Rabbits are cute and love animals. Their physical look is so appealing that you cannot help yourself but fall in love with them. One remarkable trait of rabbits is their captivating eyes, which are even more emphasized because of their eyelashes. With a correct pattern of eyelash growth, you will naturally see the beauty of their eyes.
However, you may sometimes notice that the eyelashes of your pet rabbit are growing inwards, which is the wrong direction. Ingrown eyelash is a common case known as trichiasis. It is when the eyelashes grow inward towards the eye. They may brush against the eyeball and trigger a problem. Fortunately, this kind of condition can be managed.
Ingrown eyelashes of trichiasis are a manifestation of the facial hairs or eyelashes to brush and rub the eyeball, creating ulceration and discomfort to the rabbit. It may happen because of inflammation triggering the eyelashes to grow in wrong directions, conjunctival marking forming the eyelid inward. These cute little creatures can be susceptible to prone infections. Because of these infections, the eyelid may experience inflammation, and that leads the eyelashes to stick on the eye.
What Causes Ingrown Eyelashes?
Eyelashes growing inward is a usual eyelash concern which causes the eyelashes to develop abnormally. Rather than growing outward, some eyelashes may develop inwardly directed to the eye. Since eyelashes of rabbits are, most of the time very rough, ingrown eyelashes may develop a feeling similar to a needle poking the eye of the rabbit and that usually creates irritation and pain. If not addressed immediately, this condition may even injure the eye.
Most of the time, rabbits develop ingrown eyelashes after they get an infection of the eye or once they have injured their eyelid or eye. Another factor for rabbits to develop ingrown eyelashes is the age. Getting older may also cause the rabbit to develop trichiasis because its skin becomes less supple as the rabbit gets to age.
This means that ingrown eyelashes are more prevalent in aged rabbits, although young rabbits may also develop this condition too. Some rabbits are even born with this kind of condition.
You may notice your rabbit feeling uncomfortable with their eyes. Their eyes can be red, easily tearing up, sensitive to light, or hurt. Rabbits with ingrown eyelashes may also develop a blurred vision.
Eyelashes of rabbits that excessively rub against their eyes may lead to the irritation of the eye or to even more critical condition on the surrounding part of the eye.
Sometimes veterinarians cannot explain why the eyelashes of rabbits grow inward. This is known as the idiopathic cause, which means that the eye of the rabbit appears healthy and in good condition. However, the eyelashes simply appear to grow inward.
Nevertheless, a very usual cause of ingrown eyelash is blepharitis. Blepharitis develops an infection, eyelids inflammation, and eyelid margin. If this happens, the hair follicles may turn misled and trigger ingrown eyelashes.
Several other conditions of the eye may also trigger the eyelashes to grow abnormally or misdirected:
- Entropion – The eyelid of the rabbit loses the normal stretchiness and folds or flips inward. This condition is sometimes triggered by weight and age. It is often seen more in adult rabbits.
- Distichiasis – An additional row of eyelashes grows and develops inward, brushing against the rabbit’s eye.
- Injury – Once the eyelid of the rabbit becomes injured or harm, the placement of the eyelashes may also alter and grow inward. This may occur as an output of the surgical procedure on a harmed eyelid.
How to Rescue your Rabbit from Ingrown Eyelashes?
Do you frequently notice your pet rabbit with his or her eyelashes seems to stick on his or her eyeballs? Then you better be certain on what is happening to your pet to provide him or her with the necessary care and medication if needed. This condition can be an indication of ingrown eyelashes.
You have to determine whether this condition has been happening all the time. Are there only a few eyelashes? Or many eyelashes? And most importantly, for you to be properly guided with your steps, has your vet confirmed if the eyelashes are growing inwards or if the eyelid is rolling inwardly? If the case is that the lid is rolling inward and there has been no damage to the eyelid, there can be a possibility that the rabbit has a bit dry eye, which triggers the lid not to smoothly slide over the eye.
