Cherry Eye Remedy: Natural Pet Cures!

Dec 10, 2017

What is Cherry Eye?
Cherry eye occurs from a congenital defect of the nictitating membrane (also called the third eyelid) which helps supply oxygen and nutrients to the eye via the tear duct. This dog health condition is mostly seen in young dogs. In cherry eye, this third eyelid gland becomes prolapsed and protrudes from the eye as a sensitive mass of red flesh. The gland becomes more susceptible to damage, infections, inflammation, and drying out. Dogs with cherry eye may develop further complications.

Find a Natural Pet Care Remedy for Cherry Eye

On this page you can find a number of user submitted home cures for cherry eye and related eye problems in dogs. Our most popular cures are lubricating eye drops, massage, and ice applications to help cherry eye go away. Let us know if you try anything you find here at Earth Clinic. Know of a cure for cherry eye not yet listed here, feel free to let is know about it!

Baby Wipes, Dietary Changes  

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Posted by Earth Clinic Fan (Seattle, Washington) on 06/23/2016
5 out of 5 stars

We recently rescued a dog with cherry eye. My husband began to wipe his eyes with Babies' hand and face wipes every morning, just to get the dreck out of the inner corners. I would repeat during the day occasionally if his eyes got glommed up with junk. We also added a "pricey" dog food slowly to his diet (spelt, oats, codfish, orange, and a ton of vitamins) and within a week's time, his cherry eye began to redness at all left. I must say he is on a chicken-free diet and he gets very rare steak (sell-outpriced) pieces of meat for his very best treats. That's the only thing going on around time- consuming ice packs orexpensive bottles of doggy vitamins or potions!

Dietary Changes, Supplements  

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Posted by Chris (San Francisco, Ca) on 12/24/2016
4 out of 5 stars

Spontaneous healing, then-unhealing of cherry eye

My chihuahua terrier mix got cherry eye one day for no reason I could tell. I tried massage. nothing. then about a week ago we looked and it was gone. what had changed? He had been off commercial food for about 2 weeks at that point. Starting a human food diet. Also started getting vitamin C, B, D, bone meal, and l-glutamine in his food. This happened after a 7 hour flight to Boston. so he was fasting the day before. Boston exposed him to cold weather (we live in san francisco). Then after about 5 days it came back!

The most significant thing that has changed in Boston is his food. He ate a lot of broccoli rabe and raw streak. Dogs do have beef allergies. and not sure about the brocoli.

Replied by Sean
Church Point

My dog, which is two years old, woke up after a nap and had cherry eye (we think). We left her eye along for awhile while I searched for remedies. Once I saw the part about rubbing and massaging it, I went down to try it and the cherry eye was gone. We don't know if she had cherry eye or she just had something in her eye, but it looks like it was. Do you know what she had in her eye? Was it cherry eye or something in her eye?

Ice, Massage  

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Posted by Jennifer (Madisonville, Ky) on 12/17/2015
5 out of 5 stars

I just did the ice and massage treatment on an eight week old beagle mix. Used cube of ice for minute or two the massaged for about three minutes n it's gone. Hers was really protruding out.

Replied by Kialey

Ice massages do help! BUT please be careful with the time length of using it. No longer than 10 minutes is suggested, any longer their skin and vessels under the skin can become damaged from the ice contact! Follow human rules ;) 10 minutes on 10 minutes off!

Replied by Julia

Do you put the ice directly on the eye? Or should you wrap it in a wash cloth?

Replied by Suseeq
Sydney, Australia

Wrap in a cloth.

