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His eye
His eye  
Hello I recently got a guinea pig about a week ago. He's about 3 months old and when we got him we noticed a little irritation on his eye. We didn't think it was a big deal, maybe a scar he was born with our something. But recently I think it's starting to get worse and was wondering if you can help me figure out what to do. Thank you so much.

Answer
It appears to be from scratching, or has perhaps gotten some shavings or piece of hay in his eye. Guinea pigs seem to heal well from eye injuries, provided of course that they are not a real serious injury.

I would suggest you wipe the area with some saline solution. You do not need to go to the pharmacy and buy saline. It's easy to make your own at home. The reason we use saline rather than water is because our bodies (and a guinea pig's) are primarily salt water, aka saline.

If you use plain water it will sting and irritate. You've probably experienced that yourself if you get water in your eye. Saline is more compatible with the tissues and causes no irritation.

To mix it use 1 cup of water (boiled to clear it of any potential bacteria). When it has cooled just a bit, add 1/4 tsp of salt. Stir it well and allow it to cool to room temp.  What you then have is 0.9% Sodium Chloride aka saline.

Dip a cotton ball in the solution, squeeze the majority of the water out and dab the eye with it. You can reuse that solution for about a week. Keep it in the refrigerator and warm it up a little before you use it again.  This should help it be comfortable as well as aid in healing whatever it is.

Please let me know how this works for you. It does not appear to me to be infectious. It looks like more of an abrasion.  It should heal within a week or so.

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Pat VanAllen

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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.

Experience

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.

Organizations
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.

Education/Credentials
Graduate in nursing. Certified in emergency medicine.

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