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Cost of Cherry Eye Surgery in Dogs

Cherry eye is a mild but problematic eye condition that can occur in any animal with a third eyelid, including dogs. This condition usually requires surgery to fix.

Today, we’re going to discuss the cost of Cherry Eye surgery in dogs. The price can vary based on factors like location, qualifications of the doctor, and the type of surgery your pet needs. You can expect to pay anywhere from $300 to over $1,000 for this kind of surgery.

In this article, we’re going to talk about what to expect when your dog undergoes Cherry Eye surgery, including a breakdown of the costs, and the type of operations.

Cost of Cherry Eye Surgery in Dogs

Your doctor will decide if they can do the surgery, usually a mild and quick procedure. If your vet can do the treatment, you can expect to pay lower costs. Typically, Cherry Eye surgery can cost between $300 to $500.

If you notice a lump of bright red tissue protruding out of the eyelid’s lower corner, the first step is to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible. 

Factors that will affect the final cost include the severity of the condition, the type of surgery the vet recommends, the location of your vet, and the breed and size of your dog. Larger dogs will cost more due to needing more medications and a longer time to complete the procedure.

However, in severe cases, your doctor may recommend following up with a specialist, such as a veterinarian ophthalmologist. In these instances, the costs are much more expensive. When you need a specialist to do the surgery, expect expenses of up to $1,000. 

The higher costs are due to the specialized field of expertise, location, and breed of dog. The type of procedure the specialist recommends will also play a factor in the final price. 

What is Cherry Eye Surgery?

Cherry Eye is a condition that occurs in animals, like dogs, who have a third eyelid. This extra membrane inside the lower lid provides additional protection to the eyeball. It also lubricates the eye. 

But there are times when this third lid can become prolapsed or pop out, causing bright red tissue to poke out of the inner lower corner of your dog’s eye. The condition happens due to weak ligaments in the eye gland, which causes tearing. 

In most instances, Cherry Eye will not be painful for your dog, but your pet may experience a lot of itching. Excessive scratching can cause the tissue to ulcerate or hemorrhage.

Once experienced Cherry Eye, pets are at higher risk of reoccurrence of the issue, either in the same eye or the opposite side. This condition usually doesn’t occur in dogs after the age of two. It is genetic, and some breeds are more vulnerable than others.

When left untreated, or if Cherry Eye continues to reoccur, your pet could end up with serious eye problems, including conjunctivitis and tears in the eye. In worst-case scenarios, Cherry Eye can lead to permanent eye damage, including dry eyes.

Types of Surgery for Cherry Eye in Dogs

The most common and successful method of surgery to treat Cherry Eye, which can be done by your vet, is the pocket technique. This surgery involves the doctor creating a new pocket near the original position so the tear gland can be tucked back inside. 

Once repositioned, the pocket gets sutured and closed. Over time, the pocket heals and keeps the tear gland in place. This treatment is usually 90% to 95% successful. 

However, it is not uncommon for some dogs to develop Cherry Eye multiple times. And in most cases, once your dog has a Cherry Eye on one side, they’ll eventually require treatment for the opposite eye later. 

In severe cases, your doctor may recommend the complete removal of the third lid. This method will only occur if the pocket technique does not work. Most doctors no longer remove the gland entirely unless it’s absolutely necessary.

Removing the third eyelid can cause your dog to experience chronic dry eye. The third eyelid produces over 50% of the fluid needed to keep your pet’s eyes working correctly. Dry eyes can lead to severe complications that can damage your pet’s vision. 

Cherry Eye Surgery is Affordable

Relocating the tear duct is the best way to treat Cherry Eye, and the procedure usually takes less than 30 minutes. Recovery can take a few weeks. In most cases, one surgery will be all you need to repair Cherry Eye. 
However, you should be prepared to pay for the treatment of both eyes. Usually, when your dog gets Cherry Eye in one eye, it’s common to develop the problem in the opposite eye later. Overall, the cost of Cherry Eye treatment for one eye will run between $300 and $500, up to $1,000 in severe instances. Although there are multiple options for surgery, your vet will most of the time choose to use the pocket technique to relocate the lid instead of removing it.