Chava medical thread

Sweaterjunkie

Post   » Wed Sep 03, 2008 9:21 pm


Chava is an approximately 2 year old female guinea pig I took home from a rescue about a year and a half ago. She gets regular check-ups at Adobe Animal Hospital in Los Altos, CA, but has generally been a very healthy pig. She had mites and ringworm when I first brought her home, but no medical issues since then. She is unfixed and weights about 1035 kg.

Yesterday morning, I noticed that something was wrong with her eye- it was opaque and swollen and there was a bit of red in it. I took her to Adobe immediately to have Dr. Nakamura take a look at it, and he confirmed my suspicion with an eye stain - the cornea is scratched, and pretty badly. I was sent home with metacam for the pain and gentamicin sulfate ophthalmic solution (http://www.rxlist.com/cgi/generic/gentamicin_opth_ids.htm).

This evening, however, her eye looks much worse. To be honest, it sort of looks like it is scabbing. There is no pus, discharge, or crusting, and Chava is still active and eating with no problems. I was unable to find any pictures of this type of guinea pig eye injury anywhere online, so I took some of my own:

http://i103.photobucket.com/albums/m151/chemicaldog/DSC05333.jpg

http://i103.photobucket.com/albums/m151/chemicaldog/DSC05335.jpg

http://i103.photobucket.com/albums/m151/chemicaldog/DSC05338.jpg

Mods, feel free to save and use these pictures, since it looks like the site could use them. I will be taking more as the situation progresses, as well.

My question is, is this how it's supposed to look? Chava is scheduled to see the vet again on Friday morning, but I wonder if she shouldn't go in sooner. What do you guys think? As I said, the eye does not look infected at all, and her behavior is otherwise totally normal. Any thoughts welcome!

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Wed Sep 03, 2008 9:44 pm


Great pics! This is very unusual. It sounds like you have done everything right though. Is the eye preparation an ointment or liquid? Ointments often adhere better.

Here is the clearest pic:

Image

Sweaterjunkie

Post   » Wed Sep 03, 2008 10:50 pm


Unusual, eh? That's not good. I hope it's treatable. I was given drops rather than an ointment, with instructions to use them every 8 hours. Perhaps when I go back on Friday I should ask about the possibility of switching to an ointment?

As I said, feel free to keep and use the pictures. I would have emailed copies to you, but I could not seem to find an email address under the site's contact information.

User avatar
Mum
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Wed Sep 03, 2008 11:08 pm


That does look bad. I had a baby with a serious corneal ulcer, and I had to put those same eye drops in his eye every 4 hours, around the clock, for 7 days. After 5 days I was exhausted, but luckily his eye was recovered.

I wonder whether you need to use the drops more often?

Sweaterjunkie

Post   » Wed Sep 03, 2008 11:54 pm


I certainly could use the drops more often - I have plenty. do you think this would help? I can also call the vet tomorrow morning and ask them, but all of the guinea pig specialists have gone home for the evening. Is there anything else I could do that you think might help?

Sweaterjunkie

Post   » Thu Sep 04, 2008 12:10 am


Here is another good shot of Chava's eye as of just now when I put in her drops:

http://i103.photobucket.com/albums/m151/chemicaldog/DSC05362.jpg

[added - Lynx]

Image

User avatar
Mum
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Thu Sep 04, 2008 12:22 am


Based on my own experience using the same drops on a tiny baby, I'd be inclined to try the every 4 hours until you can reach your vet tomorrow.

User avatar
salana
GL is Just Peachy

Post   » Thu Sep 04, 2008 4:43 am


About 15 or 30 minutes after the drops, I would apply a lubricating ointment like Genteal. I used that on Suzi's eye with good results.

Sweaterjunkie

Post   » Thu Sep 04, 2008 4:50 am


A lubricating ointment, hm? What will this do? I have noticed that Chava's eyelids are tending to "stick" to her eye a little bit, and I have had to unstick them before applying the drops.

User avatar
salana
GL is Just Peachy

Post   » Thu Sep 04, 2008 5:26 am


It'll keep the eye wet and protect it, like putting chapstick on your lips. Ointments stay in the eye much longer than drops.

Sweaterjunkie

Post   » Thu Sep 04, 2008 6:10 am


I will see what I can do about getting some of this ointment tomorrow. I assume they sell it at the drugstore? I also intend to call the veterinarian, just because I am really uncomfortable with how the eye is looking and no one on here seems to have ever seen something similar.

