Looks like I have jumped over to the Vet side of my doctoring for a bit. My youngest daughter spent some of her hard earned money to purchase a little guinea pig about 2 months ago. She's the sweetest little thing and has been a close companion to my daughter. I could often find the two of them snuggled together watching a Disney movie which apparently Jasmine (the Guinea Pig) loves, her favorite I'm told being Aladdin (of course).
So yesterday afternoon when my daughter came screaming to me that something was wrong with Jasmine's eyes, I felt badly for both my daughter and her little fur ball friend. As soon as I saw her eyes, I knew that poor little Jas had an eye infection. When I looked to see what kind of bedding my daughter had been recommended to purchase her last time at the pet store, I knew that Jasmine was dealing with a problem that hopefully could be rectified quickly.
As I suspected, Jasmine was allergic to her bedding. Unfortunately, there are two types of bedding that Guinea Pigs shouldn't have...the first is Cedar shavings (absolute no-no, can be toxic to them) and the second is Pine shavings which they can be allergic to and which is just 'dusty' enough to cause eye irritations. Once a little guinea pig develops an eye infection it can, if not treated properly or quickly, turn into something much worse. Upper Respiratory Infections which are very common in these little creatures and which can be fatal, can develop quickly in a little one who ends up with any kind of eye irritations.
The vet recommended a fairly inexpensive solution which as of this evening looks to be working. She suggested I purchase Optivet, a clear, water-like irrigation solution used to keep dogs and cats eyes free of contaminants, itchiness and irritations such as can happen after a pet has been groomed. Optivet is perfectly safe to use for Guinea Pigs and even Rabbits/Rats.
The bottle is a plastic squeeze bottle which allows you to control the amount of solution used to wash the eyes out with. By simply allowing the solution to run gently over the eyes and letting it sit for a few seconds before carefully cleaning the eye of any crust or oozing that might be occurring, the Optivet appeared to immediately bring some relief to little Jasmine.
We've used the solution 3 times now and that combined with the use of an antibiotic ointment to stave off further infection appears to be helping a great deal. Needless to say we now have a huge bag of shavings to donate to someone else who can use them. In it's place little Jasmine now snuggles into $20/meter oh so soft fleece, a very nice pink of course and seems to be pretty comfortable now.
Optivet's main ingredient is soldium hyaluronate which ensures a healthy eye lubrication to help maintain the overall health of your pets eyes. It is a product that I'd recommend anyone with pets, particularly those who tend to have eye issues, consider keeping on hand just in case. It appears to work quickly and work very well.
Update On Aug 18, 2008: August 18/08: Last week was a rough one for our family...first a beloved dog was killed then my daughter's cherished Jasmine just fell too ill...despite all that we and the vet were able to do for her, this poor little adorable creature passed away in my daughters arms the day after we got back from the cottage. I still believe that this product did have a lot to do with keeping Jasmine much more comfortable overall though. We'll miss her, she was really a sweetheart.