Posted by Jean (West Midlands, UK) on 04/02/2015
5 out of 5 stars

Thank You so much. My little coton de tulear developed a cherry eye during the night, I took the advice from this site regarding the Ice and massage and I can't believe after half an hour of using the ice and massaging the big bubble has gone!!! x

Posted by Daphne (Richmond, US) on 11/30/2014
5 out of 5 stars

My chi weenie has cherry eye! It was just red and I looked at her eye and there was a big bubble right under the lid. My son massaged her eye gently for a minute. Nothing. I put on a hot compress for about a minute and gently pushed along her closed eye toward her nose about 3 times. Nothing. I found this site and decided to try ice. (Someone said it took them 3 min). I put ice in a ziplock. I snuggled her and put it on her closed eye for 3 minutes. I pushed on her closed lid toward her nose 3x. I could kind of feel it as I pushed. Third time I couldn't feel it so I just petted her and got her to look up at an angle and it is still red but no bubble! Taking her to the vet tomorrow to see what is going on but happy that we know another option. Yay!

Posted by Abraham B. (Hialeah, Fl.) on 04/01/2014
5 out of 5 stars

I got my Boston Terrier puppy 3 weeks ago. He is just 12 weeks now. He got cherry eyed the day before yesteday and my wife got some iced water with a sterile gause and put it on the puppy's closed eye a couple of times. She then gave the puppy the circular massage and it worked!!!! We got really happy after feeling soooo bad for the puppy. Bostons rock!!!!!!! Thank you all for the help...

Replied by Theresa
Mpls., Mn

Hey Abraham!

Awesome to know EC helped you and your Boston!

Replied by Nicole

Worked like a charm for me! My dog really liked the ice on her eye—I think she found that soothing. Thanks!

Lubricating Eye Drops, Ice, Massage  

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Posted by Arleen (Mi) on 02/18/2017
5 out of 5 stars

I'm a believer! My mini doxie came in from outside and in the corner of her eye was a red bulge. I immediately started looking up what it could be. It is known as a 'cherry eye". I read all comments on this site about this and decided to go with using first an eye drop solution-1 drop, then ice in a baggie w/cloth wrapped around it for 5 minutes laid on the bulge and finally gently pushing the bulge towards the corner from which it protruded not on the eyeball. I did this 3 times that day. I could still see a reduced bulge before she went to bed for the night. This morning - nothing - gone. I am so thankful for this site and the results.

Lubricating Eye Drops, Massage  

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Posted by 2puppyowner (Texas) on 02/18/2016
5 out of 5 stars

I noticed my old 8 week puppy all of a sudden had cherry eye thought he scratched it or got something in it, but looking online I used the method with the warm cloth and massaged his eye while having him laying on his back.Then I put 3 drops of eye drops to the eye and continued to massage. Within 15 minutes his cherry eye was gone. Thank you for the post and how to correct this. Got me very worried about my little guy.He's doing better. Thanks

Replied by Isabella

What did you put in his eye?

Replied by Micki

What kind of eye drops did you use for lubricate your dogs eye? I have been looking for eye drops but don't know if there a specific kind I need to get?

Replied by Devin
Las Vegas, Nm

Just regular clear eyes or visine? Or specific dog eye drops? Please and thanks!

Replied by Celis

What kind of eye drops did u use?

Replied by Frances
Buena Vista

What kind of eye drops should I use?

Replied by Ziba
Ramona, Ca

What kind of eye drops do you use?

Replied by Catherine

My little pup almost a year has this and my question is, are the lub eye drops simply over the counter human use or do I need to get prescription from vet?

Posted by Molley (Australia) on 11/15/2014
5 out of 5 stars

Hello , my name is Tasha, I am a white shitzu cross, I would like to thank you for the advice you have given for cherry eye, I am a little tired of mum messing with it, I don't like going to the doctors and don't need an operation, the eye drops are so soothing, and now I don't run into every thing, with the ointment she was giving me, I nearly zonked out the last time I walked into something hard, well thanks again folks and keep up the good work.

Best wishes from Tasha

Replied by Sofia

What is it called?

