What Do Watery Eyes on a Guinea Pig Mean?

Michael Blann/Photodisc/Getty Images

In order to provide the best care for your guinea pig, you need to know about his body, inside and out. One area that is often of concern is the eyes. While it's normal for a guinea pig to have a milky discharge, watery eyes can be the symptom of something more serious. Learn which signs to look for so that you can take care of illnesses before they get out of hand.

Normal

Do not be alarmed if you see a milky discharge coming from your guinea pig's eyes. This liquid is perfect normal and is used to lubricate the eye and to wash the face. Your guinea pig allows the liquid to build up in the eye before using his front paws to clean his face with the discharge. He does this several times a day and it's not a cause for concern.

Abnormal

Watery eyes are a cause for concern as are other eye issues. If you notice that your guinea pig's eyes are watery, crusty, cloudy, ulcerated, receding or protruding this is cause for alarm. There are several illnesses that can cause these symptoms including injury, abscess, upper respiratory infection, dental problems, dehydration, diabetes, and cataracts. Even the common cold can be an issue. However, do note that guinea pigs rarely get over the common cold by themselves and do require veterinary attention.

Possible Causes

The sole eye-related symptom of watery eyes can be linked to the common cold, injury or a plugged tear duct. If only one eye is watery, the cause is more than likely injury. Carefully examine your guinea pig's eyes. Look closely at the rims of the eye for any debris that may have got caught, such as hay or bedding. If you notice other symptoms, a trip to the vet is necessary. For example, if you see cloudiness, abrasion or red in the white of the eye, your pet needs veterinary care. You should also be on the lookout for sneezing, coughing and other signs of the common cold. This also requires veterinary care.

Treatment

Veterinary care is necessary to preserve your guinea pig's vision. The vet will examine the eye for damage or illness and may use a stain that will allow him to see scratches and ulcers. If there is something in your guinea pig's eye, the vet will use tweezers to remove the foreign object. Never attempt to do this yourself or you risk further injury. For an injury, your vet will prescribe eye drops and triple antibiotic ointment. Should your guinea pig have a cold, antibiotics will be given as treatment.

    Photo Credits

    • Michael Blann/Photodisc/Getty Images

    Author

    Amy Brantley has been a writer since 2006, contributing to numerous online publications. She specializes in business, finance, food, decorating and pets.