Guinea Pig Eye Removal

Guinea Pig Eye Removal

Guinea Pig Eye Removal is not something that is an everyday occurrence, however it may be needed to remove pain that your Guinea Pig may be in or worse still extending your guinea pigs life. Unfortunately it is something that we may feel is cruel and that the best option is to have your Guinea Pig put to sleep. I believe that this is all dependant on the situation and what your Vet advises.

We have been in a situation recently where one of our team “Snowy” originally started of with a Pea Eye when we first adopted him back in 2009. In November 2013 we noticed the eye was protruding out of the socket slightly more then the other eye. We took him to our Vet who noticed the same as us. He put him on a eye drop called “Azopt” which works by reducing the fluid build up behind the eye as he felt that this was what was causing the protrusion. The Vet advised us to use this treatment long term which we did. He seemed to be managing fine with the eye drop for some time then we noticed that the eye was always blood shot so we took him back to the Vet who was not happy with how is eye was progressing. It even got to the point where he was rubbing the side of his face with the bulging eye against any surface that he could. The Vet advised that he felt he may have been in pain so he tried him on a Anti-Inflammatory Pain Medicine for 5 days to see if the face rubbing altered which we found it improved his quality of life after the 1st dose. After the 5 days we took him back to the Vet who advised us the best option was to remove the eye as he was unaware of what was going on behind the eye or in fact with the eye

We asked the Vet a few questions which he was happy to answer, they were the following :-

  • After the Surgery would he be pain free? The Vet answered as long as the problem was with the eye and not an issue in the socket of the eye he could not see any reason why the Guinea Pig would be in pain after the surgery.
  • Could the Guinea Pig live a Normal Life? The Vet advised there was no reason why the Guinea Pig would not live a normal life after having the eye removed due to the fact that he was only having one eye removed and would still be able to do the things he was doing before but that he would have a Blind Side so we would have to adapt his care needs.
  • Would Putting To Sleep be better for the Guinea Pig? The Vet advised if the eye was removed and there were no problems internally and that the eye was the problem, we would be prematurely ending his life for nothing and that doing the procedure would be the best option and that if he found an issue once the eye was removed he would call us and ask us what steps we wanted taken next.

We decided the best option for us and for Snowy was to go ahead with the procedure as leaving him untreated would be even crueller. We took him back a few days later and the operation went ahead. We received a phone call around 4 hours later advising us that the eye had been removed and that he found the eye in fact seemed to be deformed and that he found nothing in the eye socket that would have caused the problem. We chose to send the Eye of for analysis to try and determine what had gone wrong. The Vet advised us that he was going to keep him with them for a few hours to observe him and make sure that he was Eating, Drinking, Urinating and Pooping and to go to the Vets for 6pm.

We got to the Vets at 6pm and we was called in by the Vet. Before we could see our boy were advised by the Vet to braise ourselves because what we were about to see would be scary and upsetting.

He opened the lid of the Carrier and our Hearts sunk he didn’t look like our Boy who we had left there a few hours earlier. Their was no hair down the side of the face where the eye had been removed. The eye opening had been sutured shut. However we left the Veterinary Practise feeling happy that we had given him that chance to live and he was coming home with us and that he made it through the surgery. We were given some pain meds to see him through a few days following the surgery but was advised by the Vet that the operation was completed in sterile conditions and that he felt Antibiotics were not needed. We were told to monitor his stitches for any discharge or bulging which could identify an infection of the area and that if there were any problems to take him back to the Vet immediately.

After a few days we started to notice his hair growing back on his face which pleased us. He was walking around and pop corning which told us he was happy and contented still being with us. He had no problems navigating around his cage or the run when we put him out to play.

As far as we are concerned we made the right choice for our Snowy. The Vet also found before the surgery that he was suffering from Heart Disease and Fluid on the lung (caused by the heart disease) when he was running a routine X-Ray. We decided to start him on a Heart Medicine (Fortekor mixed with a Glycerine) and a Diuretic (Lasix) which keeps the fluid on his lungs down. Snowy is at the age of 8-9 now and is still happy.

The results came back from the analysis of the eye which showed that the eye had a bone growing inside which was causing the protrusion and the pain to Snowy. We do not regret the decision we made and he shows us this by the affection he gives us back.

Conclusion – Before making a decision between Putting To Sleep and Surgery speak to your Veterinarian and ask what he/she feels is the best option.

Always remember that it is Quality of Life over everything else