Conjunctivitis in Rabbits

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Last week, amidst all the excitement of bringing our new puppy home, I noticed that Poppet seemed to be keeping one of her eyes shut more often than what is normal.  I didn't notice any discharge, and she was acting normally (eating, begging for treats, etc) otherwise.  I decided to give it a day, keeping a close eye on her eye.  The next day she didn't seem to be any worse off, but her eye wasn't any better either.  She was holding it shut, and when I took a closer look I noticed that the normally white part of her eye was very red.  So it was off to the vet for Poppet.Between the vet bills associated with having a new puppy, and Poppet's frequent health issues, I'm thinking I should ask my work to send my checks directly to the vet!

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Long story short(er), it turned out that Poppet had bacterial conjunctivitis.  Most people are probably familiar with conjunctivitis, often called 'pink eye', since it's a common affliction in people as well.

Poppet was put on a course of oral antibiotics as well as eye drops that I had to administer twice a day.  Oral medications have never been a huge deal with Poppet - she loves food so I can easily mix her meds with a bit of banana and she goes crazy for it.  The eye drops, on the other hand, weren't as easy.  Luckily she's easy to bribe, so a few small treats after her drops and she doesn't spend the rest of her day plotting my untimely demise.

Poppet's eye is back to normal now.  We caught the issue early on so I don't think she experienced much discomfort from it.  It's important not to ignore issues with your pet's eyes.  We got away easy this time, as conjunctivitis, if caught early, is easy to treat.  But eye issues in rabbits can also be caused by things like tooth problems, foreign objects, injuries to the eye, or eye ulcers.  Not all are as easy to treat as pink eye, but as with any medical condition, the sooner you start treatment the better.

Hopefully Poppet will stay healthy for awhile now!  Back in June she had a brief bout of GI Stasis and now this eye issue.  I don't know why she hasn't been the healthiest rabbit, if maybe it has to do with her past or if it's just luck.  Barnaby lives with her - so in the exact same conditions as her, is going on 9 years old, and has never had any health issues.

This is weird, but dealing with eye issues has always bothered me more than other types of health conditions.  Eyes themselves don't bother me, but having to put eye drops in and stuff bothers me more than dealing with other health ailments.  Maybe it's because I've dealt with eye problems myself, and I know how painful/sensitive eyes can be?  Comment below, did you know that animals could get pink eye too?  Have you ever had to treat your pet for any kind of eye issues?