Eye problems are not common in Rabbits, but a rabbit eye infection is not to be ignored. If you notice your bunny looks like they have been crying, there may be a problem.
You might see thin strings of mucus on their face, usually down their cheeks. Runny eyes are a sure sign that they is an underlining eye health issue. You may be thinking, ‘but rabbits eat lots of carrots..’, if only it was that simple.
There are a variety of conditions that can affect a rabbits eye. These include bacterial, physical, and some other lesser known reasons.
One of the more dangerous types of infection is a bacterial one. You’ll need this to be diagnosed by a qualified vet, and also have some treatments recommended. Bacterial infections are caused by bacteria causing a reaction on the effected area.
In most cases, antibiotics will be prescribed. If the condition is left untreated it can spread to other parts of the rabbits head and face. With the chance of bacterial infection setting into the pets jaw, and other bones.
A bunny’s eye may water due to a physical abnormality. If there is skin of fur obstructing the eye, this can cause irritation and eye watering. Sometimes a tear duct is obstructed or injured, this will cause continual watering.
A vet can flush the tear ducts out if this is the problem, it’s a fairly simple procedure. Misshaping of the bones around the eyes and eyelid is also a common problem. This can be corrected in extreme cases, but often will be left alone.
As long as it only causes a little teary effect on occasion, it’s not worth an invasive procedure. Bunnies come in a wide range of breeds and types, and as a result there can be a number of physical differences.
If you are buying from breeders always try to get some of the history of the parents. Make sure there were no obvious defects there. The majority of pets will be purchased from stores, or adverts and there is no history. Just give the pet a good health check and act on instinct if something doesn’t look right.
Dry Eye Condition
If the animal is not creating enough tears naturally, there can be a dry eye issue. The eye needs to be kept moist to protect it from debris and dirt, as well as scratching and erosion to the cornea.
Eye discharge, excessive redness, and inflammation are all strong indications of a corneal problem. A vet will often prescribe some antibacterial eye drops and this can be treated.
This is a condition more common in younger rabbits, but a potentially serious one. It manifests when the conjunctvial membranes around the eye become swollen and red. Known as conjunctivitis, it’s a condition that needs to be treated.
Sometimes they will be a discharge, that is not very pleasant to see and smell. The discharge can become blocked behind the eye lids if they hold their eyes closed a lot, causing a bigger problem. So if you suspect this is affecting your pet, get on the phone to the vet asap.
What You Can Do If You Suspect Rabbit Eye Infection
You can take some preventative measures from conjunctivitis become worse. Like gently wiping the rabbits eyes with a clean, damp, warm, cloth. If you seek veterinarian advice you will likely be given some eye drops, and painkillers.
If you suspect your rabbit has some eye irritation you can use some gel like this one here.
This gel is just a soothing treatment for pets that are affected by pollution, pollen, and other airborne particles that are giving them problems.
It’s not a prescribed medicine, do not use it to treat serious conditions. But it can provide some much needed comfort.
Keeping an Eye On Your Pet
No pun intended, but you should always be keeping a close eye on your pets’ health. Problems with the eyes are always fairly easy to spot, and you should have them looked at right away.
If your pet is less active than normal, this is often a sign of an underlining issue. You know your pet well, and although they cannot speak out, they express themselves in different ways. Keep on the lookout for rabbit eye infection, and take the appropriate action.