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Dr Scott Nimmo
Dr Scott Nimmo, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 18911
Experience:  BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }
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I believe my dog (German Shepard) has a torn third eyelid,

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I believe my dog (German Shepard) has a torn third eyelid, not cherry eye, from a fight with a cat. The eye is not tearing up, bleeding, the dog is not rubbing this eye, excessively blinking or anything else but you can visibly see a piece of the brown membrane that is normally seen along the inside bottom of the eyelid sticking up perhaps a quarter of an inch (maybe a little less) into the eye, and it is pink at the end sticking up. At this point it seems like it is disturbing me more to look at it, then it is disturbing my dog. I called my vet and he's sending some eye drops/antibiotic or something and said to keep an eye on it and let him know if any symptoms start happening (eye gooping up, bleeding, dog seems to be bothered with rubbing or blinking etc.). What I want to know is there any possibility he can live with this tear, if it never bothers him further - or is having surgery to repair this tear and/or remove the third eyelid inevitable? Can the tear heal on its own? I could email a photo if needed. PS - I live on an island in Alaska thus why so far I've only been able to talk to the vet over the phone. Getting to the vet would cost $300+ let alone the vet bill..and I just spent $1500 earlier this week on a different pets issue (it's been a really bad week)...thanks for any help you can provide.
Thanks for the question.

My name isXXXXX am an experienced small animal veterinary surgeon and I will be pleased to try and answer your question, but to enable me to do so with accuracy a photo would be a great help. You can attach it with your reply via the paperclip icon above or post a link.

This is just an information request for which you have not been charged, I am online at present and will answer your question shortly after receiving your reply.


Scott Nimmo BVMS, MRCVS.

Please note it may take up to twenty minutes for me to consider your problem, perhaps look up some information and then type up your reply.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Crud I'm not seeing the paperclip or way to attach this photo, I'll see if I can find a place to post it online...
Hello again,

With some browsers such as Firefox you will see a toolbar above this box with the paper clip, with others such as Chrome or Safari you will not, though hopefully this feature will soon be updated.

If you can post a link via Picasa or the like then that would be fine ...


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

never put an image here before, hope it works for you!
Sorry it comes over as :


Customer: replied 4 years ago.
hmmm try this:

if this doesn't work give me another 10 minutes or so to figure out another way to get this photo online for you...

Thanks for the quick replies, I have got the photo, it came over well.

While I cannot diagnose your GSD's problem via the internet I can make the following general comments based on my previous experience of similar cases :

1. I agree with you this looks like a tear of the third eyelid, your dog is very lucky that the actual eye ball does not seem to have been damaged.

2. Tears of the third eyelid like this are quite minor injuries and usually do not lead to very serious complications. Some dog can live OK with this sort of situation and as you say it can cause more problem to the owner than the dog just because it can be unsightly.

At other times the irritation can set up a conjunctivitis which would lead to redness and discharge from the eye. But there is also the possibility that the flap you are seeing could adhese and heal to some other structure and so cause problems though this would be rarer.

The botXXXXX XXXXXne is that these injuries usually cause few problems but many vets would just snip it off under a light general anaesthetic and this would almost always be a permanent solution and just takes a minute or so.

If I have not covered your question fully enough or you would like to ask more I will be online for the next hour or so and I will be at your disposal.


Scott Nimmo BVMS, MRCVS.

I have over twenty five years full time experience in treating domestic pets and am pleased to do my best to advise you with your current problem. However please note that this advice and any subsequent advice I may give is for your interest and education only and is not intended as a substitute for an in-person consultation with a qualified veterinarian.
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