Senior bunny chronic eye issues?

Discussion in 'General Rabbit Discussion' started by Ap423, Jan 15, 2020.

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  1. Jan 15, 2020 #1

    Ap423

    Ap423

    Ap423

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    I have a 10 year old female lop who has recently developed pretty bad eye issues. Teeth have been checked, her living area hasn't changed , so I don't think it's environmental, she shares the room with my other 10 year old lop who doesn't have any similar issues. She has always had weepy eyes from time to time but this is the worst I have seen it. She's never needed any treatment but in November she was given gentamicin sulfate drops and then an oral antibiotic. It cleared up eventually and fur started growing back. Then just a couple weeks later her discharge picked up again and it is really bad again. Could it be chronic at this age? Maybe she will need to be on maintenance drops to keep it in check? Just looking for anyone else who might have a similar situation. I've been very fortunate to have 2 healthy bunnies for 10 years, so this is all new to me! I just hate seeing her eyes look so sore. I just started drops again.
     
  2. Jan 15, 2020 #2

    Maki_p29

    Maki_p29

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    Congratulations on keeping your bunnies so healthy that they are 10 years old!! It may be a chronic issue due to her age. Did the Vet do a full dental exam under a light anesthetic when her teeth were examined? Could she have a issue with her ears? Check her ears. The eyes , ears , nose and mouth are all connected, if one has a issue it could affect the other.
     
  3. Jan 22, 2020 #3

    Ap423

    Ap423

    Ap423

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    Thank you so much for your prompt reply. Sorry life got busy, 3 little kids here! And thankfully Oreo hasn't gotten any worse. I have done a more thorough cleaning of her room and closed the heat vent, there are 2 in her room, and the one I closed was closest to her living space. I want to see if that will help with anything in the air that might keep irritating her. Her hay box is right next to that same vent (heat vents on floor). I thought maybe too much dust blowing from hay or the air itself? I'm trying it out at least. My other bunny lives on the opposite side of the room so he isn't exposed to the same dry blowing air and he's fine.

    Her ears and teeth have always been fine, eyes have always been weepy from time to time, she also always seems to be shedding which doesn't help.. but eyes never infected before. No my vet hasn't done any testing. I think he wanted to see if there was improvement with drops first. I think he tries not to run the vet bill up too much unless necessary if you know what I mean. She's still happy and eating/pooping otherwise I would have pushed for more.
     
  4. Jan 22, 2020 #4

    Maki_p29

    Maki_p29

    Maki_p29

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    I can empathize with you that life gets busy many times. I’m glad to hear that you’re bunny seems to be doing fine ( you know eating, drinking, pooping and all the other awesome bunny things :D). It could be the dust and or hot air irritating her eyes whenever she goes to her hay box. Some batches of hay are more dusty than others , that could irritate her eyes. Let me know how changing her environment goes! I hope you find out what is causing this eye problem. :)
     
  5. Jan 23, 2020 #5

    cuteus

    cuteus

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    Here is my experience on eye issues: my rex (11+) had one eye with discharge on and off. The vet did a duct flush but it did not clear it completely. At first the discharge was watery, then, a few years back I took in a bunny that also had a discharge but his was sticky. The fur matted and stuck where the discharge drained. He also got a duct flush and a culture was done. MRSA was present. Got antibiotics and drops, which improved it but not cleared it completely. My first bun now has had sticky discharge for a few years, so I am guessing MRSA might have gotten to him. Drops don't clear it and ductal flushes seemed to aggravate it. So I just live with it and keep it controlled with drops and cleaning of the area. MRSA was probably transmitted by his former owner as she was in and out of hospitals. In August 2019, the first bun got stasis and after recovery the eye got a bit worse and he shed like crazy. Come to find out, he had fur mites! The vet claims that the bugs are always present and become a problem when the animal ages or gets sick. I think the mites came from his one day of hospitalization, as I am sure the techs don't change scrubs between bunnies handling. The mites must have been irritating him so bad that he would go into a licking mode frenzy where he would lick frantically at things for long periods of time. Maybe the licking and biting led to his stasis (might have chewed mattress cover). Seems like some things will become more apparent and chronic with age. Make sure shedding is normal (no white at the end of the hair root). My older bunny also got ear drops for the side where the eye problem is, in case there were mites in there. You could get a culture and see if MRSA is present or know what specific organism is in there so that the proper antibiotic is given. If not, anti-inflammatory drops and/or antibiotic drop could keep in check.
     
  6. Jan 24, 2020 #6

    JBun

    JBun

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    Flushing the tear ducts may or may not help. I had a rabbit that had a chronic tear duct infection that I just couldn't clear up. Her tear duct was flushed and it cleared the infection blocking it, but it came back and blocked the duct again. The only way that ended up working to keep it under control was daily antibiotic eye drops.

    The other possibility is that the tooth roots have overgrown and are now pressing on the tear ducts, blocking them and not allowing normal drainage.
    http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare/weepy.pdf
     
  7. Jan 24, 2020 #7

    Ap423

    Ap423

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    Thanks so much for all of your input. I don't suspect anything like MRSA or mites, it isn't that severe and there is also no way for those to have been contracted, although I see your comment about mites always being present.. What always worries me is how her fur gets from the discharge and the exposed skin after the fur comes off. I have been cleaning up her cheeks to clear the residue and it is so much better than a week ago.

    She is quite healthy otherwise and it is both eyes which makes me think perhaps I can help with the dust in her living area to keep the irritation to a minimum. I certainly don't have them living in a filthy area but I know it gets dusty easily especially in winter with heat on and the hay box she sticks her face inside of...so I wonder if something irritates her eyes. I know age and lop head anatomy contribute to more problems like this and she may just have it chronically, especially since she has always had sensitive eyes. The antibiotic drops seem to help so I think she may need to continue on them like JBun suggested, my only issue is how much they cost! I found them online so much cheaper but a vet approval is needed. Not sure they would work that way...but it would be nice. Thanks again.
     
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  8. Jan 31, 2020 #8

    cuteus

    cuteus

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    Yes, I use VIC online pharmacy and seems to be the cheapest for Metacam. I figure an anti-inflammatory might also help with the duct. My bun's discharge used to be watery and he was able to clean it, but now is super sticky and it does mat the fur and irritates the skin. New eye drops are cipro and diflocan for inflammation. As long as they are healthy otherwise, no sense in stressing them with vet's visits.
     
  9. Feb 1, 2020 #9

    Black Otter's Mom

    Black Otter's Mom

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    Runny eyes are hard to cure. I use warm water on a washcloth to gently clean around the eye, eye secretions will mat the fur, dry hard and be dreadful. One vet told me bunnies can get seasonal allergies. After I wash fur under eyes, I use a liitle comb that I got to comb womens eyebrows. I comb out the fur there. Its non stop care for senior bunnies. My bunny is my loving companion. Nothing is too much work. They are a lot of care with runny eyes. He is so grateful when his eyes are clean. Ofloxacin drops work really well but the runny may return when you stop. My senior has huge cataracts too. Your vet can give you Ofloxacin drops.
     
  10. Feb 1, 2020 #10

    Niomi

    Niomi

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    I have a 10 year old harlequin lop mix with eye problems. I notice when he gets nervous or upset, his eyes water, and sometimes there doesn't seem to be a reason for it. He has seen a vet more than once, and flushing his eye ducts did nothing. He does like to dig in his litter box from time to time, and when he does, the problem shows up. I changed his litter boxes to scatterless litter boxes, and the problem has improved by about 80%
     

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