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Thread: Overgrown Molars

  1. #1
    Cavy Star Kim37040's Avatar
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    Overgrown Molars

    So, my 6 year old sow, Raven, has overgrown molars.
    At least that is what I have diagnosed her as having based on how much she repositions food in her mouth, eating slower, not eating her hay, dropping food out of her mouth, losing weight, and having a wet chin.

    Been on the phone all day trying to figure out the best vet to take her to. My vet does not do dental work on guinea pigs
    I had to change vets a little over a year ago when mine move out of state. It has been a struggle to find someone who can really treat all that ails a guinea pig.

    I was able to find a vet who says that she has performed procedures for malocclusion in guinea pigs successfully in the past as well as rats.

    I have an appointment on Monday. This is just to meet with vet. Not for surgery. I wanted to meet with her first to see how closing what she proposes matches what I read on Guinea Lynx.

    Raven is eating her leafy greens as long as I tear them up small. She tries her best to eat her pellets but I can tell it is s struggle for her.
    I am hand feeding critical care and bell pepper slurpy. As well as giving her a little benbac.

    I would love to hear from others who have had procedures for overgrown molars before.
    Anything I should be on the look out for prior to treatment?
    Anything in particular for after treatment?
    I know the vet will give me aftercare instructions but I think I really would like to hear from people who have "been there, done that".

    Also, any suggestions on trying to get some hay into her. She is not eating it now at all.

    Thank you in advance.

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    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: Overgrown Molars

    Hi, @Kim37040.

    I've been going through exactly this with my 6.5 year old boar, Sly, for the past year and a half. I've documented quite a bit of his journey here: https://www.guineapigcages.com/forum...Medical-Thread

    You may find a number of your questions answered there. The biggest thing right now is to make sure he eats, both now and after the surgery. The Critical Care is essential for that. I can't stress enough how important it is that the vet is experienced with rodent dentistry. I've been very, very lucky with mine.

    As for the hay? Sly stopped eating it about a year ago. He has some rarely, but nothing we've tried has worked. I could suggest changing the type to orchard grass or meadow hay, but that didn't work for Sly. Perhaps you may have better luck.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Overgrown Molars

    There are at least two exotic vet clinics in Nashville -- I'd call and see if one of of them has experience in rodent dentistry.

    Don't put it off any longer than necessary. Pigs can get attached to critical care, and it can be hard to get them back on hay again.

    Good luck, and let us know how things are going.

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    Cavy Star Kim37040's Avatar
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    Re: Overgrown Molars

    Just a quick update.
    We have our appointment on Monday morning with the vet.
    Raven is doing great with eating her critical care and lettuce, cilantro, carrots and bell pepper as long as everything is cut super super small and/or thin. She will rut around in the hay with she does not eat any.
    She is in a cage by herself because it is easier for me to monitor what she has eaten.

    Today is the first day that I did not bring her into the office with me.
    Monday can't get here fast enough. I am ready to get xrays to see how bad her teeth are.
    I have already printed out the entire section about overgrown teeth on Guinea Lynx to take with me to the vet.

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    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: Overgrown Molars

    Quote Originally Posted by Kim37040 View Post
    Just a quick update.
    We have our appointment on Monday morning with the vet.
    Raven is doing great with eating her critical care and lettuce, cilantro, carrots and bell pepper as long as everything is cut super super small and/or thin. She will rut around in the hay with she does not eat any.
    She is in a cage by herself because it is easier for me to monitor what she has eaten.


    Today is the first day that I did not bring her into the office with me.
    Monday can't get here fast enough. I am ready to get xrays to see how bad her teeth are.
    I have already printed out the entire section about overgrown teeth on Guinea Lynx to take with me to the vet.
    As long as you make sure she continues eating, she should hold out until Monday. I must say, it sounds as though she may already be approaching the critical point, and if she stops eating altogether you MUST force feed the critical care.

