Rabbits have a unique positioning of their eyes. It lies on either side of the face, unlike other animals. They have large and bright eyes and are always alert against threats and strangers.
Their eyes’ position and size prove helpful as they can have a vision of around 360 degrees. They can see above and behind them without even turning their heads. The peculiarity of eyes makes them see the entire vicinity.
But these eyes need utmost maintenance and care. Since they are also prone to various eye diseases, regular upkeep is essential. Let us discuss the potential disorders that your bunny may encounter.
Common Eye-related Issues in a Rabbit
1. Inflammation of tear ducts or Dacryocystitis
Tear ducts are the passages in the eyes. Through it, water passes to the eye after secretion from the lachrymal glands. In rabbits, their eye’s placing is in a very absurd position. Tear ducts of rabbits locate above the teeth.
As these teeth grow longer, it pushes the tear ducts. Thus, causing pressurized watering. Inflammation of the ducts leads to excessive white discharge. It blurs the eye and also irritates.
- Frequent watering of the eye
- Blurring may cause a sudden fall.
- Scratching with their paws
You must consult a vet if you encounter such a situation for the first time. Delay may cause infection from the swelling, and the doctor may prescribe medication. In other cases, they may flush out the excess puss stuck in the teat duct.
2. Injury or damage in the cornea or Ulcers
Cornea damage may occur due to sudden fall or intense accidents. Some rabbits may also have hereditary cornea defects.
Injuries in the cornea may occur due to collision or sticking of minute particles like a piece of hay or grass. In most cases, the damage takes a turn of a bacterial infection due to the contaminant’s entry.
- Discoloration of the eye
- Swelling of eyelids
- Behavior change due to the extreme pain
- Irritation and frequent scratching
On noticing any swelling, do not try to treat it yourself. Being a delicate sense organ, it might worsen the damage. Please visit a veterinary clinic as early as possible to prevent further infection.
In the initial stage, the doctor will diagnose the case and start antibiotic treatment. It will reduce pain and swelling. Other therapies may follow for a longer duration in severe cases.
3. Pinking of the eye or Conjunctivitis
Conjunctivitis is common in humans as well as animals. Your bunny, too, may suffer from an infection, which causes the eye to turn pinkish. It usually is a result of a bacterial attack.
Unhealthy living conditions or exposure to pollutants and cause diseases and eye infections.
- Irritation of the eye
- Eyeball turning pink or red
- In the initial phase, the infection may be in one eye and then transfer to the other eye.
Conjunctivitis is a common eye infection. You can use the same medicines as per doctor’s prescription if it is a frequent occurrence. Usually, conjunctivitis eases with antibiotic eye drops.
4. Layering in the eye or cataract
A cataract causes the formation of an upper layer on the eye. The primary reason for cataracts is either low diet or diabetes. Diabetes is usually due to eating high sugar content food, which later may affect the eyes.
A cataract may also be hereditary by parasitic transfer of Encephalitozoon sp. during pregnancy. Even if the effects may not be visible at a young age, it will show signs during maturity.
- Poor visibility
- A white layer forms in the eye.
For permanent relief, doctors usually recommend surgery for layer removal. But there is a high risk of losing visibility.
As mentioned above, rabbits can see dangers approaching from far. But they cannot see them in front of their eyes. They have blind spots that do not allow visibility in the front.
Although a small animal, they do have quite big eyes. Thus, their eyes are prone to injuries and infections. Likewise, other conditions occur rarely but are quite scary.
Rarely occurring issues in Rabbit’s Eyes
Due to severe trauma or accident, the eyeball may come out from its position. The bulging of the eye can also be due to internal issues.
Formation of tumors, internal swelling, unhealthy teeth, and gums are the primary causes.
Immediately rush to a doctor and follow up with an internal scan and x-ray. It helps doctors to specify the exact reason and proceed with the treatment.
Protrusion of Iris:
Also known as iris prolapse. It is a condition when there is dilation of the iris and protrudes out of the cornea. Identifying eye prolapse is easy, as you can notice swelling or a bump on the face near the eye.
However, a rare condition, but requires immediate doctor’s intervention. It is easier to treat a smaller proleptic iris than an enlarged one.
Loss of visibility can occur after a cataract-removal surgery. A major accident can also lead to blindness. Rabbits can feel their environment with their hyperactive sense organs.
Thus, those who are entirely blind may not have severe issues. But they will need time to adapt to their surroundings.
With the above discussion, it is evident that rabbits have to deal with quite a few eye issues. Permanent elimination may not be possible. But with proper doctor’s guidance, you can ease their pain.
As a pet parent, make sure to take appropriate care of your rabbit. It will ensure most relief from distress. Below mentioned are some tips that will help to take care of your bunny better.
Maintaining clean living conditions will improve the health of your rabbit. Make sure to dispose-off waste from their condo or cage. You should also provide their meals in clean utensils.
Most eye-related issues generate due to bacterial infection. Ensuring hygienic conditions will reduce the chances of contamination.
A lot of pet parents allow their rabbits to move around indoors. But make sure to have protected the pointed corners and edges.
- Accidents occur in the absence of supervision. Thus, you must house-proof your house.
- Likewise, it is necessary to keep a watch on your bunny when outdoors. While playing, make sure the playthings are safe. Avoid those with sharp edges.
- Also, follow their regular activities in their behavior. Any anomalies may be a sign of underlying health issues.
Regular grooming ensures a healthy and good-looking bunny. It will also help in identifying redness in the eye or accumulation of discharges. Early detection of eye infections will result in early initiation of treatment.
A rabbit’s diet is not limited to only carrots and leaves. They, too, need a healthy diet to have a healthy life.
- Since eye diseases can also be due to deficiency, ensure a nutritional meal at a tender age. Hay is the primary ingredient in the meal and takes up most of the quantity.
- For extra nutrition, you should provide them with fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Ensure to avoid the ones that are toxic to them.
- A proper diet will help in the development of the eyes and vision. It will also promote a more robust immune system for fighting internal issues of their body.
With proper care and early treatment, most eye infections and diseases are curable. It is a misconception that rabbits are low-maintenance. But they too need primary care and supervision along with grooming.
A regular visit to the doctor and the appropriate and regular dose of vaccines is vital. Thus, along with enjoying your time with your bunny, make sure to take care of its health.
Deterioration of health does not occur in a day or two. Prolonged health negligence causes severe issues.
Taking proper pre-and post-care of treatment will help to relieve their discomfort. It will reduce their distress and help them to recover soon.