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Conditions Piggy - Fungal nose and white eye questions (with pictures)


Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Feb 6, 2012
Hello! I have few questions about one of my guinea pigs, Piggy. I mentioned them in another thread about her sister Buttercup's diarrhea, but decided that Piggy should have a thread of her own. Just for some background information, Piggy is an around 4 year old sow who I have had for about 3 1/2 months.

My first question is about her nose, so I will include two pictures, one so that you can see a clear, unobstructed picture of her nose, and another that I have broken down into the three areas that I have questions about.

Piggy - Fungal nose and white eye questions (with pictures)
Piggy - Fungal nose and white eye questions (with pictures)

A: I have searched other guinea pig forums and found pictures of similar looking noses and am pretty certain that this is something called fungal nose stripe. It is a line going down the top of the nose where there is hair loss and visible yellow crust in that area. Apparently, it is non-contagious and does not seem to cause any discomfort to the pigs, so some people leave it the way it is. Others have treated it with an anti-fungal cream such as monistat or use something called "green cream" (this is from a UK forum, so I don't know if they have it over here). I tried doing a search for fungal nose stripe on this forum but couldn't really come up with anything. Has anyone here experienced this? If so, have you done anything to treat it or left it as it is?

B: You can probably see this area better in the first picture, but the crust from the top of her nose seems to continue downwards to below her nostrils. I am not sure if this is a continuation of the fungal nose stripe or some new type of crust, because in the other pictures I saw the nose stripe was strictly on the top of the nose. This part is only attached at the top and the rest sort of hangs down (like an icicle). I actually picked it off one time after giving her a bath, but it grew back in about a week or so.

C: I initially thought that this was just poop around her nose (her sister, Bcup, has been having issues with mushy poops and sometimes poops in the hay. I thought this might be the result of encountering one such poop while foraging around the hay) but when looking at the close up in the first picture, you can see that there is some yellowish crust in that area as well. So maybe the brown crust is the same thing as the yellow crust but just darker? While the yellow crust in area A is almost definitely fungal nose stripe, is it possible that the crust in areas B and C are not fungal but some sort of nasal discharge from having an URI? Piggy and Buttercup both sneeze on occasion, but not any more than I would consider normal and also Buttercup doesn't have anything around her nose.


My second question concerns her eye when she sleeps, which my sister, who is 25 years old, calls the "Frankenstein eye". Piggy sleeps with her eyes open (which I have read is normal), but her eyeballs also seem to roll downwards so that the area that is usually all black becomes partly white. The vet that I took her to in December seemed to think that she had cataracts, but I only see this when she is sleeping and her eyes are dark, shiny, and not milky at all when she is awake. At first I only saw the Frankenstein eye happening in her right eye (which was strange to see her have one "normal" black eye and another part white/part black eye), but the other day I noticed it happening in her left eye as well. I was really concerned at first that something was wrong with Piggy, but then I noticed her sister, Buttercup, doing it while she was sleeping as well (although Buttercup only had a very small bit of white showing compared to Piggy). I am now slightly less worried, although part of me is scared that I just have two instead of one piggies with abnormal Frankenstein eyes!

I am bringing Buttercup to the vet on Wednesday and plan on asking her about it then, but in the meantime, does anyone else notice this with their piggies? That when they sleep with their eyes open, their eyeballs roll down so that you can see the white on top of their eye?

Buttercups slight weird eye:

Piggy - Fungal nose and white eye questions (with pictures)

Piggy's weird left eye:

Piggy - Fungal nose and white eye questions (with pictures)

Piggy sleeping with weird right eye and normal left eye:

Piggy - Fungal nose and white eye questions (with pictures)

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance!
Yes, that does look fungal to me. I would treat with a topical cream since you can't really use a shampoo on that location without risking water aspiration. All of the crust in that area is likely from the same infection. Things like Monistat and Lotrimin are widely available and will do the trick. Here is more info on fungal infections: https://www.guinealynx.info/fungus.html

I would err on the side of caution and be very cautious around the infection, fungal infections tend to be very contageous.

The white part of the eye, the sclera, looks normal on your pigs. That said, I haven't personally witnessed pigs who have such dramatic downward gazes while sleeping that I could see that much sclera (like Piggy), so I can't comment on it but I wouldn't be concerned. If the conjuctiva were bulging that would be an issue, but if the eye appears normal aside from the gaze I wouldn't sweat it. The sclera also doesn't have any relation to cataracts. Cataracts are the clouding and hardening of the lens of the eye and don't typically cause serious issues in pigs.
Thanks for your response, SurfingPigs! I am really glad that their eyes are okay and not something more serious that I should worry about. Also, thank you for confirming what I thought about the cataracts - it just didn't make much sense when that's what the vet suggested they were!

