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Can anything be done for cataracts?

Tigermoth

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Timmy has developed a cataract over the last few weeks in one of his eyes. I was having a good look this morning at the other eye though and I can see the beginnings of another 😔

Can anything be done? He is happy enough, he's an old boy that spends his days eating, sleeping and rumbling. His zooming and popcorning days are behind him. He's at least 6.5 years old so I'm not willing to put him through anything that isn't going to be of significant benefit.16127829723526674924658491940178.jpg1612783019582745926135387379972.jpg

The first one is quite clear the second much less so in the picture.
 

Swissgreys

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I have a rabbit with severe cataracts and our vet thinks he probably has less than 20% vision.
She said to keep his set up the same and just let him be.

I think with guinea pigs because their sight isn't their dominant sense it doesn't really matter.
Your boy sounds happy so I probably wouldn't do anything.
 

Little Ones

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I don’t believe anything can be done, but even if it could I wouldn’t bother. I have a 6 year old with cataracts in both eyes and another 6 year old with a cataract in one eye.
Eyes are the weakest sense in piggies and once they adjust to being blind, there’s no difference between a sighted piggy and a blind piggy.
The main thing is training yourself to lead with your voice, so vocally announcing yourself to them before putting a hand in the cage. They can have minor set backs at times, for example Little has gone into a hidey believing it to be empty when it isn’t and has got the fright of his life. When something like that happens, he can become more cautious for a day or two. Sometimes they can also bump into things such as trip into food bowls if theyve been moved and they haven’t realised, but that doesn’t cause a set back and it doesn’t bother either of my blind piggies.
Other than those things, the blind piggies behave no different to my sighted ones. They still popcorn, zoom, know roughly where things are in their environment. It amazes me sometimes actually how well they navigate their environment when they can’t even see it, but they do.
It’s easy to feel a bit sad as an owner when your pet goes blind as going blind for a human is life-changing. But for a piggy, it isn’t and they manage perfectly well without their sight
 

Wiebke

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Timmy has developed a cataract over the last few weeks in one of his eyes. I was having a good look this morning at the other eye though and I can see the beginnings of another 😔

Can anything be done? He is happy enough, he's an old boy that spends his days eating, sleeping and rumbling. His zooming and popcorning days are behind him. He's at least 6.5 years old so I'm not willing to put him through anything that isn't going to be of significant benefit.View attachment 167091View attachment 167092

The first one is quite clear the second much less so in the picture.
Hi!

While cataracts in guinea pigs are upsetting, they cannot be treated. However, it is worth keeping in mind that sight is the weakest sense in guinea pigs whereas is the strongest in humans. The transition period is hardest until the other senses kick in and start taking over brain function.

Once adapted, your piggy can lead a perfectly normal life, orientating themselve by hearing, smell and touch. You can change the cage layout, as long as you do not wipe the furnishings when you do and they can continue to use shallow ramps as long as they are covered in a good scent retaining material with a good grip (I have found carpet cut-offs the best for my own succession of cataract piggies). Switch to offering more vocal/sounds, touch and scent based contact and enrichment.

I hope that our enrichment guide will help you when you know that the brindle aby featuring in many photos was actually affected by early onset congenital cataracts and especially by the video of 7 years old blind (old age cataracts) and arthritic lady Mali, happily zooming along her own scent spoor... She continued to do that for another year and created happily and proudly a new loop only 2 days before she died from sudden age related heart failure at around 8 years old.
Mischief, the aby even learned to rebuild her mental map and free-roam (under my supervision of course) the lawn and border, including finding the move run with its door flap over the distance of several yards, as long as I was standing next to the flap and was giving her constant vocal updates to orient herself on. I would only go and pick her up when she got really disorientated.

The worst mistake you can can make is to wrap your boy in cotton wool; the more you challenge him, the more enriched and normal a life he can lead. Cataracts are really not the end of the world... :)

Here is the link: Enrichment Ideas for Guinea Pigs
 

Danielle Smith

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Poor Timmy @Tigermoth, my Flubs who is about a year younger is undergoing the same process. I've found he prefers it when I announce myself in some way when going up to his cage so he doesn't get spooked, and he has found a love for lovely-smelling forage leaves throughout his hay as far as enrichment goes. As Wiebke says, Flubs still enjoys me moving his cage furniture about, as long as bowls and water bottles remain where they always have!
 

Betsy

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My Betsy went blind with cataracts when she was around 2. She's 5 now. When she was at the "I can see OK ..... Oh no I can't" stage it was difficult for her and her husboar Dennis :love: (RIP) was her guide pig for a bit until she had adapted properly. Now apart from the occasional bumping into food bowls and entering hideys where there is already a pig in (usually Meg) and being told off severely (so glad I don't speak piggy) she is fine. She is the boss pig too.
 

Hath

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Animals have incredible ability to live to their fullest despite their disabilities! He's probably been losing his sight gradually and made do with what he has. I have a very old, Grandpa, pig who's deaf and I've noticed, when I moved them indoors from their piggie shed, that he's struggling to find way around his new cage. After couple of days he was back to acting like he knows where he is...
I do approach him a bit differently, tho. I knock before I approach him, clean their cage in a same manner every time (start at one end and move across) so he knows where to move out of the way etc. Because he's deaf I cannot alert him of my presence, but tbh he really settled these past few years and think he enjoys not hearing all the commotion around him :)) just feed me, change my bed, clean my sack and leave me be :crazy:
My cat is blind due to cataracts in both eyes since he was a kitten and vet just checks them every time he's in to ensure there are no complications. He used to get bad infections when he was in cattery, but didn't have any since I adopted him.
 

