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Do Blind Guinea Pigs Always Have Whiteness Of The Eye?

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Liane

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I have been reading up about blindness in guinea pigs, and from what I've read they either have cloudy circles due to cataracts, or the eyes reflect white in light. Is it possible for a guinea pig to be blind but exhibit neither of these signs?

I've been watching Peri, one of my new Woodgreen piggies, and there's just something about the way she navigates that seems 'off'. I may just be extra anxious at the moment due to our difficulties with our piggies this year.
 

7squeakers.

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:D I can't help you much there, I'm afraid, never having owned a blind piggie. But I would not think that the blindness is always indicated by the things you have mentioned.
Maybe there are other members who have owned a blind piggie?
 

artcasper

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my daughter thinks one of ours is blind... but she runs about and legs it up our ramp so i don't think she is !
 

Kerrie74

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@artcasper guinea's learn where to go via the smell etc. I believe Wiebke had a piggy that did this, there is a video of her zooming around, but taking the same route :) cleaver little animals are piggies :)
 

artcasper

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@artcasper guinea's learn where to go via the smell etc. I believe Wiebke had a piggy that did this, there is a video of her zooming around, but taking the same route :) cleaver little animals are piggies :)
i said that yesterday .... i had her in my arms and i waved my fingers right in front of her eyes and there was no movement from her.. this did make me think..
 

Wiebke

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I have been reading up about blindness in guinea pigs, and from what I've read they either have cloudy circles due to cataracts, or the eyes reflect white in light. Is it possible for a guinea pig to be blind but exhibit neither of these signs?

I've been watching Peri, one of my new Woodgreen piggies, and there's just something about the way she navigates that seems 'off'. I may just be extra anxious at the moment due to our difficulties with our piggies this year.
No, blind guinea pigs do not necessarily have obvious signs; it very much depends on what is causing the blindness. Missing or too small eyes or cataracts are the most visible signs of visual issues, but if there is a problem with receiving, sending or processing the signals, then it will not show.

If you suspect your guinea pig to be blind, please have her tested by a good vet for confirmation. I would also check for deafness; sometimes, it can be both.

The good news is that blind guinea pigs compensate with their other senses and can still live a full and perfectly normal life, including lawn time, indoors roaming and even mastering ramps, as long as these have side rails and a shallower angle. In my and other blind piggy owners' experience, it also doesn't mean that you need to keep the layout always the same.

I have had (and adopted) a number of visually impaired piggies over the years; they orient themselves by smell and "feel" in their cage and never had a problem with finding their favourite hidey or the hay tray again, even with a changed layout. If she has been born with missing senses, then it is not bothering her at all, as she has never known otherwise.
 

artcasper

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the only thing i have noticed is that if i offer her some food, she sniffs like mad but doesn't always come for it like she can't see it.. i will keep an eye out for clues... she is quite happy though and when i have Gladys she will climb up and over to me... its an odd one to figure out..
 

Freela

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No, it's possible for vision to be impaired before signs of cataracts or other eye problems are visible to the naked eye. I strongly suspect that Sundae's vision is failing in her old age, as she seems to have a lot of hesitancy in judging depth now (will stop and start and appear very cautious when it comes to going up and down ramps, for instance.) Her eyes, however, still look perfectly normal. My experience is that animals generally compensate well... I had two dogs that were blind for years and adjusted very well, though we did have to keep the furniture in the same place to stop them from being disoriented.
 

Liane

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i said that yesterday .... i had her in my arms and i waved my fingers right in front of her eyes and there was no movement from her.. this did make me think..
When we were talking about fatty eye with Simon the vet, he said that piggies don't typically respond in the way that humans do to things being waved near the eye...he then demonstrated by waving his hands in front of one of the pigs and she didn't flinch ha ha.
 
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