Posted by Heather (Waltham, Ma) on 11/03/2012
5 out of 5 stars

THANK YOU THANK YOU!! I have a 8month old malitzu, I noticed he had cherry eye and right away searched the internet. I used one eye drop, iced and rubbed as directed and it worked! Thank you all so much! Still in shock it worked. took only 3 minutes.

Posted by Beagle-dashound Mix (Atlanta, Ga) on 01/26/2011
5 out of 5 stars

My dog had cherry eye yesterday - I put in lubricating tear drops, held an ice cube in a baggy on it for about 5 minutes at most and then my husband massaged it for about 3 minutes tops using moderate pressure, pushing in towards the nose - AND IT WORKED! All of the sudden it was just gone!!!! This happened last night and her eye looks totally normal today!!!

Replied by Esther
Vilseck, Bavaria, Germany
5 out of 5 stars

Thank you, Thank you, THANK YOU! This morning my 5 month old pup woke up with cherry eye and we all had no idea what it was or why it had happened. I called the vet and they said it sounded like "cherry eye" and that I should come in asap as this condition usually requires surgery to fix. I didn't like that, but I did make an appointment. Tooling around the internet led me to this lovely site. I tried this method with my darling little pup and whammo! Perfect! She's as good as new! Okay, almost as good as new. She's a little red around the inner corner of the eye, but I think that's from her scratching at the cherry. I'm so very, very pleased. Next up, apple cider vinegar for the conjunctivitus (sp?). Thank you all!!!!

Replied by Joel
Hialeah, Fl
5 out of 5 stars

I tried rubbing the eyelid toward the nose but the cherry eye was still there just a little hidden. I had a little idea I put my mouth over her eyelid and ever so gently blew a little air into her eye. I mean I had to do it twice cause the first time I hardly put any air in it. I don't mean a whole mouth full. Anyways, the entire cherry eye is gone. I tried so hard to see if it finally went away. It's all gone, no sign she ever even had it. I think she got it when my little sister put the blow dryer toward my dogs face. I hope you guys try it. I saved alot of money trying this out.

Replied by Corinne
Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey
5 out of 5 stars

Thank you thank you!! It worked I just massaged her eye for about 2 minutes and it was gone. I had to wait till she was sleeping because she is a puppy and wouldn't sit still. Thank you so much!!!

Replied by Briana
Vancouver, Wa
5 out of 5 stars

Omg thank you so much for this info. We have a chihuahua and she was getting it. We did the eye drops, ice and then massaged twice last night and when we woke up today it was gone!

Replied by Wen
1 out of 5 stars

:( it did not work on my beagle/bassett hound just tried it

Replied by Pam
5 out of 5 stars

I have a 9yr. old shepard / chow mix she has had cherry eye for more then a yr. I could not afford surgery; I just found this, so I decided to give it a try. It worked much to my amazement in just a few minutes, I really could feel it "pop" back in, and she seemed to like it. It has only been a few min. and I expect I will have to do it again, but I have to say WOW! I wish I would have seen this sooner!

Replied by Shivpal
5 out of 5 stars

Thank you so much. I tried it for my beagle and it works. Can you suggest me what should I do to prevent it coming back??? We did surgery before 2 months and again it was back but I tried your suggestion so her eye is normal now. My beagle female puppy is 6 months old.

Replied by Natalie
Oak Forest

I have a dog who has had cherry eye for about 6-7 yrs. At first the vet showed me how to gently push it back in with a lubricated Q-tip. This would work temporarily but would always eventually come back Then stopped working all together. Since I didn't have the money for surgery (which isn't a guarantee anyway) I decided to live with it as it never bothered him. I am just wondering if the massage method will work now being that he has had it so long. I always put eye drops in but it seems to be getting bigger. He is 10 now and I don't want to put him through surgery. Anyone else have a suggestion or similar situation?

Replied by Christy Jo

Sometimes I use lavender oil to get my dogs to calm down or sit still. It has even helped with motion sickness in car.

Replied by Angela
Los Angeles, Ca

What brand/ type of drops did you use? And from where? Please help!

