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Infection after cherry eye surgery?

Species: Dog
Breed: Lhasa Apso
Age: 5-8 years
Chewy had successful cherry eye surgery about 3 months ago. Vet has closed. I followed oinment/moisture drops therapy for 4 weeks. He has been l waking up with green goo in this same eye since pretty much right after surgery; I expected it to go away. Cherry eye seems perfect, but his eye constantly needs to be wiped clean 2-3 times per day. Sometimes the goo is whiter, sometimes more greenish, locating at the corner, bottom or ON his eyeball sometimes. If it's kinda green doesn't that mean it's infected? After the $1000 surgery (teeth done as well) I really don't want to go back to vet this soon - can I get something OTC or online? Thanks!!
Terry

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Dr. Marie replied:

Hmmm...it is definitely not normal to have green goo in the eye three times a day for 3 months following cherry eye surgery. You're right...if there is a green color then there is likely some infection. Sometimes, if it is just a little gunky, but not green it can mean that there is some irritation in the eye.

I can think of a few possibilities for what is going on.

First of all, it's possible that there is a very mild infection there. If this is the case then yes, he will need antibiotics prescribed by the vet and unfortunately they will not be able to prescribe them without seeing him. There really isn't any point in using an over the counter product like neosporin/polysporin eye drops because they are usually not strong enough to properly deal with an eye infection.

Was the ointment that he was on for 4 weeks an antibiotic or just a lubricant? If it was an antibiotic and he still has a green discharge then I'm a bit concerned that he could have an infection that is resistant to some antibiotics. This is usually not a huge deal, but it would mean that the vet would have to do a culture test where they send away a sample to the lab to find out what is growing there and what antibiotics will be effective against the infection.

Another possibility is if there is some irritation in the eye. There are many different ways to repair a cherry eye but it is possible that there is a tiny piece of suture that is constantly irritating the eye. If this is what is happening then the vet will need to anesthetize Chewy again and remove the suture.

Another possibility is something called dry eye (also known as KCS). This is a condition where the tear production in the eye is not working properly. Dogs with dry eye usually have what is called a mucoid discharge. It is not usually green though but rather a gunky light tan color. I can't say that I have heard of dry eye as a complication of cherry eye surgery. However, if this was my case then I would likely be doing a very quick test on his tear production. Dry eye is treated with medication but it can be a lifelong treatment.

Hopefully this is just a simple infection. I can understand your reluctance to spend more money at the vet's but I think that he does need to be seen again. I hope everything is ok!

Dr. Marie.



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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

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