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Ocular Surgery

Ocular surgery involves any surgery that is performed on the eye or around the eye area. Some of the most common eye surgeries that are performed in a vet hospital includes cherry eye surgery, eyelid mass removals and enucleation. 

Some of the most common eye conditions in pets include:

  • Cherry eye 
  • Eyelid Mass/lump
  • Entropian
  • Ectropian

We work closely with Board Certified Ophthalmologist to help diagnose and treat more advanced eye conditions in your pet. 

Cherry Eye

Cherry eye (prolapse of the third eyelid) is an eye condition which is commonly seen in dogs, but can also occur in cats. Unlike humans, dogs and cats have three eyelids. The third eyelid is located in the inner corner of the eyes and is normally not visible. In animals with cherry eyes, the third eyelid “pops out” of its normal position – like little pink cherries, hence the name.

Approximately 33% of the tear is produced from the tear gland located inside the third eyelid which is normally held in place with strong fibrous tissue. But pets with cherry eyes are born with weaker fibrous tissue to hold down the tear glands and it’s unable to stay in the normal position. When this fibrous tissue loosens, the gland will “pop” out protruding through the third eyelid.

Cherry eye is not a life-threatening condition. However, when the sensitive tear gland tissue is no longer protected and is instead exposed to the outside environment of wind and dust, it causes secondary inflammation and discomfort to your pets. Pets with untreated cherry eyes are more likely to develop additional ophthalmic conditions such as dry eye, chronic conjunctivitis and ocular discharge.

In some cases, mild cherry eye may be managed medically, however, if the condition persists or recurs, then surgical intervention is indicated.

Eyelid Mass/Lump

It’s not uncommon for pets to have growth on their eyelids which can often cause irritation to their eye. In some cases, the growth can even impact their vision and scratch their cornea, cause permanent damage to their eye. Most eyelid margin masses are benign, however, some can be cancerous. Surgery is often recommended to remove any eyelid masses to prevent any damage to your pet’s vision.


Entropion is a condition in that causes the eyelids to roll inwards (upper eyelids, lower eyelids or both). One or both eyes may be affected and it is usually considered a hereditary condition in pets. This condition often causes the eyelashes and sometimes the hair on the surface of the eyelid to rub against the cornea (eyeball) resulting in pain, corneal ulcers and sometimes permanent damage to their vision.

The most common signs of entropian includes excessive tear production (weepy eyes), eye infection, squinting and in some severe cases, unable to open their eyes properly. This condition often affects breed such as Shar Pei, French Bulldogs, English Bulldogs, Pugs, Shih Tzu and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

Entropion surgery involves corrected the rolling inwards of the eyelids by correcting the entropion. This surgery is usually performed once your pet has grown into their adult facial features eg at least 6-9months of age.


Ectropion is a condition that is the opposite of entropion, where the eyelids roll outwards. The lower eyelids are most affected and animals with ectropion usually present with droopy-eyed appearance. Ectropion is more common in dogs than cats and it is primarily a developmental condition that is breed related and hereditary in nature. Acquired ectropion can occur from facial trauma eg damage to the facial nerve.

This condition often results in the delicate inner parts of the eyelids (conjunctiva) being exposed which causes drying of the tissues. Often, pets will present with conjunctivitis or in some severe cases, the surface of the eye may often be dry (dry eye) which can lead to inflammation of the cornea, also known as keratitis. This condition often affects breed such as Basset Hound, Bernese Mountain Dog, Mastiff, English Cocker Spaniels and Saint Bernard.

Ectropion surgery involves correcting the rolling outwards of the eyelids by tightening or shortening the eyelid(s). The aim of the surgery is to provide a normal lower eyelid length that covers the cornea properly.