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Thread: Red/irritated third eyelids that will not retract (NOT cherry eye)

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    Exclamation Red/irritated third eyelids that will not retract (NOT cherry eye)

    Has anyone had any experience with irritated third eyelids that will not retract when eyes are open?? My baby girl Penny (just over 10 weeks) has had a host of digestive issues during her first couple weeks at our home and now that we seem to have crossed that hurdle we are dealing with another obstacle.

    I came home from work to find about 50% of both of Penny's eyes were covered by her third eyelids (which were very red but NOT prolapsed- they are totally flat). It looked as if her beautiful blue eyes were staring off into two opposite corners!! I was so shocked- I had her seen by a new vet as our regular vet was unavailable today and she suggested we wait and observe as it could be pink eye or a potential irritant of some sort. She agreed that this is not what is commonly called 'cherry eye'.

    I'm considering all my options here- allergies to dander/pollen/dust, food allergies (very possible considering her bout of diarrhea but her poops are looking WAY better now that she is on Stella & Chewy's), dry air (we keep the AC on for her as it's still a bit warm in NYC) which could have led to dry eyes. I am fairly certain she didn't have any recent trauma to her eyes since BOTH her eyes are experiencing the same third eyelid issue and it seems unlikely that she somehow managed to poke herself in both eyes.

    Has anyone else experienced this problem? How did you deal with it? Any suggestions? Vet's orders are to wait it out and Penny's regular vet seems to agree (they touched base w/ each other), but as a new furbaby mama it is just so difficult to see her eyes like this...

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    Re: Red/irritated third eyelids that will not retract (NOT cherry eye)

    Radars eyes weren't quite as bad as what you are describing but the third eyelid was really red. My vet recommended Zyrtec because she felt it was allergies and it really did clear things up.


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    Re: Red/irritated third eyelids that will not retract (NOT cherry eye)

    I'd try allergy meds. If that doesn't clear it up I would definitely ask for eye drops/ointment.

    Isabelle got pink eye, and her vet didn't "hold off" on meds for her, so I'm doubting that they thought it was pink eye as well. It needs antibiotic drops, why would you wait?

    I hope you get it sorted out! Eyes are so tricky with this breed sometimes!
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    Re: Red/irritated third eyelids that will not retract (NOT cherry eye)

    @blushy- I agree on that front. If she was convinced it was pink eye she wouldn't hold off on meds and just wait to observe.

    Thanks for your suggestions @mmclean and @blushy

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    Re: Red/irritated third eyelids that will not retract (NOT cherry eye)

    My Penelope tends to have issues with her third eyelids, but not quite what you describe. Hers tend to flare up also, but it's interesting because they're white rather than red. It almost looks like the inner, white corners of her eyes swell, and then they go down quickly. (It seems to happen on alternating eyes, but never at the same time)

    Of course, the first time it happened I naturally FREAKED and rushed her off to the vet hospital. I was given Maxidex drops as an anti-inflammatory, and they seem to work quite well. Mind you, now when it happens it goes down so quickly on their own that I don't usually need to put drops in them.

    But for hers to not retract and just stay there is quite interesting. But, if they don't feel it's a concern at this point, then I guess there's not much you can do. Why Penelope gets this and not her brother is beyond me. Is it allergies, just a birth 'defect', etc.? Who knows. I think it just might be something that I have to live with when it comes to her. Perhaps your baby is the same too?

    Keep us posted! Lots of snuggles for your furbaby.

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    Re: Red/irritated third eyelids that will not retract (NOT cherry eye)

    @PugandTwoFrenchies Thanks for your concern! Her eyes are doing a little bit better than when the problem initially presented. I can absolutely relate to your initial freak out- my heart dropped when I noticed!! Luckily she doesn't seem to exhibit any signs of discomfort so that's a plus... I almost hope it's allergies, in which case I can try to isolate the allergen to avoid this issue I'm attaching some pictures for a visual on what Penny has going on- 2 of the pictures are what we are used to seeing (clear eyes with little to no whites of eyes visible) and 2 are after we got over the worst of her redness and 3rd eyelid visibility. Apologies in advance for the potential ache in your neck from having to twist your head! -img_2912-jpg-img_2918-jpg-img_2926-jpg-img_2685-jpg

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    Re: Red/irritated third eyelids that will not retract (NOT cherry eye)

