Guinea pigs are common low maintenance pets. With the right diet, exercise, and your attention, they’ll be just fine.
However, just like with other pets, they will get sick at times and it’s your responsibility to ensure their wellness. Being prey animals, guinea pigs are very good at hiding their illness so as not to attract predators by looking vulnerable.
This makes it hard to know when your pet is sick until it’s too late and signs are showing up. You should always keep a keen eye on them to notice any changes in their usual behaviors.
Eye boogers are formed as a result of dried up discharge and you may spot your guinea pig having them every now and then. They are not usually serious and they may go away on their own but sometimes they could mean something more serious and require that you do something about it.
To find out more, read along.
Why does my guinea pig have eye boogers?
Eye boogers in guinea pigs are brought about by issues like foreign objects entering the eye, infections, abscesses, dental problems, and corneal ulcers. The eye gets irritated leading to the production of a discharge that dries up and crusts around it. It may lead to the guinea pig keeping the eye closed constantly and it may affect one or both eyes.
Factors that bring about eye boogers in guinea pigs
Eye boogers will be formed due to various factors. They include:
Guinea pigs may develop bacterial or fungal infections which may affect one or both eyes. Conjunctivitis is one such infection that is brought about by dust, eye irritations, and bacteria.
Eye infections should be treated immediately because if not, they could lead to blindness.
Signs of eye infections
It’s normal for guinea pigs to produce a white substance from their eyes occasionally. This is the liquid they use in cleaning themselves up so that should not be a cause for alarm.
If you suspect that your pet could be having infections check out for the following signs:
- Cloudy or red eyes.
- Constant scratching of eyes with their paws.
- Staying with the eyes closed most of the time or seemingly having trouble keeping them open.
- Swollen eyes.
- Trying to rub eyes on the ground.
- Abnormal discharge from the eyes.
- Continuously teary eyes.
- Masses around the eyes.
The cornea is a layer of the eye that can get injuries from hay and bedding piercing or scratches during guinea pig fights. The injuries are very painful and will frustrate your pet to the extent of losing appetite.
A hurt guinea pig will keep scratching the eye, rubbing it against the ground, or keeping it closed. Discharge from the eye will bring about boogers.
Guinea pigs have teeth that keep growing throughout their life. This requires that they are offered things to chew on like chew toys and regular hay to wear them down.
If the teeth are left to overgrow, their roots move upwards and put pressure on the nasal duct. It is a painful condition and your pet will have discharge from their eyes, nose, pain while eating, loss of appetite, and weight loss.
Abscesses are pocket holes filled with pus that are brought about by things like bacteria and injuries. They usually produce visible swellings and may sometimes form near the eyes.
This brings about watery eyes whose discharge forms cysts that can make the eyes refuse to open normally. Abscesses are painful and should never be left untreated.
The pus in them is smelly and should be drained by a vet or antibiotics can be administered.
Guinea pigs’ eyes are almost always open. That, and their proximity to the ground because they are small animals makes it easy for foreign objects to get into their eyes.
These could be dust particles or straws of hay. Guinea pigs can blink to get rid of them. Sometimes, however, what is inside the eye may need more than just blinking to get rid of.
You should keenly observe the eye to see what the matter could be. Do not try to use tweezers to take out whatever is inside as that could only make matters worse.
Foreign objects in the eye will make the eye teary but a vet will be able to take them out.
Birth defects could be another cause for constant eye discharge. Their fur or eyelashes could be getting into the eye due to some defects they may have causing frequent eye discharge.
What to do about guinea pig eye discharges?
Guinea pigs are self-groomers and they’ll clean themselves up every now and then. They will also produce a liquid from their eyes for cleaning.
Constant discharge that brings about eye boogers may be difficult for them to clean because it’s hard and crusty. In the case of boogers, you can give them a helping hand.
Boil some water and when it cools down dip in some cotton wool and place the cotton on the affected eye for a while. This will help in softening the boogers and make wiping easier.
Swap the cotton wool over the eyes and repeat as often as required.
Change their bedding and disinfect the cage and it’s accessories often to prevent bacteria formation. When one pet is infected, isolate them until they get better.
If guinea pigs are prone to fighting, let them live separately, and never allow serious fights as they could scratch other’s eyes.
If your pet is having signs of an infection or the eye discharge doesn’t stop, see a vet right away. Eye drops or ointments will be given depending on the condition.
Eye boogers are brought about by various factors like injuries, infections, abscesses, dental problems, corneal ulcers, and foreign objects getting in the eye. Eye discharge may stop on its own or sometimes it may require a vet’s intervention. If the discharge seems to get worse, always see a vet.