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Sirene
02-15-11, 11:28 am
Hi everyone,

I've been noticing for the past couple of weeks that StandsForTreats has been eating ...differently. I've been diligently weighing him, and he is still a hefty 2lbs 13oz, which he's been for the past year I've had him, and he is definitely interested in food, but he seems to either have trouble eating/picking up certain foods, or get bored with them quickly. Some things are gone in seconds (like stems of parsley - he eats the whole thing like spaghetti! - and melon rind, which is one of his favorite things), but lettuce leaves and greens seem to take him longer to ...approach. It's almost like he can't figure out how to pick them up or get hold of them. He sniffs them all over, turning his head to different sides and looking at them from different angles. Once he does get hold of them, he will eat the green leaf part (like a cartoon animal eating a corn cob, in rows) and leave the crunchy stem. Sometimes he will go back to them later, but not always. He's still eating hay and pellets, but seems to bite pellets in half, or drop parts of them. He really doesn't show much interest in carrots, which were always a favorite thing, and he has completely stopped eating bell peppers (I know this is bad - he still gets offered them every day, but will ignore them or run away).

Anyway, he just seems to be eating "differently", and I don't want to dismiss that. So I have made an appointment with a new (and I think, better) vet tomorrow to have his mouth and teeth checked. The receptionist did mention teeth trimming, though, which set off an alarm bell in my head, as I've heard that this is not necessary. His incisors look good to me - perhaps a tiny bit long on top, but not broken or weirdly shaped or obviously overgrown. If the vet suggests trimming these, should I have it done or not?

Thanks much for any advice!

Sirene
02-15-11, 11:52 am
Past my editing time, but wanted to add that he is currently ripping into a paper grocery sack, which is one of his favorite things to do. Obviously he is able to do that. I've just checked his pellet bowl, though, and there are a number of half pellets, so he is biting them in half. (They were all whole when i put them in, I checked.) Is this normal?

(Maybe I'm just being paranoid? Losing Squeaksalot to something completely undetected has me watching StandsForTreats like a hawk :-( .)

lissie
02-15-11, 12:27 pm
I took Rocky in for teeth trimming last month. He was having trouble tearing his veggies. He didn't have problem with his incisors but with his molars. They had to put him under to check the molars and do the filings. At first I noticed he would pick up his lettuce and shake his head (like a dog playing with toys). He also lost 100 grams in a week.

I hope StandsForTreats is okay.

Edit to add:
He's been doing fine after the trimming.
I've been weighing him everyday after that.

Sirene
02-15-11, 12:59 pm
I took Rocky in for teeth trimming last month. He was having trouble tearing his veggies. He didn't have problem with his incisors but with his molars. They had to put him under to check the molars and do the filings. At first I noticed he would pick up his lettuce and shake his head (like a dog playing with toys). He also lost 100 grams in a week.

I hope StandsForTreats is okay.

Edit to add:
He's been doing fine after the trimming.
I've been weighing him everyday after that.

Thanks Lissie! I was about to ask how Rocky was doing! I'm really glad he is doing fine! Was he able to eat normally immediately afterwards, or did you need to handfeed him (if so, how long?)

I'm really nervous in case this has to be done for StandsForTreats, particularly as I am going to be going overseas to take care of some family stuff in a couple of weeks and he will be in the care of my husband...

lissie
02-15-11, 01:54 pm
I handfed him for a day before I took him in for the appointment.
He was able to eat right after the filing was done.

Nicolene
02-15-11, 03:39 pm
Lissie, was this Rocky's first tooth filing?

I asked my vet about teeth the other day, as I had seen a book that showed "how to" trim the front teeth with a NAIL CLIPPER. He said it wasn't necessary (but is for bunnies), that the only teeth that ever needs trimming is the molars, but once you have to (malocclusion) do that, you will need to do it every 2 weeks and quality of life quickly diminishes.

I have noticed the same thing with my piggy, that sometimes he cocks his head back and forth, side to side, like he's trying to figure out which way to approach the veg. Once he does he devours it. But as far as he is concerned I have decided he is quirky and I am paranoid and that is just a bad combo. He's fine, he's been 2.9lbs for months now and eats us out of house and home, so I have to step back and choose to see that it's not an issue.

