Pig at the vet's- awaiting diagnosis for weeping eye

Post Reply
User avatar

Post   » Tue Apr 10, 2007 2:03 pm

I noticed this morning that Higgins was squinting her right eye and had tearing( clear discharge and wet fur) around the eye. There is no nasal discharge or other evidence of an URI. Higgins is a PEW.

I called the vet and the earliest appointment they had was at 2:00. I was worried that there might be something in her eye and wanted to expedite treatment, so I made arrangements to drop her off and they will try to see her inbetween patients.

When I dropped her off they asked for a case history. I told them I noticed it just this morning and that she's has been behaving normally.

I had read a thread by Pinta that mentions that PEW's eyes may stain differently and the stain may not be seen in a darkened room, but may be more visible in normal light. I mentioned this to the intake nurse and she'd said that she would pass the info along to the vet.


I just heard back from the vet's office, the nurse said that the stain test was negative, there was no foreign body in the eye- the diagnosis is conjunctivitis- pink eye.

I am to meet with the vet this afternoon, so he can give me instructions and discuss his findings.

What medications should I expect?

Is conjunctivitis contagious ? Will I need to quarantine Higgins away from her cagemate, Anastasia?

User avatar
Thanks for the Memories

Post   » Tue Apr 10, 2007 2:26 pm

Jules had eye issues all his life. He was diagnosed with conjunctivitis a couple of times, and once it was determined that he had a growth that was bothering his eye and that was removed surgically. There are a couple of different meds you can try. I only got his eye cultured the one time the first med didn't knock it out. It's been a while - I'd have to dig around and see if I still had the tube to tell you what he was prescribed. It was usually in drop form (one or two drops a couple times a day) but sometimes in gel form (similar dose).

Search the forum for eyes. It's a standard med.

I did not quarantine Jules. The other pigs never seemed to be affected.

You can quote me

Post   » Tue Apr 10, 2007 4:13 pm

I wouldn't quarantine. I question a diagnosis of conjunctivitis, but even if correct, it's nowhere near as contagious, as I understand it, as it normally is in human children, for example.

The drop form RavenShade is mentioning above I'm gonna guess is Gentamicin. The gel or ointment I'm guessing is Terramycin.

We've used both of these successfully. Just make sure she can't ingest any of either of them; both have dangerous antibiotics in them. They work great in the eyes and cause no problems unless ingested.

User avatar

Post   » Tue Apr 10, 2007 6:14 pm

The medication prescribed is Neomycin & Polymyxin B Sulfates and Dexamethasone Opthalmic Suspension to be used every 6-8 hours 1-2 drops in each eye for 1 week.

The vet did not recommend quarantine.

They did demonstrate how to give the drops, but it seems to be a two person procedure. Any tips on how best to administer drops with only one person?

User avatar
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Tue Apr 10, 2007 6:23 pm

Put the pig in your lap - wrap in a towel if necessary.

Put your palm against the pig's face, and drop in the drops quickly!

It's not so bad once you get the hang of it!

You can quote me

Post   » Tue Apr 10, 2007 6:29 pm

"They did demonstrate how to give the drops, but it seems to be a two person procedure."

Get two or three bottles of drops, because more of it will end up on the floor and on you than in the pig's eye.

All kidding aside, we usually go through about 1 1/2 bottles of stuff when we're prescribed one. You may need a refill. Otherwise, I've had some success with sitting down with the pig in a burrito-style towel on my lap. Have the pig facing your knees (outward), and you are looking down on her back.

Gently hold the back of her neck, so that you can (somewhat) hold her head while continuing to control her body, in the towel. While her eye is open, drop several drops from well above her eye, even as much as a half an inch. This keeps the dropper out of her eye if she bucks her head, which she probably will.

If you totally miss, and/or she has moved her head, at this point her eye will be clamped shut. Try again, this time aiming for the back corner of her eye, closest to her ear. If you can nail that spot with a couple of drops, they will go into her eye the next time she opens it, or even cracks it open.

Have a soft Kleenex or clean, soft cloth ready to wipe up the rest of the drops off her face. I've found no good way to make sure the pig gets an adequate treatment without a lot of waste. I'm hoping that particular drop is not horribly expensive.

Edit: Mum's technique of putting an open palm in front of her face is a very good one. This quiets them just for an instant -- but that's all you need to get them in.


Post   » Tue Apr 10, 2007 6:51 pm

I think I may have really good pigs, but I just hold my pig close up against my chest and with the hand that is holding the dropper, use my pinky to pull up on the upper eyelid a little so they can't close it all the way and drop the drop in.

I personally have more struggles with the towel method than I do hoding them against my chest. I do the ointment the same way. It sounds very complicated now that I re-read it, but my piggies don't struggle and it is over in a second and I don't have any waste.

Hopefully that helps??

You can quote me

Post   » Tue Apr 10, 2007 6:52 pm

Hopefully Higgins will be more like yours and less like mine!! :-)

User avatar

Post   » Tue Apr 10, 2007 9:02 pm

Thank you for all the helpful tips and advice.

She's not due for her next dose til later this evening. She's usually very good for nail clipping and bathing, so I'm hoping she'll be good for this as well.

I have a feeling that by the end of the week, the phrase "In a pig's eye" will have a whole new meaning for me!

User avatar

Post   » Wed Apr 11, 2007 12:17 am

Higgins was as good as gold for her eye drops tonight- either that or I had beginner's luck.

I think all the good advice I received let me be a bit more confident going into it, and that is half the battle.

Thanks to all of you !!

You can quote me

Post   » Fri Apr 13, 2007 6:32 pm

I don't want to hijack your thread, but I want to give a big thanks to Mum for her dosage suggestion.

Usually if we have to dose any of our pigs with a med they don't want, I hold the pig and my husband locks his or her head down with one hand while administering the med with the other.

This morning we were giving Spikey her trimeth (UTI, possible sludge), and instead of holding her head, I asked my husband just to put his palm in front of her face, just covering her eyes.

She took the med in nothing flat.

Thanks Mum!!!!!

User avatar

Post   » Sat Apr 14, 2007 12:47 am

Which side of their face do you put you hand on? So you don't get nipped?

I usually get a firm hold on them. Rusty was good. Sprite wasn't when I had to do it.

You can quote me

Post   » Sun Apr 15, 2007 7:43 pm

The side you're not droppering (opposite side).

User avatar

Post   » Tue Apr 17, 2007 11:27 pm

Higgins received her last dose of medication today. Her eye looks good. She continued to be cooperative about receiving the medication all week.

Tomorrow will be the 1 year and 1 week anniversary of Higgins and Anastasia's adoption homecoming. We didn't do much celebrating last week due to all the worry. Tomorrow we will celebrate with glad hearts.

Thank you for all your great advice and support!!

User avatar
Partners in Crime

Post   » Wed May 02, 2007 2:09 am

I sure wish I read this thread last week!!! I had pink eye and was asking everyone if they knew if it was contageous for my piggies or not. Well, it is because just today, a week later, one of my poor little boys has a completely wet eye just like I did! :(

A trip to the vet is planned for tomorrow, but this thread really helped tonight. Thank you so much!!

I don't know if anyone will read this in time, but if I get any of the eye drops mentioned, will I still need an oral antibiotic too? I can't see any signs of injury, but a URI might be possible since I have heard about 3 sneezes out of him today. (Thanks.)

User avatar

Post   » Wed May 02, 2007 11:01 am

I think it's possible it could be contageous.

Post Reply
16 posts • Page 1 of 1