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Conditions Partial sight, partial hearing (possible lethal?) - advice


Cavy Slave
May 8, 2014
Hullo :3

I've been cavy crazy for about twelve years and have owned pigs for about nine of those twelve. I started off with a pair of boars (the Humane Society told my dad they were sisters and they'd die without each other so he brought two home for me as a surprise instead of the one I'd been expecting to go get the next day) who had to be next to each other but in separate cages for their entire lives - both lived to around eight. Last summer, I acquired another boar (Zeke) and then shortly after, a spayed female (Poro) to be friends with him.

Poro is about two years older than Zeke, so I've been preparing to get a third for a little while now. They're currently in a Midwest, but I'll be upgrading them to one of the larger two-story C&Cs this summer, at which point I was planning to go through the same rescue I got Poro from to get another spayed female.
Last Saturday we stopped by PetSmart to pick up some Oxbow pellets for Zeke and Poro and there was a little girl piggie whose eye seemed possibly swollen shut. I asked if there was something wrong with her and the employees did the usual nopenopenopenope, so I asked if I could hold her. Upon picking her up it was really painfully obvious that she was blind in that eye.

So I accidentally ended up with a third guinea pig over the weekend :p

The Problem
We understood that she was blind in her right eye when we took her home and over the next few days we came to realize that she is also partially deaf (it seems like she can't hear at all out of her left ear). She doesn't seem to have very good hearing in her right ear either. I wouldn't be surprised if her left-side vision is iffy as well - she gets very close to new things before looking at them and prefers sniffing over anything else although she'll walk towards bright lights (cameras, phones, computer screens). She's also a very bright white with bright pink eyes and it seems like her ears are almost see-through rather than pink or another color.

[GuineaPigCages.com] Partial sight, partial hearing (possible lethal?) - advice
^the best picture I have of her

Upon trying to research how best to handle partially-sighted/hearing guinea pigs, I inevitably came upon relevant threads on lethals. Nynaeve seems to fit some of the physical markers, but she does have all four front teeth and is eating fine. Her stool is slightly loose but nowhere near diarrhea - when I switched Zeke and Poro to Oxbow, they had similar stool changes for about a week and then settled down.

So, a few questions:
(1) Nyna is definitely thriving. She's around two or three months and is bigger than Zeke was at four. She talks a lot, likes exploring things, and is eating and drinking. Is there still a chance that she might be a (very lucky) lethal, or is she just a PEW with some complications?
(2) She is very easily startled. It seems like she's pretty okay for awhile when she's out, but seems to get overstimulated after a point and freaks out at being touched even when she knows I'm there. Has anyone had success with helping a guinea pig like this navigate?
(3) She is also VERY nippy. It seems like sometimes she uses it as a way of figuring out what's in her surroundings, but when she freaks out she bites HARD - she drew blood yesterday. Aside from learning how to avoid startling her, are there any suggestions you have about teaching her that biting is not good?
(4) I would like to eventually put her in with the other two and was thinking about letting Poro and Nyna hang out together in a neutral space as much as possible in the meantime (obviously after Nyna is out of quarantine). I know this depends a lot on the personality of the pigs, but as a theory is it a bad idea?

Common sense disclaimers
(1) I understand that to put the three of them together it will be necessary to snip either Zeke or Nyna. There's a vet semi-local to the area that does a lot of that sort of surgery that I'll be taking one of them to in order to get that done.
(2) I understand that I'm probably not going to get definitive answers until I take her to the vet. Since she seems to be pretty healthy, I was just going to take her with the other two to the check-up I scheduled for them in June (unless that's a terrible idea? My vet said it was fine to do check-ups on two at once).
(3) Nyna is in quarantine for at least the next two weeks with regular hand-sanitizing in between handling her and the other two.
(4) I live in a house with other adults and the only other person I would EVER leave my guinea pigs with is my former partner, who completely understands how to take care of them, so I'm not concerned about accidental baby pigs.

Thanks for any advice! :)
She doesn't look lethal, her eye looks very well formed. Does she have all her teeth (the visible ones)?
The eye looks normal to me, but can you post close-up pictures of both eyes? But if she has some sight and some hearing, she's almost certainly not lethal.

Small and/or missing eyes are found in pigs other than lethals, although lethals always have them. Blindness and deafness are found as well, even though an eye may be the normal size. But guinea pigs have terrible eyesight, so it's not unusual that she gets close to things to be able to see them.

Are you sure there's no infection in the eye that could be treated? Eye injuries and infections are really painful.
Yeah, her eyes look pretty normal (the blind one seems a bit smaller than the one she has sight out of but not very significantly). It might just be her personality? She's just very much more up-in-your-face than other pigs I've seen - as in, she's literally poked her nose in the face of everyone she's met.

She isn't acting like she's in pain and there's no sign of an injury either.

I tried to get some pictures of her eyes but I can't get her to sit still and not stick her nose in the camera :p
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