Replied by Bj
Spokane Wa

We have a 4 year old mix male....he has had "cherry eye" since we have had him...we rub it at night, but only allows it to be a tad less swollen...

What did you do, what item, did you use, that helped this heal? You are the only one on this site, that had this problem for a year or longer! THANK you for whatever you can share!!!

Betty, Robert and Pepper too!

Replied by Frank

Pls, how do you use lavender oil to calm your dog?

Replied by Theresa
Mpls., Mn

Hey Frank,

You first have to start with a very high quality organic and pure grade lavender essential oil. Because they are concentrated/strong they can cause drying of the skin if applied undiluted, so you should always dilute in some type of carrier oil - usually an edible oil like coconut oil or almond oil. So you might take 1 teaspoon of coconut oil and to it add 2-3 drops of lavender oil and mix well. Then apply to the inside of the ears - it doesn't have to go into the ear, just apply on the hair free side of the ear flap. You could also do this with premixed essential oil formulas designed for calming pets. If you are dealing with a stressed dog you might also consider the Bach Flower Remedy called 'Rescue Remedy' that helps calm anxious pets and people. Lastly you might also consider Dog Appeasing Pheromones /DAP - a product you can find online.

Replied by Tara

What kind of eye drops do I use?

Replied by Mackenzie

I'm sorry that this is so random because your post is from years ago but I am desperate. My puppy has developed cherry eye in both eyes! Do you by any chance remember the name of the drops you used? I've heard that it's hard to get it to get back in after it's been out for so long, so reading your post about it going away after one year has given me hope!

Thank you and sorry again for the random message.


Replied by Theresa
Mpls., Mn

Hey Mackenzie,

I am not the original poster but am replying. My best advice is to take your puppy to the vet to confirm the diagnosis and get a prescribed eye medication. If that is out of the question you might try a human eye lubricating drop you find at the local drugstore.

Posted by Vicki (Mesquite, Tx) on 01/12/2010
5 out of 5 stars

Hand Manipulation, Ice Packs & Similasan for Cherry Eye

I have a little male Chihuahua/JRT mix dog that looks like a puggle (blocky head, slightly bug eyes). About 3 years ago, when he was around a year old, I went on a trip and he cried the whole 3 days I was gone. He had a cherry eye when I got back. He also suffers from some sort of allergies and they'd been bothering him also.

I couldn't afford a vet & didn't believe it was necessary anyway, so I thought I'd try to work it back in myself. I had some Simalisan redness relief eye drops, so I put a few drops in his eye, then an ice compress for a few minutes. This shrank it down a bit, so I closed his eye and began working the lid around in a tiny circle, pressing in toward the corner where the "cherry" was. I keep my fingernails really, really short, by the way, not even out to the ends of my fingers. If you have long fingernails, they'd need to clipped off to do this because you have to form a little compress "tool" with your thumb and either your first two or first three fingers held all together, depending on the size of the dog's eye or what will contain the "cherry" in the little space between the ends of your fingers.

After a few minutes I could feel it slightly "pop" back in. I pressed on it for a couple of minutes with my thumb, then I put the ice compress back on for a few more minutes, gave him a weight appropriate dose of benedryl liquid and let him go. I put the drops in again a few more times the next couple of days, and an ice pack on whenever it looked like the eye was getting irritated the rest of his allergy season. It's been 3 years and it hasn't popped out again.

I also changed my dogs' food to one that doesn't have any grains in it, because his granny dog has really bad corn allergies and I figured that might be part of the cause of cherry eye in his case (she itches and looses hair).

Posted by Violet (St. Pete, Fl) on 09/15/2009
5 out of 5 stars

Cherry eye is an unsightly swelling and protruding of the tear duct gland in dogs (prolapsed gland). It is most commonly seen in Bulldogs, Boston Terriers and Boxers.

