Once the gland of the third eyelid has prolapsed, surgery is required to replace the gland.
Replacement should occur as soon as possible after it is noticed to retain essential production of tears from this gland. If left exposed for long periods of time, the gland can become inflamed, dry, infected and uncomfortable for the pet.
Before surgery, we may recommend topical therapy to help alleviate any inflammation or infection. Replacement is typically done with “pocketing” or “anchoring” techniques. However, we will recommend and use a technique to ensure the most successful replacement possible.
Removal of a prolapsed gland can lead to more permanent consequences. The tears produced by this gland are essential for ocular health. Its removal can lead to Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (dry eye) days or years later in life. If left untreated, dry eye can lead to ulcers, infection and even vision loss.
Dry eye is uncomfortable for the pet patient, and requires the owner to administer topical medications multiple times a day for the remainder of the pet patient’s life.
It is recommended that the gland be repositioned so it can continue to function normally. For this reason, replacement, and not the removal of the gland, is recommended.