A guinea pig eye injury can be very painful and dangerous for your pet, so let’s see what are some of the possible causes of eye injuries and how to prevent them.
Because of their sensitivity, guinea pigs can easily get infections and allergic reactions.
Believe it or not, they can even become allergic to hay, or rather to the dust that can be present in their bedding.
However, bacteria are present all around us.
So, how to maintain your guinea pig’s health and make sure they don’t develop severe reactions or suffer from illnesses that could have been prevented?
Are Guinea Pig Eye Injuries Dangerous?
Yes, guinea pig eye injuries can be very dangerous.
If it’s not treated timely, an injury can lead to loss of appetite, digestion problems, weakness, lethargy, etc.
All organs of the body are connected and infection in one part of the body can disturb the whole body.
Therefore, to help your guinea pigs, you should learn more about the possible causes of eye injuries and infections and their symptoms, so you could react in time and seek help from a vet.
Eye injury in guinea pigs is caused by various reasons but almost all the reasons are connected to ulcers, scratched cornea, or tumors.
Some of these causes can easily be identified while some require tests to properly analyze the issue.
The vet can use different methods to identify the problem and treat your guinea pig with meds.
How To Detect An Eye Injury?
Firstly, you have to analyze whether your guinea pig has an eye injury.
A mild change in the eye doesn’t necessarily imply an eye injury.
You will have to observe your guinea pig and check for the following signs:
Shadiness near the eye
Shadiness near the eye of your guinea pig is often accompanied by redness in the eye.
The white part of the eye develops a dim color, dismissing the shine of the eye, reflecting low light, and forming a red shade around the iris.
Irritation in the eye
Eye irritation can be detected when a guinea pig continuously starts rubbing the eyes.
Scratching eyes with paws can also injure them.
A fight between two guinea pigs
If two or more guinea pigs are kept together, they might fight and scratch each other’s eyes, which may lead to a serious injury.
Tears/ Pus formation
Sometimes, your guinea pig might release a pus-like substance from the eyes that forms a mass.
At other times, your guinea pig might appear as if crying all the time; continuous tears can also be a symptom of an eye injury.
Guinea pigs might shut their eyes for a longer time, which is unusual for these small animals.
That can also be a sign of an eye injury.
A huge mass of tumor cells appears as a lump-like structure around a guinea pig’s eyes.
These bags of cells indicate a tumor that is mainly caused due to injury and when the body itself starts to repair the injury but fails.
Some of these issues can be treated at home with a simple remedy but if it fails to cure the infection you must go and see a veterinarian.
These injuries, if not treated properly, can cause serious and devastating effects that may lead to permanent damage and cause serious visual impairments.
So, it’s better to treat them as soon as possible to avoid dangerous outcomes.
What Causes Eye Injuries in Guinea Pigs?
Guinea pig eye injuries are caused by various factors and further lead to more eye infections.
Some of these directly affect guinea pigs’ eyes while some play a major role in causing eye injury.
Here are a few things that can cause eye injuries and also a treatment for them.
Eye infections are one of the major causes of eye injury.
Infections often lead to itching and sore sensation in the eyes that disturb a guinea pig and leads to scratching of eyes or rubbing against any surface vigorously.
These infections are often caused by microscopic organisms such as bacteria and viruses.
These organisms are most contagious and parasitic.
A guinea pig’s eyes start releasing a mass of puss-like substance and eyes develop dim color giving redness inside the eye.
When that happens, guinea pigs cannot open their eyes properly and they remain shut most of the time.
This redness near the eyes, called conjunctivitis, appears around the eyes.
These infections are mostly treated with anti-bacterial medication by the vet.
What you can do at home is to clean the release from the eyes with a clean and warm cloth carefully.
This would make it easy for the vet to test and for the piggy to open eyes for better analysis.
Sometimes the vet may need samples of the release to test the exact type of bacteria that is causing this infection.
Remember this release is not bacteria itself but the white blood cells that died in fighting the infection.
When the vet confirms that the infection is bacterial using a microscope then you have to take precautions.
You will have to clean and disinfect all the belongings of your guinea pig and keep other pigs away from him.
This is because the disease is contagious and it may spread to all other animals and you have to treat them as well.
Remember to take the antibacterial medication regularly as prescribed by the vet.
Don’t skip a dose because if you do, you might have to restart the cycle, and this time for a longer period, as the bacteria may have developed resistance to the antibiotics.
A tumor is an abnormal growth of body tissue that develops as a huge mass of stem cells forming a ball-like structure.
These tumors create uneasiness for a guinea pig.
Irritation may lead to scratching of the eyes which may result in more severe damage.
These tumors sometimes stay in a place where they are formed and sometimes they start migrating to other parts of the body.
The tumor that stays in a place of its formation is considered to be less dangerous and can be treated by a radiologist.
But, the tumor that starts spreading to the other parts of the body is extremely dangerous or even fatal and requires immediate treatment.
These tumors usually don’t burst or bleed but sometimes scratching may lead to bleeding from a guinea pig’s eyes.
One common type of tumor is also known as neoplasia.
These tumors can only be treated by a vet or radiologist.
You must visit a vet first and he will tell you whether you need to see a radiologist or not.
Some tumors can be treated using medicines easily but some require surgical removal either using ordinary surgery or X-rays.
