Guinea Pigs/eye problem


my guinea pig zipper has a bump between her lower eyelid and eye its really small and greyish color i see nothing else wrong with her eye its not red, crusty, swollen, or over watery i don't think it protruding and it wasnt there when i went to feed her at 8am i first noticed it when i went give her veggies at 10:30 am i have an appointment for her yearly set for the 23 my friend suggested using triple antibiotic ointment since she think a piece of hay must of poked zipper's eye is this safe to use shes almost 2 years old do i need to get her in to vet right away or should i try the ointment ?

It sounds like what Zipper has is a common condition called 'pea eye' also known as fatty eye. It's a harmless condition that causes no pain or visual problem with the pig.  For a show pig it is a disqualification, but is nothing but cosmetic.

The lower lid loses some of its elasticity causing it to droop. The conjunctival tissue inside the bottom lid then protrudes over the bottom lid. Some dog breeds such as Bloodhounds and Bassett Hounds have this droopy eye and is considered cute. For guinea pigs it's just something that happens. It is harmless, painless and doesn't bother the animal at all.

It is an hereditary trait, so breeders who are breeding show animals do not use any animals that have had this in their line.  There is nothing that prevents the pig from being a wonderful pet and the condition does not affect their health OE lifespan in any way.

I hope this helps. If you're still not sure that I'm describing what you're seeing, please send me a picture.  There is no need to put any salve or medication on or in the eye. It would not serve any purpose and you don't want to risk the pig having an allergic reaction to the medication.

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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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