View Full Version : Injury Tooth injury need advice. Long post please read I don't think she has much time left

12-20-14, 04:24 pm
So about a month ago I cut back on my 7 guinea pig's daily veggie and fruit consumption a little bit because they were going through a bag of romaine lettuce every night and getting kinda chunky and I want my babies healthy. As a result they all lost a couple of ounces each. Including my 3 year old, Sophia which she had lost a little more, but I just contributed that to her getting more exercise. a week ago to the day she was eating normally. The very next night she wouldn't touch a thing. She seemed fine though, not lethargic or anything so I didn't think much of it I just figured she had filled up on pellets and hay like she tends to do sometimes and it makes her ignore her veggies. The same time the next day she wasn't showing interest in any food, water, treats, fresh veggies....nothing. I immediately started hand feeding and got her a vet appointment for the next morning. While I was handfeeding her that night I noticed she had a chipped tooth (chipped, not broken) I knew it was a new development because I check their teeth once a month and I put two and two together and assumed that's why she wasn't eating. Just to be safe and make sure it was nothing contagious I removed her from her sisters and put her in her own cage and so I could monitor if she ate and how much she was going to the bathroom. At the vet appointment he gave her a complete exam to rule out anything else before checking her teeth. He saw the tooth chip immediately, but also noted her bottom teeth were too long and needed to be trimmed. I trust out vet completely and despite me thinking her bottom teeth were fine I let the expert trim them. It was a simple procedure and she was in and out in 5 minutes. He brought her back and said she was all done and should resume eating normally once she got home and comfortable. We took her home and I put her in her isolated cage and she still refused to eat anything all night. So I got another appointment for the next day with a different vet at the same clinic and continued hand feeding round the clock. (I'll list below my handfeeding procedure) We went back to the vet and she had another full inspection and she noticed her lungs had a slight crackle and decided to put her on antibiotics for a week (we've used them before and never had any side effects) she also gave us nutri cal which is normally for cats and dogs but they gave me dilution instructions and said it would give her a good dose of vitamins and minerals, we were also prescribed a low dose of metacam for pain (again used it before and never had bad side effects) they were out of critical care by oxbow
The other vet wanted to try the medicine in case she had a uri or was in any pain and that was causing her to not want to eat. That was on Thursday and she still hasn't eaten anything. The only thing keeping her alive is my round the clock feedings. For some reason she has completely given up. All she does is lay around, she's completely limp when I pick her up. She's breaking my heart
I keep trying to give her small bites of solid food and move her jaw to promote chewing but it just falls out of her mouth she refuses to even try. I called the vet back to inform them of her lack of improvement and they told me I could bring her back in and run some more tests, but realistically they had done everything they could think of and the only problem they could find was her tooth which was taken care of. They told me to keep up the medicine for the full 7 days and keep at the hand feeding and see if there was any improvement. The 7 days is up on Tuesday. No improvement so far

While I was feeding her with a syringe I noticed when her jaw closed her top and bottom teeth didn't touch like they had before and that got me to thinking he trimmed her teeth too short. Obviously I'll be dealing with the responsible vet appropriately but realistically there's nothing they can do. They can't put her teeth back so I've just been continuing my daily routine with her. What I'm asking is for someone who has gone through this to please give me advice. She's not losing any more weight, but she's still a skeleton and it all happened in 3 days. She's half the size she was
Below is what I've been doing for her please let me know if I'm doing anything wrong or could do it better

She has 0.2 cc of antibiotics twice a day
1.0 cc of nutrical 3 times per day
I give her water through a syringe (she refuses to use her bottle) as often as I can. There's no set number of times
I use my blender and liquefy pellets, fruits and vegetables and syringe feed her that as meals every 3 hours
I make her chew on the syringe to promote chewing before I give her the liquid because I don't want her to get used to not chewing for her food
She's getting more vitamin C than ever
The fruits and veggies she's been getting are
Romaine lettuce
Red Bell Pepper
Organic applesauce and cranberry juice (completely all natural)
and probably a few more I just can't think right now

I don't know what else I can do for her. She's completely given up her will to live. I don't know if what I'm doing for her is helping or just buying her some time.
I love this little thing so much idk what I'd do without her which is why I'm exhausted and covered in sticky liquid fruit
I'll never give up on her just like I never gave up on Roxanne who was deathly ill a few months ago. Everyone said she wouldn't make it but I made her pull through and she's healthier and happier than ever.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for taking the time to read. I hope it all made sense I'm super tired and scatterbrained right now
I just don't want to lose my poor baby :(

12-20-14, 04:41 pm
I'm sorry your piggy is so ill.

First, Nutrical is not made for herbivores, and guinea pigs are herbivores. It's got WAY too much sugar for a GP, as well as animal products in it. What your pig needs is a hay-based food, such as Critical Care, or failing that, a slurry made of ground up pellets and water. She needs to be hand-fed if she won't eat -- see http://www.guinealynx.info/handfeeding.html for instructions on how to do it. She may not like it, but her life depends on you making her eat. Guinea pigs MUST have food moving through their guts at all times, or they'll develop serious digestive issues (stasis and bloat) that they may not recover from. A guinea pig that is not eating anything else needs at least 60 cc of Critical Care or a pellet slurry per day, divided into 5-6 feedings spaced through out the day. More is better.

Second, it's almost impossible for a guinea pig to be too heavy unless they're being fed too many pellets. You don't say what they weighed, but unless it was significantly over three pounds, they weren't too heavy. Two ounces in a month is a huge weight loss for a guinea pig, and should be taken very seriously.

