• This weekend was forum pride! We hope you had a great time, the section will remain open to read over the information threads, so dont worry if you missed last night. Visit the section HERE
  • Discussions taking place within this forum are intended for the purpose of assisting you in discussing options with your vet. Any other use of advice given here is done so at your risk, is solely your responsibility and not that of this forum or its owner. Before posting it is your responsibility you abide by this Statement

Is My Piggy Blind ?

ChloeCee98

Teenage Guinea Pig
Joined
Jan 25, 2017
Messages
638
Reaction score
478
Points
455
Location
North East, England
I got Hudson a few months ago. He's always been a character, he hardly eats any veg that isn't plain and he's only just started to eat cucumber! He doesn't react if your hand is near him and he does realise when the girls are at the front of his cage. He hardly squeaks and only ever makes a grunting sound. Recently he's started to popcorn which I'm so happy about :) but all this time I've had a worry that there was something wrong with his eyes. I have noticed they don't look like my other twos eyes...they have a little ring in them and they have a red tinge. Almost as if someone has put the flash on all the time. My dog has cataracts and his eyes look similar.


Could Hudson be blind or not have good vision. If he is okay is there any need for a vet appointment? Also I'm planning on getting him neutered and I'd hate to than if he is blind that would be awful for him :(

IMG_5903.JPG

IMG_5904.JPG
 

Wiebke

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 10, 2009
Messages
73,113
Reaction score
46,982
Points
3,466
Location
Coventry UK
I got Hudson a few months ago. He's always been a character, he hardly eats any veg that isn't plain and he's only just started to eat cucumber! He doesn't react if your hand is near him and he does realise when the girls are at the front of his cage. He hardly squeaks and only ever makes a grunting sound. Recently he's started to popcorn which I'm so happy about :) but all this time I've had a worry that there was something wrong with his eyes. I have noticed they don't look like my other twos eyes...they have a little ring in them and they have a red tinge. Almost as if someone has put the flash on all the time. My dog has cataracts and his eyes look similar.


Could Hudson be blind or not have good vision. If he is okay is there any need for a vet appointment? Also I'm planning on getting him neutered and I'd hate to than if he is blind that would be awful for him :(

View attachment 66745

View attachment 66746
Hi!

If you are planning to Hudson neutered, you'll need a pre-op check. I would have him tested by your vet for cataracts and deafness both anyway, and even check his sense of smell, hearing and smell are much stronger compared to humans, whereas sight is the least important sense in contrast to humans where it is the strongest.
Some piggies are naturally quiet, and some piggies that have been separated too early from their family and then kept single have lost the ability to identify themselves as a guinea pig. A competent vet should be able to give you answers. As you do not know his past, traumatic events/handling can also have contributed to his lack of interaction or interest.

Neither impairment is an obstacle for neutering if that allows Hudson to have company of his choice. If you have concerns about having him neutered, you could alternatively contact North East Guinea Pig Rescue for dating him for a suitable carer companion boar. Rescue dating allows you and the very experienced rescue lady to assess Hudson's reactions to other guinea pigs. You come home with a companion only if there has been success and do not run the risk of ending up with two boars that do not get on.
Guinea Pig Rescue Centre Locator

When neutering, please take into consideration that either finding a general vet with plenty of experience in guinea pig neutering or an exotics vet with lots of practice in small furries ops can make a real difference in cutting down the risk of post-op complications. You will also have to wait a full 6 weeks after the operation before Hudson is 100% safe to go with sows. The little baby in my avatar is the daughter of a supposedly safe over 5 weeks post-op neutering boar (not one of mine), just to prove that particular point. While rare, she is not the only case I have heard of.
Tips For Post-operative Care

I have had and have a number of guinea pigs with advanced cataracts; at some point I even had a dedicated group of cataract rescue piggies. Blindness does not hold them back once they have learned to compensate with their other senses. I did continue to challenge mine, and they have all been able to lead a perfectly normal and enriched life with free roaming time, zoomies and shallow ramps (following scent spoors on materials that hold scent well, so there have never been any accidents), lawn time, moving furniture etc.
These are two examples from cataract piggies of mine, one with severe congenital (young age onset) cataracts and one with advanced old age cataracts:
Turning a blind eye on mischief - another piggy story

The same goes for blind/deaf piggies - they still have smell and touch and can still lead happy and fulfilled lives.
You can find lots of videos on the The Excellent Adventure Sanctuary for guinea pigs with special needs' fb page:
The Excellent Adventure Sanctuary (for guinea pigs with extra needs)
When neutering, please take into consideration that either finding a general vet with plenty of experience in guinea pig neutering or an exotics vet with lots of practice in small furries ops can make a real difference in cutting down the risk of post-op complications. You will also have to wait a full 6 weeks after the operation before Hudson
 

ChloeCee98

Teenage Guinea Pig
Joined
Jan 25, 2017
Messages
638
Reaction score
478
Points
455
Location
North East, England
I will go with Jaqui Pattersons vets for a neuter :) I'll book him an appointment with the vet for next month. Thank you so much. Do you think his eyes do look cataract?x
 

Freela

Senior Guinea Pig
Joined
Aug 15, 2010
Messages
5,236
Reaction score
3,959
Points
1,350
Location
Canada
Your vet can check for cataracts. In my cataract pig, we could see the cataract in direct sunlight much earlier than in room light. It looked like a cloudy circle gradually closing in over her pupil. We did see evidence that she couldn't see well prior to the cataract being really visible to us, though, mostly in that she had obvious problem with depth perception (i.e. hesitating to go out of the cage which involve a step up, misjudging distance jumping back in, etc.) Her behavior, as far as noises and responding to stimuli really didn't change (and can be very individual- not all pigs are noisy, and some pigs are seemingly uninterested in what is going on around them even when they can see it fine.) So that alone wouldn't necessary mean he can't see well.

For what it's worth, guinea pigs have comparatively poor vision anyhow and function well with smell and hearing, so losing their eyesight is not as traumatic for them as it is for us. After an initial adjustment period which mainly involved depth perception, Sundae adjusted fine to low (or no) vision and it really did not change her quality of life at all. She still got out of the cage for snacks, followed her buddy around, recognized all her dedicated staff (myself and the kids) and lived her usual life. I think she could always see light and dark (as she would look up at camera flashes) but I don't think she could see much else in the last year of her life and you really couldn't tell by looking at her. I don't think cataracts would preclude neutering, meeting new friends, or otherwise doing normal piggie things.
 

Freela

Senior Guinea Pig
Joined
Aug 15, 2010
Messages
5,236
Reaction score
3,959
Points
1,350
Location
Canada
Here is a picture of Sundae (the pig at the forefront with red eyes) where you can kind of see her cataracts. She didn't have that hazy, cloudy area of her eye prior to cataracts forming. Cataracts tend to look cloudy rather than a reddish pupil in light (a reddish pupil in the light can be a natural, really dark ruby eye color that looks dark in most lights but ruby when light reflects.) Hope this helps a bit.
 
Top