Your vet will tell you to see a radiologist for that.
If the tumor is closer to the brain you should do an MRI for it.
This will tell how much damage it has caused to other parts of the body.
It is also necessary for small tumors because most of the small tumors are so small that they are not easily detected by X-rays.
If a tumor is behind the eyes it is extremely difficult to treat.
Because X-rays do not easily hit the tumor and you are either advised to give care or treated with simple pain relief medicine that helps relieve the pain and stop the tumor from spreading further.
Although these are not too common problems, they are also not detected easily, so if the other test fails, it is always a good idea to check for a tumor.
And if they are detected at an early stage, they are easier to treat than at later stages or when they start spreading throughout the body.
A guinea pig can easily develop a corneal ulcer for different reasons.
They may rub their eyes and scratch them.
If more than one guinea pig lives in a habitat, it may fight with other guinea pigs and injure the eyes.
Also, various infections can lead to the development of a corneal ulcer.
The layer of the eye that is usually affected is called the cornea which is the uppermost layer and is whitish.
Eyes also become dim and shady.
An affected guinea pig may stop eating, which may further result in developing an illness.
This guinea pig’s eyes can also become red because this small animal will continuously rub them to alleviate the discomfort.
Instead, the problem will worsen.
You can apply an ointment or pain reliever at home to temporarily stop the irritation so it can reduce the rubbing and save the eyes from further damage.
Especially use the ointments that contain anti-inflammatory ingredients because frequent irritation can cause eyes to swell.
Some available in the market, are made for this type of injury they have mentioned on them, treatment of ulcer.
If the injury persists, you must visit a vet for a correct treatment.
The vet may require some tests to be performed to further accurately prescribe the treatment.
For this purpose, he or she may require a sample of blood to conduct tests.
It is always the best idea to conduct tests even if they cost little extra money because it saves a lot spent later on wrong or inaccurate medication.
If the infection continues, it may require extra treatment, such as energizing the self-healing process of the animal or through surgical treatment.
In energizing the self-healing process, a small portion of the blood is drawn from the animal and it’s centrifuged to convert it into a specialized serum.
The serum is then applied to the eyes, this serum contains all the cells required in the healing process of the eyes and energizes the already present cells.
Your pig might be sedated during this process.
Sometimes surgery is used to mend the damaged part either using transplantation or internal stitching.
The incisors, also known as the front teeth, sometimes grow unusually and lead to a disease called nasal-lacrimal.
In this disease, the pathway between the nose and eyes is blocked by these teeth.
In this case, the nasal cavity of the affected pig is different in structure from the ordinary pig, the nasal cavity is the gap between the nose and mouth of a guinea pig.
You can carefully open and check it easily using a torch by holding and looking into the mouth of your pet.
This may lead to continuous discharge of pus from the eyes or sometimes, tears start rolling down the eyes.
There are a few easy ways to detect whether it’s the case or not.
A fluorescein eye strain can be used to test it.
Add a few drops of it in your guinea pig’s eyes and wait for a few moments.
If your piggy’s nose starts running, it most likely has a problem with the teeth.
The extra amount of discharge goes through the eyes instead of through the nose.
This frequent discharge causes pressure and strain on the eyes leading to an eye injury.
If you have detected the problem, the only treatment is to visit the vet, who is actually the only person who knows the accurate treatment for your pet.
Besides, most of these types of diseases are cured surgically.
In some cases, X-rays can be used to nullify this odd growth.
The vet may perform the initial test again even if you have performed them already at home.
No blood tests are usually needed for this type of disease because there are common methods of detection available for detecting this disease.
How to Prevent an Eye Injury in Guinea Pigs?
These eye injuries can be easily prevented if proper attention is given.
The few easy tips that can be done regularly can help in the prevention of these diseases.
Cleanliness and hygiene of the surroundings
Keep the surrounding of your guinea pigs clean.
Most of the infections result from unhygienic environments.
The place where you feed your pig must be clean and sanitized at least once or twice a week with proper sanitary products.
Most bacteria reside in such places and not all of that bacteria is helpful.
Some are dangerous and cause health problems and the eyes are one of the organs that are most susceptible to them.
Cleanliness and hygiene
Make a nice and clean habitat for them.
This is not their natural habitat and you need to give them surroundings that are at least similar to their natural habitat considering the temperature in view.
Separate the infected guinea pigs
You can also consult your vet for proper hygienic measures that are necessary for the safety of your guinea pig.
If one is infected with any of these diseases, you should make a separate arrangement for baths for him and take extra care of his hygiene.
This separation will protect the other guinea pigs in the pack.
If you can’t afford the extra equipment you must give a bath to the infected at the end and sanitize the equipment afterward.
You must check on your pigs regularly for these types of infections.
There is no need to take extra time for that, just look carefully when you are feeding them instead of making extra time for their health check-up.
Make it a routine as you feed them and it will not only help in their better health but also you can detect any new unwanted changes if you watch them regularly.
Always have your pig tested regularly.
Once you become accustomed to the test you don’t need to visit a vet just for the test.
You can have them tested at a laboratory and see the result for yourself, it will save you money and time.
Eye injuries in guinea pigs can be a cause for concern so, in case you notice that anything is wrong with your guinea pig’s eyes, consult a vet immediately before the disease becomes more dangerous and difficult to cure.