Dog Cherry Eye Surgery Prices 2024: Procedure and Recovery Costs

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Written by Katie Melynn Wood

Published: March 5, 2024

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If your pup is having eye issues, you might be dealing with a cherry eye. This condition occurs when your dog’s eyelid gland prolapses or extends from the eye. When this eyelid gland pops out, it appears as a red lump at the corner of the eye. It can vary in size and affect one or both eyes. It’s also possible for the cherry eye to disappear and then reappear in the future. Fortunately, cherry eye surgery can remedy the problem.

Some breeds are more prone to developing cherry eye. This might have to do with weaker attachments within the eye that normally keep the eyelids where they need to be. Cocker Spaniels, Bulldogs, Beagles, Shih Tzu, and other breeds with flatter faces may be more impacted. This doesn’t mean that every dog of those breeds will develop cherry eye or that other breeds can’t experience the condition. It just means that some breeds, including those listed above, have a greater chance. You should monitor your dog closely to make sure that their eyes are functioning properly.

If you suspect your dog has cherry eye, a physical examination by the vet can typically diagnose the issue. Once diagnosed, your vet can schedule an eyelid gland replacement surgery that will correct the problem. It’s important to do this since the eyelids are crucial to keeping the eyes lubricated with tears, which are produced in these glands.

How Much Does It Cost to Fix Cherry Eye in Dogs?

Beagle dog suffer from cherry eye disease.

Some breeds are more at-risk for developing cherry eye.

©Warut Chinsai/

The cost depends on whether it is one or both eyes impacted as well as the severity of the cherry eye. Costs range from $300 to $1,800. Your dog’s size, age, and other health conditions might also impact the treatment plan and ultimately the cost of surgery. Recovery time and follow-up visits add to the bill and should be considered when discussing the financial plan for surgery.

Is Cherry Eye Covered by Insurance?

The exact coverage varies from plan to plan. Make sure to check whether or not your plan considers cherry eye a hereditary condition or not. Some insurance companies only cover cherry eye if your dog’s breed is considered at-risk and the development of cherry eye could be hereditary. Others will not cover cherry eye surgery if it is a pre-existing condition. Before selecting a plan, read the fine print to learn what is covered and when.

Can a Dog Live with Cherry Eye?

Portrait of a white dog of breed the Maltese close up on which eyes and a nose and structure of wool on a blue background are visible..

Your dog’s eyes need to stay lubricated to remain healthy and tear production is crucial.

©Jolanta Beinarovica/

Cherry eye is not life-threatening but it can impact your dog’s ability to see properly and keep their eyes lubricated. Proper eye care is important to keeping your dog healthy and happy. While you don’t need to rush to an emergency vet in most cases, it’s best to schedule a visit to your vet promptly. They can help evaluate the severity and recommend the next steps to treat the problem. In most cases, surgery is the preferred treatment. Successful surgeries often fix cherry eye, although some dogs require multiple procedures to resolve it completely. Once your dog has experienced cherry eye, keep a close watch on their eyes since they might be more likely to develop it in the other eye as well.

What Is Cherry Eye Surgery Recovery Like for Dogs?

Veterinary clinic

Your vet can make recommendations for treatment and care for conditions like cherry eye.

©Sladic/iStock via Getty Images

Your vet will probably require that you leave your dog at their office for some time immediately after the procedure so that they can monitor their recovery. Cherry eye surgery requires anesthesia. Your vet and their team will closely watch your dog for any potential reactions to make sure that the effects of the anesthesia are over before releasing your pet back into your care. They will provide recovery care instructions and tell you when to call them or bring your pet back in if you experience any complications. After surgery, it can take a few days for the eye to become less swollen. But by two weeks, your dog’s eyes should appear back to normal. Your vet will likely schedule check-ups after the surgery to make sure that everything is healing properly. You should take the cost of these visits into account since they might not be included in the initial quote or bill for the cherry eye surgery.

What Happens If a Dog’s Cherry Eye Is Left Untreated?

Even if the condition doesn’t appear serious, it’s best to treat it promptly to prevent it from worsening. Not only can cherry eye be uncomfortable, but it may also interfere with the proper use of the eyelid. Your dog might have dry, itchy eyes that cause them to scratch. This can result in more damage and general discomfort. Eye infections from scratching may lead to more serious problems.

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About the Author

Katie is a freelance writer and teaching artist specializing in home, lifestyle, and family topics. Her work has appeared in At Ease Magazine, PEOPLE, and The Spruce, among others. When she is not writing, Katie teaches creative writing with the Apex Arts Magnet Program in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. You can follow Katie @katiemelynnwriter.

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