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View Full Version : Teeth Guinea pig dental surgery advice needed! Bad news from vet, what to do next...



aries faries
09-10-17, 02:49 am
Hi everyone! New to the thread process so sorry if this is a bit long but I'd love to have advice on some guinea pigs surgery/putting them down/quality of life.

So recently had my guinea pig, Mocha, brought to the vet and long story short. It's going to cost $4000 years to keep his teeth in order. First time having guinea pigs and have had him for 2 years. Vet says he has genetic disorder where is jaw is weak and doesn't align properly and his teeth aren't grounded down naturally. (His sister died from a skin tumour recently -I believe it may have been dodgy pet shop for inbreeding- had i'd known, i would've made sure to buy me piggies from proper breeders.) He's lost a lot of weight, punctured his upper pallet. He had his incisors and molars grounded back today so at least I think he is better now.

I heard that some guinea pigs have gotten their teeth out and this hasn't really affected their quality of life. However for the few posts I've seen, only a few molars/incisor etc.

I don't want to put his down but I'm desperate to see a few alternatives. Has anyone had any piggies where all their teeth have been removed? I don't mind feeding him blended/powdered/fine chopped food which I've read with the other posts with pigs with other dental problems. Sorry if it all sounds a little silly as I am really in the dark for this one. Has anyone else had guinea pigs with weak jaw problems? i'd love to hear and advice/stories for anything to come. Fuzzy needs his brother Mocha so will only put Mocha down as a last resort. But I'm also worried about any other genetic problems to come/might surface seeing Mocha has inherited some bad genes like his sister.

Many thanks for any advice/alternatives/tips :)

jaycriae
09-10-17, 03:14 am
Typically problems similar to what you've described can be managed by having the teeth fixed every couple of weeks and supplementing him with ground up food (I recommend Oxbow's Critical Care, it forms a paste that can be carefully syringed to him). Still expensive over time, but not $4k. It's possible that the surgery is to fix his pallet, though, which I admit I know nothing about.

Is this an exotics vet? Getting a second opinion is never a bad idea.

Good luck to you, Mocha, and Fuzzy, however this ends up going, I'm sure you'll do the best you can for both of them.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

bpatters
09-10-17, 09:21 am
Pulling guinea pig teeth is a very risky business, and often doesn't end well. Their jaw bones are small, and are often broken in the effort to remove the teeth. I'd be very reluctant to have that done for fear of just making things worse for the pig.

I agree that $4k is a pretty high estimate for tooth planing. I've known of several vets that have reduced the cost for pigs that have to be planed repeatedly. But it can still add up to a good bit of money.

I also agree that a second opinion would be good. What you want is a an exotic vet with experience in rodent dentistry -- even otherwise excellent exotic vets may not have any experience in that.

Guinea Pig Papa
09-10-17, 09:28 am
Pulling guinea pig teeth is a very risky business, and often doesn't end well. Their jaw bones are small, and are often broken in the effort to remove the teeth. I'd be very reluctant to have that done for fear of just making things worse for the pig.

I agree that $4k is a pretty high estimate for tooth planing. I've known of several vets that have reduced the cost for pigs that have to be planed repeatedly. But it can still add up to a good bit of money.

I also agree that a second opinion would be good. What you want is a an exotic vet with experience in rodent dentistry -- even otherwise excellent exotic vets may not have any experience in that.

The idea of the punctured pallet really concerned me, but I've never heard of it before so I don't know if it's a common occurrence, what would be entailed in treating that, nor a timeline for recovery.

This is still a relatively young pig, do you think something like a chin sling might help this little fella?

bpatters
09-10-17, 11:31 am
Guys, it's a palate, not a pallet. And if the teeth are wonky enough to puncture the palate, the incisors are either very malformed or very overgrown. If they're malformed, there's really not much that can be done besides trimming them. If they're overgrown, it's because something is wrong with the molars, which requires planing.

Guinea Pig Papa
09-10-17, 12:19 pm
Ok, palate. Not a word I use often, but pallets I do use and didn't really catch the mistake.

