Eye Socket Swelling


Post   » Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:31 pm

Hello there!

To preface, I am planning on contacting my cavy-savy vet as soon as they are open tomorrow, but I was interested in any input from people with any similar experiences here for anything I may be able to do in the meantime.

My guinea pig Chainsaw had both of her eyes removed in March of this year (2017), in separate surgeries about 2 weeks apart. Both surgeries were successful and went very well, and both eye sockets healed with seemingly no issues.

For the past few days, her weight has been a little low, but not overly concerning. I have been tracking it and monitoring her eating. She has been eating whenever I offer her food, and she has been eating her pellets, hay, and drinking water. I have critical care on hand if her weight drops too much or she stops eating.

Today, I noticed the healed socket of her left eye is swollen. If I try to touch it, she flinches. She has no issue with me touching her right eye socket. It has not had any issues prior to this.

Here is an image of what her left 'eye' usually looks like:

Here are some images I took today:

(Apologies, she's a bit difficult to see due to how dark she is.)

Does anyone have any experience with guinea pigs who have had eyes removed? Does this look/sound familiar?

Thank you!

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:57 pm

It sounds to me like she's got an infection in the socket. Do see a vet ASAP. I don't this is likely to happen, but infection in the eye can travel up the optic nerve to the brain, so you don't ever want to let an infection in the eye area go untreated.


Post   » Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:43 pm

Thank you for your input, bpatters, that's what I figured as well.

I have a vet appointment on Friday for another pig (regular yearly exam), and I remember they had no times Tuesday-Thursday for her when I made the appointment, but perhaps they can make space for an emergency visit... At worst, I can bring her in on Friday, though that seems too far off to me.

Hopefully she'll be alright until I can get her to the vet.

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:30 pm

I think if she were mine, I'd just appear at the front desk and insist that someone see her. I'd probably have to wait while they worked me in, but it's worth a shot.

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Post   » Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:17 pm

Yes, it does seem likely there is an infection. Does she seem in any pain? Glad to hear you are tracking her weight closely. Pain medication can help too, if she shows any signs of pain.

Let me know if you'd like your pictures added permanently to your thread for future readers.


Post   » Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:09 pm

Thank you for weighing in!

One of her pain 'tells' is weight loss, which is one of the reasons I always go on high alert when it gets low. As such, I would assume she is in pain, and she definitely does not like it if you touch too close to the swollen 'eye'. I've always gotten pain meds for them from the vet for specific issues, can I get some to keep on hand? Would that be from the vet as well?

You are welcome to permanently add the pictures.

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:34 pm

It would depend on the vet. Some will give you meds to keep at home, others won't.


Post   » Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:07 am

It can't hurt to ask.

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Post   » Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:41 am

I added your pics (thanks!). Let us know how it goes at the vet's. I would hope your vet would give you enough metacam (the most likely pain medication to prescribe) that you have some extra for emergencies.

I imagine you will emphasize the signs of pain you are seeing (obvious tenderness around the eye and weight loss).


Post   » Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:58 pm

Due to snow and road conditions, I was unable to get her to the vet today (Curse you, weather!), but I have an appointment set for first thing tomorrow morning.

I've been monitoring her all day, and while her 'eye' is slightly more swollen than yesterday (bad), she is still eating on her own. She has actually gained weight since yesterday, and is currently on the low end of her normal weight range (I've been making sure she eats a lot, so I figure this is due to the extra food, not less pain).

We'll see what the vet says tomorrow. At the very least I'm making sure she gets some metacam.


Post   » Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:54 pm


Definitely an infection, though the vet isn't 100% on the source. She took an x-ray of Chainsaw's head to check if it was a tooth root causing problems. She didn't see anything that might have caused the infection in the x-ray, but she's sending it to someone she knows who specializes in dentistry for guinea pigs and rabbits for a second look.

She also made a small incision where the eye socket had healed, and drained the pus from it. She put gauze soaked in - something I forget the name of but will definitely confirm name when I bring her for a return visit (could swear it started with a b) - into the socket to kill off whatever's in there. The gauze is remaining in there for about a week, at which time I will bring her back and they will remove it.

Chainsaw was prescribed Baytril, 0.2 mls twice a day, and 0.55 mls of Metacam once a day. I will continue to monitor her weight carefully, but she's still eating on her own and with the pain meds I hope it will bounce back to normal or almost normal soon.

Some images of her with the tail of the gauze sticking out of her eye socket. The eye area fur was shaved a bit, and a medical staple is keeping the eye socket closed around the gauze. The coloring is from what the gauze was soaked in, not blood. (Little creepy, so warning if you don't want to see that)

Permission to save all photos I post in this thread.


Post   » Wed Dec 13, 2017 5:12 pm

On the medication name I can't remember: still sure it started with a b, but it's NOT bacitracin, I know that much, and that's the only b medication listed on the 'avoid' list (I checked). Does anyone know what else it may be?

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Wed Dec 13, 2017 6:43 pm

It could be Baytril or Bactrim.

The Baytril may absolutely KILL her appetite. You'll have to be prepared to force feed her if that happens, because guinea pigs MUST eat steadily through the day and night. Otherwise, they can develop painful, even fatal, stomach ulcers, and GI stasis and bloat. Weigh her daily, same time of day (preferably early morning before breakfast), to make sure she's not losing.

It would also help to give her a probiotic, either poop soup from a healthy pig, or something like Bene-Bac. Always give the antibiotic with some food, and give the probiotic 60-90 minutes afterward.


Post   » Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:06 pm

I don't think it was either, because I know both those names and would have recognized them.

The last few times she's been on Baytril (after her surgeries and for a URI) her appetite stayed pretty high. I will continue to make sure she's eating and keeping her weight up, but I am hopeful force feeding will not be necessary. I know after her surgeries everyone at the vet was amazed, because she was up and eating on her own within an hour of waking up from surgery. I won't take any chances with her, but her record with appetite and Baytril is fairly promising. (Fingers crossed)

Will definitely make sure she gets a probiotic.

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Catie Cavy
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Post   » Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:38 pm

Could it have been an anti-septic like Betadine?

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Post   » Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:35 pm

Because it is not going through the digestive system, it will likely not affect her appetite.

So glad you got to see a vet today! I hope you can get this healed!

I'll go add your new pics.


Post   » Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:02 pm

Betadine sounds very similar to what I can remember the word sounding like, I think that's it, thank you Catie!

And the Baytril is going through her system. She has the Betadine, an anti septic, in the socket itself. The Baytril I am giving her orally twice daily.

Currently, her weight is the highest it's been since I noticed the swelling, on the low end of her average range.

I hope the vet can figure out the cause of it so that if it's something that might reoccur, preventative steps can (hopefully) be taken.The hypotheses on what it is right now are:
1) Left over from her surgery in March, in which case once dealt with it should be dealt with
2) Elongated roots, which the vet partially ruled out from the x-ray, and is on route for further confirmation
3) Something else that we don't know

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Post   » Thu Dec 14, 2017 5:11 pm

As for the Baytril, it's an all over good guinea pig antibiotic, but perhaps not the best one for pus. If it doesn't appear to be getting better, consider Bactrim or maybe even chloramphenicol. Sometimes they can be used concurrently with Baytril-ask your vet.


Post   » Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:47 pm

It looks like there's some pus coming out of the socket now. Will call the vet for advice/thoughts when they open tomorrow. Any advice is appreciated.

Pictures of pus below:

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Post   » Fri Dec 15, 2017 10:15 pm

I do not know if it is safe to flush an eye socket but you could wipe it off. A standard infection can be flushed of pus. Let us know what the vet says.

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