View Full Version : Tear Duct flushing - under GA or whilst awake??

03-04-2007, 10:38 PM
Hi! Have just enquired about tear duct flushing with the Receptionist at my Vets, in case the Vet recommends this for Humphrey. She said that rabbits are put under GA for this, but I've heard on here it can be done whilst they are awake - is that correct? Has anyone had any experience of this please? Also, do you know what you paid for a tear duct flush and was it successful? Any advice would be great, so I can go to the Vets armed with loads of knowledge! Thanks, Claire x

03-04-2007, 10:59 PM
It can be done either awake or under GA.

I have seen it being done on an awake bunny, and it doesn't appear to cause them any upset at all. Although it might stress a particularly timid rabbit.

The success of flushing totally depends on whether there is scar tissue or a tooth root blocking the duct.

Even if the duct won't clear, the flushing might help dislodge any pus. And with a week or so of antibiotic eye drops, your vet might be able to clear the blockage on your next visit.

Good luck


03-04-2007, 11:23 PM
Thanks! We're off to the Vet this afternoon, as Humphrey has had over three weeks on eye drops (Tiacil/Fucithalmic and back onto Tiacil) and a week's course of Baytril, but we are still occasionally getting a milky discharge from one eye. I'm going away on Saturday for a week (my best friend is looking after my buns). Do you think a tear duct flush sounds as though it will be needed? If so, would it be better to get it done now or wait until I get back - does it need any follow-up medication - it's just that I don't think my friend would cope with eye drops, etc. Claire x

03-04-2007, 11:30 PM

I have a rabbit who has to have her tear duct flushed about twice a year, and she has it done under GA. And after that she has an eye drop that we have to put in 3 times a day.

Before she has it flushed though, she has eye drops. So sometimes the eye clears up and she's fine.

03-04-2007, 11:47 PM
Barley had his tear duct flushed whilst he was awake and wad just held by one of the nurses. My personal opinion would be to avoid a GA unless absolutly necessary (there is always a risk with GA's - whether human or rabbit - so best avoided in my book!). I stayed with him whilst it was done and Barley was fine afterwards, a little shaken perhaps, but he's quite a bold bunny and doesn't easliy get frightened or scared!

Can't remember how much it cost, but not a lot... I was surpirsed how little it was.


03-04-2007, 11:49 PM
My thoughts, exactly, on the GA. I don't want Humphrey to have a GA unless absolutely necessary! Do you think the flush would cure the milky discharge in your experience? Claire x

04-04-2007, 12:50 AM
Both my bunnies have had their tear ducts flushed a few times and they do it whilst they're awake. They just put a few drops of a local anaesthetic in to numb it and they don't seem to feel a thing. If you are confident enough to hold your bunny I find its better for you to hold them in place, otherwise a nurse will hold whilst the vets does it.

Benny has never had a successful flush right through to his nose, but they think its blocked by scar tissue. A lot of the gunk gets pushed back up though, so even that is better than it staying in the duct.

Benny seems exactly as you describe your bun, he always has a runny eye but sometimes it gets a bit milky white so we take him back.

Currently he's on Fucithalmic, as he had Tiacil last time...

04-04-2007, 01:01 AM
So you think flushing the duct helps with the milky discharge then? I'm hoping this will be the case - the Vet doesn't think it's teeth related as Humph is only 15 weeks old and eats mountains of hay and dried grass. Claire x

04-04-2007, 01:09 AM
It does definately help! If he's only young then I'd say the chances of being able to flush right through are pretty high, so it'll get rid of all the nasty stuff. They flush with a saline solution and sometimes the antibiotic drops, so I'd say definately give it a go.

With regards to the cost, it's cheaper if he's awake but every vet is different. Maybe you could give them a call and ask how much they would charge.

04-04-2007, 01:11 AM
Thanks for your help, AliBenMummy! I'll ask about this when I go to the Vets this afternoon. Claire x

04-04-2007, 01:13 AM
Good luck! :D

04-04-2007, 02:48 AM
Well I hope he gets on ok.

Having the tear ducts flushed certainly helped Barley with his weepy eye. He's fine just now.

Yes he got a drop of local anaesthetic in his eye first so it didn't hurt him!


04-04-2007, 05:40 AM
Well, back from the Vets now! I saw a different Vet (my one was ill). She said she would have to do the tear duct flush under GA and it would cost about £80. The thing is Humph's eyes don't look too bad today at all, but the Vet said one was a little pink inside. I'm also worried as I'm going away on Saturday and the Vet said they could do it tomorrow, but I'm not sure this is a good idea so close to me going away. I think maybe I should wait until I get back (only away for one week) and reassess things then. Do you think it warrants a flush under GA, when Humph is just getting an occasional milky discharge (once every couple of days) or should I carry on with the Tiacil for a bit longer and see how things go? Also, does £80 seem about right for a flush under GA? Any help appreciated. Claire x

04-04-2007, 06:27 AM
That does seem rather expensive to me :?

Santa has had hers done under light sedation, she is very tiny and such a highly strung rabbit that wide awake just wouldn't work! My vet charges £35 for molar work under GA so I wouldn't have thought a tear duct flush under GA would be any more than that.

04-04-2007, 09:21 AM
Maya is due for his tear duct flushing....Thursday. Last time Mark flushed his tear ducts while i was holding him. Not a pritty sight, but he was fine. He has been sedated when it was really gunked up...but now we keep on top of it, maya doesnt seem to mind being awake.

I usually take maya twice a year, and only get charged consultation fee. But it depends on your vet.

04-04-2007, 09:29 AM
Floss had hers done without GA last year. The vet put in local anaesthetic and then asked if I was confident about holding her because he felt that being held by the owner is less stressful for the rabbit than being held by a stranger. When he started the procedure he said "sorry Floss I'm going to make you cry now" and I was scared stiff as I thought he meant it would hurt her and she'd scream. DUH! What he meant was that with a bit of luck the tear ducts would work!! And they did. :lol:

04-04-2007, 10:05 AM
Fifi had hers done last week with a local anaesthetic... was done in about 5-10mins. I didnt see it done as she took her out the back to be done but she was fine when she came back out

04-04-2007, 10:06 AM
Blimey! The £80 I was quoted seems very steep then! Claire x

04-04-2007, 10:08 AM
Blimey! The £80 I was quoted seems very steep then! Claire x

My vet said the tearduct flushing cost £20