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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all! I've got three boy rats and I'm having trouble with one. Bosley is 18 months old and has had some sort of eye issue for at least a couple months now. Here are a few pics of the affected eye:

Rat Whiskers Ferret Muridae Mouse

Rat Mouse Muridae Whiskers Hamster

Rat Muridae Skin Whiskers Mouse


That red discharge is really the only symptom. At times his eyelid looks irritated, but he doesn't seem to bother at his eye very much. His other eye looks fine.

I initially took him to my exotics vet and was given Tobramycin eye drops. Last time Bosley had an eye infection, I saw an improvement after a day and a half (3 drops), but this time it didn't seem to do anything. The vet gave me a course of Baytril to try instead (which Bosley has had before for resp issues), but that didn't do any good either. At that point the vet wanted to see him for a recheck, and ended up making up a longer course of Baytril to be given in combination with the eye drops. She called after 6 days, and when I told her there was STILL no improvement, she made up a course of Doxycycline and told me to give that with the eye drops instead of the Baytril. I stopped the eye drops shortly after switching to the Doxy, though, because at this point I think it's done all it's going to do, and it seems to hurt more than it helps - his eyelid looked more irritated when he was on the drops.

A few days ago he started sneezing, so I asked the vet if I could try the Doxy in combo with the Baytril to treat that. (The boys and I moved in with my dad on Sunday while the floor at my mum's house is being ripped up, so this may be stress-related. We're going home on Saturday.) Bosley is now on Doxy + Baytril. I took those pictures earlier today, so you can see that it's not having much effect on his eye.

Apart from the sneezing and the discharge around his eye, he's a bright and happy boy. Still eating and drinking, still active. I'm starting to get stressed out, though. The vet said there's a possibility of a mass behind his eye, which would mean x-rays under sedation to diagnose, and I hate the thought of that.

Has anyone ever experienced anything like this? Any thoughts as to what could be behind this? Any thoughts would be appreciated! Bosley is my best-behaved and sweetest boy, I really wish I could make him all better. :(

Rat Gerbil Muridae Mouse Muroidea
 

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The red discharge is called Porphyrin. It is a pigment which can be seen in the tears and the nose fluid. It can be an indicator of illness, but not always. If it is accompanied by strange breathing noises or other signs of pain or discomfort, then see your vet. One of my girls frequently wakes up with porphyrin on her right eye, but she is not ill. The sneezing Bosley is doing is likely from particles in the air from the floor work, as well as stress like you mentioned. If the eye starts to bulge outwards, then there may well be an infection in the eye or a tumor behind the eye. Right now I do not think using meds would be effective as from what you have described, he is likley just responding to a new environment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks! I know it's porphyrin - the amount of it is worrying me. To clarify, the floor work started Monday and I made sure the boys and I were out of there before it started so we could avoid the dust. The eye issue has been going on for weeks, though I do think the sneezing is due to the new environment.

I've been watching closely for bulging or swelling and haven't noticed any, so that's reassuring. I hope you're right. I just wish I knew why his eye is producing so much pory!
 

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Perhaps there is something at your Dad's that is irritating to him. Some kind of cleaner, mold, air freshener..something unusual to him. Can you get an air filter for the room his in and see if that helps?
 

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I am going through something similar right now, even though my rat isn't sneezing or having any other symptoms. He's had porphyrin around one of his eyes off and on since I've had him. He was recently on some antibiotic eyedrops and finished his course, and it didn't get rid of the issue. The vet couldn't be sure what it was, and ruled out a corneal ulcer, but prescribed the eyedrops in case it was infected. However, we're seeing a pattern that suggests it may be stress-related. I wish I knew why it's that one eye or if there really is something wrong. I'll call the vet again tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes! We have an air filter in my bedroom (where the boys live) at home. :) Like I said, I think the sneezing is just from stress, it's the eye that's worrying me. That started weeks ago at home, well before any of the floor work started.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I am going through something similar right now, even though my rat isn't sneezing or having any other symptoms. He's had porphyrin around one of his eyes off and on since I've had him. He was recently on some antibiotic eyedrops and finished his course, and it didn't get rid of the issue. The vet couldn't be sure what it was, and ruled out a corneal ulcer, but prescribed the eyedrops in case it was infected. However, we're seeing a pattern that suggests it may be stress-related. I wish I knew why it's that one eye or if there really is something wrong. I'll call the vet again tomorrow.
I guess it's reassuring that at least someone else is going through the same thing! I can't think what might have stressed Bosley initially, but maybe there is something. Thanks!
 

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I just spoke to the vet today. She agreed that it could be just stress in my case, and we could just let it go if it doesn't seem to be getting worse, but if it does, we can try another type of antibiotic or get him in to see an opthamologist.
 
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