Pea Eye Vs Fatty Eye


Post   » Thu Feb 12, 2004 7:01 pm

I have heard of (and seen) pea eye and fatty eye, but have never been able to find anywhere that notes the specific differences.

Some people I speak to beleive that they are exactly the same thing, others say that they are different but have not been able to actually state how.

So is there a difference between the two? Does it relate to the colour of the tissue below? The size of the "fatty" deposit?

There are numerous posts here on fatty eye or pea eye, but I have been unsuccessful in finding one that compares the two - if someone knows where one is, please point me in the right direction.

This is a photo I took of a cavy with what was beleived to be fatty eye - is it? or is it pea eye? How can it be distinguished in this photo?


Thanks in advance.

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Post   » Thu Feb 12, 2004 7:04 pm

Very cute pig. In my understanding, pea eye and fatty eye are the exact same thing.


Post   » Thu Feb 12, 2004 7:33 pm

That was a photo I took at a friends house, was the worst case of "fatty eye" I had ever seen.

I really dont know what to think, whether they are the same or different - I beleive they are different, but can't find anything to back that up - no facts.


Post   » Thu Feb 12, 2004 7:35 pm

Pea eye and fatty are are just two names for the same condition. It was once belieevd to be a fatty deposit, but since several people have seen the condition improve when the pig is put on Lasix, that theory has pretty much gone to the pot. Fat wouldn't react to Lasix.

I know you're a breeder. You're not breeding pea eye pigs, are you?


Post   » Thu Feb 12, 2004 7:35 pm

The worse case you've ever seen? Huh? It doesn't look really bad to me. Maybe you just haven't seen many pea eye pigs.


Post   » Thu Feb 12, 2004 8:01 pm

No, I am not breeding piggies with fatty eye / pea eye. Luckily I dont (and havent) had it in any of my lines.

I just saw this piggy at a friends house - just a pet, and when the cavy was sitting normally (kind of hard to see in this photo) it was a veyr large fatty deposit - I had never seen it at that stage before.

Hmmm...if they are the same I wonder why they dont just have one universal name, and why some beleive they are different.

...what, what, what?

Post   » Thu Feb 12, 2004 8:04 pm

How long do you keep track of your breeding lines?


Post   » Thu Feb 12, 2004 8:12 pm

OK, firtly, this was not a discussion about my breeding or breeding cavies with / without fatty eye. But if you must know, I have 6 generations in the lines, but have more info from those who I have acquired them from. Breeders here do not use cavies with fatty eye in lines (unless the fatty eye appeeared after the cavy was bred from), and if it is discovered that line is no longer used for breeding.

I am mainly enquiring to the differences - if any, so thanks to those with that information.

I have not heard about using Lasix (actually never heard of it) is there a thread on this forum re: the use of this with results?

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E's Moriarity

Post   » Thu Feb 12, 2004 8:27 pm

Malibu, if you search on Lasix, you will probably find quite a few threads about heart pigs. I am not knowledgeable about heart pigs or pea eye, but there is some evidence that pigs with pea eye also have heart problems, and the Lasix (I think this helps rid them of excess fluid?) helps the pea eye as well. Since heart conditions are so difficult to diagnose before there is a problem like chronic URI's or pneumonia, looking into possible heart problems because of pea eye is good preventive medicine.


Post   » Thu Feb 12, 2004 8:34 pm

Many thanks for that.

I will have a search around later when I have some time, I think it will be quite interesting to read up on it as I have never heard of it, or the possible results from use.

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For the love of pigs!

Post   » Thu Feb 12, 2004 8:38 pm

Lasix is a diuretic and rids tissues of excess fluid.

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Post   » Thu Feb 12, 2004 8:47 pm

There is no single cause of pea eye. Not all pigs with pea eye will be helped with lasix though it reportedly helps some.

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Post   » Thu Feb 12, 2004 9:26 pm

We tried Lasix for Pepper's pea eye and it didn't make any difference. Pinta thought that the dosage we were using was too small, but we (my sister and I--Pepper is her pig) decided not to continue. When his eyes get irritated, we use an antibiotic eye ointment, I do the same for my pig Artoo.


Post   » Thu Feb 12, 2004 11:23 pm

My Taffy has periodically shows a condition called cherry-eye. Consequently, I gathered as much info about pea-eye, fatty-eye and cherry-eye as I could from the Internet I hope I can quote from other sources on this board because I thought the following might be of interest:

from ACBA Website Discussion Board: General Questions: Pea Eye? Fatty Eye?

