• cherry eye;
  • dry eye;
  • KCS;
  • nictitans;
  • prolapsed gland of third eyelid;
  • suture;
  • tacking


Objective  To evaluate a new procedure for fixation of prolapsed nictitans glands to the cartilage of the nictitans that will not interfere with the mobility of the nictitating membrane.

Methods  A prospective clinical trial utilizing a nonabsorbable suture to anchor the prolapsed gland to the cartilage of the third eyelid was undertaken. Fifteen eyes of 10 dogs were included in the study. A 4-0 nylon suture was passed from the anterior surface of the third eyelid through the base of the cartilage to the posterior aspect and then tunneled circumferentially beneath the conjunctiva over and around the prolapsed gland. The suture was then passed through the cartilage again to the anterior face of the third eyelid. The gland was replaced into its normal position as the suture was slowly tightened and then tied on the anterior aspect of the nictitans.

Results  Over a period of several weeks, the glands reduced in size and took on a normal appearance. All glands but one remained in place for the length of follow-up, which ranged from 2 weeks to 33 months.

Conclusions  This procedure results in acceptable cosmetic effects with the return of the gland to its normal position posterior to the nictitating membrane. The advantage of this technique over traditional tacking to the orbital rim is that the third eyelid retains its normal mobility and, thus, its protective functions. The procedure once mastered is very quick and can be performed in less time than many of the traditional replacement techniques.