One term I dread in our rabbitry is weepy eye. At times its a problem that can be very persistent and often reoccuring with individual rabbits. It seems as though certain rabbits have a predisposition to weepy eye. The symptoms of weepy eye can be similar to symptoms of other problems such as snuffles.
True weepy eye is similar to what we call conjuntivitis or pink eye in humans. It involves a swelling of the membrane that covers the eye. The result is the eye will discharge more water than normal. Often the fur around the eye will be wet and watered down, which is one of the easy signs for us to see that weepy eye may be present. Weepy eye may also be caused by a block duct within the eye. This can be caused by bacteria. Another possible cause may even be allergies that the rabbit has. Ocassionally you’ll find that the rabbits front paws are also wet from constantly wiping their eyes.
Once a rabbit in our herd contracts weepy eye, we immediately remove it from our herd. Conjuntivitis in humans is highly contageous, and we always treat weepy eye that way as well. This way should the cause of the infrection be contageous we do not spread it to other rabbits. We immediately begin treatment of the eye with Terramycin Opthamolic Oinment. This can be purchased at most farm supply stores such as Tractor Supply. Generally after a few days the weepy eye is gone. We find that certain rabbits are predisposed to get weepy eye, and although it may be gone for now, may reoccur a few months later.
Many breeders will use herbal remedies to correct weepy. Some of the remedies include agrimony, chamomile, eyebright, meadowsweet, walnut leaves, and several other herbs. Occassionally salt water solutions used as an eyewash have been successful. Persistent and unresolved cases of weepy eye can be caused by such things as snuffles, and your rabbit should be seen by a veterinarian.
Three Little Ladies Rabbitry