General information

Rabbit eye disease

Breeding rabbits is very popular lately. As the popular joke goes, “rabbits are not only valuable fur, but also 3-4 kilograms of dietary, easily digestible meat.”

Well, on top of that, there are still lovers of ornamental rabbits, for whom these cute animals become real friends. Like any living thing, these fluffies can hurt from time to time. The article will focus on possible eye diseases in rabbits, how to prevent, recognize in time and how to treat it.

Existing eye disease in rabbit

The eyes of nature in rabbits are endowed with the ability to view almost 360 degrees around. This feature helps animals in the wild to see the approach of the enemy in time. Therefore, the organ of vision is extremely important for these animals. Eye diseases in rabbits can be divided into three categories:

  1. caused by birth defects
  2. infectious nature
  3. inflammatory diseases,

Depending on the selected treatment. Sometimes treatment is possible only through surgery. In some cases, the animal is subject only to sleep.

Existing eye diseases in rabbits

How to treat conjunctivitis, if the eyes are watery, festering and sour?

A common eye disease in humans is also found in our smaller brothers. Conjunctivitis in rabbits is both bacterial and infectious, as well as allergic. Depending on the type of disease treatment is selected. Allergic type occurs on the background of allergy, the main symptom that distinguishes this type from other forms is the presence of itching.

It is treated with antihistamines, which are selected by a veterinarian. Infectious occurs due to the ingestion of foreign particles. Often, the inflammatory process occurs against a background of vitamin A deficiency. In this form, swelling and redness of the mucous membranes are observed, and the eye is intensely watery. Treat the patient's eye should be a weak solution of boric acid or manganese.

Purulent conjunctivitis is caused by pathogenic bacteria. Rabbits fester or sour eyes, with the running form of the animal is not able to untie the eyelids. Treatment requires washing with antiseptic solutions in order to remove accumulated pus, as well as antibacterial treatment as prescribed by a physician. An antibiotic is usually selected after a resistance test is taken.

What to do with myxomatosis?

This disease belongs to the species caused by birth defects. Manifesting purulent conjunctivitis, the formation of tumors on the nose. With this diagnosis, the upper eyelid is not of the usual form, but wave-like. In this case, the wrong growth of eyelashes provokes inflammation of the conjunctiva.

Usually observed in rabbits up to 14 days old. The treatment consists in plastic surgery of the eyelid. The reasons for the appearance of such anomalies have not been established. There are suggestions that this is justified by genetic predisposition. Another version is that this kind of mutation is caused by some still unexplored species of bacteria or viruses.

Myxomatosis in rabbits

The causes of the disease may include diabetes mellitus, especially in the elderly, bacteria, as well as transferred encephalitis. Symptoms include clouding of the eye lens. It is treated depending on the causes.

The disease on the background of increased intraocular pressure. The only thing that indicates this is the bulge of the eye itself. The condition is very painful, visual acuity is impaired, it is more common in old rabbits, but in some cases it may be congenital. Most often, the affected organ has to be removed, in more rare cases, supportive therapy is prescribed.

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Inflammation of the cornea. With this ailment, the cornea becomes cloudy, the patient has photophobia and purulent discharge, tearing. The treatment is carried out with the help of antibacterial ointments or cleansing antiseptic solutions. An anesthetic is also used.

Causes of the disease can be in head injuries, infections of the viral or bacterial type. The illness may be chronic. Symptoms include an increase in pupil size due to photophobia, swelling of the iris and tearing.

In chronic form, the adhesions of the iris and lens, inflammation of the retina may occur. It is treated with the use of anti-inflammatory drugs, as well as atropine-based products to eliminate adhesive processes.

How to cure exophthalmos?

Separate ophthalmologic diseases of rabbits can be associated with teeth. Why is this happening? So, dental inflammation on the background of improperly molded teeth in these animals leads to an exophthalmos — a disease in which the eyeballs literally go out of orbit. The only possible way to alleviate the condition of the animal in this case consists of removing the affected organ of vision, as well as the tooth, contributed to the development of the problem.

The disease is dacryocystitis

The inflammatory process caused by obstruction of the lacrimal canal is called dacryocystitis. It is often found in small rabbits. In newborn animals, the problem passes, as a rule, by itself, with good care.

In the obstructed lacrimal canal, pathogenic bacteria begin active vital functions, as a result of which pus is often released from under the eyelid. As a treatment, antiseptic drops are used to inhibit the growth of bacteria.

Why does a corneal ulcer occur?