Vets will usually recommend expensive surgery to correct this, but I was able to correct it at home on my own dog.

When my male Boston Terrier got cherry eye I started doing research and was dismayed to find that the surgery has a poor success rate. Even after surgery the cherry eye can come back, and I read so many messages from people who had shelled out hundreds of dollars for more than one surgery. But I came across a non surgucal fix on a bulldog website and I tried it for myself. It was super simple, it was cheap, it look less than 15 minutes, and it worked!

Here are the instructions I somewhat followed from

"There are old timers with extensive experience with "Cherry Eye Condition" that recommend an alternative to surgery, especially those breeds that have high surgical risks. The first thing that is done to "treat" this condition is to prescribe an antibiotic ointment, second use warm compresses to the corner of the eye, third is to massage the gland lightly with the index finger applying even gentle pressure in a circular motion. Once the tear duct becomes "unblocked" even if it is out of its normal place it is now of a size that usually can be returned by pulling very gently the outer tissue and "popping" the tear duct back into place. You may have to replace the tear duct several times over a two week period, sometimes I have heard for even a month, but then it does not require surgery, and the dog as a general rule has no more problems with the condition whatsoever. We urge new pet owners to be very careful when attempting to use this technique because you can cause injury to the eyeball if you scratch it when trying to massage the tear duct. Try to find another owner of a bulldog or similar breed to walk you through it the first time to make sure you are doing it correctly. We do urge you to seek veterinarian assistance if the condition worsens or if this technique fails to make an improvement. There are some bulldogs that have an inflamatory disease as well and you may see a worsening of the condition. Inflamatory conditions must be treated with an anti-inflamatory antibiotic drop or ointment."

I made a few changes to the above instructions. I used OTC lubricating eye drops I bought at a pharmacy. They were called Gen Teal. I trimmed my fingernail all the way down. I did the massage and popped the gland back in keeping light pressure on it for about 5 minutes. I repeated the process for the next 2 days but I saw immediate results after the first day. It has been 3 months and we have not had another occurence of cherry eye!

Replied by Monica
St. George, Utah
5 out of 5 stars

Thank you for this site and the information of what to do with cherry eye. I tried it on my puppy and it worked. It popped out a few hours later. I did the warm compress and then massaged again, and there hasn't been another problem with it. Everyone else is saying surgery. Thank you for the real remedy! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Replied by Lily
Baton Rouge, La
5 out of 5 stars

Thanks so much for this feedback! About a month ago, I was bathing my Shinese puppy and shampoo got in her eye. The result was a inflammation to her tear duct. I took her to the vet, and she was prescribed eye drops. For several weeks, I saw no improvements and eventually took her back to the vet, where I was told she might need eye surgery in the future.

Yesterday, I stumbled upon this website and followed the instructions, hoping to pop the gland back into place. After applying a warm compress and massaging the area for a little while, the cherry eye disappeared -- only to come back immediately. I repeated the process today, and it worked!! She has been playing with other puppies and going about her normal activities, and her eye is completely back to normal. This is absolutely incredible! Thanks for the advice!

Replied by Stephanie
Springfield, Mo
5 out of 5 stars

I came home from work today to see that my 3 year old puggle had a, what I found out was, a cherry eye. This website seemed to know what it was talking about, but I'm always questioning if the stuff you read on websites actually work. It was too late to take her to the vet, so I got a warm cloth and put it over her eye adding a little pressure for about one minute. Sure enough, it was gone! I was shocked it was that easy! Thank you all so much!


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Posted by Sally (Atlanta ) on 08/08/2017
5 out of 5 stars

Thanks for the great advice! We came home and our 4 year old beagle had developed cherry eye! I read up on your site and massaged it for maybe a minute and his eye is back to normal!

Posted by Valerie (Pflugerville, Tx) on 04/11/2017
5 out of 5 stars

Massaged with a warm face cloth for about 3 minutes! It worked!!! Thank you soooo very much!!!