As for the crust around her nose, do you think that I should start treatment with an anti-fungal cream? I read some more on the UK guinea pig forum, and apparently another name for fungal nose stripe is "teddy bear nose." Here is what they say about it, and Piggy's nose stripe looks almost exactly like the ones shown in that thread:

'The "fungal nose stripe" (with debate over whether it is fungal or not!) can be quite common. It does tend to be a small stripe on the nose, thickness of the stripe can vary, but the skin itself appears almost 'stitched' or 'bobbled'.'
Can anyone help identify nose problem - The Guinea Pig Forum

However, someone on Guinea Lynx mentioned cheilitis as well, which would be treated with an triple antibiotic (neosporin) as opposed to an anti-fungal cream. Piggy doesn't look nearly as bad as the pictures shown on the Guinea Lynx cheilitis page, but is it possible that she just has a very mild case of it? I am almost 99% sure that the top of her nose is the fungal nose stripe thing because it looks exactly like what I saw, but the only reason I am even considering cheilitis is that everything I've read about the nose stripe said it was strictly on the top of the nose. I don't know if it a fungus, or cheilitis, or both, and how I should treat accordingly.

Has anyone had piggies with either nose stripe or cheilitis, and can help guide me into which one it actually is? Not to gripe about my vet, but I feel this could have been figured this out weeks ago if she had just done a culture of the nose to see if it was bacterial or fungal. Instead, she thought it was an URI despite the fact that Piggy shows no other symptoms of having one!

Am beginning treatment with diluted betadine and monistat 7 and in case anyone is interested am going to make a treatment diary.

Here is day 1:

Piggy - Fungal nose and white eye questions (with pictures)
Piggy - Fungal nose and white eye questions (with pictures)
If it were me, I'd assume it's all fungal at the moment, and treat for that. If all the lesions clear up, you're home free. If any of them get worse, they're obviously not fungal infections, and I'd treat them (very carefully) with the triple antibiotic. Use only a tiny dab, and rub it in very well.
Do you think it is okay that I only put the treatment on the top of her nose where the hair loss and "stripe" is? Even though I only used a tiny bit, I was scared to put it on the icicle part and the darker crust underneath her nostrils because it is so close to her mouth.
If you use nystatin, it can be safely ingested by the pig. It isn't toxic, but ingesting too much could cause GI distress. I would treat any signs of an active infection.
@SurfingPigs I looked up nystatin but I think it is only available with a prescription. I ended up calling Penn Vet again (because I was so satisfied with Buttercup's visit) and made an appointment for Piggy for next Monday, the 27th. In the meantime, for the next week I am going to continue to put the miconazole cream just on the top of her nose. Does anyone know if the betadine (povidone iodine) is safe to put on the icicle/bottom of her nose, or should I stick to only putting that on the top as well?
I would go ahead and put it on the lower part. Weigh her daily to see if it's affecting her appetite.
I have been putting both the betadine and miconazole on the bottom part of her nose as well. Giving her parsley while applying it has helped stop her from trying to eat the qtip! It is only day 3 but I think I really see an improvement.

Day 3 of treatment:
Piggy - Fungal nose and white eye questions (with pictures)
She seems to be clearing up, yay! Good luck :)
Thanks for the well wishes, Kieri!

Day 5 of Treatment:
Piggy - Fungal nose and white eye questions (with pictures)Piggy - Fungal nose and white eye questions (with pictures)
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Thanks for continuing to post pictures. It really helps to see what's going on.
No problem, foggycreekcavy. I also figure that these pictures may come in use to someone else one day.
Day 7 of Treatment:

Piggy - Fungal nose and white eye questions (with pictures)
Day 10 of Treatment:

Piggy - Fungal nose and white eye questions (with pictures)Piggy - Fungal nose and white eye questions (with pictures)

The top of her nose definitely seems much better, but the bottom hasn't seen as much improvement.
Treatment (still day 10)

I was just able to sneak up on Piggy while she was sleeping and take a really good picture because she was laying so still. I didn't realize how pink the top of her nose is, which you can see better now because I put the cream on and her fur is kind of clumped together. Thank god I'm bringing her to the vet tomorrow because I'm a little freaked out. Ay...there is always so much drama with my piggies! In the meantime, do you think this looks okay?

Piggy - Fungal nose and white eye questions (with pictures)
I think the top part looks good--the skin is nice and pink and I bet the hair will grow in soon.

I think the bottom part isn't fungus, but a mouth sore.
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Took Piggy to the vet yesterday. Wasn't the same one who saw Bcup and I definitely didn't like this one as much. He seemed to think that her nose might not be fungus but a wart, but told me to continue with the betadine and miconazole cream since it seems to be helping. I thought he was a little rough while examining her, and now I think he might have done something to her eye!

You can see from the picture earlier in this thread that she always had a little bit of a ring on the top of the sclera of her left eye, but this afternoon while she was sleeping I noticed that the area looked much different from usual, very red and almost like you could see the blood veins. It definitely did not look like that when I brought her in yesterday, and I wonder if it could have been caused by his so roughly pulling up her eyelids and such. I can't think of any other reason why it would have changed so quickly.

Piggy - Fungal nose and white eye questions (with pictures)

On the plus side, her nose is almost looking back to normal, so yay for that!

Treatment Day 12:

Piggy - Fungal nose and white eye questions (with pictures)
Piggy's vet emailed me back and said that her eye looked like normal pigmentation but to keep an eye on it, and if it progresses to schedule an appointment with the opthamologist. Meanwhile, here is the progress with her nose:

Treatment Day 14:

Piggy - Fungal nose and white eye questions (with pictures)
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