Most often, corneal ulcers are caused by mechanical damage. For example, during a fight with other animals, but there are other reasons that only a qualified veterinarian can accurately establish. For example, ulcers may be due to chronic blepharoconjunctivitis.

With a corneal ulcer, damage to the corneal epithelium is visible to the naked eye. The process is accompanied by swelling of the eyelids, tearing. In the absence of adequate therapy, organ loss can literally come within a few days.

Epiphora treatment

Epiphora is similar in symptomatology with dacryocystitis. With this ailment, there is obstruction of the lacrimal canal. Often, the inflammatory process is caused by excessive growth of the roots of the teeth, namely the incisors, resulting in blockage of the nasolacrimal passages. Some congenital defects such as eyelid volvulus, abnormal growth of cilia can also lead to the disease.

Medical appointments are made by a veterinarian, based on the cause of the disease. In the event that the problem is caused by improperly growing teeth, the teeth should be removed. In other cases, the lacrimal duct is washed, antibacterial therapy is prescribed.

Prevention of rabbit eye disease at home

How to cure eye disease in a rabbit at home? To prevent ophthalmological problems in animals, it is recommended to approach the maintenance of rabbits with full responsibility. A number of basic rules that must be followed by the breeder of these cute and affectionate animals:

  • Placement of cells with eared quadrupeds in the area without drafts.
  • A full diet rich in vitamins and minerals, in particular, food enriched with vitamin A.
  • Timely vaccination.


Now you know what to do if a rabbit has puffy or festering eyes and bumps appear on the ears. The health of rabbits depends largely on how much master invests efforts, coupled with love and care for their pet.

Good care, timely preventive measures and sincere affection for a four-legged eared friend are the key to a long and healthy life of fluffy. The main thing to remember is that we are responsible for those who have tamed

The main signs of keratitis:

  • Photophobia,
  • Narrowed eyes,
  • Corneal opacity,
  • The appearance of a white speck on the eyeball,
  • Purulent discharge.

As a treatment, washing with various antiseptic solutions (manganese, furatsilin, rivanol), ointments with antibiotics, painkillers (atropine) are used.

Complications after keratitis can become an eyesore or blindness. In this case, surgery is required.


It is considered a symptom of pet disease. The main reason is an infectious lesion of the space behind the orbit. The source of infection is most often the back teeth, less often infection occurs through the blood. If the symptoms of exophthalmos develop gradually, this indicates the presence of tumors in the body of the rodent.

  • Protrusion of the eyeballs
  • Drying of the cornea,
  • Difficulty closing eyelids
  • Gradual reduction of vision up to blindness.

When exophthalmos sick eyes are removed from rabbits. After surgery, pain killers and antibiotics are prescribed.

Epiphora and Dacryocystitis

These diseases are often complications of conjunctivitis, dental diseases, rhinitis, inflammatory processes in the lacrimal canals and sacs.

Epiphora may occur due to blockage of the lacrimal canal, eyelashes in the eye. For epiphora characterized by constantly wet eyes. Treatment consists of regular, thorough washing of the body, removal of excess fluid, the use of droplets that relieve irritation. If the reason is in the teeth, they should be removed or cured. A specialist may prescribe antibiotics.

Dacryocystitis manifests purulent secretions of light color. The doctor prescribes anti-inflammatory drugs, drops. It is strictly forbidden to apply ointment.

Corneal ulcers and occlusions

Corneal ulcers are formed due to erosion, injury, inflammation, and with reduced immunity. If the crawl has inflamed eyes - this is the first sign of a corneal ulcer. Then, small ulcers form on the surface of the cornea, the tissue gradually dies off. Do not delay with treatment, because the prognosis will worsen. Deep ulcers provoke eye leakage, leading to blindness.

A corneal ulcer is treated surgically. Dead tissue with open sores cut, remove the film. By making small incisions, the surgeon speeds up the corneal healing process. After surgery, antibiotics, anti-inflammatory, hormonal preparations are instilled. The doctor prescribes additional funds for the rehabilitation period.

When occlusion of the cornea is overgrown with tissue, the animal becomes blind. Eyelids open hard, visible film on the cornea. Treatment is usually conservative - antibiotics, steroid hormones, drops. In severe cases, surgery is needed to remove the film.

Cataract and glaucoma

Causes of cataracts:

  • Bacteria,
  • Viral encephalitis,
  • Age changes
  • Diabetes,
  • Congenital abnormalities.

The main sign of cataracts is clouding of the lens, the presence of a light-colored spot in the center of the eyeball. Treatment is prescribed by a specialist depending on the etiology.

