Pea-Eyed Pigs - What Pea Eye is and How to Treat it

If you think Pea-Eyed Pigs are a pop band, you may find this blog surprising. Pea eye in guinea pigs, also called fatty eye in guinea pigs, is an eye condition where the pink area under the pig’s eye sticks out permanently.

Let’s find out more about pea eye in guinea pigs, what pea eye looks like in guinea pigs, and finally pea eye guinea pig treatment!

1. What is pea eye in guinea pigs?

A diagramme of a guinea pig with pea eye shows the conjunctival sac, eyelid, pupil, and the fluff of a guinea pig's face.

The pink skin under a guinea pig’s eye, also known as the conjunctival sac, normally isn’t visible. When a guinea pig has fatty eye, the pink skin protrudes from under the eye, so you can see it at all times.

Generally, it doesn’t harm the pet or need any pea eye guinea pig treatment - so take a deep breath. Your precious pig is going to be okay.

2. What does pea eye look like in guinea pigs?

A guinea pig member of the music group The Pea-Eyed Pigs is pictured singing in front of a gold vinyl.

Have you ever looked at a piggy and wondered, ‘Is this what pea eye looks like in guinea pigs?’. You were probably spot on!

If a guinea pig has a bit of pale or pink skin sticking out from under their eye, they probably have pea eye in guinea pigs. You may spot the pale pink skin under one or both eyes. Generally, fatty eye in guinea pigs isn’t something piggy parents need to worry about, though regular health checks at an exotics vet are always a good shout.

If the skin under your pig’s eye looks red or sore, or you see any discharge from the eye, you’ve got an actual problem on your hands and should contact your vet.

3. How does fatty eye in guinea pigs develop?

Pictured is a healthy guinea pig jumping rope to show that exercise can help prevent fatty eye in guinea pigs.

There are many theories about the cause of fatty eye in guinea pigs. Some piggy experts suggest pea eye in guinea pigs comes from untreated eye infections that leave the conjunctival sac sticking out after they’ve cleared up. In very, very rare cases, it could lead back to other health problems, like a cyst or heart problems. Still, a vet trip is never the wrong choice.

The most likely health cause of fatty eye in guinea pigs is - by far - obesity. Plus-size piggies are more likely to have pea eye than their friends. It can take a long time for the condition to develop, so piggy parents only notice it when it’s too late. The best pea eye guinea pig treatment: prevention. Active, healthy pigs stand a better chance to never get fatty eye.

Many small pet experts agree that the condition seems to link to genetics. Pea-eyed pigs often pass on the unusual look to the next generation.

4. Is pea eye dangerous for my guinea pig?

Pictured is a guinea pig looking scared of guinea pig pea eye.

As a rule of thumb, pea eye doesn’t harm guinea pigs. It generally doesn’t hurt, it’s not uncomfortable, it just looks a bit unusual.

Of course, there are exceptions. In a few rare cases, fatty eye in guinea pigs can come from underlying health issues, including heart problems. It’s also often linked to obesity in guinea pigs. It never hurts to take your guinea pig for a check-up with the vet for some peas of mind.

If the skin under your pig’s eye looks sore or red, prevents them from opening their eye, or they look like they’re in pain, a vet trip is a must. You’re probably dealing with an infection, not just pea eye. A vet can give your pig the right treatment, like antibiotics and painkillers, so they’ll feel better in no time at all.

5. Is there a pea eye treatment for guinea pigs?

Pictured is a bottle of eye drops, a treatment for eye infections.

When it comes to pea eye guinea pig treatment, your best option is prevention. Keep a close eye on your pigs’ eyes, so you can treat any issues straight away. Eye problems often stem from hay poke, and hay bags are a brilliant option to minimise this risk.

The most likely health cause of fatty eye in guinea pigs is obesity. Keeping your pigs on the correct diet of great quality hay, the right pellets, and lots of fresh veggies combined with plenty of room to exercise can keep them at a healthy weight. Find out more about the best diet for your pigs below!

Once a pig has fatty eye, there’s the option to use laser therapy, though this treatment is usually reserved for pigs who struggle to see or close their eyelids. Since fatty eye isn’t a health concern on its own, a piggy can live hap-pea-ly ever after - even with pea eye!

Does pea eye hurt? Don’t worry, pea eye doesn’t hurt your guinea pig. While it looks unusual to humans, fatty eye is barely noticeable to the little furries. As long as the skin is pale pink and there’s no discharge, your pig won’t feel a thing.  Can pea eye disappear? Unfortunately, once a guinea pig has pea eye, it’s there to stay. Your vet may suggest painkillers and antibiotics to clear an eye infection, but the fatty eye itself won’t disappear. Look on the bright side: you’ll have an extra special piggy!  Can I prevent pea eye? Yes, to a degree. Providing your pigs with a great diet, lots of exercise, and regular health checks is a good way to prevent pea eye in guinea pigs. If you’re concerned about your pig’s eye, have them checked by a vet straight away. Fatty eye can also be genetic, so, sometimes, a piggy parent does everything right and they still discover a pea-eyed pig.  Should I adopt a pig with pea eye? Absolutely! There’s no reason not to adopt a pea-eyed pig, especially since most shelters perform a health check with their vet.  In fact, pea-eyed pigs are often overlooked because of their harmless condition. Why not give them a loving forever home?


Pea eye in guinea pigs isn’t a dangerous condition. It may look a bit strange at first, but your pig won’t feel a thing.
In most cases, fatty eye in guinea pigs is genetic. It can occasionally be linked to other health problems, like obesity, eye infections, or heart problems, so taking them to the vet for a check-up is always a good idea.

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