular basis. He also charges about 75% LESS than other vets in this area (San Diego, where EVERTYTHING is more expensive). There is another vet around Riverside who charges the same and does the surgery on a walk in basis (same day in and out) and also repairs for free if the procedure doesn't take.
    Last edited by cshellenberger; 01-29-2010 at 09:08 AM.
    Carla
    "A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control" Proverbs 29:11

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    Senior Member kimrisa's Avatar
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    Re: Cherry eye snipping vs surgery

    Thanks for the great advice, Carla! It's much appreciated!!
    Tuffy's doting mama

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    Re: Cherry eye snipping vs surgery

    My question to the breeder would be "when should I expect the money from you to pay for the surgery"? If you live in a state that has a puppy lemon law thru the attorney general's office I'd act upon it if the breeder gives you any kind of hard time anting up to foot the bill. What does your contract state as far as genetic defect?

    Also agree ot to have the gland removed and to have it tacked or I even heard of a new technique where they "hammock" the gland back into place.

    Good luck

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    Super Moderator cshellenberger's Avatar
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    Re: Cherry eye snipping vs surgery

    Dog Shrink, even the best EB breeders often do not cover cherry eye in their contract as it's such a common condition along with entropian and extropian. Honestly, if you buy a EB from ANYONE it's a nearly a 50/50 shot that you will need to do a CE surgery, that's why you need to know the RIGHT vet that won't rob you. Yes, there are a FEW lines that don't have the problem (my breeder is one of the few I know that hasn't had any eyes pop) but they tend to be far between and the truth is it can appear in even the most carefully bred dogs.
    Carla
    "A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control" Proverbs 29:11

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    Re: Cherry eye snipping vs surgery

    What is it about the eye that makes EB's so prone to this? I mean I know it's common but didn't know it was THAT common even amongst well bred EB's.. that's disheartening Since there are lines that it doesn't appear in then a reasonable decuction woudl be it's a genetic trait, so why not just breed the lines with out the trait... isn't that part of responsible ethical breeding practices?

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    Re: Cherry eye snipping vs surgery

    I've heard some vet opthamologists say they believe it is really just the conformation of the dog's face and maybe a lax lower lid. I don't think anyone knows for sure even though there appear to be consistant predisposing factors. You're right in that it is common in certain breeds and in certain lines of those breeds - but doubtful that there is a "cherry eye gene." Just, a grocery list of traits that cause it to spring up.

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    Re: Cherry eye snipping vs surgery

    Thank you for the clarification MrV. What do you know of alternatives to removing the gland for repair?

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    Senior Member Angie's Bella's Avatar
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    Re: Cherry eye snipping vs surgery

    My vet tacked a cherry eye for me on a cocker spaniel that I fostered for a while. It is unclear as to how long she had had the CE because she was being used for a breeder in a puppy mill. My vet did it while she was under being spayed and it held great. Sadly she had to go back under just a few months later to have cataracts removed from both of her eyes (she was only 1 1/2 years old), but we didn't have any trouble from the CE tack.
    Lord help me to be the person my dogs think I am."

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    Senior Member kimrisa's Avatar
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    Re: Cherry eye snipping vs surgery

    Thanks for the post! Since my original post my pup's other eye got cherry eye as well so now I get to deal with both eyes having it. Dog Shrink, it's pretty much what Carla said. Since EB's are so prone to this and cherry eye isn't considered a health risk, breeders don't cover this in their health guarantee and unless the pup gets cherrry eye when it's still with them it's hard to get them to cover the cost of the operation. In fact, in the contract I had to sign it was stipulated that common EB traits such as Cherry Eye aren't covered! Only major skeletal defects. The health guarantee that these breeder's provide really aren't worth much.I read a great article online saying that these health guarantees are a joke because the moment you meet your pup you fall head over heels in love and aren't inclined to give him back!

    As for the tacking, even my opthamologist admitted that there is a 50% chance of it not taking the first time. A lot of fellow bulldog owners have tried tacking and ultimately had to go with snipping because the gland keeps popping. And it's a sad fact that many EB"s are predispositoned for dry eye anyway, regardless of whether they have had the gland snipped or not. Also I read that if the gland is exposed for long it renders the gland useless anyway. So unfortunately there are no easy answers to this one...
    Tuffy's doting mama

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    Re: Cherry eye snipping vs surgery

    Unfortunately, I do not know of a lot of alternative treatments. Currently, almost all veterinary opthamologists reccommend surgery. There are different techniques for surgery, but, it gets pretty technical and I don't know if one technique really has an advantage over the other. Most literature suggest to use what's referred to as "the pocket technique." Anyway, I've also heard quite a few opthamologists say that they think that if the dog has not developed KCS (Dry Eye) than removal of the gland is borderline malpractice because the incidence of KCS in those dogs after removal is extremely high and does not respond to therapy very well. I think I've also heard some of them say that the longer you wait to have surgery done, the prognosis for post op gets worse(don't quote me on that one).

    Personally, if I had a dog with this, I would consider at least having a consultation with a veterinary opthamologists (a list is available here: http://www.acvo.org/locate_an_ophthalmologist.htm ) since this can be a very frustrating problem.

    Sorry I couldn't be more help.

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    Super Moderator cshellenberger's Avatar
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    Re: Cherry eye snipping vs surgery

    Quote Originally Posted by kimrisa View Post
    Thanks for the post! Since my original post my pup's other eye got cherry eye as well so now I get to deal with both eyes having it. Dog Shrink, it's pretty much what Carla said. Since EB's are so prone to this and cherry eye isn't considered a health risk, breeders don't cover this in their health guarantee and unless the pup gets cherrry eye when it's still with them it's hard to get them to cover the cost of the operation. In fact, in the contract I had to sign it was stipulated that common EB traits such as Cherry Eye aren't covered! Only major skeletal defects. The health guarantee that these breeder's provide really aren't worth much.I read a great article online saying that these health guarantees are a joke because the moment you meet your pup you fall head over heels in love and aren't inclined to give him back!

