Posted: September 27, 2008, 5 a.m. EDT
Q: My guinea pig has unusual growth on her eye. It's white and it’s kind of popping out, but it’s not covering her whole eye. Any idea what it could be?
A: Although it is always worth visiting your veterinarian whenever you see something unusual, it is likely this is something called pea-eye or fatty-eye. If this is pea-eye, it is usually not a problem until it gets so large it affects vision (rare) or causes irritation of the cornea (also uncommon). If this is the white tissue you are seeing and it is on the lower eyelid, it is a protrusion of the conjunctival sac. It may be inherited, and it is recommended not to breed these guinea pigs.
Because you do not say exactly where you see this growth, it could be elsewhere on the eye or around the eye. There can be lipid deposits on the cornea or trauma that eventually causes a white lesion on the cornea. There may also be discharge that is white and appears like a growth. As I mentioned, visiting the veterinarian is an excellent idea, but if this is pea-eye, usually no treatment is required.