Caring for a bulldog with the cherry eye is not a walk in the park and treatment may drive owners to seek out a bulldog cherry eye surgery cost. The endeavor to care for a sick dog is never easy, so it can be quite a struggle after surgery.
Cherry eye is not so uncommon in young puppies but some breeds like the bulldog may develop it even later. Treating it early on will not only make a bulldog that much more comfortable but also prevent other health problems. Corneal ulcers and conjunctivitis can develop from the cherry eye and all of them are discomforting conditions.
What Exactly Is Cherry Eye?
Unlike humans, dogs have three eyelids and that third eyelid has a tear gland. The third eyelid, or nictitating membrane, protects the eye and maintains surface moisture by spreading tears over it. The eyelid itself is not easy to see when a dog blinks but the protective functionalities are important.
This tear gland can pop out or prolapse and it looks like a cherry at the corner of the dog’s eye. This protruding gland is called the cherry eye and can be quite painful for the dog. The bulldog is not the only one affected by this condition as Boston terriers, beagles, and cocker spaniels are prone to it too.
What Causes The Cherry Eye In Bulldogs?
The gland that causes cherry eye is ordinarily held in the eye socket by ligaments. These ligaments can be weak in some breeds and become dislodged from the socket. There are no specific underlying causes for why cherry eye occurs, as it’s mostly genetic.
If one eye has developed cherry there is a high possibility for the other eye to be affected. The two eyes might not both have a cherry eye at the same time, but the probability of them both being impacted is something to be prepared for.
Symptoms Of Cherry Eye
The most obvious symptom of cherry eye is the protruding pink bead outside the dog’s eye. The impaired gland no longer does its job and so causes the eye to become dry. This can lead to redness, inflammation, and irritation, all symptoms caused by cherry eye.
The dog’s discomfort will inevitably make them scratch at the eye, which only further aggravates the problem. Unusual discharge may occur as a result of irritation and inflammation.
Bulldog Cherry Eye Treatment
Treating a cherry eye condition will most likely involve surgery. Older treatments usually meant completely removing the prolapsed gland through surgery, but that procedure is no longer in use today. Removing the gland completely is not a good option anymore because it also removes tear production and dries the eye.
The most widely implemented treatment now involves something called the “mucosal pocket technique”. Under general anesthetic, a small incision is made in the soft flesh of the dog’s third eyelid into which the gland is pushed back. The incision is then sutured with dissolvable material to both hold it in place and not have to go back for removal.
This surgical intervention on the cherry eye should rectify the problem for good, though there is a slight possibility of relapse. Somewhere around 10% of cases result in the condition returning and needing another intervention. Changes of it happening again in the same eye are low, but it’s something to bear in mind.
How Much Does Cherry Eye Surgery Cost?
Cherry eye in dogs surgery cost varies across veterinary practices. An overall average of $300 to $500 for a single eye is the price of cherry eye surgery. This can change if both eyes develop prolapsed glands at the same time.
There is also the option of seeking pet insurance companies that may cover a part of bulldog cherry eye surgery costs. It’s a good idea to have pet insurance before health issues may arise to be certain that it can cover it. Insurance coverage depends on pre-existing conditions and breed so a little research into the issuance provider is necessary.
Bulldog cherry eye surgery cost also depends on the type of surgery undertaken. The pocket technique is the most effective procedure and can guarantee a high success rate, but it’s the most expensive. Removal of the entire third eyelid, or part of it, is a cheaper intervention, but it removes the tear duct.
Completely or partially taking out the third eyelid has long been deemed as poor practice. Long-term effects negatively impact the dog’s eyes and vets advise against it or even entirely refuse it.
Bulldog Cherry Eye Additional Surgery Cost
There may be some additional spendings before surgery can even start. For one, a prolapsed tear gland will probably not function correctly anymore. Seeing how tears production is important for the health of the eyes, prescription medicated eye drops may be useful.
The size of the dog will also impact cost, as the amount of anesthesia is dependent on a dog’s size. Pain medication post-surgery may also provide further spending, as well as investing in a buster collar or harness. Recommendation for a harness on walks after a cherry eye surgery means that pressure from a neck collar does not affect the eye.
Possible health issues as a direct result of the surgery like infection, or irritation from the suture material will further require treatment. The gland can re-prolapse and have to be put back into place once more. Thankfully in a majority of cases, the surgery is successful. All these little details will stack up against your overall bulldog cherry eye surgery cost.
Bulldogs tend to have some health problems right off the bat and understanding that is key to owning this breed. Bulldog cherry eye surgery cost is one aspect of caring for them. Prevention is often a key factor in avoiding cherry eyes and that may involve breeding out this issue.
The positive spin on this is that the cherry eye is treatable, even after several operations. Veterinary specialists are ready for these kinds of health issues and will be ready to deal with them. There are plenty of resources to help a bulldog suffering from cherry eyes, and previous data shows they can move on and lead healthy lives.
Read more about Bulldog Eye Infections.