David Piggie Lover

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I don’t believe anything can be done, but even if it could I wouldn’t bother. I have a 6 year old with cataracts in both eyes and another 6 year old with a cataract in one eye.
Eyes are the weakest sense in piggies and once they adjust to being blind, there’s no difference between a sighted piggy and a blind piggy.
The main thing is training yourself to lead with your voice, so vocally announcing yourself to them before putting a hand in the cage. They can have minor set backs at times, for example Little has gone into a hidey believing it to be empty when it isn’t and has got the fright of his life. When something like that happens, he can become more cautious for a day or two. Sometimes they can also bump into things such as trip into food bowls if theyve been moved and they haven’t realised, but that doesn’t cause a set back and it doesn’t bother either of my blind piggies.
Other than those things, the blind piggies behave no different to my sighted ones. They still popcorn, zoom, know roughly where things are in their environment. It amazes me sometimes actually how well they navigate their environment when they can’t even see it, but they do.
It’s easy to feel a bit sad as an owner when your pet goes blind as going blind for a human is life-changing. But for a piggy, it isn’t and they manage perfectly well without their sight
Wow. Very informative. :nod:
I'm learning a lot on this thread.
 

David Piggie Lover

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Hi!

While cataracts in guinea pigs are upsetting, they cannot be treated. However, it is worth keeping in mind that sight is the weakest sense in guinea pigs whereas is the strongest in humans. The transition period is hardest until the other senses kick in and start taking over brain function.

Once adapted, your piggy can lead a perfectly normal life, orientating themselve by hearing, smell and touch. You can change the cage layout, as long as you do not wipe the furnishings when you do and they can continue to use shallow ramps as long as they are covered in a good scent retaining material with a good grip (I have found carpet cut-offs the best for my own succession of cataract piggies). Switch to offering more vocal/sounds, touch and scent based contact and enrichment.

I hope that our enrichment guide will help you when you know that the brindle aby featuring in many photos was actually affected by early onset congenital cataracts and especially by the video of 7 years old blind (old age cataracts) and arthritic lady Mali, happily zooming along her own scent spoor... She continued to do that for another year and created happily and proudly a new loop only 2 days before she died from sudden age related heart failure at around 8 years old.
Mischief, the aby even learned to rebuild her mental map and free-roam (under my supervision of course) the lawn and border, including finding the move run with its door flap over the distance of several yards, as long as I was standing next to the flap and was giving her constant vocal updates to orient herself on. I would only go and pick her up when she got really disorientated.

The worst mistake you can can make is to wrap your boy in cotton wool; the more you challenge him, the more enriched and normal a life he can lead. Cataracts are really not the end of the world... :)

Here is the link: Enrichment Ideas for Guinea Pigs
Brill and Daves learnt a lot . . X
 

David Piggie Lover

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My Betsy went blind with cataracts when she was around 2. She's 5 now. When she was at the "I can see OK ..... Oh no I can't" stage it was difficult for her and her husboar Dennis :love: (RIP) was her guide pig for a bit until she had adapted properly. Now apart from the occasional bumping into food bowls and entering hideys where there is already a pig in (usually Meg) and being told off severely (so glad I don't speak piggy) she is fine. She is the boss pig too.
Well done Betsy. .
I think you do speak piggie. . I have a piggie tone voice. . :yahoo:
 

Freela

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There's really not much that can be done, but the good news is that most pigs adapt really well to having impaired vision. They don't see well under the best of circumstances, so they don't miss it that much. Two of my elderly pigs developed cataracts and it really didn't impair their quality of life at all... they just carried on like always.
 

alpacasqueak

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I’ve had a piggy that was completely blind due to cataracts, currently my 2 year old boar Luigi is losing his sight because of them too. But after a few weeks of him being quiet he’s adjusting really well, think it’s me that’s forgetting he’s got them as he’s 95% ‘normal’ Luigi again! So there are still a few jumps and shocks when I suddenly appear without announcing I’m there, running into my foot if he forgets I’m there etc :doh:, but that’s my fault really, he’s doing brilliantly otherwise!
Hope gorgeous Timmy isn’t bothered by them at all :)x
 

Claire W

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Sadly cataracts can’t not be treated in guinea pigs but they can still live a happy normal life. My Emma had cataracts in both eyes and she managed just fine. I just kept the furniture in the cage the same for her.

They were living in a double tier cage at the time and she even still went up and down the ramp :)
 

4boipigs

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I have a six year old guinea pig with cataracts in both eyes, and you wouldn't think when you see him that he can't see! He gets around just fine, aside from sometimes running into his brother. I also have a blind dog. It can seem scary when a pet can't see, but they do just fine.
 

Kellykels

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There's someone I've seen with a completely blind pig and he does fine. :)
(With adaptions, his little friend supports him and he sniffs around a lot for things.)

Timmy looks so sweet. ❤ I'm sure he'll be ok
❤ I hope all goes well.
 
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