Why do Guinea Pigs have red eyes ?? Vet Blog

We use the services of The Willow Vet Clinic, run by vets Clive Curry and Victoria Poole,along with Vet Charlie Green and a wonderful team of nurses.

Its a fantastic practice, with up to date modern diagnostic facilities, excellent surgical care and and staff who really love animals. Clive and Vicky are excellent vets offering expert care to all types of animals.Clive is also an exotic animal vet and along with Vicky they both never fail to impress us with their knowledge of Guinea Pigs. 

Clive also specialises in opthalmics (eye) problems.

The practice have kindly agreed to contribute interesting articles to our web site !!

Why do Guinea Pigs have red eyes and a rough guide to eye problems

By Clive Curry - The Willow Vet Clinic

This was prompted by some recent misconceptions about pink eyed animals !!

The pinkness is essentially an absence of pigment, which means light from inside the eye tends to reflect the pink colour of tissues behind the retina. Its like a horse with a wall eye, the pupil of a liver and white springer spaniel or a siamese cat. As far as we can tell these pigment differences have no effect on vision. The density of photoreceptor tissue and its sensitivity is unaffected by the absence of pigment. As far as we can tell guinea pig vision is myopic (short-sighted) with the emphasis on monocular all round vision.If your going to get eaten a lot, that is more important than the binocular vision of two forward facing eyes in a hunter/carnivore.

The eye is essentially pauangiotic, that’s basically like a horse, a retina without obvious blood vessels or a noticeable hotspot like a tapetum. This means its not possible to make judgments about a guinea pigs visual ability or lack of it with an ophthalmoscope.  

Problems regularly requiring veterinary attention :

Entropion , upper and lower lids turning in shortly after birth-weaning.

Trichiasis , as a result of entropion or lid injury

Dermoids , abnormal skin in the wrong place over the cornea ,can just look like hair growing out of the eye.

Foreign bodies : grass hay and straw particles getting stuck in the eyelid and injuring the cornea causing ulcers.

Infections : chlmydia Salmonella , Staphlococci ,fungal  ,and  yes  you can get it from a guinea pig and yes they can carry it !!. Corneal dystrophies ,lipid crystals cholesterol, crystals Choriostomas, benign boney tumours that may occupy the whole eye Cataracts, diabetic and none diabetic congenital .

Dry eye (kerato conjunctivitis sicca ) similar to the common autoimmune disease in dogs .

Chronic keratitis ,from chronic long term untreated dry eye and damage.

Micropthalmia : eyeball being too small for the socket.

More articles to follow !!!!!

Do you have subject you would like Clive to discuss  ??