Hamish the guinea pig has a sore eye

Hamish, a short hair English guinea pig, was observed by his owner as having a weeping left eye. Hamish was kept with his other guinea pig friend in a hutch and their bedding consisted of grass hay.

On examination by Dr Belinda Willis, Hamish appeared to have a very sore and watery left eye. Local anaesthesia was applied to the left eye so it could be more closely examined. On exploration of the eye, a small grass seed was found embedded in the medial canthus (middle corner area) of the eye. The grass seed was removed by the vet using fine optical forceps, which gave much relief to poor little Hamish. However, Hamish still continued to squint!!!

The vet next applied a stain into the eye to check if the cornea (the clear surface) of the eye had been damaged by the grass seed. Sure enough, Hamish had developed a corneal ulcer from the rubbing of the seed. Hamish was then medicated with eye ointment in an aid to help heal the ulcer as well as prevent any other eye condition from developing.

It was advised that Hamish's bedding be changed to softer material and his eyes be checked daily for any seeds.

Hamish is now making a slow and steady recovery. This case demonstrates how important it is to check your guinea pigs eyes daily for any grass seeds or other problems. If there appears to be a problem with an eye/s, then a vet should see the guinea pig and check the eye/s as soon as possible.

It is good preventative idea to choose bedding (hay, etc) which is dry, fresh and sweet smelling and has little or no grass seeds in it.

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