ISSN 2398-2985      

Ocular discharge

6guinea pig

Synonym(s): Epiphora, Serous ocular discharge, Mucopurulent ocular discharge


Introduction

  • Cause: overflow of tear secretions. Can be congenital or acquired increases in tear production secondary to ocular irritants. This includes infectious agents. Can be congenital or acquired obstruction of the nasolacrimal drainage system.
  • Signs: blepharospasm, periocular tear drainage ‘tracks’ staining the fur in the medial and/or lateral canthus, uni- or bilateral, conjunctivitis, misdirected hair onto the cornea, upper respiratory infection including sneezing/nasal discharge, dental disease: malocclusion.
  • Diagnosis: ophthalmic examination, bacterial culture and sensitivity and cytology of purulent discharge, stomatoscopy, radiography, dacryocystorhinography, CT and micro-CT, nasolacrimal flushing.
  • Treatment: depends on cause of irritation.
  • Prognosis: depends on underlying etiology.
Print off the Owner factsheets on Ocular dischargeCommon health problems, Eye problems and Giving your guinea pig a health check to give to your clients.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Increase in tear production secondary to ocular irritants:
    • Congenital:
      • Dermoid Ocular dermoid or choristoma: normal tissue in an abnormal location.
      • There may be abnormal differentiations of palpebral skin.
      • Can be on the cornea, conjunctiva, sclera, or eyelid(s).
      • Entropion or trichiasis Trichiasis: seen in neonatal Texel Texel or Teddy Teddy breeds.
    • Acquired:
      • Conjunctival or corneal foreign body such as pieces from hay, wood shaving bedding, grass, etc. Foreign body may have caused corneal laceration or puncture and may no longer be present.
      • Conjunctivitis Conjunctivitis.
      • Infectious agents Chlamydiosis Bordetella.
      • Blepharitis.
      • Ulcerative keratitis Keratitis.
      • Anterior uveitis usually lens-induced, see when cataracts present.
      • Glaucoma.
      • Post-traumatic eyelid scarring.
      • Facial nerve paralysis (lagophthalmos) Otitis externa/media/interna.
      • Entropion Entropion.
      • Lagophthalmos due to subconjunctival protrusions and swellings Subconjunctival protrusions and swellings, leading to keratitis.
  • Nasolacrimal drainage system obstruction:
    • Congenital:
      • Imperforate nasolacrimal punctae.
      • Nasolacrimal atresia - lack of distal openings in the nares. May be uni- or bilateral.
    • Acquired:
      • Dacryocystitis; inflammation of the canaliculi, lacrimal sac and/or nasolacrimal duct.     
      • Foreign body such as plant fibers.
      • Rhinitis, sinusitis causing swelling adjacent to nasolacrimal duct Nasal discharge.
      • Tooth root elongation and/or abscessation Abscess, elodontoma formation.
      • Trauma or fractures to nasal or maxillary bones.
      • Neoplasia Neoplasia overview involving the glans nictitans, conjunctiva, medial area of the eyelids, nasal cavity, maxillary bones or periocular sinuses.

Predisposing factors

General

  • Poor husbandry: poor sanitation and ventilation can cause ocular irritation.
  • Self-trauma to face, eyes can occur even when grooming with overgrown toenails caked with feces, dirty bedding for example.

Specific

  • Dental disease Dental disease can lead to nasolacrimal obstruction/destruction due to apical tooth root elongation, abscessation, elodontoma formation.
  • Vitamin C deficiency Vitamin C deficiency can contribute to tooth, bone, conjunctival pathology as well as immunocompromise.

Pathophysiology

  • Reduction of normal flow through the nasolacrimal system.
  • Overproduction of tears.
  • Poor eyelid function secondary to deformity or malformation.

Timecourse

  • Generally gradual onset, although some degree of ocular discharge may have been present since birth in those with congenital deformities.

Epidemiology

  • Infectious causes of conjunctivitis Conjunctivitis, upper respiratory infection – will spread by direct contact, aerosols between guinea pigs in households or colonies.
  • Those with congenital deformities should not be bred.
  • Those breeding Texels, Teddy’s are familiar with the neonatal trichiasis syndrome Trichiasis and will treat – those usually resolve within a few days. They are not held out of breeding.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Asadi F, Rajaei S M & Golabdar S (2016) Effects of oral administration of trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole on tear production in clinically normal guinea pigs. Vet Ophthal 19 (5), 414-7 PubMed.
  • Minarikova A, Hauptman K, Jeklova E, Knotek Z & Jekl V (2015) Diseases in pet guinea pigs: a retrospective study in 1000 animals. Vet Rec 21, PubMed.
  • Capello V & Lennox A (2015) Elodontoma in two guinea pigs. J Vet Dent 32 (2), 111-119 PubMed.
  • Coster M E, Stiles J, Krohne S G & Raskin R E (2008) Results of diagnostic ophthalmic testing in healthy guinea pigs. JAVMA 232 (12), 1825-1833 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Legendre L (2016) Anatomy and Disorders of the Oral Cavity of Guinea Pigs. Vet Clin Exot Anim. pp 825-842.
  • Van der Woerdt A (2012) Opthalmologic Diseases of Small Pet Mammals. In: Ferrets, Rabbits, and Rodents Clinical Medicine and Surgery. 3d edn. Eds: Quesenberry K E & Carpenter J W. Elsevier. pp 523-531.
  • Hawkins M G & Bishop C R (2012) Disease Problems of Guinea Pigs. In: Ferrets, Rabbits, and Rodents Clinical Medicine and Surgery. 3rd edn. Eds: Quesenberry K E & Carpenter J W. Elsevier. pp 295-310.
  • Williams D L (2012) The Guinea Pig Eye. In: Ophthalmology of Exotic Pets. Wiley-Blackwell. pp 56-72.
  • Willis A M (2011) Epiphora. In: Blackwell's Five-Minute Veterinary Consult: Small Mammal. Ed: Oglesbee B L. Wiley-Blackwell. pp 271-272.
  • Montiani-Ferreira F (2009) Rodents: Ophthalmology. In: BSAVA Manual of Rodents and Ferrets. Eds: Keeble E & Meredith A. British Small Animal Veterinary Association, Gloucester, UK. pp 169-180.

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