Cherry Eye Surgery Cost: What To Expect

Three Minutes
Sep 12, 2023

Cherry eye is a condition that should be addressed quickly. Surgery is one of the only treatment options for cherry eye. Surgeries for dogs can generally be expensive, and cherry eye surgery can cost several hundred dollars, if not thousands.

Preparing for a vet bill after your pup’s cherry eye surgery is never fun, but it can help you save on the care your pet’s needs. Keep reading to learn more about what affects your dog’s cherry eye surgery cost and how pet insurance may help. For additional information on costs for different eye surgeries and conditions such as dog eye removal, check out our dog eye removal surgery guide.

What Is Cherry Eye?

Cherry eye in dogs is a condition that affects their third eyelid. The third eyelid prolapses and makes the tear gland swell, creating a cherry-like polyp. Any dog can get cherry eye, but some dog breeds are affected more than others.

While not life-threatening, cherry eye can lead to other eye infections and injuries if left untreated. According to VCA Animal Hospitals, untreated cherry eye can lead to dry eye and seriously impair your dog’s vision.3

Treating cherry eye requires surgery to put the gland back in place. According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, your veterinarian will either stitch the gland to the connective tissue around the eye or cover the gland with nearby mucous membranes.4

Removing the gland is no longer recommended by the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists.5

How Much Is Cherry Eye Surgery for Dogs?

According to internal claims data, on average, cherry eye dog surgery can cost around $300 to $800. Some dog parents can expect to pay $1,000 or more. Prices can vary depending on the severity, your pet’s size, and if surgery is needed in one or both eyes. Get a quote from your vet for a more accurate estimate. Some quotes may not include additional treatment expenses, like medications.

It’s also important to ask if anesthesia is included in the quote. Some vets and animal hospitals may bill anesthesia separately—a surgery requirement that can add to the bill.

A Rottweiler with cherry eye in both eyes

Does Pet Insurance Cover Cherry Eye Surgery?

The cost of cherry eye surgery may be covered under a pet insurance policy. Keep in mind that treatment is likely not covered if it’s considered a preexisting condition. Some pet insurance companies may also limit coverage if your dog's cherry eye is considered a hereditary condition.

With dog insurance from MetLife Pet Insurance1, your pup could be covered for illnesses requiring surgery, like cherry eye.2 Unlike other companies, MetLife Pet may cover a hereditary case of cherry eye, which could make dog insurance worth it for you.

Cherry Eye Can Be Scary. Vet Bills Don’t Have To Be.

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 Dr. Hunter Finn

Dr. Hunter Finn is an integrative veterinary expert first, and social media star second. America’s favorite veterinarian owns Pet Method in McKinney, Texas, where he cares for pets while prioritizing their emotional well-being. When he’s not at his clinic, he’s starring in viral videos on TikTok (2 million followers) and Instagram (500K followers) — where he’s been known to snuggle puppies and conquer the latest dance trends.

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.

2 Provided all terms of the policy are met. Application is subject to underwriting review and approval. Like most insurance policies, insurance policies issued by IAIC and MetGen contain certain deductibles, co-insurance, exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force. For costs, complete details of coverage and exclusions, and a listing of approved states, please contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC.

3 “Cherry Eye in Dogs,” VCA Animal Hospitals

4 “Disorders of the Nasal Cavity and Tear Ducts in Dogs,” Merck Veterinary Manual

5 “Cherry Eye,” American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists