Eye infections are common health issues rabbits face with. Their eyes are precious because they allow rabbits to keep a steady watch over their surroundings. It is confirmed that rabbit's eyes are much more sensitive comparing to the human eyes. This makes rabbits even more susceptible to eye infections, which if left untreated, may cause complete loss of vision.
Underlying Causes of Eye Infections in Rabbits
In the majority of cases eye infections in rabbits develop as a consequence of a blocked tear duct. Namely, debris can easily enter their eyes and block the tear duct. Tears are not longer drained into the nasal cavity and this is a fertile ground for infection to occur.
Furthermore, dental problems may also be associated with eye infections in rabbits. This occurs because teeth may intrude in the area of the nasal ducts and cause blockage and subsequent infections. Finally, even an abscess in the rabbi's jaw, ingrown eyelashes as well as scratches on the cornea may initiate eye infections.
The infection must be soon dealt with because it can easily spread onto the brain and cause encephalitis, a severe complications of eye infections.
Types of Eye Infections in Rabbits
Conjunctivitis is the most frequently reported eye infection affecting rabbits. It represents inflammation of the conjunctive, mucous membrane covering the inner surface of the upper and lower eyelid as well as the front surface of both eyeballs. Conjunctivitis, or pink eye, develops in a form of reddening of the inner surface of the eye, discharge of different characteristics (depending on the infective agent responsible for the infection) and swelling of one or both eyelids. Treatment includes different topical or oral medications depending on microorganisms that have led to inflammation in the first place.
However, if eye infection affecting rabbits is severe enough, it can apart from the conjunctiva spread onto the cornea. In case deeper tissues of the cornea are affected, the animal develops a corneal ulcer. Corneal ulcers may heal with or without associated complications or lead to loss of vision. Eye ulcerations are also associated with eye trauma and injuries. Eye Infections in Rabbits Treatment Options
A well experienced veterinarian will examine the animal, identify underlying cause and prescribe adequate treatment. In case of blocked tear duct, the drainage can be easily restored by flushing of the tear duct under anesthesia. Infections are treated with eye drops containing different drugs depending on the infective agent. Ingrown eyelashes are treated surgically as well as dental abscess. Finally, many eye infections in rabbits can be prevented by maintaining the rabbit's living conditions clean and dust free.