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Acute watery eye (eiphora)

Published on: August 18, 2021 • By: Jessie · In Forum: Rabbits
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Jessie
Participant
August 18, 2021 at 06:18pm
Hi, Yesterday evening I saw one of my rabbits had a watery left eye (clear fluid), this has never happened before (my rabbits live indoors so I see them very regularly). I understand that this can be caused by many pathologies so I called my vet this morning and have sceduled an appointment for 1.5 weeks time. Since I have got home today her eye has completely stopped watering, her fur is dry, and if I were to see her now I would not be concerned at all. Is it only chronic epiphora that I should be worried about? She has maybe been drinking a little more (hard to tell as I have two rabbits who share a water bowl), but she is otherwise well, eating and behaving as normal. Would it be best just to monitor her for now and only attend the appointment if it is an ongoing issue?
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Liz Buchanan BVSc MRCVS
Moderator
August 18, 2021 at 07:49pm
Hello!  Indeed, it is not only chronic-onset epiphora that can be a problem; acute-onset epiphora can occur in case of a foreign body or acute injury or laceration to the eye, in acute glaucoma, acute infections, abscesses and so on.  You were right to call the vet as soon as possible because many acute-onset ocular problems do prove to be emergencies so whatever the species, picking up the phone is definitely the correct response. You now have a dilemma in that the case has presumably been triaged and you have an appointment booked for over a week away, yet the symptoms appear to have vanished.  Perhaps the rabbit had a particle of dust in the eye which has now gone (eyes do have similar self-protection systems across the species;  a watering eye can sometimes successfully flush out a foreign body without intervention).  However, I would advocate asking the telephone staff to explain to the vet what has happened, so that your appointment is only cancelled if that's what the vet feels to be appropriate.  Perhaps you could also ask them to record the information in the clinical notes so that future vets are aware. Meanwhile, if the symptoms recurr,, change or worsen, it may be worth having the vet or their emergency equivalent assess the time scale for the appointment again. Best of luck going forward and please do let us know how things are panning out.
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Liz Buchanan BVSc MRCVS
Moderator
August 18, 2021 at 08:01pm
An example might be if the tooth-roots are impacting on the tear-ducts, for example.  At first, epiphora may not be obvious all the time, but if teeth are growing abnormally, this may be picked up in a consultation.
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