By Terri Torpin (Quaker) on Monday, August 16, 1999 - 10:16 am:
Hi everyone,
My daughter and I were at the Stanwood County Fair last week. My daughter is in 4H. While she was in her fit and show class the judge asked the kids the difference between pea eye and fatty eye? The kids did not think there was a difference. I have a cavy who clearly has pea eye. He had it by the time he was 3 months old. It is pea shaped and protrudes. You can see it at all times, no matter where he is looking. I also have a sow who is 2 years old and is showing signs of what I've been told is fatty eye. It is not pea shaped, but flatter and crescent-shaped, you can't see it unless she is looking up. Are these two different things? Or just two degrees of the same thing?
Thanks, Terri Torpin

By Tracy Iverson (Tracyi) on Tuesday, August 17, 1999 - 09:48 am:
Dear Terri,
They really are two different things; "pea eye" is a round knot attached to eye and is very rare. "fatty eye" is the protrusion of the lower conjunctival sac, a creamy or yellow fatty tissue along the lower edge of the eyelid, it is considered to be inherited. For some reason in the US a lot of the fancy started to call Fatty eye, pea eye instead, I do not.
There is also a third condition called Red-eye which we don't see much in the US, more in the UK and Australia, it is very similar to Fatty-eye, accept that the tissue doesn't swell out as much and you then see the blood vessels of the conjunctival sac, in my opinion it is a lesser version of Fatty-eye, that can come and go on an animal, it too in my opinion is inherited.
Tracy Iverson

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For the love of my girls!

Post   » Fri Feb 13, 2004 12:29 am

Can someone describe cherry eye? I have two pigs with a red "blob" on the inner part of their lower lid. Same place as the fatty eye photo, but it is red, a little smaller and a little bumpy. Is that cherry eye?

Little Jo Wheek

Post   » Fri Feb 13, 2004 1:00 am

I have heard tons of different stories from breeders and judges. Unfortunately, many such pigs have not seen a vet and a lot are home-diagnosed by laypeople. I still can not figure out if pea-eye and fatty-eye are the same condition or not. Most vets seem to group the two together as conjunctival swelling. It is inherited and can show up at almost any age and it is difficult to say that stock is "free" from such a defect unless the animals are all genetically tested (which I don't think the average breeder is doing in cavies) for many reasons.

I'm wondering if the fact that conformation can lead eyelids to droop which could be the "fatty eye" breeders talk about. They could be describing normal anatomy that normally would not be so visible. In any case, it is still genetically influenced.

Cherry Eye and pics:

Cherry eye is actually a bit different and it is also inherited. It is actually pertaining to a gland and it is "pink" instead of the white conjunctival color.

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Poop Obsessed

Post   » Fri Feb 13, 2004 3:43 am

I always thought they were one and the same condition as well.

Interesting info about the correlation between pea eye and heart conditions. My lovely Madeleine had pea eye and died from congestive heart failure. She was also of the breed lines that serve laboratories.. the white body and black head.. and very obese compared to all the other piggies she lived with.

Skunk had pea eye, too.. but we don't know how he died. His necropsy was unrevealing 4 years ago.

I have also had other piggies die from CHF who did not have pea eye. Natch.

I also heard from my vet that pea eye was hereditary.

Judi L.


Post   » Fri Feb 13, 2004 6:13 am

Very informative all, many thanks. Also interesting that even views here differ to whether there is a difference or not.

I actually know Tracy Iverson, so may email him directly with some questions, as his reply seemed to contain some specific information.

I have never heard of "cherry eye" before, Red Eye, I have seen in a cavy, but never categorised it as similar to fatty eye / pea eye.

I have been told by a few people that fatty eye (apart from being hereditary) is also a result of excessive weight, and that putting the cavy on a diet will make it disappear. I dont beleive it will, I just think that maybe it will make it less noticable as the eyelid will not droop as predominantly.

Thanks again all for your input.

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Poop Obsessed

Post   » Fri Feb 13, 2004 6:33 am

I dont beleive it will, I just think that maybe it will make it less noticable as the eyelid will not droop as predominantly.
Skunk wasn't overweight at all and his pea eye was very pronounced. Both his and Madeleine's pea eye worsened with age, not weight fluctuations.

Judi L.


Post   » Fri Feb 13, 2004 7:06 am

Skunk wasn't overweight at all

Oh really? I have only ever seen fatty eye in 'solid' looking cavies, and always seemed to attribute it to their weight.

I wonder if they are different....and fatty eye is a weight issue and pea eye isnt?

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