How the eye looks as of right now, 3am Pacific:

http://i103.photobucket.com/albums/m151/chemicaldog/DSCF1491.jpg

[added - Lynx]

Image

Sweaterjunkie

Post   » Thu Sep 04, 2008 6:26 am


Chava is still eating and drinking on her own. However, I have just noticed that some of her poops are a little malformed. The eye remains clear and crust-free, but it looks horribly uncomfortable. Also, she gets a little panicked when I am on the wrong side of her and she can't see me. I'm so worried for my sweet girl! :(

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Thu Sep 04, 2008 6:36 pm


Assuming you're calling Adobe today -- please let us know what they say. Best to her and to you.

Sweaterjunkie

Post   » Thu Sep 04, 2008 8:45 pm


As Chava's eye has not gotten worse since yesterday morning, the vet told me to go ahead and bring her in for her scheduled appointment tomorrow morning. He didn't seem to feel that the Genteal was necessary and even suggested that putting anything besides the drops in her eye would increase the chance of infection, so we have decided to forgo that idea.

Chava continues to be in reasonably good spirits, although she does seem a little frustrated with her impaired vision. I haven't noticed her picking at her eye at all, but there are a couple small hairs stuck to it that was was unable to remove. I can update again later tonight before I go to bed, and again after her appointment tomorrow morning.

No new pictures of the eye, as it remains relatively stable at this point.

Sweaterjunkie

Post   » Fri Sep 05, 2008 7:39 pm


Okay, so here's the scoop. I took Chava back to Adobe this morning, and both Dr. Derenzi and Dr. Nakamura had a look at her. They agreed immediately that Chava does NOT have a scratched cornea after all - in fact, her eye has ruptured, as the result of a deep cut by something, probably hay. Both of them have seen this type of thing before, though it is less common. Mods, if you want to add the pictures to the Medical Guide's section on eyes, I guess the medical term would be "perforating trauma of the eye." In essense, that stuff you see on the outside of her eye? Yeah, that used to be on the inside of her eye.

So, the upshot is that the eye is "dead," meaning it will never heal fully and she will never be able to see out of it again. The two options are as follows: we can have the eye removed, or we can wait for it to shrivel up on its own to the point where it will no longer be an irritation for Chava. Again, both doctors were in agreement that the eye did not look infected or like it was bothering her, and they were of the opinion that it will probably finish "dying" in about a month, at which point it will just be a curiosity. If it does appear to get worse, we can always have it removed at that point. For now, I am discontinuing the Metacam and applying the drops just once a day to maintain a clean environment in the eye.

Chava is generally a very happy pig and continues to be in good spirits, although she does hate those trips to the vet! I gave her a baby carrot when we got home and she seemed pretty happy about that.

User avatar
salana
GL is Just Peachy

Post   » Fri Sep 05, 2008 7:47 pm


I'm going to make Suzi look at this thread so she'll stop shoveling hay in her eye. Gaaaah! That makes me cringe!!

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Fri Sep 05, 2008 8:02 pm


What you say makes sense. Now when I look at it, I see a big gash instead of a wrinkled film.

I hope it will dry up peacefully on its own. There are a few wild animals here that have lost eyes (a couple squirrels, a racoon). They seemed to have cloudy eyes that gradually got smaller. I no longer see these animals around but did see them for months after I noticed the injuries.

User avatar
Mum
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Fri Sep 05, 2008 10:03 pm


Oh poor girl!

User avatar
Topaz

Post   » Fri Sep 05, 2008 10:08 pm


I'm sorry to hear that her eye cannot be saved but am hoping for a speedy recovery for the girl!

Sweaterjunkie

Post   » Sat Sep 06, 2008 5:39 am


Thank you everyone for your support and sympathy. I'm updating to include a recent photo of Chava's eye as of 2am Pacific Time:

http://i103.photobucket.com/albums/m151/chemicaldog/DSC05367.jpg

As you can see the "crust" has gotten larger as her eye continues to drain. Not sure how long this process is going to take from start to finish (the vet predicted about a month). The reason it is taking on an almond shape is that it is still soft. When Chava blinks or tries to close her eye, her eyelid naturally compresses it into that shape. She blinks often, but has not been pawing at it at all. She did eat her vegetables this evening with no problem.

[added cropped pic -- Lynx]

Image

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