Guinea Pig Hay Poke: Treat and Prevent

Hay poke is a form of trauma to the eye that could be a cut, ulcer, abrasion, or puncture and is typical among guinea pigs.

Your guinea pig may get poked in the eye when its eyes come into contact with hay. Unfortunately, hay poke is fatal and can result in more severe conditions, e.g., direct injury to the eyeball, etc.

Do guinea pigs recover from eye poke, or does it mean the end of their eyesight? Are you worried that your beloved curvy has hay poke and you don’t know what to do?

Read on to know how to treat and prevent hay poke in guinea pigs! Solve the problem of hay poke once and for all!

Guinea Pig Hay Poke: Treat and Prevent

Hay poke is basically an eye injury! As I told you earlier, this problem results from a piece of hay or hayseed getting into a guinea pig’s eye.

Hay poke is as bad as you can think. It does not only cause discomfort to your pet piggy but will do more, including injuring the eye, causing an ulcer, cut, or puncture.

Worst case, serious eye injury left untreated can make the guinea pig lose an eye. No matter how you love or pity your piggy, do not rush to address hay poke yourself at home. 

Home cures are always discouraged as you can complicate the problem when saving your beloved friend. Above everything else, consult with your vet if you suspect your guinea pig has hay poke.

How To Get Hay Poke Out of Guinea Pig’s Eye

It is best to see a savvy veterinarian in case of hay poke, especially if you don’t have a steady hand. The reason is, guinea pig eye problems can be pretty dangerous. A slight mistake, and things get worse.

A sure treatment that the vets give include; 

  • Use a gel, e.g., Optixcare eye lube, to soothe irritation and discomfort. It also helps to reveal and remove hay.
  • Use Terramycin antibiotic ointment-effective in treating bacterial infections in the eye.
  • Vets would usually use an NSAID such as Meloxicam for pain relief. It is done after removing the hay poke.

Zoetis Animal Health Terramycin Antibiotic Ophthalmic Ointment 1/8 oz

Though, if you’re confident enough and experienced in addressing hay poke in guinea pigs, you may want to help your pet become comfortable before your vet intervenes. Here are the tips to follow!

  • Remove the hay- Attempt this only if the piece of hay in your pet’s eye is visible to your sight. Use tweezers or Q-tips to remove grass from the eye—the material to use depends on how steady you are.
  • Flush out the eye. The eye saline solution is an excellent choice. It is effective in removing loosened debris in the eye. This is the way to go only if the eye is still filled with visible hay. 
  • Subsequently, administer an eye drop to the irritated eye, e.g., Murine eye drop (with the yellow label for ‘irritated eye’) or Colloidal silver liquid. The two work best in treating guinea pig hay poke. You can liaise with your vet on how to go about it and under what conditions to administer the eye drop.

With proper treatment, your guinea pig should recover within a short time, usually 24-48 hours. If there is no change or progress after treatment, it will require veterinary treatment.

Can Guinea Pigs Go Blind from Hay Poke?

Hay pokes in guinea pigs typically cause a cloudy, blind-looking eye. Hay poke will also lead to ulceration or protruding red flesh from the cornea of the piggy’s eye.

It may also be the reason why a guinea pig struggles to open the eye or holds it completely closed. However, did it ever cross your mind that guinea pigs can go blind from hay poke?

Yes, a severe hay poke problem can make a guinea go blind. Some people aggravate the problem when trying home remedies, and eventually, upon the vet’s intervention, the vet recommends eye removal. Ouch!

That’s what hay poke can do to your cutie guinea pig. It’s not a condition that someone can joke around with!

How Do You Avoid Hay Poke into A Guinea Pig’s Eye?

“Prevention is better than cure” is a factual statement from ancient times. If you consider the terrible impact of hay poke on guinea pigs, it would be necessary to avoid it from occurring as much as possible.

Guinea pigs love hay more than anything! So, it’s upon you to be watchful that grass doesn’t get into your pet’s eye, although this might not be 100% achievable. You can help your guinea pig avoid hay poke through;

  • Choosing soft hay, including Timothy hay (2nd and 3rd cut), Orchard hay (pretty soft and nutritious for guinea pigs), or Meadow grass. A harder type of grass will poke the piggies more.
  • Provide numerous small pieces of hay for your guinea pig to burrow, and they should be flat too. A huge pile of hay can easily poke the piggy.
  • Always cut coarse hay in a hay rack or bag. Applying this method prevents your pet from diving into a pile of hay and getting poked.

Oxbow Animal Health Orchard Grass Hay

In Short

To recap, guinea pig hay poke is a common problem since these piggies are constantly exposed to hay. They love burrowing into and playing in extensive piles of hay.

Fortunately, you can reduce hay poke problems by using soft hay, placing hay into your piggy’s hutch correctly, and feeding hay in a safe hay rack or bag.

Perform regular health checks on your guinea pig and keep an eye on it. In the case of hay poke, acting promptly is necessary to avoid further problems. Always involve a vet in the treatment of hay poke.

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