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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-22-2005, 09:27 PM Thread Starter
 
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Question about eye problems

We have had Tinkerbell and Buttercup for almost a full year. Ever since we have had them, Tinkerbell seems to have had an eye problem. I don't think that she has cataracts, and when i took her to a small animal vet (who came right out and told me she had never even heard of a degu), the vet said they were not cataracts. She, for the most part, doesn't open her eyes all they way. She almost always looks like she has just woke up. I know that she can open them all the way though because i have on occasion seen her do it. She also gets the white gunk(i don't know how else to describe it) that seems to float on the surface. Her left eye is by far the worst of the two. I am finding that i have to clean her eye out with the eye drops recommended by the vet like every other day now. I used to only have to do it like once a week if that. When there isn't any white gunk on her eye ball, there does appear to be some kind of mucous on it. Does anybody have any idea what is causing this? Also if anybody has any suggestions on a different type eye drop (or any other solution to the problem) that might last longer or clean better, please let me know. Thanks in advance for all of your help.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-23-2005, 08:17 AM
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I'd find another vet to be honest someone who knows about degus. I think its some kind of eye or corneal infection either a foreign bodies been irritating her eye or it has gotten scratched but if its both eyes more than likely an infection. I'd make sure her cage is extra clean and maybe move it to a darker spot so the light can't irritate her eyes and i'd find another vet as i don't think the eye drops you are using aren't helping her much i think they are making her eyes worse and i'd probably stop using them to see if that helps and then find another vet One more thing i did think of have her eyes always been like this or is it since you got her? And also what bedding do you use?

Kirsty


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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-23-2005, 12:36 PM
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Another thing to think of is teeth problems if you rule out all that Amethystbelle mentioned. I'd think that degus could have root overgrowth problems, much like chinchillas do. In chins with tooth root overgrowth, eye infections are frequently mis-diagnosed when the real problem is a root growing into or near the eye socket, irritating the eye itself.

Stephanie

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-23-2005, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amethystbelle
I'd find another vet to be honest someone who knows about degus. I think its some kind of eye or corneal infection either a foreign bodies been irritating her eye or it has gotten scratched but if its both eyes more than likely an infection. I'd make sure her cage is extra clean and maybe move it to a darker spot so the light can't irritate her eyes and i'd find another vet as i don't think the eye drops you are using aren't helping her much i think they are making her eyes worse and i'd probably stop using them to see if that helps and then find another vet One more thing i did think of have her eyes always been like this or is it since you got her? And also what bedding do you use?
I have checked everywhere I can think of to find a vet who knows about degus and I have had no luck. It has been very frustrating for me. Tink's eyes were squinty when we first got her. The white gunk didn't show up until after we had her for a couple weeks. I clean their cage out once a week, and for their beddding i use pine shavings and a little bit of carefresh (only in their favorite pee pee spots for extra absorbancy). If it's the bedding that is affecting her eye, wouldn't it also be affecting Buttercup's eyes? Buttercup's eyes are big and bright like they should be. I had another though today when i put both of them back in the cage after a dust bath. Could the dust i'm using be causing the white gunk build up? But then why isn't it affecting Buttercup too? I am so lost!
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-23-2005, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jade
Another thing to think of is teeth problems if you rule out all that Amethystbelle mentioned. I'd think that degus could have root overgrowth problems, much like chinchillas do. In chins with tooth root overgrowth, eye infections are frequently mis-diagnosed when the real problem is a root growing into or near the eye socket, irritating the eye itself.
Is there anyway that I can check her teeth to find out if there is a root problem or does it have to be done by a vet with special equipment? She has had this eye problem for all of her life, wouldn't an overgrowth problem for a year have become more noticable?
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-24-2005, 02:57 PM
 
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I'm not sure if this is any help, but I've used Tiacil eye drops for jerry's eye problems, and they worked first time around!!
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-24-2005, 07:00 PM
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That was a good point made by Jade something i had forgotten about although with it being both eyes in this case not sure if its relevent but degu's can be prone to root overgrowth causing the teeth to be out of alignment and for it to effect the eyes especially the tear duct. Although with it effecting both eyes not sure if it applies in this case as usually just the one but might be something worth remembering if we can rule everything else out. If we can then your going to need to find a good vet who knows about degus or at least has experience with exotics

Going back to my earlier post about maybe it being an allergy and you asking why it wouldn't affect Buttercup. Quite simply its like us humans one can be allergic to pollen or some kind of food and the next persons not its the same with degu's sometimes they can be allergic to something in their environment and if Tinkerbells eyes aren't clearing up after medication then i'd take a look at her bedding for a start to see if we can rule that out. Also if it was an eye infection with the two girls living together in close proximity i suspect that if this was an infection Buttercup would also have gotten it too I'd start by changing the bedding substrate etc..... see if her condition improves at all with a different floor substrate as some animals can be allergic to pine shavings so i'd try changing them first and maybe keep a diary to see if she improves at all. Also if you can i'd wripe her eyes once a day with a damp piece of cotton wool to help clean them up for her. I think your going to need to find a good vet ask around locally as theres bound to be someone who can recommend someone to you as if this problem doesn't clear up your going to need a good vet who can help sort Tinkerbell out

Kirsty


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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-27-2005, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all for you're input. I will change their bedding over to carefresh with no pine and see if that helps her out at all. As to the root overgrowth, if one of the signs of an overgrowth is misaligned teeth, then I think we could maybe rule that out. Her top teeth are perfectly straight and both are the same legnth and healthy looking. If she could still have root problems even though her teeth look fine pleae let me know.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-27-2005, 08:11 PM
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I'd try everything else first and then if shes still having problems i'd get her eyes and teeth checked out again by another vet

Kirsty


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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-27-2005, 08:39 PM
 
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Also remember the only way to really diagnose tooth root overgrowth is by X-ray. It's not as simple as lifting the lip and looking at the teeth.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-27-2005, 08:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chinchilla_Girl
Also remember the only way to really diagnose tooth root overgrowth is by X-ray. It's not as simple as lifting the lip and looking at the teeth.

I agree there totally thats why she needs to find a good small animal vet

Kirsty


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