Cherry eye is a disorder of the nictitating membrane (nm), also called the third eyelid, present in the eyes of dogs and cats. Cherry eye is most often seen in young dogs under the age of two. Common misnomers include adenitis, hyperplasia, adenoma of the gland of the third eyelid; however, cherry eye is not caused by hyperplasia, neoplasia, or primary inflammation. In many species, the third eyelid plays an essential role in vision by supplying oxygen and nutrients to the eye via tear production. Normally, the gland can evert without detachment. Cherry eye results from a defect in the retinaculum which is responsible for anchoring the gland to the periorbita. This defect causes the gland to prolapse and protrude from the eye as a red fleshy mass. Problems arise as sensitive tissue dries out and is subjected to external trauma. Exposure of the tissue often results in secondary inflammation, swelling, or infection. If left untreated, this condition can lead to keratoconjunctivitis sicca (kcs) and other complications.