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Guinea Pig Eye Swollen/Bulging

Dom R

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Hi all,

Just wanting some advice for my guinea pig, Oscar. I took him to the vets today for his eye (picture below) and he's not eating/drinking or anything. He's had a shot of metacam and has been given some eye gel and Sulfatrim to help. I have to go back tomorrow for a checkup to see if he's more comfortable and if not the vet thinks he should be PTS. He's had the dye on his eye, and she hasn't noticed any damage to his cornea or anything, and she thinks it could be either a tumour or abscess behind his eye, causing it to bulge out.

He has bad lungs/breathing as it is, and is prone to chest infections and what not, so the vet (and I agree) thinks that he wouldn't survive any anaesthetic if he was to have it. My options are pretty limited it seems, I'm just wondering what you guys would do in this situation?

Is there anything I should ask for/try before we go for the worst option?

He's currently sat munching on his pellets in his enclosure, so he's eating something without me having to force feed him mushed pellets; this is a good sign.

IMG_20200716_085828.jpg
 

Siikibam

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Hi there. I’m sorry your boy is so unwell. You are best placed to start weighing him at the same time each day and topping him up with a syringe feed if he’s not maintaining his weight. You can’t judge how much hay he’s eating by eye hence the weighing.

What does the vet think is wrong with his eye? And what is the sulfatrim for? Putting him to sleep seems a little extreme but I’m not experienced so won’t comment on that.

I’ll tag @Wiebke @PigglePuggle @Piggies&buns and hopefully they can answer you more comprehensively.

All the best with your boy and I hope you can find a solution.
 

Dom R

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Hi there. I’m sorry your boy is so unwell. You are best placed to start weighing him at the same time each day and topping him up with a syringe feed if he’s not maintaining his weight. You can’t judge how much hay he’s eating by eye hence the weighing.

What does the vet think is wrong with his eye? And what is the sulfatrim for? Putting him to sleep seems a little extreme but I’m not experienced so won’t comment on that.

I’ll tag @Wiebke @PigglePuggle @Piggies&buns and hopefully they can answer you more comprehensively.

All the best with your boy and I hope you can find a solution.
He has lost weight and I have been syringe feeding because he hasn't been eating. Although after the metacam today he's drinking more, which is a good sign.

The vet thinks there's an abscess or a tumour behind his eye, pushing it forward and causing it to bulge, and the Sulfatrim is to help if there is an infection or abscess there. I too think that putting him to sleep is extreme, I would at least want to try getting his eye removed before that decision is made, but I'd rather try and save his eye altogether if possible. I have contacted a second vet to see if I could get a second opinion, as she is more than likely more experienced with guinea pigs than the general vet I saw.
 

PigglePuggle

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Yes a second opinion sounds like a good idea, maybe the vet could do an xray without any anaesthesia, to take a look at what is happening behing the eye? Our vet does conscious xrays, poorly piggies often keep still enough for this, or maybe just a sedative injection to keep him still.
I think if this is an abscess behind his eye, it may be worth attempting the eye removal operation, although the anaesthesia would be very risky if he has breathing problems, passing away under anaesthesia would be painless and no different to pts, and there may be a chance he would be ok...
 

Siikibam

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That sounds like a good plan. We have a list of recommended vets on here who people have used. Hopefully the one you chose is on the list.
 

Wiebke

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Hi all,

Just wanting some advice for my guinea pig, Oscar. I took him to the vets today for his eye (picture below) and he's not eating/drinking or anything. He's had a shot of metacam and has been given some eye gel and Sulfatrim to help. I have to go back tomorrow for a checkup to see if he's more comfortable and if not the vet thinks he should be PTS. He's had the dye on his eye, and she hasn't noticed any damage to his cornea or anything, and she thinks it could be either a tumour or abscess behind his eye, causing it to bulge out.

He has bad lungs/breathing as it is, and is prone to chest infections and what not, so the vet (and I agree) thinks that he wouldn't survive any anaesthetic if he was to have it. My options are pretty limited it seems, I'm just wondering what you guys would do in this situation?

Is there anything I should ask for/try before we go for the worst option?

He's currently sat munching on his pellets in his enclosure, so he's eating something without me having to force feed him mushed pellets; this is a good sign.

View attachment 148287
Please have your boy seen by another vet for the likelihood of a retrobulbar abscess (and abscess behind the eye). Sulfatrim won't be strong enough to get on top of it; he may rather need a stronger unlicensed (but safe) antibiotic like zithromax.
Vet Locator

Step in with syringe feeding support asap.
Complete Syringe Feeding Guide
 

Dom R

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I think a second opinion is best.
Yes a second opinion sounds like a good idea, maybe the vet could do an xray without any anaesthesia, to take a look at what is happening behing the eye? Our vet does conscious xrays, poorly piggies often keep still enough for this, or maybe just a sedative injection to keep him still.
I think if this is an abscess behind his eye, it may be worth attempting the eye removal operation, although the anaesthesia would be very risky if he has breathing problems, passing away under anaesthesia would be painless and no different to pts, and there may be a chance he would be ok...
That sounds like a good plan. We have a list of recommended vets on here who people have used. Hopefully the one you chose is on the list.
Please have your boy seen by another vet for the likelihood of a retrobulbar abscess (and abscess behind the eye). Sulfatrim won't be strong enough to get on top of it; he may rather need a stronger unlicensed (but safe) antibiotic like zithromax.
Vet Locator

Step in with syringe feeding support asap.
Complete Syringe Feeding Guide
Thank you all for the reply. I normally go and see Ellie Whitehead at Derwent Valley Vets, I've always had good experiences with her and the care of my piggies, I emailed her earlier and hopefully she'll reply soon, so I can book in and go for a second opinion. She's quite a distance away, but its worth the travel. She also has experienced the breathing issues with Oscar in the past, so she knows his experiences and things, which will be beneficial I'm sure.

