Guinea pig eye infection – let me help you

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It’s only natural when guinea pigs love burrowing through hay for example and are always low to the ground that they might at some point in their lives pick up eye infections. Healthy eyes should be clear and bright, people sometimes think that there is something wrong when white liquid starts to fill slightly above the eye lid but this is perfectly normal. They use the liquid to clean themselves. A guinea pig eye infection is not nice to see for their owners depending on what it is. It can cause discomfort for the guinea pig and affect their eating and behaviour.

Eye scratch and poke
If there is a slight scratch or the eye is cloudy, it’s usually nothing to worry about as it is just healing after being poked or scratched by hay/foreign body. It will clear up on it’s own maybe after a few days but you can give an over the counter eye drop like optrex infected eyes just to make it more comfortable for them and to speed up the recovery. If a foreign body is stuck in the eye, then this will have to be removed by the vet, do not try this yourself as it could make things worse. Actually last year I had to go to the vets to have a piece of strawberry leaf removed from one of my guinea pigs eyes. This was a new vet at the time and she said it was the first time she had performed this procedure.

Other eye injuries
Corneal ulcers, crusty or red eyes are more serious and needs vet treatment as soon as possible. Eyes can become swollen and be a lot more watery, they will increase their blinking and show some pain. This is maybe caused by the guinea pigs being stressed and having a low immune system or a harsher injury. The vet will check them over and prescribe some treatment to give to clear up the particular infection, this might be some more powerful eye drops with metacam for their comfort.

Respiratory issues can also make the eyes more watery including discharge from the nose, sneezing and sluggishness. This is an issue for the vets so do not delay in seeking this important medical treatment. It can be caused by feeding an incorrect diet, dirty habitat or being cold too much.

Entropion happens with newborns and it’s where the eye lashes turn inwards which really irritates them. A milky substance and corneal ulcer can show up. Certain breeds have this more than other ones. A genetic condition and most will not have it after a few weeks. Give them a sterile eye lubricant to relieve the pain and make it that bit more comfortable for them. You can actually turn out the eyelashes whilst applying this.

None treatable
Cataracts can be a condition caused from them getting diabetes type 2, genetics or old age and this cannot be treated. Blindness again from old age or an untreatable injury, they can cope very well without their sight as its not very good to start of with and rely more on sense and smell to move about. Pea eye is either pink or white and just bigger, then a small spot, it’s genetically inherited and doesn’t need treating.

Some infections can be more serious, then others and it will always depend on whether you decide to go to the vets or not. If it’s something that can be resolved at home, then I seriously recommend that, as guinea pigs find going to the vets very stressful. The eyes are a very sensitive part of the body even for humans and can cause more pain to guinea pigs,then one might think even if their eye sight is extremely poor.

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4 comments found

  1. I remember as kids, we had guinea pigs as pets. It was really fun playing with them. However, I did not know that they could actually get eye infection. Or they probably did, but we did not notice it as kids. I am glad I came across this post, since I am planning to get rabbits and guinea pigs soon for the grand-kids. Is it a good idea to keep them together?

    1. Hi yes guinea pigs are great pets. It’s not a good idea to have rabbits and guinea pigs together although quite a few people do. The reason why is rabbits are stronger than guinea pigs and could injure them with their legs. They may also bully and stress them as rabbits communicate differently. Rabbits have a slightly different diet and don’t need as much vitamin c as guinea pigs. I hope I have answered that for you. All the best. Eden

  2. I don’t have any guinea pigs just yet, however, my daughter keeps telling me to get some! And as I read more about them, the more I start to like them and kind of want one (haha). I think Guinea Pigs are easy to look after especially after reading this article. If I get one and they get an eye infection, I already know how to take care of it. Thanks a bunch for helping a brother.

    1. Guinea pigs are quite amazing and you can get into a good routine that will get quicker in time with looking after them. But there are some big expenses like hay to purchase and initial start up costs. For example as an estimate I probably pay around £800 to £900 a year for two guinea pigs. Also you definitely need time to look after them. The good thing is because insurance for them is way to expensive and not really needed as dogs and cats will have costlier injuries, you don’t need to buy insurance for guinea pigs. Thanks for reading Brandon.

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