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Old 04-06-2019, 02:09 AM South Africa
Renier Renier is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 10
Default Can dust irritate the eye?

Hi there. My first post, and already asking for advice.
My Chinchilla's one eye got some sort of infection a while back. The eye is a bit puffy, sometimes a bit wet, and often just partially open, with the hair around the eye not as smooth as it should be (which from reading other posts, are typical symptoms of eye problems).

I did treatment for ringworm which seemed to help a little, but there was no indication of ringworm presence. I did x-rays of teeth - no abnormalities. I went for bacteria testing, and there was indications of potentially harmful bacteria.

These results are controlled and checked by an exotic animal vet, dental specialist and eye specialist. They are also a bit in the dark, and say that Chinchillas are uncommon (which is the case in my country), so there is limited historical data on file.

I have done two courses of different antibiotics, which did not work. I am now on the third one. This time I have seen great improvement in the eye. But every time he baths, the eye goes bad again and the hair around it seems wet again. I am positive about this antibiotic since it is the best recovery I have seen.

1. Could the dust be the reason the eye gets irritated?
2. Could the dust really have such adverse effect on the antibiotic to the point where it almost stops its function?
3. If this is the case, should I potentially stop his baths for a while (and long can he go without a bath).

I look forward to some input and ideas.
Thank you in advance
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Old 04-06-2019, 01:28 PM Canada
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Amethyst Amethyst is offline
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Alberta
Posts: 1,649
Chinchillas: 2

The dust can irritate the eyes if you aren't using the right dust, are leaving it in the cage, or you aren't changing the dust. I don't see any reason the dust would effect the antibiotics, as I said unless you are using dirty dust. You can go a long time between bathing, the chin will get greasy and can cause some matting of the fur but it wont actually hurt it. Some chins in bad situation have gone months between baths.

So my questions to you are, what kind of dust are you using? It should be dust not sand or powder.

Are you changing the dust bath between baths? If not you are just recontaminating the chin with dirty dust.

How long are you leaving the chin with the bath and are you bathing in the cage or outside the cage? Dusting in the cage can be almost as bad as leaving it in all the time since it is still all over the cage. The chin pees or poops on the dust in the cage contaminating it, then stirs it up into the air and it can end up in their eyes.
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2 Chinchillas: Bazil and Wicket
10 Cats: Mystic, Coon, Rascal, Lucky, Mittens, Shadow, CJ, Tiger, Tux, and Nessie
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Old 04-06-2019, 11:47 PM South Africa
Renier Renier is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 10

Hi and thank you for the kind response. I am using dust from a very reputable expert. Most shops stocks his dust. So I think the dust is good.
They bath outside of the cage, and I take it away when I see they are "done" spinning.
I am 99% sure I do everything else right, but your line of thought and questions, has got me thinking. Maybe I can pay a little more attention to the whole bathing thing, just in case.

I have two Chins and the issue is only with the one, and only the one eye. I guess if it was the sand, other eyes should also have shown a bit of irritation, but I'm not ruling that out. I am still hopeful that the meds will work though. There still is 7 days of treatment left. I am going to skip his baths for the seven days and then I should have a better indication.

Thank you again.
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Old 04-12-2019, 01:54 AM South Africa
Renier Renier is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 10

This antibiotics also had no effect. The course finishes on Saturday, and I skipped his baths just in case. That does not help.
Things will have to go back to normal on Saturday.
There does not seem to be anything else I can do.
Maybe nature will take its course and naturally heal the eye over time. It's the only bit of hope I have.
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