I think I'll ask the vet tomorrow when I go back for some oral metacam, as he's improved and eaten some dandelion leaves from the garden, and then I'll get him in to see Ellie as soon as possible. Oscar is still quite young, he's not even 2 years old yet, so I'm sure his young age will help with the anaesthetic if it comes to it, although his breathing may be an issue, but we will see.

Again, thanks all for the replies and for helping me decide to get a second opinion.

Hope you're all keeping well during the pandemic,

Dom.
 

Wiebke

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Thank you all for the reply. I normally go and see Ellie Whitehead at Derwent Valley Vets, I've always had good experiences with her and the care of my piggies, I emailed her earlier and hopefully she'll reply soon, so I can book in and go for a second opinion. She's quite a distance away, but its worth the travel. She also has experienced the breathing issues with Oscar in the past, so she knows his experiences and things, which will be beneficial I'm sure.

I think I'll ask the vet tomorrow when I go back for some oral metacam, as he's improved and eaten some dandelion leaves from the garden, and then I'll get him in to see Ellie as soon as possible. Oscar is still quite young, he's not even 2 years old yet, so I'm sure his young age will help with the anaesthetic if it comes to it, although his breathing may be an issue, but we will see.

Again, thanks all for the replies and for helping me decide to get a second opinion.

Hope you're all keeping well during the pandemic,

Dom.
Hi!

Please still monitor his weight and step in with feeding support. Keep in mind that nibbling on a little dandelion is like you nibbling on a biscuit. Around 80% of the food intake should be hay, and you cannot control that by eye. Making sure that he keeps his strength to fight whatever it is is important.

All the best! It is worth the trouble but glad that the metacam is alleviating the pain enough.

@furryfriends (TEAS)
 

Dom R

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Hi!

Please still monitor his weight and step in with feeding support. Keep in mind that nibbling on a little dandelion is like you nibbling on a biscuit. Around 80% of the food intake should be hay, and you cannot control that by eye. Making sure that he keeps his strength to fight whatever it is is important.

All the best! It is worth the trouble but glad that the metacam is alleviating the pain enough.

@furryfriends (TEAS)
He doesn't seem too interested in his hay at the moment, but I've got him some fresh grass/readigrass for him to eat to keep his fibre intake and what not up. I'll keep feeding him some mushed up pellets to continue to help out. He still doesn't seem too happy, but is actually eating now which is positive.
 

Piggies&buns

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He doesn't seem too interested in his hay at the moment, but I've got him some fresh grass/readigrass for him to eat to keep his fibre intake and what not up. I'll keep feeding him some mushed up pellets to continue to help out. He still doesn't seem too happy, but is actually eating now which is positive.
It’s the syringe feeding which is replacing the hay he is not eating so it is essential you get enough into him, and then anything else he will eat on top is a bonus. Keep weighing him daily so you know he is getting enough syringe feeds
 

Dom R

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It’s the syringe feeding which is replacing the hay he is not eating so it is essential you get enough into him, and then anything else he will eat on top is a bonus. Keep weighing him daily so you know he is getting enough syringe feeds
I'll keep giving him some every hour or two, luckily he's not too wriggly so syringe feeding him is easy.

I managed to get him booked in to see Ellie Whitehead at Derwent Valley on Monday. Its quite a wait but its the earliest appointment they had, so I'll keep him going for that appointment.
 

furryfriends (TEAS)

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We've managed to save the eye of two piggies, with retrobulbar abscesses. Our vet used the antibiotics Marbocyl and Metronidazole and Viscotears were put into the affected eye, every few hours, to keep it from drying out. He was also on a hefty dose of Metacam for dogs - 0.5ml, twice daily.
 

Dom R

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You can buy Viscotears at any pharmacy. Get some and start using them straight away, as otherwise the eye will dry out and no longer be viable.
Do you reckon I should ask for some more antibiotics tomorrow too? Just to hopefully help it out more. I have some eye gel which is used for keeping the eye hydrated which the vets gave me. Probably much cheaper from the pharmacy though
 

Dom R

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Do you reckon I should ask for some more antibiotics tomorrow too? Just to hopefully help it out more. I have some eye gel which is used for keeping the eye hydrated which the vets gave me. Probably much cheaper from the pharmacy though
Also I must add, his eye seems to be less swollen now, it still seems sore, and a bit more red than before, but its not bulging as much. Not sure if the metacam kicked in and helped that quickly, or the fact that its much more hydrated now is the cause (maybe both) But I would say that's a good sign of progress, even though it is only slightly
 

Wiebke

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Sulfatrim on a dose of 0.4ml twice daily. Someone above said that this might not be strong enough to get rid of it (or be the right antibiotic for the job)
If he is reacting well to the sulfatrim, then that is great. He will hopefully keep until Monday until Ellie can see and assess him and any medication!
 

furryfriends (TEAS)

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Sulfatrim on a dose of 0.4ml twice daily. Someone above said that this might not be strong enough to get rid of it (or be the right antibiotic for the job)
He will need something stronger than Sulfatrim. It's a pity you can't see Ellie sooner, as retrobulbar abscesses can increase in size very quickly. Is he on anti-inflammatory pain relief?
 
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