Third, an adult guinea pig only needs 1/8 cup of pellets a day -- they're the least important thing in a guinea pig's diet, and are really just a convenient way to get vitamins and minerals in them. Pellets shouldn't be more than 5% of their diet, veggies 15%, and the rest a long strand grass hay. Hay is by FAR the most important thing they can eat, as it keeps their teeth ground down and their guts moving properly.

Fourth, I'd stop the fruit immediately, as well as anything else that has sugar in it. Guinea pigs are not built to process sugar, and fruit should only be a very occasional treat.

Fifth, if she's on an antibiotic, she needs to be on a probiotic, given an hour or so before or after she eats. If you can't find Bene-Bac, get a plain human acidophilus or kyodophilus tablet, grind it, and sprinkle it on her food.

Sixth, a chipped or broken tooth will not usually cause a guinea pig not to eat. See http://www.guinealynx.info/teeth_broken.html. And the front teeth of a guinea pig almost NEVER need to be trimmed unless there's something wrong with the back teeth. It does sound like your vet trimmed the front teeth too short, and probably unnecessarily as well. If you cut food in long slivers, like matchsticks, and push them in the side of her mouth to her back teeth, she may be able to chew and eat them.

Seventh, don't let her chew the syringe. It accomplishes nothing.

Eighth, I'd be looking for a new vet.

How much is she eating right now?

12-20-14, 04:42 pm
Keep pushing the critical care or a pellet slurry, I mixed both with pumpkin. This last time my piggy ate it off the plate, it was the consistency of a soft mashed potatoes. The first time he had his teeth trimmed it was over a week before he went to food.

12-20-14, 05:09 pm
Thanks for the replies

Right now she's only eating what comes out of the syringe- 5-6 cc per feeding is all I can get her to keep down
the majority of it is I guess what most people refer to a pellet slurry. I'd never heard of it before and decided to mix pellets just because it made sense to me
The fruit was only give 2 times several days apart she always preferred cranberries and watermelon so i thought it might perk her up a little
I definitely don't give them more sugar than needed. I'm very careful and picky about their diets and only give the appropriate amount of pellets per day- I even measure it out
They always have a constant supply of hay as well

The vet I have now is the only small animal expert within 2 hours of where I live. They've always fixed my animals up no problems till now that is
I know for fact now the teeth were trimmed unnecessarily and too short. I had a gut feeling in the vet office that it shouldn't be done and now I'm really kicking myself for it

I've tried trimming the food and putting it in the side of her mouth and moved her jaw up and down gently for her but she refuses to chew on her own and swallow and spits it back out.
I read the guinealynx articles about teeth trimming and tooth problems, but I just trusted our vet and his judgement so much I allowed him to do it without really thinking all I wanted was her to be able to eat and my judgement failed me and has made things worse

The antibiotic she's on is the only one I've ever used with them and its always worked wonders. It was only prescribed for the crackling sound the other vet heard in her lungs on the 2nd visit

I would push critical care but the only bags I had expired because I didn't have one get sick enough thank goodness and the vet office was out and wouldn't get any for 6 days

My girls weren't very obese. I did have one that was 3.4 pounds 4 months ago but shes down to 3.1 (I weigh them often) The reason I cut back a little on their vegetables (not pellets) was I felt it needed to be done. None lost more than 2 ounces and its been over a 4 almost 5 month period. I've also increased their exercise time by 30 minutes outside the cage. They have huge c&c cages, but I like to let them free roam and increasing it they've become way more energetic

I didn't think the nutrical seemed bad for them. I checked the ingredients on the tube and didn't see glucose or corn syrup anywhere. I'll stop it just to be safe

I'll continue the syringe feedings and attempted hand feeding and see if anything changes.
I just don't know what else I can do to get her to chew I've tried everything I can- cutting it into small pieces, long pieces, even shaving a carrot. She just spits it out every time without fail. She attempted to pick up a pellet today but it kept falling out of her mouth so she gave up. Then I tried to put it in for her even wetting the end to make it easier to chew and...nothing
no hay, no water bottle...nothing

I feel like there's an underlying cause , but I'm missing it
They inspected every inch of her and found nothing
She does have a bad smell coming from her mouth the last 2 days but I figured it was from either the liquid diet or where the tooth was trimmed. I checked for a mouth sore or ulcer and didn't see anything. Her gums are a healthy pink color as well
I just don't know what I'm missing. I'm taking note of everything- food and water consumption, the color and texture of the stool- which is infrequent, black and hard not shaped like a normal poo at all. Which I'm guessing is due to the lack of fiber and solid foods
I don't even know how she could crack a tooth in the first place. She can't fall or hurt herself, she's never been dropped, she doesn't fight with the others, or chew on the cage or anything besides what she's supposed to and she has a very healthy balanced diet. It doesn't make sense
I've looked up every symptom she has and can't figure it out

12-20-14, 05:23 pm
A bad smell normally is a sign of infection. She could have a abscess under a tooth, which would make her not want to chew.

12-20-14, 08:43 pm
It sounds to me like she needs jaw and teeth X-rays to determine the underlying cause.

12-20-14, 09:59 pm
Ditto the jaw x-rays. If there's an odor coming from her mouth, there's an infection somewhere, and that's likely what's making it difficult for her to chew.

You can't adequately examine a GPs mouth just by looking at it, even with an otoscope. The vet needs to use a buccal separator that holds the mouth open so the back teeth and the gums and area around them can be seen. But even that won't necessarily show an abscess or elongated roots -- it takes an x-ray to do that.

I think the cracked tooth likely has nothing at all to do with her other symptoms. They're more indicative of molar problems, abscesses, or elongated roots, and cracked teeth generally don't cause much problem for guinea pigs.