Sirene
02-15-11, 03:45 pm
Thanks, Nicolene, this is also really useful! I am hoping this is just paranoia too!

ETA: dear goodness - seriously? A NAIL CLIPPER? *shudder*

lissie
02-15-11, 04:12 pm
Thanks Nicolene, it was his first teeth trimming. The vet said to bring him back if I notice anymore issues. Fortunately it wasn't caused by his genetic. Rocky was very picky. I had gotten bluegrass hay from KM for them for xmas and he didn't like this batch (it was quite brown and stemmy). Since then he's been eating very little hay. The other pigs weren't as picky. I took him for teeth trimming on Jan 13 and had gotten a bale of local orchard hay. He didn't have anymore issues after that. I also noticed that Rocky doesn't like KM pellets. Now he's back on Oxbow pellets and is back to his normal weight.

Sirene
02-15-11, 04:24 pm
Thanks Nicolene, it was his first teeth trimming. The vet said to bring him back if I notice anymore issues. Fortunately it wasn't caused by his genetic. Rocky was very picky. I had gotten bluegrass hay from KM for them for xmas and he didn't like this batch (it was quite brown and stemmy). Since then he's been eating very little hay. The other pigs weren't as picky. I took him for teeth trimming on Jan 13 and had gotten a bale of local orchard hay. He didn't have anymore issues after that. I also noticed that Rocky doesn't like KM pellets. Now he's back on Oxbow pellets and is back to his normal weight.

This is interesting. SFT is picky about hay too, and seems to be "going off" his bluegrass (which he has been eating for 7 months). I ordered some Sweetmeadow hay to give him some variety, and it arrived yesterday. He is cautious about it, but I think he's eating it. Time will tell! I also got him some Sweetmeadow pellets, as he doesn't seem very keen on the KM ones either. Maybe he's just bored with his regular food...

Nicolene
02-15-11, 04:52 pm
Thanks Nicolene, it was his first teeth trimming. The vet said to bring him back if I notice anymore issues. Fortunately it wasn't caused by his genetic. Rocky was very picky. I had gotten bluegrass hay from KM for them for xmas and he didn't like this batch (it was quite brown and stemmy). Since then he's been eating very little hay. The other pigs weren't as picky. I took him for teeth trimming on Jan 13 and had gotten a bale of local orchard hay. He didn't have anymore issues after that. I also noticed that Rocky doesn't like KM pellets. Now he's back on Oxbow pellets and is back to his normal weight.

I am very happy to hear that! We used to feed Oxbow Timothy (we don't feed any pellets) but we recently switched to local Orchard Hay, and they have been eating 24/7. They love it! And thank heavens.. We have 100lbs of it! :)

Sirene
02-16-11, 01:30 pm
OK, back from the vet's. I like this guy a lot better.

So it's not SFT's teeth (which is good news!) - it's his VISION. Or more accurately, it's the early stages of diabetes. He checked his mouth and then his eyes, and says he has cataracts and "star fractures" (will have to look that up). He then did an ear prick and tested his blood sugar, which was 139. He told me that it should not be more than about 107 at the most. This was an hour after he ate.

Currently the vet does not think he is bad enough for insulin, which would get really complicated due to his size, etc. We have decided to try to control it through diet - obviously carrots are a no-no, but there will need to be other modifications. Ly, I will be calling upon you for advice, I hope you don't mind! He suggested getting the pellet with the highest amount of protein, and making sure his other veggies and hay were as low-sugar and complex-carb-heavy as possible. He wants to see him again after a month of modified diet to check his blood sugar. He does not think he needs to lose weight.

So... I'm glad it's not malocclusion, but obviously am not thrilled about this either. I already feed him a very good diet, so am not sure what I could change that would radically lower his blood sugar. I hope I can find enough changes to make to help him!

I am blown away by the fact that he and Squeaksalot had the same thing. I don't think they were related, just cage mates. When I told the vet that I had adopted them from Craigslist and that they came with a lot of sugary food and treats, he said "they were probably fed a diet that just blew their pancreases away" (his words). My poor guys. How easy it is to completely screw up an animal's entire system through ignorance and convenience.