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Guinea pig has had dental treatment, but seems ill. Is this normal?

(7 Posts)
thwinka Wed 22-May-13 22:08:19

Hi, my 3 year old guinea pig had surgery last Monday on his back teeth. He had started losing weight and it was found that his back teeth had completely crossed over preventing him from eating properly sad The surgery went well, but they said that his jaw has not re-aligned how they would have expected? They are however pleased with his jaw movements/teeth grinding etc (we have taken him back for check ups twice in the last few days) and hope that it will right it self in the next few weeks?
I am very concerned though and would really like some advice/handholding from people who's guinea's have had this surgery sad He still cannot eat properly(vet said not unusual after only 1 week) ,is not touching his veg(which he used to wolf down) and is so not himself. He is eating some nuggets, which we have softened with water,but not enough to maintain weight gain. I am having to syringe feed him twice a day specialized liquid food. He cries and is still dripping a lot of saliva from his mouthsad I just want to know if this seems normal a week after this type of surgery as I am so worried about him. Also, should he have a problem with jaw re-alignment after dental surgery? I feel that the vets are very competent, but could something have gone wrong and they are covering it over confused
Sorry for the length of post, just didn't want to drip feed, thanks

KRITIQ Thu 23-May-13 01:01:07

Really sorry to hear you and piggie have had such a difficult time of things.

It is really important to keep giving syringe feeds to put/keep weight on but also try and tempt him with his favourite vegetables, perhaps parsley, fresh grass and timothy hay.

It sounds like they had to do quite an extensive op because of the overgrowth so he might not have much tooth at the back to chew with - and it's likely to be still quite sore. I know I'm not a rodent, but after I had a tooth pulled, it was weeks before I could even feebly chew on that side.

Has the vet prescribed pain relief, like metacam? Has he been back for a check, just to be sure there isn't a post op infection?

I had one boar who had dental problems due to unequal wearing down of the teeth. He had to see a rodentologist to have them clipped and filed about once a fortnight. If he happened to do a particularly close clip and file, piggie didn't show alot of interest in food for several days and had to have syringe feeds until he perked up. Although he had to "go to the dentist" regularly for the rest of his life, he lived another 2 1/2 years with a good quality of life until he was about 7 or 8 (he'd been a rescue, so they weren't sure how old he was when he was brought in.)

Do you have a rodentologist near you, or can your vet do dental treatment without general anaesthetic? I know for extensive ops, anaesthetic often can't be avoided, but teeth can be maintained by clipping and filing every 2 or 3 weeks without it, so long as the rodentologist or vet has the right equipment.

It's all down to quality of life really. I don't want to give you a false sense of hope that all will be okay as piggies can be very badly affected by stress generally. If you think your vet is cavy savvy, they should be pretty realistic in advising what the prospects for the future are. If not, hopefully someone here can recommend a good vet or rodentologist.

Take good care.

fortifiedwithtea Thu 23-May-13 01:45:21

Yes I had an old boar that had dental work twice. Is piggie crying just when you syringe feed? My guess is he doesn't like the feel of the plastic.

Chances are his cheek/tongue are cut from the overgrown teeth so are very painful making eating difficult.

I suggest you very finely grate his veg and offer off a disposable medicine spoon. Even better if you have an old baby spoon. The flatter the better. Or let him eat off your fingers. Offer feeds as often as you can manage. When he starts to eat again, gradually make the food coarser. My spoilt baby carried on with shredded cabbage and carrot sticks for weeks. I told the vet and he said well if mummy does it for him, he's not going to say no is he. So I stopped shredding and he ate normally again, little bugger.

I hope your piggie recovers, fingers crossed for you.

guineapiglet Thu 23-May-13 08:26:02

Oh your poor guinea, bless him and really hope he starts to pull through. Syringe feeding is hard work and time consuming but he must eat as much and often as possible. Good advice from fortified and kritiq hope it helps you can make a kind of mash for him with ground down pellets, grass and cucumber , then liquidisers with water and syringe , spoon feed or finger feed in v gently. Keep him warm and in nice clean hay. You can also get vit c drops to boost this mixture. It takes a while to over anaesthetic so hopefully you will see some encouraging signs today...... Goo luck.

guineapiglet Thu 23-May-13 08:27:23

Sorry, darn phone.

Liquidisers = liquidise
Goo = good

Xx

Earnshaw Thu 23-May-13 08:43:54

It might be worth emailing the Cambridge Cavy Trust to see if there's someone in your area who could take a look at your pig's teeth without GA. I can recommend someone in the Midlands, if that helps - he kept my dentally challenged sow going for years and occasionally takes referrals from the local vet if they think a pig is too frail or old to treat under anaesthetic.

thwinka Thu 23-May-13 12:10:08

Thankyou so much for the repliessmile Fantastic advice and I feel a lot happier now! It sounds like I'm expecting a bit to much to soon. The nurse who brought him in said it was very important to get him eating as normal as possible ASAP which is why I was panicing so much. Although the vet herself said it was still early days so probably should have ignored the nurse maybeconfused I will try and calm down a bit!!

The surgery was quite extensive, yes. They said the teeth were very bad and had been filed right down to encourage them to grow straight instead of across. I just don't understand why he wont eat his veg. He is attempting the nuggets quite regularly, which must be harder, so just baffled as to why he wont touch any veg. His brother is copying him now though and is also turning his nose up at the veghmm

I am not sure what is triggering the crying. I'm guessing it is hurting him to eat,but he has so much saliva dripping out of his mouth still when it happenssad He isn't crying when I syringe feed him,no. He actually really likes that and sits still waiting to be picked up when he sees me walk in with the dishsmile I will start and mush up his veg and add it to feeds and also up his feeds to 4/5 a day. Hopefully this will help.

We have been back twice since last Monday,so would have hoped they would have picked up any signs of infection? We have also discussed his quality of life if his jaw doesn't re-align properly( has anybody heard of this being an issue after dentistry work??) They don't seem to think it would affect him to adversely if we had to continue syringe feeding him as he isn't finding it traumatic??

Thank you earnshaw I am in Dorset so the midland is a little to farsmile but I will e-mail them in the next few days if he doesn't improve

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