    Quote Originally Posted by pennymama View Post
    @PugandTwoFrenchies Thanks for your concern! Her eyes are doing a little bit better than when the problem initially presented. I can absolutely relate to your initial freak out- my heart dropped when I noticed!! Luckily she doesn't seem to exhibit any signs of discomfort so that's a plus... I almost hope it's allergies, in which case I can try to isolate the allergen to avoid this issue I'm attaching some pictures for a visual on what Penny has going on- 2 of the pictures are what we are used to seeing (clear eyes with little to no whites of eyes visible) and 2 are after we got over the worst of her redness and 3rd eyelid visibility. Apologies in advance for the potential ache in your neck from having to twist your head! -img_2912-jpg-img_2918-jpg-img_2926-jpg-img_2685-jpg
    Ohhhhh I see what you're talking about. My dogs look like this too! Penelope's left eye kind of looks like this (not quite as much as your pics show), but it's definitely more noticeable on her left than the right. Her brother has this also in both of his eyes. It's more noticeable depending on which way their eyeballs are turned too...lol But Fergus' are definitely more noticeable on the inner corners than his sister.

    Yeah, as long as they're not inflammed and swelling, I can see why your vet is choosing to wait it out and see. Looking at my dogs, I truly think this is a part of their growth process, and the inner eyelids will kind of do their thing of growing/contracting until they settle down. (Maybe I'm wrong? I'm still somewhat new to having Frenchies) As long as your pup isn't squinting or pawing her eyes, I wouldn't stress too much about it. If it gets worse, for sure go to the vet and you would perhaps be described drops. But to me this seems like a Frenchie thing.

    I know that if it does continue to be an issue they can do surgery to correct this, and they can do it at the same time she's spayed. That's what our vet had told us.

    Oh my goddddddd she's just *gorgeous*. So sweet. How can you not worry about such a precious little thing?

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    Re: Red/irritated third eyelids that will not retract (NOT cherry eye)

    Quote Originally Posted by pennymama View Post
    @PugandTwoFrenchies Thanks for your concern! Her eyes are doing a little bit better than when the problem initially presented. I can absolutely relate to your initial freak out- my heart dropped when I noticed!! Luckily she doesn't seem to exhibit any signs of discomfort so that's a plus... I almost hope it's allergies, in which case I can try to isolate the allergen to avoid this issue I'm attaching some pictures for a visual on what Penny has going on- 2 of the pictures are what we are used to seeing (clear eyes with little to no whites of eyes visible) and 2 are after we got over the worst of her redness and 3rd eyelid visibility. Apologies in advance for the potential ache in your neck from having to twist your head! -img_2912-jpg-img_2918-jpg-img_2926-jpg-img_2685-jpg

    Holy smokes, I know I am coming into this conversation late but I HAVE TO SAY!!! Your puppy is absolutely ADORABLE!!!! Look at that face!

    Banksy has the redness in one of his eyes, not always, just sometimes. I have always wondered about it, debated going to the vet, but then it goes away?!

    Keep us posted on Penny!
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    Re: Red/irritated third eyelids that will not retract (NOT cherry eye)

    @PugandTwoFrenchies @hannah Aw thanks for all the love! I'm sure there is no furbaby parent out there that doesn't love hearing how adorable their pup is!

    I will definitely keep you posted via this thread. It really would be environmental allergies or food allergies- she just started on Stella & Chewy's (Duck Duck Goose) and her poops have firmed up since (she was suffering from a bout of diarrhea while she was on Taste of the Wild / Health Extension) but maybe one of the ingredients is causing this reaction?? Who knows, but I am watching her like a hawk so I will make note of any change!

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    Red/irritated third eyelids that will not retract (NOT cherry eye)

    It looks like possibly "dry eye" ... ?
    Ask your vet about that, just to basically cover every basis lol.

    But gosh she is cute. Looks just like my Isa. I love blue pied frenchies!


    This is how Isabelle's eyes look on a daily basis. Almost similar to your pups?
    You can see the pink instead of just white. Sometimes it looks like it gets stuck? But she's also had cherry eye in one eye and surgery to repair it, but that is still her everyday third eyelid position.

    When she had pink eye her eye was much more red.
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    Re: Red/irritated third eyelids that will not retract (NOT cherry eye)

    Omg. So precious.... Hope all is ok with her eye

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    Re: Red/irritated third eyelids that will not retract (NOT cherry eye)

    @blushy I do think it could be dry eyes... my boyfriend reminded me that she does tend to sleep with her eyes partially (mostly) open eek! lol My boyfriend took a look at your Isa and was like "OMG SHE LOOKS JUST LIKE A BIGGER PENNY!!!!" haha What a beautiful girl!

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