I’m a recent undergrad in the UK with 2 male Guinea pigs, 10 months old called Terrence and Jake. They live fully indoors with me and I’ve started giving them free run of the room now I’ve finished uni and can stay home more.
I returned from a dentist appt in the evening to see Jake’s eye like this (very cloudy with red inflamed area at the bottom area of his eye, not actual flowing blood, no crust or other discharge, no swelling, marks, bald patches or anything else) after being fine when I left them in the morning - this is Wed 3rd Aug.I was still under the effect of painkillers so made an appointment for the morning and thought it was some sort of hay poke based on the internet, although I’ve never seen it before.Here's a rough timeline and again i have photos of every stage and would love support on how to upload them.
10:20am on Thurs 4th Aug is Jake’s first vet appointment, where his eye is examined with the dye etc. I’m told it looks more like a trauma injury because it came on suddenly and doesn’t seem to affect his behaviour. The vet said he required aggressive treatment so he had 2 injections, (an antibiotic and anti inflammatory) and some drops. I took some drops home too (isathal) which I was told to give every 3 hours (and have been doing so since).
I was told to return the next day so 10am Fri 5th Aug is Jake’s second appointment now and I’m told it looks worse than initially thought. The visible blood/redness at the bottom indicates severe inflammation and so aggressive treatment continues. This time Jake reacts slightly when you touch the side of his face/cheek near his eye, suggesting he’s now in pain but again, eating and playing and pooing/weeing as normal. That flinching only happened on the vet table, I hadn't seen it before the previous visit nor at home with me since, even when I'm giving him medicine or handling him. The vet also said his eye is drier and isn’t lubricating itself so I was given further medicine to take home: 0.3ml Baytril 2x a day, 11 drops of metacam 2x a day, lubrithal drops 3x a day and continue isathal drops every 3 hours.
As I say, I’m a recent economics graduate and was expecting to start my first ‘real’ job as I’ve been training with them for weeks now just for my job offer to be rescinded and my landlord refusing to renew my tenancy (ends in less than 3 weeks) without an employment contract. Cost of living is going up and I was waiting for my first salaried role to be able to afford the monthly insurance payments but of course life happens on it's own timing and I’ve spent £200+ on vet bills+meds so far, the same as an annual policy for the both of them </3. I’m not having any luck with the job hunt and can sense that this next scheduled appt (Tues 9th Aug) will be the last one I can afford. (The UK welfare system is bursting at the seams and falling apart, I've been trying to get financial support for months, especially as I became an estranged student in the middle of my degree but to no success. I'm still waiting for the outcome of my application and I have rent, a tooth I can't afford to extract but is causing constant pain, and general higher bills, food shopping, fuel etc etc. I don't want to have to give Jake up but if Tuesday's appointment doesn't yield good news, I won't be able to afford further care unless I get a job)
I have been meticulous with Jake's medication, rigorous with the timing, measuring the syringe and making sure he’s swallowed it all or be sure to replace what I didn’t quite get in his mouth. I’ve always adored them and given them so much attention but as life has gotten very difficult very quickly, i can’t help but feel guilty that me being busier/stressed is a factor in all this.
Anyway Jake is his usual self, the vet told me from the onset he may lose his eye/vision but that wouldn’t bother him. It’s of course so distressing for me and in spite of the aggressive treatment and yes he may not be visibly worse, he also isn’t any better.
Today is Sat 6 Aug and he’s been munching, playing and napping with his brother as usual. They’ve always had different personalities and although I’m observing them so so closely, I have to be honest and say there’s no behavioural changes at all. I know Guinea pigs don’t give it away when they’re unwell but he’s not even pawing or acting like his eye is disturbing him.
Sorry for the rambling, I could do with any advice or encouragement that things need to just play out or is there something else I should try/be doing. Thanks in advance guys
This is 15 hours after first noticing and a trip to the vet in the morning (taken at Fri 5 Aug). Several missed eye drops (my own nerves, he was sitting fine) but his eye otherwise looks the same?
These photos were taken today ( sat 6 Aug) just before his next dose of antibiotics and eye drops. This is when I got worried because it looked the same or almost worse when his eye looks bulge like from the side.
However after applying the drops, 30 mins apart and the metacam and baytril, the bulging was gone and his eye looked as it did before. As I type this, he is due for the next dose of isathal and the bulge is slightly back so perhaps that’s what it is. So this picture again taken today 6 Aug is after the drops
For the first time since his injury, I noticed a white circle in his eye, perhaps the point of entry as it’s been puzzling the vet and I exactly when or what it was that’s caused this. The circle is at the front corner of his eye, where the red inflammation is. Apologies for the blurriness, I took it quickly as he was eating as it caught my attention
- I dissent.
I have a male who recently had an eye poke from hay, and it ended up that there was still a small piece of it under the lower lid that we were able to flush out. It looked very similar to your photos. I used Terramycin on the eye for a week and it healed up completely.
Hopefully the combination of meds will help your little guy as well, but I would also want to rule out the possibility of anything still in the eye area causing it to become inflamed.
Although I think at our next appointment I will ask them to double check as the inflammation is persisting. It is only day 3 and I wouldn’t want to be impatient especially as antibiotics do need time to work but part of me wants to explore something stronger.
I’ve read about Terramycin and think would like to give it a try ASAP, here’s a link to one I’ve found on Amazon UK, does it look genuine?
Pona Altina Cat Eye Health Soft Gel,Pet Eye Health Soft Gel for Dogs 3.5g https://amzn.eu/d/fHppdTP
There is lots of info on the eye page along with a link to reference articles in the reference forum.
You might want to look over the info on the ruptured eye (it healed) that can be found on this page:
Just a note that ointments seem to stick around longer and seem to work better than drops.
"Isathal eye gel is indicated for the treatment of conjunctivitis in dogs caused by pathogenic strains of Staphylococci spp. sensitive to fusidic acid."
I don't know its efficacy for your guinea pig and its particular problem. Guessing it may help and won't hurt.
Keep in mind, there are also veterinary ophthalmologists that are much more knowledgeable about eye issues. You said it looked worse? Can you take a picture as clear as the one I cropped above for comparison?