    As for the tacking, even my opthamologist admitted that there is a 50% chance of it not taking the first time. A lot of fellow bulldog owners have tried tacking and ultimately had to go with snipping because the gland keeps popping. And it's a sad fact that many EB"s are predispositoned for dry eye anyway, regardless of whether they have had the gland snipped or not. Also I read that if the gland is exposed for long it renders the gland useless anyway. So unfortunately there are no easy answers to this one...

    A breeder worth thier salt WILL cover heart, thyroid, PRA (progressive Retianal Atrophy) Glaucoma as well as Skeletal problems as all these can be tested for in the parents. Cherry eye can't be tested for though any breeder worth their salt will NOT use a dog that has had to have a repair (same with dogs/bitches who have had demodex, they are taken out of a good breeders program). Also a reputable COE breeder will not require you to return the dog, but will help you pay for medical care as well as take the dog back at ANY stage in it's life if you can't keep it for ANY reason.
    Carla
    "A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control" Proverbs 29:11

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    Super Moderator cshellenberger's Avatar
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    Re: Cherry eye snipping vs surgery

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. V View Post
    Unfortunately, I do not know of a lot of alternative treatments. Currently, almost all veterinary opthamologists reccommend surgery. There are different techniques for surgery, but, it gets pretty technical and I don't know if one technique really has an advantage over the other. Most literature suggest to use what's referred to as "the pocket technique." Anyway, I've also heard quite a few opthamologists say that they think that if the dog has not developed KCS (Dry Eye) than removal of the gland is borderline malpractice because the incidence of KCS in those dogs after removal is extremely high and does not respond to therapy very well. I think I've also heard some of them say that the longer you wait to have surgery done, the prognosis for post op gets worse(don't quote me on that one).

    Personally, if I had a dog with this, I would consider at least having a consultation with a veterinary opthamologists (a list is available here: http://www.acvo.org/locate_an_ophthalmologist.htm ) since this can be a very frustrating problem.

    Sorry I couldn't be more help.

    Veterinary opthamologists have their purposes, however a vet that has a large EB clientele will do the job JUST as well and will often be much lower in price and will often do the repairs for free. In fact a vet with an EB clientele have often done the as many of these surgeries in one year as some opthamologists see in five.
    Carla
    "A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control" Proverbs 29:11

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    Senior Member kimrisa's Avatar
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    Re: Cherry eye snipping vs surgery

    I appreciate all the input. I did meet with a opthamologist who pretty much said what you are saying..that the pocket technique is preferred and that removing the gland is not advised due to the risk of dry eye. However, she did say that there are no gurantees with this surgery. I have also done a lot of subsequent research and the sad fact is that the pocket surgery is not always successful, especially with the bulldog breed and giving g. anesthesia to a bulldog does have it's risks. If there was a gurantee that this would work the first time I'd be right there but chances are he'll have to go under again and still no guarantees... I have spoken to many bulldog owners who have opted for the snipping and never had any issues with dry eye. On the other end of the spectrum I have also spoken with owners who had successful tacking procedures done

    At the end of this email are a couple of interesting links I found that show both sides of this debate. Also In THE BULLDOG BIBLE by Tania Holmes the author advocates snipping instead of tacking because in her experience tacking doesn't work. Again it's a big decision but I have time to decide since the Opthamologist wouldn't be able to perform the surgery until mid Feb. since my pup has to be off the antinflammatory ointment my vet prescribed for 2 weeks before surgery. But that again poses the question if waiting that amount of time will render the gland useless anyway!

    http://ironstone.net/Product%20Info.htm


    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/in...6214624AANqekY

    Thanks again for everyone's help with this! It's much appreciated.
    Tuffy's doting mama

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    Super Moderator cshellenberger's Avatar
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    Re: Cherry eye snipping vs surgery

    ok, I think you're getting the surgeries mixed up, there are THREE techniques, one is a pocket procedure which has a VERY low success rate and should NOT be done on an EB, then there is the tack procedure, which has a decent success rate and saves the tear duct, the sooner it's done the better the chances of success, last and most drastic is the removal of the gland, which should ONLY be done when the tack will not hold.

    Here are hte pictures of Xena, the EB I had done. Keep in mind that I had the pocket procedure done first by an opthamologist, which was $750.00 down the drain and the doctor wanted another 500.00 to do the tack procedure (at a 50% discount). I was then refferred by the director of the shelter (also an EB enthusiast) to my current doctor who did the tack for 250.00 (his FULL price) and repaired the left eye once the the right eye twice FOR FREE.

    The day I brought her home from the shelter:




    Six months later, successful surgery and recovery.


    LOL just realized these pictures are actually five months to the day apart, the first in July, the second in December.
    Last edited by cshellenberger; 02-02-2010 at 09:33 AM.
    Carla
    "A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control" Proverbs 29:11

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    Senior Member kimrisa's Avatar
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    Re: Cherry eye snipping vs surgery

    Thanks for the photos! The results of the surgery looks great. I will keep this all in mind. My opthamologist is looking for $1500 and that's for one eye! Now I need both done...
    Tuffy's doting mama

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    Re: Cherry eye snipping vs surgery

    THAT is insane. I would shop around Inqire to regular vets who have experience with this type of procedure. Talk about highway robbery...

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