Guinea pigs are known for having all sorts of different problems with their eyes.
If you own one of these animals, it is very important that you are familiar with these issues. This article will provide you with information to help keep your pet safe and healthy.
Signs of Eye Problems in Guinea Pigs
There are a number of general symptoms of eye problems in guinea pigs that you’ll want to be aware of. It is important that you know what these signs are so you can recognize them early on.
- Frequent tearing up/watery eyes
- One or both eyes shut closed
- Cloudiness in one or both eyes
- Redness of one or both eyes
- Bulging eyes
- Frequently pawing at their eyes
If you notice any of these things in your guinea pig, it is important that you get them to the vet right away. The sooner you do this, the more likely it is that your pet will survive.
Common Eye Problems in Guinea Pigs
1. Eye Infections
One or both of your guinea pig’s eyes could become infected if a fungus or bacteria get in them. These types of infections can be very serious and even life threatening if not treated quickly and properly.
If your guinea pig has an eye infection, you will likely notice bald patches on its skin closest to the affected eye. There is also a good chance that infected eye will become red and irritated, which his easy to see by simply looking at it.
Your veterinarian will most likely want to get a culture to confirm the presence of a fungus or bacteria before administering any treatment. Most of these infections can be cleared up nicely with the right medication. You might need to administer eye drops to your pet on a daily basis until the infection is completely gone.
Some guinea pigs develop ulcers on the cornea of their eyes. These ulcers form as a result of trauma to the eye. If your guinea pig scratches one of its eyes on something inside of its cage, it could develop this type of ulcer.
It is usually pretty easy to tell if your pig has a corneal ulcer—their eye will appear red and irritated. In some cases, the injured eye will also look cloudy on the surface. A corneal ulcer can cause your pet a lot of pain, and it will only get worse unless it is addressed quickly.
The standard treatment for a corneal ulcer is an ointment that is applied to the eye. Most of the time this works very well. Your veterinarian may also prescribe antibiotics if there is an infection in the eye, or to prevent one from occurring.
3. Overgrown Teeth
Guinea pigs can develop problems with overgrown teeth, which in turn could lead to problems with their eyes. The incisors or front teeth of these animals have roots that can obstruct their nasal passageways and interfere with vision if they become too long.
It is very important that you provide your pig with plenty of things for it to chew on so their teeth don’t get too long. Surgery is sometimes needed to correct this problem, which can be fairly risky for your pet.
This is yet another potentially serious eye problem that is fairly common among guinea pigs. You will likely notice redness of the eye, as well as a yellow discharge. This condition is usually the result of some irritant in the animal’s environment.
When you take your pig to the veterinarian, they might try to run cultures to determine the exact type of bacteria that is causing the problem. These tests are sometimes inconclusive, but you should still have it done just in case.
A tumor that forms on or behind your guinea pig’s eye can most definitely be fatal. In fact, it doesn’t take very long at all for these tumors to form and cause death in these animals. An X-RAY performed at your veterinarian’s office should reveal the location of the tumor. Sometimes an MRI is required though.
Keep in mind that if your guinea pig does need an MRI, you will likely have to visit a veterinary hospital. This is something that your veterinarian may catch on a standard examination, which is why regular visits are so important.
Keeping Your Guinea Pig’s Eyes Healthy
It is imperative that you do everything possible to keep your guinea pig’s eyes healthy and functioning properly. This includes checking out their eyes on a regular basis to see if any changes have occurred.
The sooner you get your pig to the veterinarian, the better off they will be. You should never ignore any change in your pet’s vision or the way their eyes look. This can indicate a very serious and possibly life-threatening health issue.
A proper, well balanced diet can also go a long way towards helping to maintain good eye health with your pet. You’ll want to keep this in mind when deciding what to feed them.
- Redness, tearing up, cloudiness, and bulging eyes are all signs of an eye infection or problem with your pet’s vision.
- Eye infections are fairly common among these animals, and they can be caused by either a fungus or bacteria.
- Some of the most common signs of an eye infection include redness around the corneas, as well as missing hair near the eyes.
- Corneal ulcers are another serious eye problem that guinea pigs can develop, usually as a result of suffering some trauma.
- Overgrown teeth can lead to problems with your guinea pig’s nasal passageways and eyes.
- It is important that you provide your pig with plenty of things to chew on so their eyes are not negatively affected.
- Tumors can form on or even behind a guinea pig’s eyes, which can be fatal if left untreated.
- An X-RAY or MRI can reveal where a tumor is on or near your pet’s eye.
- The best way to prevent serious eye problems with your pig is to check their eyes regularly and take them into the vet for checkups.