How to Treat Conjunctivitis in Guinea Pigs

Conjunctivitis in guinea pigs is treated with antibiotic eye drops or antibiotic eye ointment. It is an inflammation of the outermost layer of the eye that is often caused by bacteria or upper respiratory tract infection. In some cases, eye inflammation can be caused by sharp objects in the cage, overgrown teeth or an allergic reaction to dust or wood shavings.

guinea pig eye close-up (macro)
Do not delay veterinary diagnosis and treatment; eye problems can result in permanent damage.
credit: NagyDodo/iStock/Getty Images

Symptoms

Symptoms of conjunctivitis in guinea pigs include:

  • Watery eyes
  • Pus-filled discharge
  • Swelling around the eye
  • Redness around the eye
  • Sticky eyelids caused by dried discharge

Treatment

A veterinarian can confirm whether the guinea pig has conjunctivitis. He may prescribe antibiotic eye drops or ointment and an oral antibiotic.

When administering the eye drops or using the eye ointment at home, wrap the guinea pig tightly in a towel so that he can't squirm away. Clean the area, removing any discharge using a cotton ball soaked in warm water, saline or boric salt dissolved in water.

Gently apply the drops or ointment as prescribed by your veterinarian. Depending on how squirmy the guinea pig is, this may be a two-person job.

Keep the cage clean to prevent bedding or dust from further irritating the infected eye.

Never use cedar wood shavings, as cedar contains phenols that can be harmful to guinea pigs.