The irritation brought by ingrown eyelashes should be sufficient to incite the pet owner to set an appointment with a veterinarian to have the rabbit checked. By checking its eye, your veterinarian shall be able to determine if your pet rabbit is suffering from ingrown eyelashes or trichiasis.
There are several methods of how to get of ingrown eyelashes on rabbits. However, the best thing to do once you notice your pet rabbit developing the symptoms of ingrown eyelashes is to consult a credible veterinarian. The vet may apply tongs to remove the annoying eyelashes. This method is the most common method done by vets.
Proper Care for Ingrown Eyelashes
If your vet thinks that your pet rabbit is only experiencing a simple condition of cellular blockage, he may just do mild treatments such as ophthalmic drops that contain corticosteroids to lessen the inflammation occurring in the mucous membranes and antibiotics to get rid of the bacteria. If the drops alone are not enough to treat the condition, your vet may recommend a series of flushes or tear duct flush.
Unfortunately, in numerous cases, the condition of ingrown eyelashes is recurring. Thus, a permanent cure is not possible as of this time. Lifelong relief care can be essential. Your vet may give you the instruction to use a cloth that is moistened and warm with gentle antiseptic to clean off the tears as well as the debris from the hairs, so they cannot accumulate and create an environment that is bacteria-friendly.
Ingrown eyelashes on rabbits would require constant maintenance and care, delivered either by a bunny mate or a human caregiver who is ready to prim and clean the infected spots. A notably vigilant mate may prim to the part where there is a little of bald skin around the surface of the eyes – at least the pet rabbit will feel more comfortable.
Surgical and Non-Surgical Solutions for Ingrown Eyelashes
To control the incorrect growth of eyelashes, your veterinarian may recommend surgery. There are several options available if you would opt to proceed with the surgery – ablation, electrolysis, and cryosurgery.
In conditions wherein treated to be severe, eyelid surgery can be done to get rid of ingrown eyelashes.
This procedure is normally done in a clinic. The vet may numb the eye of the rabbit and uses lasers to get rid of the hair follicles and eyelashes.
This method involves the plucking of the misdirected eyelashes. Eyelashes will normally grow again after 2 to 3 months.
The vet uses electricity to get rid of the eyelashes by injuring the hair follicle, inhibiting re-growth. There is 40 to 50 percent for the condition to reoccur.
The vet gets rid of the hair follicles and lashes by having them frozen.
6. Bandage contact lens
A squishy bandage contact lens is placed in the eye to heal it cure and shield it from the eyelashes that haven’t yet epilated.
Radio-frequency machines injure the hair follicle to stop regrowth.
These surgical options have been proven to work effectively in getting rid of ingrown eyelashes. However, the best thing to do is to consult your veterinarian so you would be given proper recommendations.
Your veterinarian may also diffuse a solution to exhibit probable injury that many have happened in the eye because of reoccurring irritation. This examination may exhibit how serious your rabbit’s case can be. A regular visit to a veterinarian has suggested if your pet rabbit has ingrown eyelashes. The normal cycle of eyelashes is approximately 2 to 3 months. If your rabbit has this condition and is recurrent, set your visit to a veterinarian every 2 months so the veterinarian can verify if new lashes are developing wrongly.
Lastly, several conditions manifesting eye infections in rabbits can be inhibited by keeping the living conditions of the rabbit clean and free from dust. It does not cause her pain and is not red. The usual reason will be excessive makeup. Nevertheless, it is disturbing, and you would want to eliminate it.
If ingrown eyelashes are left uncured, there is a chance that it may become a serious concern. An abrasion of the eye, which may form due to rough eyelashes, may trigger serious injury to the eye of the rabbits. If an infection happens, your veterinarian may give some antibiotic drops as well as anti-inflammatory drugs.
You may be asked to go back to your vet several times, but that should be fine than having your pet rabbit stuck to a bad case of ingrown eyelashes.