Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Teary-Eyed, Both He & I


Mario has had a weepy right eye off and on for months now.  Last month I took him into the veterinarian who irrigated his tear duct and put him on an antibiotic ointment.  One of those two things seemed to help things improve but it never fully resolved. I spoke to the veterinarian today who gave me two options:

1) Do a series of skull x-rays to see if there is an underlying issue causing his tear duct to be clogged (think dental issues, abscesses, tumors).  This however, requires Mario to be put under anesthesia which makes me very nervous.  We can run some blood tests to minimize the risk of anesthesia.  But the vet, quite frankly, told me death is a possibility.

2) We can try the ointment for a longer course of treatment.  The vet said it is rare but some bunnies do have more involved infections.  I know a little bit about eyeballs and it is not an eyeball infection (the vet also agrees).  If he has an infection it is in his tear duct.  My gut tells me it is a noninfectious issue (perhaps there is a secondary infection but I feel there is something more sinister causing the clogging) but I am leaning towards retrying the medication since it poses less risk to Mario.  However, I am also worried that delaying the x-ray could allow any underlying issue to worsen (she's thinking 14-21 more days of ointment).

Does anyone have experience with older rabbits being put under (Mario is at least 8 years old. Possibly older since I adopted him full grown)?  Mario is 100% unfazed by all of this and doesn't even seem to be bothered by the tear overflow.  I called a renowned local rabbit vet's office (we are currently getting care from an avian vet with a special interest in rabbits) hoping they could do x-rays without anesthesia but was told they generally put bunnies under as well.

17 comments:

bunnygirl said...

Oh, dear. No advice here, except to get other opinions, if available.

Have you checked in with Diana Moll at Qi Papers? She has a lot of bunny experience and is an herbalist. She might have some ideas for you.

Mel said...

There is always a risk with older bunnies going under. Has he ever been put under before? My elder bunn Peanut (at least 9, I also got her as an adult) who has additional health issues just survived being put under beautifully. I also have a 7 year old bunny who gets put under approx every 2 months for his molar trim and does great.
Additionally I have a bunny with a chronic weeping eye due to a narrow/blocked tear duct. It doesn't seem to bother her, if it gets irritated I get some ointment. But that hasn't happened in awhile.
Sorry for the long comment, hope it helps.

RoadBunner said...

@BG: I sent an email off to D. Moll. She is semi-local to me so curious about her vet references as well.

@Mel: Mario was put under when he was neutered 7+ years ago. We did blood work back then prior to putting him under. As far as a chronic weepy eye, so long as we can rule-out dental issues, tumors, or abscesses, I have no issues with letting his eye tear and cleaning it off/treating it as needed. I just don't want it to be anything more serious that requires attention. I will be so happy if it just a narrowed or benign clogged duct. Ack, every 2 months for your 7 year old :( I would be so worried all the time.

Paula @ Eat: Watch: Run said...

oh no! Poor little guy. I don't have any experience with that. Bunnypants was put under when she was fixed but she was 3 months old. I wasn't even crazy about that.

But I understand your concern. I probably wouldn't want to put him under either.

Marci said...

My bunny (a mini trex) had a condition called "snuffles", which is a common bacterial infection (I think), that has several strains. My vet at the time, made an incision to drain the fluid built up around Jasper's eye, and it helped for a period of time, but I don't think any anethetic was used.

Glenna said...
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Alisa said...

Oh no! Did you go to a different vet for that second opinion?

Chocolate & Chants said...

Sending you and Mario positive vibes! Poor bunny, I really hope it's nothing too serious. Anytime a small animal gets put under I freak out a little.

Rabbits' Guy said...

We have a bunn with a weepy eye off and on ... I think it is common and as you say, can have one of several causes.

Our approach is always to be as conservative as possible.

I'm sure everybunn in the Bun Blog world has plenty of crossed paws for our Mario!

naomi said...

sorry to read that mario isn't well - hope the medication works and he won't need xrays.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Sorry Mario has this problem! Anya had a similar problem on and off and it did just clear up with medication. She was put under on several occasions too, as she had lots of health problems that needed surgery. She was fine, though quite disorientated for a few hours after surgery

The Fab Furs said...

Best of luck, Mario!

runningthedawn.com said...

so scary! i hope that he gets to feeling better soon!

Erin said...

I'm so sorry, that's such a tough decision! I think at 8 years old, if it doesn't seem to be bothering him too much just keep trying the ointment if he handles it ok. I would be too nervous to put him under. Good luck! Lots of hugs to Mario!

Kristen said...

Oh no - poor Mario. I hate it when pets have something wrong with them. I am glad to hear at least this is not bothering him.

I hope the medicine does the trick.

Lisa said...

I'm sorry I haven't been able to get to my personal computer all week to comment, but I've been thinking of you and Mario and will continue to do so. Jeez. I can't offer too much advice, but I would be interested to hear what DMoll says. Not only because of her medical expertise but because of her wide network of rabbit people in your area. Anxious for the update. Paws crossed.

Anonymous said...

I can tell by the dullness if his eye in this photo that it's exactly like ol' Donovan who has dry eye and GenTeal Severe relieves it amd makes it bright-eyed again :-)