With glaucoma, intraocular pressure rises, the eye bulges out. If the rabbit has sore eyes, it presses the paw to the sore spot, is restless, runs around the house, you should consult a doctor. These symptoms may indicate the development of glaucoma. In rare cases, traditional treatment can be managed, but usually the eye has to be removed.

Why rabbits have sore eyes, root causes

Wide-open eyes contribute to the trauma of the eye membranes, the ingress of small dust particles into them. Some viruses (myxoma) and bacteria (pasteurella), protozoa (aimeria) prefer to infect the mucous membranes of the eyes. Few people mention that the purulent inflammation of the mucous membranes of the eye can be caused by inept treatment (iatrogenic) causes. Rabbits see poorly in front of them; this is also the cause of traumatic eye damage.

The structure of the eye of the rabbit

The anatomical structure of the eye, its main parts are little different in different vertebrates. The main difference between the structure of the eye in humans and animals is the presence of a blink membrane in the second rudiment. The third eyelid performs a protective function. When microtrauma wets the upper layer of the cornea with a tear fluid, helps to remove the foreign body.

A photo. Schematic structure of auxiliary structures of the eye and the structure of the eyeball

How do rabbits see, especially the view

In predators and herbivores, vision is fundamentally different. The predators are adapted for tracking down prey, determining the distance to the victim and the attack. Eyes are located close to each other. This allows you to vigilantly (clearly) see objects in front (binocular vision). In herbivores, vision is adapted for protection. Rabbit eyes are located widely on the left and right side of the head. They can see each eye separately (monocular vision).

In rabbits, monocular vision is autonomous on the right and left side.

The main task of herbivores, is in the open space, around itself at 360 degrees to see the danger. Monocular vision allows rabbits to see autonomously to the right and left of themselves, while having:

  • wide viewing angle, almost 360 degrees, without turning the head.
  • farsightedness, but without detailing the object.
  • equally good vision in the daytime, at night, at dusk.
  • weak color perception, there are only two - three colors, maybe more, but without semitones.
  • good lateral vision, carefully observe, being exactly sideways to the object.
  • blind spot straight ahead (he doesn’t see the bowl of food straight ahead).
  • compensated sensitivity in the blind zone, other senses (touch, smell).

The rabbit has no reaction to the danger of standing still. A rabbit can get very close to a danger object that does not move. This is not a rabbit’s courage, but a defect in his vision, more precisely the inadequacy of conducting the main nerve impulses.

Rabbit rarely closes his eyes completely. Almost always he has half-open eyes during sleep (he is always on his guard), and this is a common cause of injuries and eye inflammations.

Rabbit eye disease, underlying causes and classification

In professional veterinary ophthalmology, all pathologies are systematized and divided into two large main groups of diseases.

  1. Auxiliary apparatus of vision (eye socket, eyelid, tear ducts, conjunctiva).
  2. The structures of the eyeball (sclera, cornea, lens, iris, retina).

Eye diseases can have an independent pathogenesis (trauma), and can also be the most important symptom of any pathologies not related to the eyes. Sick eyes of a rabbit can be evidence of some forms of coccidiosis and chronic pasteurellosis or myxomatosis.

Sometimes eye diseases are divided for actual reasons causing the ailment:

  1. Inflammatory,
  2. Traumatic
  3. Congenital

Why is it so wrong to divide? The fact is that inflammation, trauma or congenital damage has a traumatic, inflammatory or congenital development in a particular organ or in all structures of the eye.

Century abscess

Perhaps development as an independent pathology. Meanwhile, much more often bilateral abscess develops as a stage of the chronic - nodular (nodular) form of myxomatosis. Initially, a solid swelling with a size of 2 to 5 mm is formed. Then there is a maturation of the tumor, in the later stages it turns into an abscess. Treatment. Washing the opened abscess with 3% hydrogen peroxide. Watch out for your rabbit! Under the conjunctiva sulfapiridazine 10% solution. Intramuscular Bicillin -3. (vetbitsin-3) or analogues. See penicillin rabbits.


Ankilobloforon is a spike for centuries. Rabbits have two causes. The first, as a genetic anomaly in closely related mating. The second is the result of fibrous adhesive processes in the eyes of rabbits that have had myxomatosis. The treatment is not developed. To prevent the development of adhesions, it is recommended to put 3% tetracycline eye ointment in rabbits recovering from myxomatosis to rabbits.


