Sweetpea´s Eye Infection - Any advice?

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Post   » Fri Mar 01, 2002 5:37 pm

Poor little Sweetpea! The sorry little creature had scratches on her eyes when we first got her from the rescue (she was previously from a lab situation - don´t know if the scratches were directly related to what they were doing to her). We had them checked out at the vet after we got her well over a year ago. Her eyes were dyed and examined. The vet said they were old wounds and they were well healed.

This morning when I was feeding the piggies their breakfast, I noticed that her left eye was all milky and had a round abcess-like wound right in the center!!!!! Horrified, I swooped her up and took her to my husband while I called the vet. Our normal vet was on vacation and her associate was out sick. I called the back-up vet and they no longer had an exotics vet. We finally got an appointment with an exotics vet at Eastern Exotics Clinic in Fairfax, VA. (Anyone have any experience with them?)

My husband had to take her because I had meetings set up for today. He said that the office was in Pender Vet. Hospital and they went so far as to take her to a different office in the building for an exam by an eye specialist (I don´t even want to know how much it cost!!). They came to the conclusion that she started with a lipid build-up around the old scratch site, which inflamed the eye and caused a full-blown infection of the eye (not just the cornea).

I haven´t been home yet but my husband said they have her on a series of eye medications - both drops and ointment. Is there anything I should be aware of? I was just so happy that they weren´t going to put her on any oral medication after our terrible experience with Baytril and our little Scooter; I didn´t even ask him what the meds were. Thanks for any input.

(I could also use some input on how to put drops in a piggie´s eye. This should be fun.....)

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Post   » Fri Mar 01, 2002 5:45 pm

Poor girl! I don´t know about eye drops, but ointment is relatively easy to put in. I put a glob on my finger, and then just wipe it into the front corner. When they blink, it spreads throughout the eye.

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Post   » Fri Mar 01, 2002 6:03 pm

Poor thing, I hope it improves quickly. I think I´ve heard of that clinic. Too far for me in central Virginia though. And probably too expensive.

Good luck. I think if you do a search in the med forums on "eye" there have been one or two other posts that might help -- but don´t hold me to it.


Post   » Fri Mar 01, 2002 8:18 pm

No real tricks except for using a viselike grip holding the lids open and letting the drop fall in while hoping the pig doesn´t buck upwards and skewer the eye on the eye dropper.

Lisam - I would be concerned about bacteria from the finger if applying ointmant to the eye from the finger. I squeeze a blob directly onto the eye(vise-like grip) and then close the eyelids and massage gently (and quickly)to distribute.

The important thing with eye meds is not to miss putting them in. The eyes heal very fast if you´re diligent about medicating and yes, that includes getting up at night.

If the pig gets repeated eye infections, one other thing to test for would be dry eye. A schirmer(sp? - am I even close, Josephine?) test measures tear production.

What are the meds?


Post   » Fri Mar 01, 2002 8:39 pm

Here are the meds:

Neocidin Opth. Solution 1-2 drops 3x day
Neobacimyx Opth. Ointment 1x day at night
(I won´t go into all of the concentrations unless you need em....)

Each of these for 7 days.

As far as dry eye, it would have been something she recently developed. Because of the visible abrasion scars on each of her eyes, the vet seemed to think it was directly related to previous injury. They questioned her diet, saying that if she were fed alot of seed-type treats, it would cause this build up of lipids. But she doesn´t get any of that ever. So they really don´t know why it happened now. And I hope it doesn´t happen to the other eye. (You know how contagious human eye infections can be!!!)

The drops were acutally pretty easy to put in. She was very shifty with the "My eye is wide open...oops, no it´s not! tee hee!" But we managed to get two drops in. We´ll try the ointment in a few hours, I guess.


Post   » Fri Mar 01, 2002 8:43 pm

I´m not familiar with those ones.

You have an easy schedule. My last pig with an eye infection went to the family Xmas dinner in order to get her drops. And I have been known to turn up a dinner parties with a pig in a basket requiring meds every two hours.


Post   » Fri Mar 01, 2002 10:42 pm

Ok... now I´m worried. I just looked up the componants of the meds and one of them contains bacitracin. If it is only applied to the eye, is it still toxic to gut flora? The ointment is the one with it - she gets that only once a day at night. I am assuming, as post-op eye care, the ointment is used at night to keep the eye moist. The drops contain Neomycin, Polymyxin and Gramicidin. I don´t see any of those names on the "danger" list.



Post   » Fri Mar 01, 2002 10:49 pm

Sorry, Haven´t a clue although I have some foggy memory of someone saying eyedrops don´t affect the stomach. But I really don´t know. Might be worth calling the vet to check.

Panic! Eye clouded over

check this thread for more info.

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Post   » Sat Mar 02, 2002 12:35 am

Well, since I poked a horse in the eye once with the eye ointment container, the vet said if I made sure my hands were clean I could do it by putting a blob on my finger. I guess she felt that it would be better than me poking out anyone´s eye. That is how I have been doing it with my boar, but I see your point about contamination.


Post   » Sat Mar 02, 2002 12:46 am

As long as people know to have completely clean and sterile fingers if they´re having contact with the eye. The vise grip helps to avoid eye poking out but would be a tad difficult on a horse.


Post   » Sat Mar 02, 2002 10:42 am

Oh, I feel much better after reading that other thread. The BNP mentioned the same combination of drugs in the ointment Sweetpea was perscribed. Whew. The photos were informative too. There is no way it was a cataract - her entire eye was milky white - more so even than it looked in the photos from Teresa. Plus, she had the very distinct "hole" in the middle. I will try to get a photo or two today to post, for discussion.

Already, though, the eye looks better. My husband said that they scraped some of the lipid build up off of her eye at the vets yesterday (ewww... I would have passed out right there on the spot....)

Thanks again, guys.

Little Jo Wheek

Post   » Sun Mar 03, 2002 12:02 am

YAY! Pinta, you got it right!

The Schirmer tear test was developed by some famous person...

Yes, the BNP is fine. Neobacimyx is a brand name of the same thing (bacitracin-neomycin-polymyxin B). See how brand names can cause alarm and confusion?

I´m glad to hear the pig is doing better.

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Post   » Sun Mar 03, 2002 9:39 am

Suggestion on administering eye stuff, I had the same problem with Little Richard. I jabbed him in the eye a few times because he´d shake his head so violently. Vet suggested putting the ointment on a Q-tip. Much easier!!

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