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Guinea Pigs/Guinea Pigs Eye - Hay


So yesterday I found one of my guinea pigs, with a small piece of hay in her inner corner of her eye, I gently removed it and kept her calm, and put her back in her cage and later went out and got Visine for red eyes. I got home, put a drop in her eye, and then later in the day put another drop in her eye, now, this morning, her eye looks aright, but, her eye is still like sunken in compared to her other eye. Should I take her to the vet? If I should, then can it wait til tomorrow?

What you are seeing is a normal response to any eye injury. Rather than putting Visine in her eye I would suggest getting some Teramycin eye ointment. Some pet stores carry it, but you may have to look around for it.

There's another breeder trick we've used for many years and that's Vitamin A capsules. Stick a pin or just cut off the end of the gelatin capsule and put one or two drops into the eye.
Because it's an oil based liquid it soothes the eye irritation. Its use is not for medicinal purposes but rather to help lubricate the eyeball while it heals itself.

Most eye injuries will heal on their own. The ointment is just to relieve dryness or any irritation in the eye. You can cleanse it gently with a cotton ball dipped in a saline solution. Saline is easily made by taking one cup of boiled water, add 1/4 tsp of salt. Stir it well until the salt is dissolved and allow it to cool to room temperature.

This gives you .9% Saline aka Sodium Chloride. The same saline that is used in the doctor's office and hospitals. Of course you cannot use this for intravenous use, but it is what we used in medicine as a topical wash for wounds, etc. T

he reason you don't want to use plain water is that the body is mostly salt, and water causes irritation to the tissues. You can keep the remainder of whatever saline you haven't used in your refrigerator for about a week. Just make sure it's warmed up a bit before you use it to cleanse her eye.

If there is no discharge from the eye I wouldn't clean it at all. But if you need to just wet a cotton ball and wipe from the inner corner of the eye, trying not to touch the eyeball itself.  

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Pat VanAllen


As is sometimes the case, people in urgent need of information have a higher degree of expectation than those of us as experts are able to give. The experts on this site do their best to give the most accurate and responsible answers possible. We ask that you remember that it is not our intention nor place to criticize the professional advice given by your veterinarian, nor is it appropriate for us to comment on the correctness of a diagnosis made by a licensed physician. Our knowledge is experience based. Although many years of breeding and showing cavies gives me a wealth of experience it cannot change the fact that we as experts are not veterinarians and therefore may occasionally have to reject questions that appear to be asking us to criticize advice given by the licensed professional. Having raised and exhibited cavies for many years I have extensive experience in cavy care and husbandry. I currently have an active breeding program for pedigreed show animals but do not encourage backyard breeding for inexperienced owners. Although I don't encourage breeding for fun I'm always happy to answer any questions from an owner who is in sincere need of help. Pet owners wanting to breed should understand that even experienced breeders have litter losses. The mortality rate is high in cavies. The chance for losing both sow and pups is always present, even with experience. Although this is a site for experts to assist owners, there is no expert in any field who has all the answers. The wisest thing a good expert can know is their limitations. Not having an answer does not diminish one's ability or knowledge. It simply shows that we recognize our limitations and operate within them.


Raised and shown cavies for many years, having aquired my first cavies in the early 1970's as pets. My caviary currently handles 65 + animals in two different breeds and several varieties. Having been in the health care industry as a licensed nurse for 35 years I have hands on experience with care and needs in both humans and cavies. Member of American Rabbit Breeders Association and American Cavy Breeders Association.

Awarded Lifetime Membership in of one of the oldest cavy clubs in the United States, on whose Board I served as Sec/Treas for six years and currently serving as President. Also editor/publisher of the club's quarterly newsletter. We are strong supporters of our youth exhibitors, most of whom are 4H members who are working on cavy projects. Through these projects they become good responsible citizens. We deal with all aspects of showing, breeding, caring for and sharing experiences in the fancy. The cavy fancy is not a new one but in some areas is still relatively unknown. Our goal is to inspire interest in high quality, responsible breeding to improve the species, not just the reproduction of guinea pigs. Our job is to educate owners to help them make the right decisions and choices in the care of their cavies.

Graduate in nursing. Certified in emergency medicine.

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