Eye disease in rabbits

Rabbits can be susceptible to various eye diseases that affect their health and well-being. Learning and understanding the most common eye diseases, their symptoms and how to manage them is important to ensure good care for your pet.

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The most common eye diseases in rabbits

There are several different eye diseases in rabbits, and it is important to be aware of the symptoms in order to detect them early. Some of the most common eye diseases include:

Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis, or inflammation of the mucous membranes of the eyes, can be caused by bacterial infections such as Pasteurella or staphylococci. This is particularly common in rabbits living in unfavorable environments. Symptoms include watery eyes and red eyes.

Clogged tear ducts

Slightly older rabbits can have blocked tear ducts, indicated by watery eyes with whitish tear fluid. Underlying causes may be dental problems. Ask your vet to do a dental check if the rabbit has blocked tear ducts.

Uveitis

Uveitis is inflammation of the eyeball and can lead to symptoms such as squinting and a red eye.

Uveitis is also seen with a special type of parasitic infection which we will talk more about at the end of this article, namely Encephalttozoon Caniculi.

Abscesses

Abscesses behind the eyeball, usually caused by inflamed teeth in the upper mouth, can also affect rabbits' eye health.

Corneal damage

The cornea is susceptible to wounds and injuries, for example from fights or hay that settles on the eye. Prompt veterinary treatment is essential to avoid complications.

Gray Star and Green Star

Cataracts involve thickening of the lens, while green cataracts involve elevated eye pressure and require surgical intervention. It is important to come in early when the rabbit has developed glaucoma to save its vision.

Infections

Infections caused by diseases such as Myxomatosis, Pasteurellosis, or Encephalitozoon cuniculi (E. cuniculi) can also affect the eyes.

Encephalitozoon Cuniculi (E. Cuniculi)

cuniculi is a pathogen that spreads via urine and affects the nervous system and kidneys. It is common among rabbits, and signs of infection include weakness, paralysis, head tilt, loss of balance, tremors, kidney failure, and bladder weakness.

Diagnosis of E. Cuniculi

Blood and urine tests can be used to diagnose E. cuniculi infections. These tests must be repeated to confirm active infection.

Treatment of E. Cuniculi

There is no specific treatment to reverse the damage caused by E. cuniculi, but medication such as fenbendazole can slow the multiplication of the pathogen. Supportive care and medication can relieve symptoms.

Prevention of E. Cuniculi

Fenbendazole can be administered as a preventive cure for newly acquired rabbits. Good hygiene is also important to prevent infection.

Conclusion

Being aware of your rabbit's eye health, knowing the symptoms and seeking professional help at the first signs of illness are essential to ensuring a long and healthy life for your pet.