Most pet owners would want to offer their dog whatever medical care they may need, and in an ideal world, money would be no object in such situations. Unfortunately, finances do come into play when electing for treatments, especially if surgery is an option, as costs can reach into the thousands of dollars range, depending on the procedure. Cherry eye, which can occur in any animal with a third eyelid, including dogs, requires surgery to correct the issue. The cost of cherry eye surgery will ultimately depend on your specific issue.
What is cherry eye?
Cherry eye is a term commonly used to describe what happens when the third eyelid gland prolapses. Dogs have a third eyelid inside their lower lid, which serves as an extra layer of protection for a canine's eyes. Sometimes, this hidden, extra eyelid can prolapse, or pop out, which appears as a bright red layer of tissue in the lower inner corner of a dog's eye. Cherry eye is often caused by a weak ligament in the third eyelid gland, which causes it to tear.
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Cherry eye will not go away on its own and is treatable, but must be addressed with surgery. Cherry eye that is left unattended can result in permanent damage to a dog's eye or to the third eyelid gland, and often results in excessive dryness, which can lead to vision impairment. Luckily with cherry eye surgery, recovery is easy but does take some time and some follow-up vet appointments. A vet will want to check the sutures a few times, and your dog will need to wear a collar to keep her from damaging or irritating the surgery site, for about two weeks.
Cherry eye surgery cost
The cost of cherry eye surgery will vary from doctor to doctor, and is also determined by the type of surgery your dog will be undergoing. The pocket technique boasts the highest cherry eye surgery success rate, although it is usually the most expensive option. Another option is to remove either the entire third eyelid membrane or part of it, which is often less expensive but can result in dry eye as tear duct removal is part of this process. According to Vet Info, cherry eye surgery price ranges typically vary from around $300 to $500, with some surgeries inching around and over the $1,000 price.
Additionally, personal factors will contribute to the cost of any surgery, including cherry eye surgery. Larger dogs require more medication, like anesthesia, which often results in an increase in price. If your dog has cherry eye in both eyes, additional costs can be expected. If you elect to receive your dog's surgery from a veterinary ophthalmologist over a general practice veterinarian, your bill will be higher, reflecting your surgeon's specialized level of expertise. One additional cherry eye surgery cost is the cost of the pain medication that will most likely be prescribed following the procedure.
Breeds prone to cherry eye
While cherry eye can happen to any canine, regardless of their age, size, health status, or breed, certain types of dogs are more prone to getting it. These breeds include cocker spaniels, beagles and bloodhounds, along with many brachycephalic, or flat-nosed, breeds, like the Lhasa Apso, Shih Tzu, and bulldogs of any variety. Additionally, dogs with bulging eye shapes, like Boston terriers, also tend to be highly prone to cherry eye. If you notice cherry eye in your dog, regardless of his breed, contact your veterinarian to discuss medical treatment options.