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Ferret With Runny Or Watery Eye

What can be done for a ferret with a runny eye?

By Karen Rosenthal, DVM, MS
Posted: March 1, 2012, 8 a.m. EST

Q: My ferret has one runny eye. What can I do to help my ferret?

A: Eye infections are not common in ferrets, so a “runny” eye is a condition that you cannot easily treat at home. Warm compresses may help if there is mild inflammation, but visit with your ferret’s veterinarian, because eye disease should not be taken lightly; getting the answer wrong can lead to permanent blindness for your ferret.

A “runny” eye may indicate a number of conditions in your ferret. First, it can mean there is infection in the superficial tissue, such as the conjunctiva that surround the outside of the eye. Or there may be irritation, infection or scarring of the cornea, the clear tissue that protects the eye. Inflammation inside your ferret’s eye can also lead to a “runny” appearance. An abscess or infection in the fluid between the cornea and pupil often causes tears to discharge from the eye. If the tear ducts are blocked from infection, foreign objects or even cancer, your ferret’s eyes will appear runny.

Finally, even diseases as serious as glaucoma can look, at first, like a “runny” eye, so visiting your veterinarian to determine which of these many different causes is present in your ferret is necessary for good eyesight.

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