Spelling and grammar police aside, the molars and incisors have already been planed. I meant going forward from today, post surgery. I've not used a chin sling before but I understand it's for precisely this scenario. That's all I was asking.

aries faries
09-11-17, 03:33 am
Thanks Jaycriae, Bpatters & Guinea Pig Papa! It really helps :) whoops sorry for the spelling error!

Jaycriae, Thanks for the info on Oxbow critical paste. Sounds like a great alternative! Also I have no clue on over quoting prices :) Yeah it was an exotics pet and to be honest I was thinking the same thing on the price! :)

Bpatters, thanks for the info on guinea pig teeth :) Yeah, don't want to be causing him more pain then he is already in so it sounds like the best idea to to not get rid of his teeth. The vet says he has two problems. Because his jaw isn't aligned properly his incisors aren't getting grinded back properly and they get overgrown and really wonky, which ended up cutting is palate. 2nd was also that his molars weren't being grinded back properly :)

Guinea Pig Papa: I've never heard of a chin sling before! :) I'll need to check em out! yeah, he is around 2.5 years old so hopefully there won't be any other problems surfacing.

Bought some syringe paste liquid food for him now so hopefully he gains a little more weight. The package says to feed him 3 times a day 20ml amounts but he seems to only eat a bit and is reluctant to finish the 20ml, he finishes around 10ml. Am i worrying about nothing or does it take a little bit of time for piggies to get use to? He is really quite skinny now so was wondering if anyone happened to know and signs to watch out for a deteriorating guinea pig.

Once again many thank!a It is much appreciated!

aries faries
09-11-17, 03:44 am
A picture of the two boys :) (Sorry if the picture is a bit small and blurry) Mocha on the left, Fuzzy on the right! Mocha used to be a little bigger than Fuzzy being the more dominant male but now he has shrunk! I might try get some more pictures in the morning as it's getting quite dark now :)

(just realised the picture is lop sided :P ~ I'll try figure out how to rotate these)

bpatters
09-11-17, 08:22 am
@ariea faries, here's info on the chin sling: http://www.guinealynx.info/chinsling.html

You can join the GL forums and contact the user pinta through the forum message function if you have questions. She has the patterns for the sling.

aries faries
09-12-17, 05:52 am
Thanks bpatters :) The link sounds just like Mocha! I've also uploaded a video of him eating on dropbox as a reference to his sloping jaw (Hopefully would make it easier with comparing Pinta's condition ~ will try contact the user!) . The fact that he eats side to side still on the syringe food worries me! Tried to get him to eat some lettuce today but he simply couldn't :( The Chin Sling sounds like a fantastic idea!
Link for mocha here:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/rbjyymlnd2hg18p/IMG_5584.MOV?dl=0

Once again Many Thanks :D !!!

aries faries
09-14-17, 04:31 am
Just popped into the vet today and told him about the chin sling, unfortunately the vet also mentioned Mocha also has gum disease or something and though the chin sling may fix his jaw. He is also supposedly cutting his tongue or something because all his teeth or not aligned properly :( Anyone happen to know how guinea pig gum disease works? I don't want him suffering.... Might need to put him down....

Guinea Pig Papa
09-14-17, 09:30 am
I'm not sure about the gum disease but I do know that the cutting of the tongue is likely to be from the overgrown teeth. When the back molars are overgrown, they grow into little spikes which can trap the tongue and dig into the inside of their cheeks. It is painful for them and makes eating difficult and, eventually impossible.

If his molars have been planed, that should alleviate the cuts inside his mouth and he should feel better with that in about a week after the dental procedure. My boar Sly is at the vets as we speak to have the same procedure done.

Only you and the veterinarian can come to the conclusion about putting him down. If his problems are worsening, it may be the kinder alternative, as hard as that is to say and hear. The molar planing may, though not always, be a recurring procedure. You will need to weigh him regularly to monitor if he's losing weight.

He only had the procedure a few days ago, and his mouth likely still hurts. It will need time to heal.

bpatters
09-14-17, 12:13 pm
I'd want another opinion before I did anything about gum disease. How did the vet propose treating that?