I hope all my crippled comrades had a lovely "Oh right, today's Thursday" day. Crippie's day was certainly interesting to say the least. I spent most of my day taking care of the piggies. I gave Mama Pig a quick once over and she seems to have fully recovered. Mama Pig is going to be 5 soon, and thus she'll be a "senior pig". I'm going to do everything in my power to keep her here for as long as humanly possible, but I'll do a post on senior piggies another day.
Keeping your piggies healthy is a challenge. Apart from the whole "you need an exotic vet" thing, it can be very hard to tell when your pig is sick. Why? Because they hide it like nobody's business. Piggies are animals of prey, so their instinct is to hide whatever ails them so that predators won't see them and think "LUNCHTIME"! Vigilance is key with piggies. You have to know them, what their normals are, how guinea pigs are supposed to be. If your pig is acting "weird" chances are something is wrong. If something is slightly wrong with your pigs appearance, something is wrong. If anything is out of the ordinary... something is probably wrong.
Why am I going on like this? Welllllllllllllll... earlier today all of my pigs were happy. They were in watermelon induced food comas and everything seemed fine. Tonight they got their salads... Aggie starts wheeking and everyone else follows. They all eat their salads without issues. About two hours later I take Aggie out for cuddles. She seems perfectly fine... at first. As soon as looked at her face I knew something was wrong. Her eye was cloudy. The first thing I did was checked her eye in different lights, and it was definitely cloudy. Then I gave Aggie a once over, and I check her for signs of pain. I opened and closed her eyes without any issue. She didn't seem to be in pain, but she could've been hiding it (and probably was). Next I took a really good look at her eyes. Aggie's eyes are black and their eyes are normally clear and bright. Her eye was without a doubt cloudy and the parts of her eye that were supposed to be white were red.
At this point I know what the problem is... Aggie got hay stuck in her eye. Upon closer inspection I found the piece of hay and removed it. It wasn't an easy thing to do, but I put her on her back, I let her fight me for a minute, once she realized that she couldn't win she let me remove the hay. I used a tissue and my fingernails to carefully extract the inch long piece of hay from her eye. I then cleaned her eye, gave her some pain medication, and most importantly some watermelon because Aggie likes to eat her feelings.
Hay pokes are a somewhat common problem for piggies. They eat hay all day, every day. Aggie love her hay and dives into it as soon as I bring it to her. Frankly, I'm surprised she's managed this long without getting a hay poke.
Well, now that she's been poked, here's what were are going to do... Aggie NEEDS to go to the vet ASAP. The vet will prescribe either drops or an ointment for her. We'll treat her, and she'll be better in a week or two. It is essential that you take your pig to the vet for this issue. If not your pig will develop a nasty eye infection, go blind in that eye, or possibly lose the eye.
We are going to call the vet first thing in the morning, in the meantime Aggie is stoned off her chubby little ass. She is quite content with the world and thinks everything is pretty. Here are a few pictures so that other piggie owners will know what an eye injury looks like (the photos aren't graphic or anything)
|Her good eye. Black, clear, and bright. (Also slightly glassy from being stoned)|
|The bad eye. Grey, cloudy, weird texture on eye, slightly closed|
|Close up, you can see the general area effected|
Crippie's Tippie - Stay informed about general pig illnesses, I knew this was a hay poke and I began treating her immediately. For more information about piggies and eye issues go to http://www.guinealynx.info/eyes.html