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Bugsy. Rabbit. Doesn't want to open one eye. using warm

Customer Question
Rabbit Veterinarian's Assistant: OK...

Rabbit

Veterinarian's Assistant: OK. I'll do all I can to help. What is the matter with the rabbit?

Doesn't want to open one eye. using warm cloth from inner to outer of the eye. eye appears normal when cleaned; but rabbit prefers to close it

Veterinarian's Assistant: Where does the rabbit seem to hurt?

No known injury. I'm thinking his eye got irritated with chaff from hay

Veterinarian's Assistant: Can you see anything that looks wrong or different?

Nope.

Veterinarian's Assistant: OK. Nothing visually obvious. Is the rabbit eating normally?

Yes. he is eating fine; his teeth look great

Veterinarian's Assistant: OK. No appetite problems. Is the rabbit having trouble peeing or pooing?

All normal

Veterinarian's Assistant: How is the rabbit behaving differently?

The only difference is compensation when hopping around by moving head to side to see better when his other eye is closed

Veterinarian's Assistant: What is the rabbit's name and age?

Bugsy and 7

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Bugsy?

Indoor rabbit with run of house; litter trained - shavings. have caught him eating dog food. assuming irrelevant. I am assuming I should use an eye ointment for the eye- because it gets crusted shut

Submitted: 3 months ago.Category: Pet
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Answered in 4 hours by:
3/21/2018
Pet Specialist: Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist replied 3 months ago
Anna
Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11,893
Experience: 40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
Verified

Hello,

I apologize that no one has responded to your question sooner. Different experts come online at various times. I just logged on and saw your question. My name is ***** ***** I’m a biologist with over 40 years of experience raising rabbits. I'm sorry to hear of Bugsy's problem.

If his eye was irritated by hay, there is one more step you can take after cleaning it. Put in a couple of drops of saline solution (the kind made for contact lenses) several times a day. This usually clears up minor irritations quite quickly. If you're using wood shavings, other wood-based bedding, or straw, the litter can be the cause of the problem. Paper-based beddings, such as CareFresh, are less irritating.

However, because the eye is crusting over, I suspect something more is going on.

There are several possibilities for what may be wrong. One, of course, is that there may be an eye infection or injury. Eye infections are common in rabbits, and this is the most likely cause of the problem. Several different bacteria can cause infections. An eye infection can be serious and life-threatening because such infections can easily spread to the respiratory system. That's why you need to watch for other symptoms, such as appetite loss, coughing or sneezing, lethargy, or nasal discharge. Here is a site where you can read more about eye problems in rabbits:

http://www.rabbit.org/journal/2-8/eye-problems.html

Another possibility is that your bunny has a dental problem. An abscessed molar or one that has grown in such a way as to put pressure on the eye sockets can cause discharge and irritation of the eye. Problems with molars cannot be detected by looking at the teeth. The abnormality is above the gum line, and can only be seen with an x-ray. Such dental problems are also common in rabbits. Other signs to look for would include drooling, wetness of the fur around the mouth and chin, and a change in eating habits.

I prefer to have eye problems treated by my vet, but if you'd like to try an antibiotic ointment first, I'll give you a source. This is a lizard site, but the ointment is the same regardless of what species it is used in.

http://www.beautifuldragons.com/Terramycin.html

If you don't have a rabbit vet, and would like one to examine Bugsy, this site has a directory of them:

http://rabbit.org/vet-listings/

If you have more questions, just let me know. I'm glad to help. I hope Bugsy's eye will quickly return to normal.

Anna

My goal is to provide you with excellent 5 star service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions. Please remember to rate my service after you have all the information you need. I will greatly appreciate a positive rating as that is the only way I am compensated. Thank you!

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Pet Specialist: Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist replied 3 months ago
Hi,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Anna
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