**If any of the signs described in this article are like the symptoms your rabbit is having, it is important to visit your vet in case the rabbit has something that can't be seen without special equipment or treatments. (A scratch on the eye will need a special dye to detect, for example, and most likely an antibiotic.)
are many reasons for rabbits to get eye infections, and it is important
for owners to understand that treating the causes is just as important
as treating the infection itself. Many causes can be prevented, while
others are simply put down to being “one of those things”.
The signs of an eye infection usually consist of a watering eye
sometimes with a creamy-like discharge. If the infection is allowed to
continue, the area around the eye may begin to inflame and the eye will
become redder. The rabbit may also experience a high temperature and
have a reduced appetite. Treating the eye infection does depend on the
Blocked Tear Duct
A common cause for eye infections is the blockage of a tear duct. This
could be by a foreign object such as pollen, grass seed, dust or grit,
however it can also be caused by the roots of the teeth pushing up into
the duct, usually because of an injury or abscess.
Removal of the blockage is important, and a vet will need to administer a
local anesthetic in order to flush the duct. For foreign objects, this
is normally very simple, however for blockages caused by teeth, further
surgery may be required.
The rabbit is normally sent home the same day on eye drops and
antibiotics in order to clear up any secondary bacterial infections.
Abscesses within the root of the tooth or injuries to the teeth can
cause the eyes to become infected. Many vets will instantly assume
problems with the teeth when a rabbit is admitted with weepy eyes.
To treat bad teeth, the rabbit will be given a general anesthetic. The
teeth are then rasped to remove any sharp edges that are causing pain or
damage. Abscesses will need to be drained, and severely damaged teeth
are usually removed.
rabbits may need to stay overnight at the vets, although if a rabbit is
able to stay indoors they could be let home. It is important that the
rabbit stays indoors to keep warm, after an anesthetic. Antibiotics will
be prescribed to treat bacterial infections and a diet including an
increase in hay is usually advised to help wear teeth down naturally.
Bacterial infections can occur for a variety of reasons, including
underlying causes such as foreign objects, or problems with teeth, but
can also be passed on from other rabbits, or by unknown causes.
Antibiotics may help to clear up bacterial infections, although in
severe cases palliative care such as fluid therapy may also be
Conjunctivitis, sometimes known as ‘Pink Eye’, is when the membranes
around the eye become irritated and inflamed. It is usually caused by
foreign objects, bacteria or allergens. The eyelid may swell shut, and a
thick discharge is usually produced. To clear up this kind of
infection, antibiotics and eye drops are administered.
injuries, harsh straw and cancer can all cause eye ulcerations. Ulcers
on the eye are extremely painful and the rabbit may appear to be
depressed, with a reluctance to play or eat. The antibiotic,
chloramphenicol is normally prescribed for rabbits with eye ulcerations.
Welcome to our page! We do our best to provide to-be and current bunny owners up-to-date info on the best care for their house rabbits. When we adopted our first bunny in 2005, there was almost nothing on the internet to tell us how to care for him. Just in the past few years, information has exploded online, and now it can be confusing! We try to simplify it by posting weekly articles on current issues, daily care, concerns, proper feeding, and other info so you can enjoy your house-bun! If you are just finding us, feel free to look through the older posts also. Please email us if you have any questions! Happy bunnies make happy hearts!