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Old 11-19-2021, 11:57 AM   #1
jsp
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Default Conjunctivitis still getting worse after two sets of antibiotics

Hi,

I wondered if I could ask advice about hamster conjunctivitis?

Our hamster Roc has had his eye stuck shut since about the 5th November. We have had two x 5-day courses of antibiotics and the eye did start to open after about 3 days of the first course, but now it is stuck shut again and not getting better. The vet said we could have two more courses of antibiotics, but that doesn't seem sensible to me. Surely if it was going to work it would have worked by now?

I have attached some photos. The picture of the eye stuck shut was at the beginning. Then the partially open one was a few days ago, and now it is stuck shut again.

When I put the drops on, I rub them on this skin a bit with a gloved fingertip so they don't just sit on top of his hair, but they don't actually go into his eye. I tried washing the eye with cooled boiled water, but it still doesn't open.

I wondered if anyone might have any ideas? It's not easy to see a specialist exotics vet here.

Thanks!
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Old 11-19-2021, 11:59 AM   #2
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Default Re: Conjunctivitis still getting worse after two sets of antibiotics

I forgot to say but he is 20 months old. He was born on the 28th March 2020.

His teeth look okay to me. They are not overly long.
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Old 11-20-2021, 04:49 AM   #3
souffle
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Default Re: Conjunctivitis still getting worse after two sets of antibiotics

Are the meds orally or are they drops or gel in the eye?
With drops I find it takes longer than a week and normally needs at least 2 weeks.
Sometimes an infection can damage the eye surface and there are less tears produced to lubricate the eye so it ends up getting irritated. Artificial tear can be needed to keep it clear for quite some time then. It can also be a symptom of something else going on like an overgrown tooth or an ear issue or tooth or pouch abscess so have the mouth checked too.
I would try bathing a few times a day with saline solution. A cut of boiled water with half a teaspoon of salt in it. Cool to room temp.
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Old 11-20-2021, 05:08 AM   #4
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Default Re: Conjunctivitis still getting worse after two sets of antibiotics

Thank you very much, I will try that.

It's just eye drops that I have. The vet has checked him over in person, but I don't know what they looked at as we don't go in with the hamster any more. Roc's teeth look okay and he's still happily shoving things into his pouch, which is a good sign hopefully.
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Old 11-20-2021, 05:09 AM   #5
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Default Re: Conjunctivitis still getting worse after two sets of antibiotics

I'm also a Scottish person living in England btw.
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Old 11-20-2021, 10:15 AM   #6
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Default Re: Conjunctivitis still getting worse after two sets of antibiotics

I was going to say the same as Souffle, that an eye infection needs a two week course really.

You’ve had good advice above. All I will add is that it is very common for hamsters of this age to get sticky eyes and sometimes just bathing a stuck eye is all that’s needed. But if it is actually an infection then I think oral antibiotics for two weeks would be the solution. Having also recently had a similar thing - it did take two weeks for the infection to clear.

It’s difficult when you can’t find an exotic vet - I have to travel an hour to go to an exotic vet. And there is only the one exotic vet in the practice. Would that be a possibility- if you Google exotic vets in the wider area? Which part of the country are you in?
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Old 11-20-2021, 12:32 PM   #7
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Default Re: Conjunctivitis still getting worse after two sets of antibiotics

Thanks for replying. We do have an exotic vet that's very close by at the University, but I would need to ask for a referral and I'm a bit worried that they might think I was saying I didn't trust their judgement. The exotic vet is actually closer to my house than the general vet, but harder to see because of the need for a referral.

I live really close to this place:

The Queen's Veterinary School Hospital |
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Old 11-20-2021, 12:34 PM   #8
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Default Re: Conjunctivitis still getting worse after two sets of antibiotics

I've run out of eye drops now but I washed Roc's eye with very dilute Johnson's baby shampoo earlier. I used to use that on my son when I got conjunctivitis and it worked a treat on him. He never needed antibiotics. We will get more actual antibiotics for Roc on Monday though.
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Old 11-20-2021, 01:32 PM   #9
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Default Re: Conjunctivitis still getting worse after two sets of antibiotics

You shouldn't need a referral to the exotic vet - you can just change practices. Just go to the exotic vet and ask to register. Don't worry about offending anyone. Your current vet may not even know if they don't see you again. I've had to do that and I've got past worrying about offending them! Vets are very busy and have lots of clients.

I wouldn't use baby shampoo. Hamsters are very sensitive to any scents - even something that smells mild to us smells much stronger to them. And while it cleans it doesn't disinfect.

Saline (salt water) cleans but also helps heal and slightly disinfect.
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Old 11-20-2021, 11:31 PM   #10
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Default Re: Conjunctivitis still getting worse after two sets of antibiotics

Hi,

Thanks for the menton of the shampoo smell. I hadn't thought of that.

Our exotic vet is not a normal one. They only see patients with a referral letter from the usual vet.
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