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Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11061
Experience:  40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
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My rabbits pupils are white

Customer Question

My rabbits pupils are white
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Pet
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I just moved my pet rabbit to my new place, it was a six hour drive at least and she appeared in great health when I picked her up but I noticed during the trip that her pupils were white and still are
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 5 months ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today. First, I do have to note that the pupil is the hole in the iris that allows light into the back of the eye. Therefore, since it is an absence of tissue, it cannot turn white. Instead, what you have reported raises 2 concerns for Candy. One is that we have cataracts of the eyes' lenses. The other (if it is more hazy then fully opaque) is that we can see a condition called uveitis arise in the eye. This is an infection and can be caused by viruses, bacteria, protozoa (ie Encephalitocytozoon cuniculi), and sometimes inflammatory disease.With this all in mind, if this has suddenly arisen, then we'd want to have Candy see her vet urgently. It is not an emergency but as a prey species a loss of sight will be very stressful for her and could lead to injury or her developing other health issues. Her vet can examine the eyes to determine which of these is present and test for the causative agent. Depending on that finding, they can start treatment to clear the uveitis and address as many of these as possible. Though I do have to note that if cataracts are confirmed, they cannot be cured medically (though their underlying cause needs to be addressed). And in that case, you may wish to discuss referral for surgery to remove them if that is what is found here. If you don’t already have a rabbit vet, and wish to find one near you, by checking @ take care,Dr. B. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. **Afterwards, I would be grateful if you would rate my service by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
It did suddenly arise, and it's fully opaque.. I thought maybe stress from the move
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 5 months ago.
Hi again,If it is fully opaque, then cataracts are the main concern here. Stress won't directly cause this but it can dampen the immune system and we could have a protozoal induced cataract here. As well, it could upset her metabolic processes to induce this. Otherwise, stress could cause a posterior subcapsular cataract but these are rare and usually due to UV light as opposed to stressful situations. So, these would be our concerns here for Candy and we'd want to have her vet pinpoint which underlying issue is present (especially as infections can progress and cause other signs in the brain and rest of the body) +/- consider cataract removal for her. Take care,Dr. B.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
We don't have a vet where I live, we don't even have doctors.. We're kind of in the middle of nowhere. Not really sure what to do
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 5 months ago.
Hi again,That is a less then ideal situation. In that case, you will either need to make a trek with her to have her seen or you can at least see if your local pet store carries Panacur/Fenbendazole to try to rule out protozoa. Otherwise, she needs to be monitored and restricted to areas where she can safely move without fear of falling or injuring herself since cataracts won't be something one can obviously treat at home.Please take care,Dr. B.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. **Afterwards, I would be grateful if you would rate my service by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I would like to talk to another expert
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 5 months ago.
Hi again,In that case, I will opt out for you now. Please note that you don't need to reply as that can block the other vets from seeing that this question is open. As well, once I opt out, I won't be able to respond to you anymore.Take care,Dr B.
Expert:  Anna replied 5 months ago.
Hello,I see you have requested another expert's thoughts. My name is ***** ***** I'm a biologist with over 40 years of experience raising and showing rabbits. I'm sorry to hear of this problem.Dr. B gave you some excellent information. Cataracts are fairly common in rabbits, and can appear at any age. The only way to get a definite diagnosis and learn the cause is to see a veterinary ophthalmologist. It doesn't sound like that is an option for you.Cataracts that appear suddenly often result from injury, but it would be unusual for both eyes to be affected. A bump to the head during moving could potentially cause that. There is no treatment for cataracts except an expensive surgery. Most rabbit owners do not choose that. I've owned rabbits with cataracts who have lost sight, but they did just fine as long as they were kept in familiar surroundings. If Candy is used to having the run of your house, it would probably be best to introduce her to living in a large cage instead. She will become familiar with everything in it and will feel safer there despite not being able to see.You can read more about cataracts here (the information applies to rabbits, as well as dogs): Since you cannot get to a vet, you will simply have to make Candy's surroundings as safe as possible. You'll also have to accept that there are risks involved. If the problem is related to infection, protozoa, or a tumor, things will get progressively worse. If the cataracts were not caused by any of those agents, Candy will most likely lose her sight, but will be able to adjust to familiar surroundings and live a healthy life. I know you would like a home remedy, and I would like to give you one, but unfortunately, this is a situation where there just isn't one. Let me know if you have more questions. I hope the situation will work out well. Anna

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