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Cause of Eye Irritation?

24998 Views 9 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  hyshqa
A few of my pet line mice have started developing some rather sore looking eyes! 3 of them look to have it but are showing varying symptoms.

That's Kimmi, one of my adult does. She was the first to develop whatever this is and right now she has a very puffy right eye that is mostly closed other than when I get her out as she then tries to open it more to see what's going on. Her left eye is also quite red but not really puffy. Also when I looked today it seems all of her whiskers have been barbered - whether that was by another mouse or caused by constant scraching of her face etc I don't know. Micetro, one of the other does she lives with has also got barbered whiskers but no sign of puffy or red eyes. The 3rd mouse sharing their cage has no signs of illness what so ever. Finally, my pet line buck Ron (who's in a totally separate cage) has very puffy eyes, one of which he struggles to open, but has no sign of whisker loss at all.

My first thought was a possible respiratory illness as I've read that eye problems are a secondary sign of this, however I've not heard any sneezing, weezing, coughing etc, they seem absolutely fine other than these eye/whisker problems, and I've not changed the bedding they're on (shavings) which they've been on their entire lives so I'd have thought if it was related to that they'd have shown issues ages ago. Either way when I clean them out tomorrow I'm putting them onto plain newspaper for a couple of weeks to see if that makes a difference (I don't have any other substrates right now), and I've heard of a medication you can buy for people with conjunctivitus that can be used on mice too so I'll be seeing if I can get hold of some of that soon to treat them with. Other than that, does anyone have any treatment suggestions, or any ideas as to what this actually is? I'm a complete novice on mice medical issues :oops:

Also, does anyone think it could be an age related issue? The youngest mouse affected (Micetro) is just over 7 months and the two others affected are about 8 months or more (possibly up to 10 or 11 months). I know people say mice can live for 2 years or more but from what I've seen most barely make it past 1! I have noticed that the coat condition of these mice has deteriorated quite a bit, they look a bit scruffy in general, especially when compared with the healthy 3 month old doe they live with.

Sorry for the long post, I want to give as much information as I can so I can try to get to the bottom of this! And as a sie note, if changing substrate and the treatment I'm getting both fail then I will be taking these mice to the vets.
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When I have a mousie with an eye that looks like that I rinse it with eyewash. Plain salt water would do too. I rinse, then gently dry with a cotton ball and also gently pull the eye open a bit and rinse again. It works 75% of the time. It's usually just dust or some other particulate matter causing the irritation. Could be from the kind of bedding you use, or maybe you need better ventilation, as ammonia can irritate eyes as well.

I have no idea how many meeces you have and what kind of space you have them in. Mine are in a large walkin closet and have a large air cleaner in there, and I still have to wipe off all the surfaces each night, as they have visible build up of crud, probably mostly hair and dander.
This looks like either Blepharitis (infection of the eyelids), Conjunctivitis (infection of the eye itself) or an allergy to substrate.

Once any eye problems occur, they can be very difficult to cure. Opthalmic eye drops from your vet might help. Bathing the eyes with PLAIN boiled, cooled water will keep them free from crusting, but if infection is there, without a culture, you won`t really know what pathogen is present. Pasturella is a common opportunistic bacteria but this can usually be found in healthy mice aswell.

What substrate are your mice living on (and is it new to them)? If you think this is the culprit, I would get them off it right away and use flat newspaper on the floor and paper based bedding. Anything that can be potentially dusty (shavings, Carefresh or similar) could cause this irritation.
If it where my mice i'd try washing theres eyes out with Saline water, 1 tsp of salt to a pint of boiled water. It will sting alittle and make the eye water, that is needed so dont worry to much. As the wash and the eye tears up it will wash any dust or foreign bodys from the eye plus the salt should help kill any bugs in there. Do it once or twice a day and if the problems still there i'd pop to the chemist and ask for eye drops for conjuctivitis just say its for your partner or mum or someone, use the drops twice a day and it should sort the eye problem out. The barbering on the other hand will not stop, in the box of doe's the one with the whiskers is the one thats barbering you can do 1 of 2 things remove her and house her alone the whiskers of the others will grow back, or 2 leave her with the group and just get used to them having no whiskers :) it doesnt really harm them, just keep an eye out that she doesnt make there faces too sore.
Very helpful information everyone! I'll try bathing their eyes in boiled salt water to see if that helps.

The affected mice are kept in two styles of cage - one large perfecto tank with 3 animals (1 unaffected), and a large gerbilarium that's half tank, half bars (this is where the single buck is kept). All are kept on shavings and this is not new to any of them, they've all lived on it their entire lives and this is the first sign of irritation which is what made me think it was something else. Either way I'm just about to clean them out. I'm pairing up one of my bucks and am shifting a lot of the mice around today so explaining how they all live would get complicated! :p But I'm moving the affected does onto plain newspaper for a while to see if that, along with bathing the eyes, will make a difference. Thanks again everyone, I'll keep this thread updated with how they get on :)
Hay! Of course, why didn't I think of that before! I've recently been adding hay to their cages as a little extra bedding/substrate. Not a lot, but enough that it could cause them irritation. I've not got an exact date for when I first started adding it but I think the timing is about right. No more hay!
I think the OP has her answer, i suggest this thread is locked to avoid any further possible conflict. ok?

if your ok with that hyshqa?
Er...sure? But what conflict was there? :? All of the answers were useful and no one refered to another person, argued, disagreed etc...?? Very confused :shock:
sorry was answering in the wrong thread :roll: carry on :lol:
Haha, you had me worried for a second there! :lol:
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