|Written by Lisa Cinciripini|
The most common eye ailment of the Neapolitan Mastiff is Cherry Eye, the gland of the third eyelid swells and pops out and looks like a cherry thus the name Cherry Eye. Most Vet's will insist on tacking down the gland - THIS DOES NOT WORK ON THE NEO. It must be removed if it does not recede on its own.
Most Neo's get Cherry Eye by 8 months of age, a high percentage get cherry eye in both eyes. Ideally, both will develop at the same time. When you begin to see a cherry develop, try treating with an anti-inflammatory ointment - in some cases it will recede on its own. If your Neapolitan has not received a rabies vaccine yet, this is a good time to do it. The Cherry eye seems to pop after a stressful experience, such as plane rides or vaccines - some research indicates it is a autoimmune response. I do not support the belief as reported on other Neo sites that Cherry eye is due to the puppy wearing a choke chain (unless someone is abusing the dog).
Cherry Eye removal is a simple, quick surgery - the puppy (CH Cinciripini's Gina) below had her Cherry eye removed - from the time the anesthetic was administered to the time we reversed the anesthetic was 7 minutes. The actual removal took less than 2 minutes. She came home with me directly after the surgery.
Please Note: Do not attempt to remove a cherry eye by yourself. Procedure must be preformed at a licensed veterinary practice.
Also remind your vet that you do not want to risk putting your Neapolitan under twice if he is mistaken, and be sure to get his word that when the cherry eye pops back up the removal is free. Post surgery you will administer an antibiotic ointment for 7 days 2x daily. Most vets prescribe Terrymycin you may be able to purchase it much cheaper yourself.
Over the years I have noticed an interesting correlation to the Rabies Vaccine and Cherry Eye, I have decreased the incident of Cherry Eye after a Rabies Vaccine by pre treating the eye with an anti-inflammatory for at least 3 days prior vaccine. Most cherry eyes seem to pop after a stressful experience, such as plane rides or vaccines. It is not a life threatening situation, simply treat it.