In rabbits, blepharospasm (involuntary closing of the eyelids) has traumatic causes. Occurs as a result of a microscopic injury to the cornea. Unilateral closure of the eyelid muscles is more common. Spasm of the eyelid muscles is accompanied by tearing, anxiety of the rabbit. Ophthalmologic examination is carried out in a veterinary clinic, under anesthesia. Remove the cause of irritation of the cornea. Prescribed medical eye drops with an antibiotic. Inexpensive drug sulfatsil sodium in this case is also suitable. Veterinary eye drops, see the list of eye drops for animals and humans.

Inflammation of the marginal rim of the eyelids in the rabbit, one of the early signs of myxomatosis. Sometimes the edges of the eyelids may be inflamed due to the constant irritation of the eyes with gases and dust from livestock buildings. Decorative rabbits are diagnosed with allergic blepharitis. More often meet bilateral form of inflammation of the eyelids. В качестве первой помощи назначают промывающие растворы. Глазной 0,005% раствор аргумистина. Для правильного лечения необходимо пройти обследование у ветеринарного врача.The cause of blepharitis in a rabbit can be different (infection, allergies, trauma, etc.). The appointment of eye drops or ointments, antibiotics intramuscularly can not do. Often, hormones, vitamins, and immunomodulators are added to the treatment of inflammation of the eyelids.

Inversion of the century

Chronic tucking of the eyelashes inwards to the eye is called a volvulus or entropion of the eyelid. Inversion / inversion of the eyelids in rabbits often has a genetic origin, such a pathology is called the trichiasis of the century. Trichiasis is an abnormal growth of eyelashes inside the eye. Sometimes it develops as a result of an unsuccessful cosmetic surgery on the eyelid or as a complication of myxoma. The rabbit shows anxiety, see profuse tearing, photophobia, and sometimes purulent inflammation of the mucous membranes of the eye. Conservative (therapeutic) treatment effect does not. Assign operational (surgical) correction of the defect, followed by the appointment of antibiotics and antiseptic eye drops. The seams are protected with a fixing bandage.

In rabbits, a sudden swelling of the eyelids is one of the signs of myxoma. Edema is the accumulation of fluid in the subcutaneous tissue around the eyelid and eye socket. Edema forms a stagnation of the liquid part of the venous blood. With myxoma, congestion is caused by the tropism of the virus in the mucous membranes, almost always manifested in both centuries. Unilateral swelling of the eyelid in a rabbit may develop as a result of an eye injury. Treatment of myxomatous edema in the eyelids in rabbits is not developed, as an option prescribed a course of penicillin antibiotics.

A photo. A classic example of myxoma. There is swelling of the eyelids, conjunctivitis, blepharitis, dacryocystitis. Complements the clinical picture of rhinitis. An example of the fact that the disease can not be considered on the usual symptoms. The clinical picture is a combination of different symptoms.

Rabbit eye diseases, tear duct damage

The lacrimal canal blockage is called dacryocystitis. The constriction (stenosis) of the lacrimal canal in rabbits develops as a result of trauma and inflammation in the orbital area. Normally, the lacrimal secret flows freely in the jaw cavity through the lacrimal canal. Inflammation of the gum tissue in rabbits blocks the outflow of tears. Dacryocystitis in rabbits is manifested by swelling under the lower eyelid, mucous membranes and even purulent discharge from the eyes. To eliminate the stenosis of the lacrimal canal, bougienage and washing of the lacrimal canal are made with antiseptic eye solutions. The manipulation is carried out under anesthesia, in compliance with the rules of asepsis and antisepsis. In the postoperative period, a broad-spectrum antibiotic Ditrim is prescribed, at a dose of 0.5 ml / m once a day for 3-5 days.

A photo. An example of the fact that the lacrimal canal has a connection with the nasal cavity and jaw. So do not treat. On the thread, as on the wick, instantaneous seeding of the lacrimal canal will occur. Prostration (catheterization) of the lacrimal canal is performed only with a sterile instrument and under general anesthesia. Do not mock the animals.

The rabbit's eyes got inflamed

Inflammation of the mucous membranes is an extensive cause of diseases of the auxiliary organs of the eyes in rabbits. There are several forms of conjunctival inflammation: serous, slimy, catarrhal, purulent, fibrinous. The mucous membrane of the eye (conjunctiva) is located on the inside of the upper and lower eyelids.

A photo. Inflammation of the mucous membranes of the eye and loss of blinks. Red rims on the edges of the century indicate blepharitis

Rabbit eye diseases and treatment, sclera area

The main eye diseases in rabbits in the sclera area and their treatment: episcleritis, scleritis, sclerokeratitis. Sclera - the shell of the eye is white. By examining the color of the sclera, you can determine the nature of the damage. Inflamed sclera has a red (hyperemic) color of the shell. Inflammation of the superficial membranes of the sclera is called episcleritis. Damage to the base of the sclera inflammatory nature called scleritis. Involvement in the pathogenesis of the sclera and cornea - sclerokeratitis. Causes of inflammation of the sclera can be infections, allergies. Scleritis is almost always accompanied by tearing, photophobia, deterioration and even loss of vision. Treatment is prescribed and carried out only by a veterinarian.

