It all started a few days ago when one of the humans bent down to look at us, and noticed that Lola's eye didn't look right. It was a cloudy color, there was some discharge in the corner, and the fur all around the eye looked damp.
|That doesn't look right...|
|First an eye injury, and then she gets poked and prodded by the vet. Lola isn't having a great week.|
So how did Lola get this scratch? It's tough to say, according to the vet. It's possible it was just a freak accident; guinea pigs have been known to scratch their eyes on hay, which is, of course, the bulk of our diet so you can't just get rid of it. But here are a few things you can do:
- The first thing the vet recommended was a nail trim. Lola's nails were a little long, so it's possible she could have scratched her own eye while scratching at her face. Make sure you keep up with nail trims to prevent this.
- We previously discussed the differences between first, second and third-cut hay. Since first-cut hay is rough and irregular, it may be more likely to result in an eye poke. Therefore, unless you have a strong preference for first-cut hay for some reason, you're probably better off sticking to second and third-cut hays to reduce this risk.
- Monitor chew toys, especially those made of willow, for sharp points that can form from being chewed on. If you don't want to put in the time and effort to properly monitor willow chew toys, it might be best to avoid willow chew toys.
- Another possible source of eye injuries is fighting. Despite their struggles for dominance in the past, Broccoli swears he had nothing to do with this, and I think I believe him. Make sure you properly introduce guinea pigs to each other to reduce the possibility of eye injuries from fighting.
Besides the nail trim to reduce the risk of scratching her own eyes, the vet also put Lola on the following medications:
- Ofloxacin antibiotic eye drops in the injured eye, 6 times per day
- Neomycin and Polymyxin B Sulfates and Bacitracin Zinc antibiotic ointment, also 6 times per day in the injured eye (10 minutes after using the Ofloxacin--putting in the ointment before the eye drops would prevent the eye drops from working)
- Meloxicam (a pain killer similar to ibuprofen in humans), once per day orally
So that's a total of 13 doses of medicine per day! The humans are finding out that we're not crazy about having gunk put in our eyes, so this isn't a pleasant situation for anyone. However, it has to be done. The vet said that it's possible that Lola could lose her eye if it gets infected and doesn't heal properly, so the humans are doing everything they can to prevent this. Everyone keep your front toes (AKA fingers for you humans) crossed for Lola's speedy recovery!