‘Why is my rabbit’s eyes always teary’?
Our rabbits have big, round eyes that needs to be consistently moisten with tears to stay healthy. These tears are drained away via the tear duct located at the corner of the eye closest to the nose. The duct goes through the skull and empties via the nasal cavity.
An overflow of tears, known as epiphora, typically means the tears cannot be discharged through the tear duct or the nasal path. This condition can persist and cause redness, fur loss or even mucus discharge. Root cause of such conditions can include allergy, nasal infection, dental disorder, eye injury or even glaucoma in senior rabbits.
An immediate home relief can be artificial tear drops (i.e Tear Naturale) to rinse off any debris follow by a warm cotton pad to wipe off any accumulation. A gentle massage from the corner of the eye down to the nasal discharge can also help to dislodge any plug. However, if the condition persist for days, you will need a vet’s help to perform a tear duct flush. In addition, if there is any infection or disorder, the vet will diagnose and accurately treat the cause.
Teary eyes are often dismiss as ‘nothing serious’ by inexperienced vets but they can be symptoms to something very serious. One good way to tell if your vet is savvy is by asking if they can do a tear duct flush for a rabbit. If they don’t have the specialized tools, it could means they don’t care enough to invest. So please use your best judgement and provide the right care for your rabbit.