watery, gunked-up eyes: need advice

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New Member
Jul 12, 2022
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Liverpool NY
Hello all, this is my first post on this site. My rabbit, Smokey Bun Bun, has had something going on with his eyes for months now, maybe even a year. His eyes often look watery and maybe a bit red, but the worst is this discharge gunks up the fur around his eyes. This causes the fur to get all matted, and he now has hair loss down to pink skin (see photo). I have taken him to the vet a couple of times but nothing has had any impact. I have given him antibiotics (also for ear infection) and tried treating the eyes with Tobramycin Ophthalmic Solution (0.3%), neither of which made a difference.

Does anyone have any advice on a medicine I can try? Is it some type of conjunctivitis? It looks very uncomfortable and the hairless is alarming. It should be noted that he previously suffered from E. Cuniculi and has a permanent head tilt to one side, and while both eyes are affected the eye on the downward-tilted side is much worse. I know people in forums often warn to seek a vet and not to treat based on online-diagnosis but at this point I need to take a different route and do something to help the little guy.

Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!


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Well-Known Member
Jul 26, 2021
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New Hampshire, USA
Has his teeth been checked by the vet? Sometimes if teeth grow too long they can cause unceasing watery eye discharge


Jenny - Health & Wellness Mod
Staff member
Sep 10, 2012
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Utah, , USA
Has the vet ruled out a blocked tear duct, or an eyelid rubbing against the eye? Have xrays been taken to rule out tooth roots, or something blocking the tear duct from draining properly? To me it doesn't look like an eye infection, as infections will have white sticky discharge. If the discharge is clear, most likely cause would be the duct being blocked, possibly due to tooth roots or possibly an abscess. Or did your vet rule out glaucoma? Another possible cause could be alllergies, though it's not a common cause for runny eyes in rabbits.

Does the vet have you putting in lubricating eye drops on a regular basis, due to the head tilt? Especially the down eye. Did your rabbit have the runny eye problem when the head tilt started? Has your vet had you try retreating for the EC to see if that helped with the runny eyes?

Medirabbit: causes of runny eyes