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Hay poke and eye drops

DizzyD95

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Hi all,

I was looking for some advice please. My 10 month old piggie had hay poke (the piece of hay can out but was huge!). Anyway to the vets and she had a cochlear ulcer :( it's pretty bad and I'm so upset. She's on eye drops and metacam. She's eating as normal which is good. She absolutely loves metacam - can't get enough 😂 (is that normal?!) but the eye drops are proving very difficult to get into the eye. Does anyone please have any tips on how to drop them in - at the moment she moves and they go anywhere but her eye! We have a follow up appointment tomorrow to see how things are going! Thank you :)
 

Wiebke

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Hi all,

I was looking for some advice please. My 10 month old piggie had hay poke (the piece of hay can out but was huge!). Anyway to the vets and she had a cochlear ulcer :( it's pretty bad and I'm so upset. She's on eye drops and metacam. She's eating as normal which is good. She absolutely loves metacam - can't get enough 😂 (is that normal?!) but the eye drops are proving very difficult to get into the eye. Does anyone please have any tips on how to drop them in - at the moment she moves and they go anywhere but her eye! We have a follow up appointment tomorrow to see how things are going! Thank you :)
Hi and welcome

Good that you have seen a vet promptly; eye infections can deteriorate very quickly and look gross very quickly! The damage is often even more extensive than visible to the naked eye and can only be assessed by a vet under uv light with a special dye.
Hay pokes are unfortunately rather par for the course when living with guinea pigs. Treatment and eye products are the same as with other species and do not require a specialist vet.

Corneal ulcers (infections on the eye surface) are very common after an eye injury. (By the way, cochlear refers to the outer bit of the ear; it's its scientific name comes from looking like a sea shell. ;) )
The first job is always to get the ulceration out of the way as quickly as possible.
The first few days when an eye is very painful and sore, it is usually a struggle to get the drops in. Later on, it usually gets a bit easier once the eye is healing again.

Metacam is an analgesic (i.e. painkiller and anti-inflammatory). Because it is important to get some very ill animals to take it even when they do not eat anything else, it has a trace of honey to make it go down better. ;)

Here are some methods; you have to work out which works best for you:
- Sitting your piggy on your knees, facing away from you and letting it dive into a plate of fresh grass or its favourite veg. Once it is absorbed into eating, it will become less aware of its body and it is much easier to sneak in drops from its dead angle over the back.
This generally works better with gel and not drops.
- Get somebody to help you so you can ideally split the jobs. Again, hold your piggy against your body facing outward and use your upper body to limit head movement. You control the front paws with your fingers and use the thumb to control the head so you have your other hand free for medication.
Gently drag down one lid a bit and try to get the drop into the gap. It may take more than one try at first, so don't be discouraged!
IMG_0071_edited-1.jpg

It is however very important that you make sure that you really get a minimum of three dosages of eye drops into the eye in the first few days. Thankfully lighter injuries tend to heal of rather quickly and well and the eye will hopefully soon look normal again!
 

DizzyD95

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Hi and welcome

Good that you have seen a vet promptly; eye infections can deteriorate very quickly and look gross very quickly! The damage is often even more extensive than visible to the naked eye and can only be assessed by a vet under uv light with a special dye.
Hay pokes are unfortunately rather par for the course when living with guinea pigs. Treatment and eye products are the same as with other species and do not require a specialist vet.

Corneal ulcers (infections on the eye surface) are very common after an eye injury. (By the way, cochlear refers to the outer bit of the ear; it's its scientific name comes from looking like a sea shell. ;) )
The first job is always to get the ulceration out of the way as quickly as possible.
The first few days when an eye is very painful and sore, it is usually a struggle to get the drops in. Later on, it usually gets a bit easier once the eye is healing again.

Metacam is an analgesic (i.e. painkiller and anti-inflammatory). Because it is important to get some very ill animals to take it even when they do not eat anything else, it has a trace of honey to make it go down better. ;)

Here are some methods; you have to work out which works best for you:
- Sitting your piggy on your knees, facing away from you and letting it dive into a plate of fresh grass or its favourite veg. Once it is absorbed into eating, it will become less aware of its body and it is much easier to sneak in drops from its dead angle over the back.
This generally works better with gel and not drops.
- Get somebody to help you so you can ideally split the jobs. Again, hold your piggy against your body facing outward and use your upper body to limit head movement. You control the front paws with your fingers and use the thumb to control the head so you have your other hand free for medication.
Gently drag down one lid a bit and try to get the drop into the gap. It may take more than one try at first, so don't be discouraged!
View attachment 110990

It is however very important that you make sure that you really get a minimum of three dosages of eye drops into the eye in the first few days. Thankfully lighter injuries tend to heal of rather quickly and well and the eye will hopefully soon look normal again!
Thank you so much! I definitely meant corneal and not cochlear 😂 (it's been a long couple of days!). I will try distracting with food. We're on eye drops 4 times a day until the vet visit tomorrow (she is not best pleased!).
 

Wiebke

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Thank you so much! I definitely meant corneal and not cochlear 😂 (it's been a long couple of days!). I will try distracting with food. We're on eye drops 4 times a day until the vet visit tomorrow (she is not best pleased!).
I know how you feel; I've had plenty of hay pokes and a couple of very narrow escapes so far. In my worst case so far, I had to get 12 lots of various drops and artificial tear gel (always at least half an hour later than the antibiotic eye drops) into the eye over the course of 24 hours, but we have managed to save the eye, so it was well worth all the effort!

You can discuss with your vet whether they think thank that giving additionally artificial tear gel will help with hydration and the healing process. My own vet is prescribing it as a matter of routine to help especially in the cases where the eye is crinkly and where the infection has penetrated deeper into the eye. I also find that it helps with the discomfort.
 
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