Rabbit eye diseases, corneal treatment

The group of injuries of the horny (upper) shell of the eye in rabbits is observed as a consequence of infectious, less traumatic inflammatory events.

The most common in rabbits is keratitis - inflammation of the cornea. It is manifested by clouding, thorniness, pain. In rabbits, pain manifests itself in forced postures. Combing the eye area, thereby injuring the eye even more. The initial stage of keratitis is manifested by tearing (epiphora) in the later stages of a corneal ulcer. Causes of keratitis in rabbits are pasteurella bacteria, protozoa (Eimeria). Corneal ulcers and blindness in rabbits sometimes indicate a recurrence of myxoma. The treatment consists in eliminating the cause of the disease and the subsequent prescription of healing preparations, such as: Oftan Katachr eye drops, Solcoseryl eye gel, Taurine eye drops, Tauphon and others.

A photo. Belmö result cataract. Pathogenesis has spread to the pupil and iris

In rabbits, cataracts or clouding of the lens are a common cause of blindness. Manifested in an opaque, whitish pupil color. Cataracts in rabbits have a different origin than humans. Sometimes it may not be accompanied by increased intraocular pressure. A cataract in rabbits can have a unilateral (trauma) and bilateral (infection) cause. After elimination and recovery from the underlying disease, suborbital injections of tissue preparations, such as the vitreous body, are prescribed. The course of treatment up to a month, the prognosis is cautious, doubtful or unfavorable.

A photo. Do not be in a hurry to put an end to treatment; restoration of (full or partial) eye function is possible.

Pathology of the iris in rabbits

The iris in rabbits is usually dark in color, which is why the eyes appear to have a uniform color. In thoroughbred rabbits there are eyes of red or blue, as well as brown. It is best to explore the iris in bright light. Diagnose two diseases of the iris in rabbits - iritis and iridocyclitis

Inflammation of the iris - iritis. In rabbits, microbial iritis are the most common cause. There are traumatic and allergic. The main signs of iritis are different constriction of the pupil (anisocoria), that is, one is narrow and the other is expanded. The pain in rabbits is manifested by specific movements, postures. Iritis is accompanied by tears. Treatment depending on the cause: hormone therapy or a course of antibiotics, immunomodulators. As a palliative therapy prescribed vitamins, amino acids.


Inflammation of the iris and ciliary body of the eye is called anterior uveitis or iridocyclitis. Rabbit is extremely rarely diagnosed. Causes of bacterial pathogens (staphylococcus, streptococcus, pasteurella), viral (myxoma), unicellular (eimeria) or injury. Iridocyclitis is diagnosed by a veterinary ophthalmologist. Treatment is prescribed for reasons. The forecast is doubtful or unfavorable.

Inflammation of the choroid of the eye in rabbits. There are anterior, middle, posterior, peripheral and diffuse uveitis. Differential diagnosis is impossible without special ophthalmic equipment. Causes and treatment resemble iridocyclitis. The prognosis for recovery in rabbits is questionable, often unfavorable.

A photo. Inflammation of the choroid

Retinal damage

Group of dystrophic and inflammatory diseases of the retina. World literature describes inflammation of the epithelium of the retina (retinitis), retinal dystrophy (detachment, retinopathy, angiopathy, coloboma). Retinal diseases have complex causal relationships. Identified exclusively on expensive ophthalmological equipment that is not used in veterinary medicine.

Prevention of eye diseases

Often, eye disease in a rabbit is provoked by a person with an incompetent keeping of a pet. A few rules to prevent the development of ophthalmic problems:

  • Regular wet cleaning of cells and apartments from dust,
  • Do not give the rabbits feed containing small particles,
  • Avoid drafts and temperature drops
  • Once a month to disinfect chlorine equipment inventory and places of detention,
  • Limit the contact of ornamental rabbits with fellows to break the infection

Eye disease in rabbits is advisable to divide into diseases of the auxiliary structures of the eye and diseases of the eyeball itself. If rabbit eyes hurt, than to treat. Primarily eliminate the primary (infectious, traumatic, allergic) causes. Only after that determine what to treat the immediate eyes. Thus, eye diseases in rabbits are almost always concomitant.