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Dots In Eyes

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lovebug

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Hi, it's been a while since I last posted but I need some advice. We adopted Barney (formally Buttons) from RSPCA Walsall in 2013. He is the most beautiful little boy, but is still slightly wary of being held but he absolutely loves being talked to.

Anyway, I had him out of his cage tonight whilst he was being cleaned for his usual cuddles and I noticed some tiny little murky white dots on his eyes. I've googled cataracts but they aren't that big, almost like little pinprick sized dots but they are on both eyes.

He has previously had eye complaints and loves nose diving into hay, so has been a victim of a grass seed incident before now but I wondered what this could be? I am inclined to think cataracts and he is drinking lots more then usual but no other change. He's still his normal happy self and is bumbling along with the girls.

I am thinking of taking him to the vet on thursday when I take my cat for her check up, i'm just worried if it is cataracts how he will adjust. I must admit i'm very scared.

Any advice or ideas what it could be? Thank you x
 

sport_billy

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Try not to worry, but a eye check up at the vets is definitely needed.

Is Buttons white or am I thinking of another Buttons from Walsall? We sometimes pop the photos up for Vicky and Becky and have adopted all our rescue piggies from Walsall

Please let us know how he gets on and keeping fingers and paws crossed for Buttons and yourself.
 

Wiebke

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Cataracts start out as dots inside the lens that grow and connect over time, but it is good that you have them checked out y your vet. If the dots are sitting on the surface of the eye, they could be calcium or fatty deposits; either is much rarer.

Generally, the transition period is the worst time for cataract piggies until the other senses kick and compensate for the gradual loss of sight - which is thankfully not the strongest sense. After that, a cataract piggy can live a perfectly happy normal life. My cataract group still roam the living room floor when it is their turn, and my 7 year old Mali even follows the scent spoor of the babies into the kitchen; they also cope with a shallow ramp.
You may find this thread here about another cataract piggy that I made for a member's daughter some years back interesting. Mischief even learned to free roam in the garden and was able to turn herself back into her run (with a flap) just by following my voice, provided I stood by the cage entrance. https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/turning-a-blind-eye-on-mischief-another-piggy-story.33420/
 

lovebug

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Hi @sport_billy - he previously was called Buttons and we adopted him in Feb 2014 and renamed him Barney :)
this is him now:


Sorry about the huge photos, i'm not sure how to resize them! :)


@Wiebke - the above photos were taken about two weeks ago. I've zoomed in close and can't see anything in his eyes bar the reflection of my radiator and window yet i know i'm not seeing things in real life! The dots in his eyes are white, or almost tinged blue, if that makes sense? I'm just worried the change in his eyes - i know that sounds silly, i just want him happy.
 

sport_billy

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I love the huge photos, he's a handsome dude.

Good luck at the vets, hopefully it is nothing, please keep us updated
 

lovebug

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Hi :)
Sorry i haven't replied on here - had a couple of busy days with work.
I took Barney to the vet on thursday evening and he was thoroughly health checked and my vet looked into Barney's eyes with the little light and told me that yes he was in the midst of developing cataracts. He let me have a look into Barney's eyes and that helped me feel less scared and reassured me that he wasn't in any sort of pain.
He is blind in one eye but his eye hasn't changed to a 'cataract' eye yet (with the lighter colour) and the vet thinks Barney's eyes might stay relatively opally in colour or turn completely black as opposed to paling out. He is very partially sighted in his other eye but the vet believes this is helping him adjust so eventually he'll cope without both of them.

I'm spending more time sitting and talking next to him now as he panics a little if he is lifted and seems more soothed by my voice than if I hold him. He's such a lovely little boy :wub:.

I must admit I am really amazed at how he still charges around his cage and leaps to his cuddle sack (on his shelf) with no issues and still pushes the girls around and out of the way when he smells food. I feel like a proud parent. Thank you @sport_billy and @Wiebke for your help/kind words x
 

Wiebke

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@lovebug:
I am sorry for the diagnosis, but trust me, he will adjust! Piggies are very pragmatic.

Make sure that you use your voice more than anything else, from the moment you come into the room. I also found it helpful to picture situations in my mind clearly, like carrying him out to the lawn or going into a carrier etc. You can create little new rituals like pick up with voice and touch, so he is not surprised (which cataract piggies hate most of all!).

They can still roam and popcorn etc. as long as they have got an internal map. The map needs to change to mainly smell and touch cues for orientation, but once that transition has happened, they are fine again. The dots grow and connect over time, it is not an instant process.

While he still has got more sight, you can start to train him to follow voice clues. I found it very helpful to have a cataract piggy come to me when called and also know the cues for "right/well done" and "wrong".

All the best! My own cataract piggies have lived and still live a full and happy life. ;)
 
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