Gunky discharge from the eye when blowing

Eye discharge in rabbits


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To diagnose ocular discharge, the veterinarian will examine the rabbit's eyes. Photo: vetproduction

What is eye discharge in rabbits?

Eye discharge is more common in rabbits. The discharge can have a number of causes; usually it is an inflammation of the tear duct. The tear duct conducts tear secretion, which moisturizes the eyes, to the nose.

If the rabbit's tear duct is blocked or blocked, secretion accumulates and provides an ideal breeding ground for germs. Inflammation with pus formation can result, which lead to purulent eye discharge in rabbits. In any case, a visit to the vet with the rabbit is important in order to clarify the cause of the eye discharge and to have it treated.


What causes eye discharge in rabbits?

Eye discharge in rabbits can have different causes. Basically either excessive secretion is formed or the tear fluid can no longer drain through the rabbit's tear duct. Pain, irritation of the eyes or an allergy lead to increased tear fluid. If the amount of tears exceeds a certain level, it can no longer run off through the tear duct, but is noticeable as an eye discharge in rabbits. If the discharge from the eyes in rabbits is purulent, there is an infection behind it. The causes are usually bacteria that can lead to various inflammations of the eye (e.g. conjunctivitis, corneal inflammation, eye abscess), as well as diseases caused by viruses (e.g. myxomatosis in rabbits) or other pathogens.

In most cases, the vet determines that the cause of eye discharge in rabbits is inflammation of the tear sac (dacryocystitis). Then pus clogs the tear duct and thus the drainage of secretions; purulent fluid leaks into the eye at the tear points. Often this inflammation is the side effect of a conjunctival inflammation (conjunctivitis) or an ascending infection that originates from inflamed tooth roots as a result of dental diseases. Such dental problems can also lead to an abscess in the rabbit's eye and thus to eye discharge. However, injuries to the eye, like a vitamin B deficiency, can also be causes of eye discharge in rabbits.


How is eye discharge expressed in rabbits?

Eye discharge leads to typical symptoms in rabbits. Mostly it is noticeable that “streams of tears” form below the eyes and that the fur is damp due to the secretion that escapes. In some cases the rabbit's fur near the eyes can be thinned (hair loss, alopecia in rabbits).

Often, eye discharge in rabbits appears as a purulent secretion. The pus then exits directly from the eye or from the tear points, depending on the cause of the inflammation. The tear points are dots that drain the tear fluid into the tear duct in the healthy eye of a rabbit. Depending on the location and cause of the inflammation, changes in the eye appear as symptoms, such as clouding of the cornea or reddening of the conjunctiva. A rabbit's eye can also protrude if there is inflammation behind it (retrobulbar eye abscess).

In addition to the discharge from the eyes, rabbits often show other symptoms, for example photophobia or unwillingness to eat, if dental problems have led to a rising inflammation. As a result, the rabbit can become emaciated. Depending on the cause, in addition to the discharge from the eyes, fatigue is often noticeable in rabbits; it seems apathetic.

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