Homesteading Forum banner
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
69 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is my first litter. There are 5 of them. Californians. They are 3 wks old today. One of them has both eyes not open, and another has just one eye open. Everything I have read says they should have their eyes open by 10-14 days, so I thought maybe there was something wrong. I used some warm water and a soft cloth, but they are not crusted shut, not red, doesn't appear to be any problem, except they're just not open. They are even drinking out of the water bottle, eating a bit of pellet, and bouncing around the cage just like the other three. Any ideas or suggestions?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,901 Posts
When did the eyes start opening on the others? When was the last eye opened? I know with pups, I don't like to leave things be with eyes for very long as I fear infection building (had this happen once before). You can gently work the corner of the eye after applying a warm wet compress of a tea bag (the tannic acid will help). I GENTLY pull the upper lid and lower lids apart. At 3 weeks, I beleive you have waited long enough. That is my deadline for pups and kits eyes open at the same time. Remember, do not force- you do not want to injure the eye should it be dry underneath and stuck to the lid. Concentrate on the corner of the eye to avoid eye injury. You do not need to open the eye all the way. You just want the corner open so you can monitor for infection and allow tear production to get started. Let the rest of the lids separate on thier own. If you do get a corner open and see puss, you will want to soak the eye with the very warm tea bag a few times a day and get some opthalmic antibiotic drops to place where it is open.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,103 Posts
Good advice from Willowynd. This sounds like "nest box eye" to me. The eyes are quite probably infected. Another time, I would intervene much earlier, around Day 15-16. Changing the litter materials in the nest box on Day 9, just before the eyes start opening, helps to prevent these problems.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
69 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Willowwynd-They started opening eyes @ 10-12 days. I changed out their nest box @ 8 days. I know at 2 wks all eyes were open except the two bunnies and within a couple days, the one kit opened ONE eye. At 3 wks-21 days, I was starting to wonder. ?? I have never had this happen with puppies or kittens. The kittens were just mostly barn cat, and we had some dogs that were outdoor-coop dogs and I have bred Rottweilers in house. This is a new one to me. I had to do a double at work today, so this is the first time I've been online. Will do the tea bag tomarrow morning and if there is puss, then I have to take a goat to be bred and can stop at the vet and get the antibiotic eye drops.

MaggieJ-I changed the nest box materials on day 8, as I had to do a double at work on day 9 and didn't want to wait til day 10. Figured better a day early than a day late. <shrug> Maybe not.
Had never heard of doing this til I started reading on here, and figured it couldn't hurt. Never changed litter for any pups or kittens. My mom had rabbits when I was a kid and I'm pretty sure she never did either. These are new cages with new boxes. First litter. I just don't get it. Maybe they're just late bloomers. :) They are the smallest two kits of the litter--probably destined for freezer camp. ;)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,103 Posts
Neecie, sometimes even when you do everything right, things go wrong. Bacteria are everywhere and you can't eliminate them, all you can do is try to reduce their numbers to improve the odds.

I probably push the Day 9 nest clean out a little too much because I wish someone had been there to tell me about it before I encountered nest box eye in one of my doe's litters the first year I was raising rabbits.

It's always possible, too, that this problem is different and there is another reason for their eyes not opening. One tends to think of eye infections first.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,901 Posts
Yes, could also be no eye or very tiny eye. Only time I had an eye never open on its own after a little help was when the eye was very tiny (micropthalmia). I eventually forced the lids open all the way. Eyes were so tiny that I did not see it till a day or so later- and then it was just a teeny bit. Now that was expected though in these pups as they were double merles (accidental breeding). Normally, I would not do this.
Keep us posted. BTW infection in an eye that has not yet opened is not caused by bacteria in the environment, it is the result of being closed too long and the normal flora gets out of control due to the heat and moisture. Now in an opened eye- yes, enviromental factors could have an effect. Normally not a big issue in dogs or cats as they wash thier babies faces and thier saliva acts as a bacteriostat. I have not seen rabbit mommas washing thier kits faces, so the suggestion to change bedding before eyes open is a good one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
164 Posts
I hope you are having luck getting those eyes open. Just keep gently working at with lots of warm water to soften up any crust (even if you don't see crust, I think the water helps). I have heard that if the eyes are not open in a timely manner, that they will be blind from not being exposed to light - I don't really know if this is true or not, but if the eyes are not open by day 12, then I start to intervene. They don't need to be fully open in one "session", sometimes I just work at it several times a day until they are fully open. At least try to get a small opening and get some eye meds in there. Your farm store should carry an eye med in a tiny tube - I think it is terramycin, but it is specifically for eyes. It's expensive, but good to have on hand. Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
69 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, that was easy. :)

I didn't try to open them the other day, just used some warm water to see if they were crusted or red.

I brought them into the house (it's freezing out) in a small transport cage and set them on my kitchen island and used the warm tea bag til the fluff around the eye softened. Hardly used any pressure at all and as soon as the corner opened, the rest of the eye opened on their own. They were not crusted, red and no puss. They are the smallest two of the litter and it just seems they hadn't opened yet.

How come the first time ya have to do something is so nerve wracking, and then once ya get it done, it's easy? LOL

BTW-one is a boy and one is a girl. :)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,103 Posts
That's great! I'm glad it worked out fine. I had never heard of a case before where the eyes were so late opening without it being a problem. But I am always glad to learn something new. :)
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top