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Dead Eye, Can my Pig live with a dead eye?

murraysouter

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Hi all,
I recently took on a couple of male guinea pigs from a rescue centre. One is the Dad and the other the son, the Dad was maybe 2 years old and the baby just a few months. Recently I noticed the Dad's eye was cloudy and red and in the space of a couple of days it was really nasty looking. I took him to the vet and they said that an abscess under the eye had caused it as opposed to a 'hay poke' and that his eye is completely dead, he has no sight from it at all.
I was given 2 options, to operate to remove the eye or to have him put to sleep, they advised that he was perfectly healthy apart from the eye. They have just sent me the quote and it is £850, I simply can't afford that but I don't want to have an otherwise healthy guinea pig put to sleep.
Is there anything else I can do? He seems absolutely fine, is eating and behaving as he always has, I know they may hide pain but he doesn't seem bothered by it at all.
If there are any other options at all, any guidance would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks
Murray
 

Wiebke

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Hi all,
I recently took on a couple of male guinea pigs from a rescue centre. One is the Dad and the other the son, the Dad was maybe 2 years old and the baby just a few months. Recently I noticed the Dad's eye was cloudy and red and in the space of a couple of days it was really nasty looking. I took him to the vet and they said that an abscess under the eye had caused it as opposed to a 'hay poke' and that his eye is completely dead, he has no sight from it at all.
I was given 2 options, to operate to remove the eye or to have him put to sleep, they advised that he was perfectly healthy apart from the eye. They have just sent me the quote and it is £850, I simply can't afford that but I don't want to have an otherwise healthy guinea pig put to sleep.
Is there anything else I can do? He seems absolutely fine, is eating and behaving as he always has, I know they may hide pain but he doesn't seem bothered by it at all.
If there are any other options at all, any guidance would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks
Murray
Hi!

Could you see a different vet for a lower quote?
Here is a guide that contains payment support information: A guide to vets fees, insurance and payment support.

Piggies do generally well with just one eye left after a removal; several members have one-eyed piggies. A retrobulbar abscess (which is what your boy has) or a really bad injury/infection that cannot be got on top of are usually the reason why an eye needs removal.

At the very worst, I would recommend to contact the SSPCA.

I am very sorry for the situation you are in.
 

murraysouter

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Hi,
Thanks for your reply, I do think that he would live happily with one eye and I would happily do that for him but I just don't have £850 to pay for it. I will contact the SSPCA and also the rescue centre that I got them from although they won't be able to help with it financially.
Murray
 

Sweet Potato

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what a horrible situation to be put in. My only suggestion would be to surrender them to a rescue if the other option was to lose him completely although the best option of cause would be to find a way to keep him safe with you.
 

eileen

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I'm so sorry for your predicament.i agree with wiebke. ring around for qoutes for eye removal,maybe use the vet locator on the forum.£850.00 seems excessive.i had a piggie last year that needed an eye removing,cost was £250.00,that was an exotic vet.maybe you could ring the rescue the piggies were adopted from to give you some advice.i hope you find a way forward.:hug:
 

Wiebke

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Hi,
Thanks for your reply, I do think that he would live happily with one eye and I would happily do that for him but I just don't have £850 to pay for it. I will contact the SSPCA and also the rescue centre that I got them from although they won't be able to help with it financially.
Murray
I would contact your vet clinic for the possibility of a payment plan first or seek another vet for a cheaper quote. £850 is on the eye watering side.
Vet Locator

Then I would contact the rescue centre you got him from first because the SSPCA will ask you to surrender your boy. It is a very heart-wrenching decision you'd have to make in order to save his life. :(
 

Freela

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I'm really sorry you're in this position. I would shop around for different vets because prices can vary wildly. The good thing with eyes is that, since mammal eyes are all basically similar, an enucleation can be performed by many vets even if they are not guinea pig/exotic animal specialists. It's definitely worth calling around because, as you said, it's such a shame to have to put him down when it's a problem that can treated.
 

Rivervixen

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Wow that’s such a high price. I agree with everyone else, I’d look around for a different vet to see if you can get a better quote. Best of luck, I’ve seen a few one eyed piggies on the forum and they all seem to be perfectly fine. Best of luck xx
 

alpacasqueak

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I’ve had a chinchilla and my beautiful piggy Jess that both had to have eyes removed (Pedro the chin had the same issue as your piggy). Jess had her operation in October last year and it cost around £420ish for the surgery, consultation and antibiotics, so the surgery worked out at around £350.
I agree that it’s definitely a good idea to ring around for other quotes from good piggy vets, that seems very expensive to me too!
Both of my babies coped brilliantly with only one eye, Jess was an OAP too but didn’t faze her. Hope your piggy’s ok and you can find a good vet that can do the surgery at a better price. All the best x
 

murraysouter

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Thanks all.
It is practical to leave the eye as it is if the guinea pig seems fine generally i.e. eating etc? He doesn't seem impacted by it but then again I would hate to think that he is in pain.
 

Wiebke

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Thanks all.
It is practical to leave the eye as it is if the guinea pig seems fine generally i.e. eating etc? He doesn't seem impacted by it but then again I would hate to think that he is in pain.
Hi!

No, you cannot leave a piggy with an untreated retrobulbar abscess be. The abscess will at one time blow up and grow very quickly. This is fatal for your piggy depending in which direction the abscess sitting behind the eye will burst and cause fatal septicaemia if cannot be safely drained out of the body or operated out; it is not just the eye that is being pushed out as the visible sign. Your boy is already in discomfort when the eye is under pressure.
I would strongly recommend to shop around NOW before you are stuck with a make or break emergency operation at whatever price or the need for having to put your boy to sleep and no wiggle space left. :(

I fully appreciate that this is a difficult between a rock and a hard place situation for you, but there is unfortunately no easy way out. Abscesses don't go away on their own and they are life threatening if they are inside the body. There is much more at stake here than just the eye. No well trained exotics or general vet would ever mention pts/euthanasia as the only alternative to an operation without a very stark reason.

Most clinics accept payment plans if you are upfront so you can mitigate the problem. Please also contact the rescue and let them know your situation.
 

Freela

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Thanks all.
It is practical to leave the eye as it is if the guinea pig seems fine generally i.e. eating etc? He doesn't seem impacted by it but then again I would hate to think that he is in pain.
Unfortunately there is really no option to just leave it alone. The abscess won't go away on its own, it will eventually leak or rupture, which will cause septicemia if it leaks internally. And he is sure to be uncomfortable even if he isn't showing it (as a prey animal, guinea pigs are very good at hiding pain.) Unfortunately this really does need a vet, either to perform surgery or to help him pass peacefully. Otherwise it's just going to be a slow, painful process for him leading to the same outcome. Like I said earlier, phone around and get some price quotes or payment options. Vets can vary a lot in terms of what they charge, and you may be able to find a vet whose rates are a lot more reasonable. Best wishes!
 

dan3008

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I dont know if there is an equivalent where you are, but where I live we have a pdsa vet, who offer an interest free repayment plan. So that might be worth a look
 
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