Question Can you please help me identify if my rabbit has a cataract. Everynight me and him lay down to watch tv or a movie before i fall asleep and he'll lay with me for a couple hours until he is ready to go in his cage then he'll lick my face to wake me up so I do spend time with him daily and i just noticed his eye like this today it seems like it turned up over night. My rabbit is around 11 years of age so i understand that the risk of surgery is higher than the risk of him just keeping the cataract but I wanted to know if you would help me in identifying if that is what is wrong I don't have any rabbit experts within 3 hours of my location... Also most importantly is he in any pain? http://s23.beta.photobucket.com/user/nctrevor24/library/bunny%20fufu
Answer Dear Trevor,
A cataract will not generally show up suddenly. It's hard for me to see from the photo, but this looks like something in the anterior chamber of the eye (in front of the lens) and possibly in the vitreous (behind the lens). This could be an intra-ocular infection, and should be seen by a rabbit-experienced veterinarian and/or veterinary ophthalmologist. This might not need surgery, but the vet can tell you whether the condition is painful (e.g., if it's accompanied by glaucoma) or not.
If it is a cataract, it is not painful. It will just obstruct his vision. But I'd want this checked by a vet in person, to see if it's something that must be treated with antibiotics. If a tooth root has punctured the eyeball from behind (as sometimes happens in elderly rabbits suffering from osteoporosis), then the blood/brain barrier is broken, and antibiotics could help resolve it, if it's an infection.
I've lived with companion rabbits for more than 35 years, and consider them members of my family. I can answer any questions about the biology and health of rabbits, from the commonplace to the unusual. But please note:
RULE #1: THE INTERNET IS NOT THE PLACE TO SEEK HELP IN AN EMERGENCY.
If your rabbits is LETHARGIC
If your rabbit is NOT EATING
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I have been rescuing and rehabilitating domestic and wild rabbits for about 30 years.
I have written articles for many rabbit rescue publications, as well as for the veterinary journal, Exotic DVM.
I own EtherBun, the internet's largest listserve dedicated to health, care, and behavior of domestic rabbits.
Organizations Houserabbit Adoption, Rescue, and Education, Inc. (H.A.R.E., Inc.) president
National House Rabbit Society (Board member)
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Warren Peace (Journal of the House Rabbit Society of Miami)
Various newsletters of the House Rabbit Society, nationwide
Education/Credentials Ph.D - Biology
B.S. - Biology
B.A. - English
Awards and Honors Lightspan Academic Excellence Award for web site on rabbit health and biology