    It's good news that she's messing about with her hay, because that tells me that she's interested in it and she wants to eat it, but is unable to. I would say that you should probably be betting on emergency surgery being done on Monday. That's what happened with my boy Sly, and he wasn't as bad as what you're describing with Raven. She is likely in pain, as the overgrown molars can turn into spikes with cut up the inside of her mouth, and also trap her tongue down.

    Please keep us updated with her progress. Our thoughts are with you both.

  6. #6
    Cavy Star Kim37040's Avatar
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    Re: Overgrown Molars

    At vet. Its not her teeth. Vet did palpation of her abdomen and found a large mass on her right side in area of kidney. They are going to do blood work on her kidney functioning and xrays.
    Last 2 days have been rough. Her appetite completely decreased after her lunch Saturday afternoon. Everything she ate after that point I was forcing on her.
    But she would still perk up at feeding time but then no interest afterwards.
    I was so sure it would be her teeth.
    Asking for prayers.

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    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: Overgrown Molars

    Everything I and my herd have, we are sending your way Kim.

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    Cavy Star Kim37040's Avatar
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    Re: Overgrown Molars

    She has a large ovarian cyst.
    Because she is so weak from not eating the vet does not feel comfortable operating at this point.
    They are going to drain the cyst, give her some fluids and pain meds.
    I will then take her home and hopefully get her eating and better over next week. Then she will come back in and reevaluate for surgery.
    So any advice from anyone regarding ovarian cysts in older pigs would be greatly appreciated.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Overgrown Molars

    See http://www.guinealynx.info/ovarian_cysts.html. If she's not a good surgery candidate, hormone treatments might work.

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    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: Overgrown Molars

    I would hope that once the cyst has been drained, she would have much more room for food. I'm just guessing, but the size of the cyst likely gave her no room for food.

    Hoping very much for a turnaround for Raven, and for you.

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    Cavy Star Kim37040's Avatar
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    Re: Overgrown Molars

    Ok. I don't doubt for a second that there was a cyst. And I am grateful that they found and drained it.
    But something is not right with Raven's teeth.
    I know it has only been a day since the cyst was drained but I would think she would have more interest in food than what she does
    And she is still not eating hay.

    She still drops and repositions the food that she does eat.
    Everything has to be cut tiny tiny.

    Tonight I held a slice of watermelon (the only thing she seems to eat with any gusto) as she ate it. The way she approached the bites was off.
    So, tomorrow I will be calling a vet in Nashville.
    The vet we saw yesterday great with the cyst and I plan to continue to let her treat her and I trust her with the surgery.
    But I need a second opinion on her teeth.
    She will never get healthy enough for surgery eating like this.

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    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: Overgrown Molars

    It certainly does sound quite a bit like what my boy Sly goes through. And the worse his teeth got, the more he drank.

    Did the vet check INSIDE her mouth? Do her incisors look normal and straight, or are they angled?
    Do let us know what happens, and don't let this other vet put you off a few days. It certainly sounds like it's closing in on an emergency to me. When Sly got bad, and he wasnt as bad as Raven sounds, once diagnosed our vet insisted on doing the surgery that very day.

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    Cavy Star Kim37040's Avatar
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    Re: Overgrown Molars

    Update - Took Raven back to vet.
    They are confident that her teeth are not the issue.
    They gave me more information regarding ovarian cysts and explained to me that they are super painful and that pain has a impact on a guinea pig's appetite.
    I kept exact record of how much she has eaten since her appointment on Monday and the vet feels that what she is eating is enough.
    They gave her more fluids under the skin and and something for pain.
    I am to continue to feed her as I am currently feeding her and I will bring her back in on Monday unless she stops eating. At that time we will either do the surgery or schedule the surgery.
    They will spay her at that time and check out any possible issues with her teeth.
    They said that the view they got of her teeth on Monday prior to draining the cyst was very thorough because she was so lethargic and did not struggle at all during the whole process.

    So, I am back at work with her. She is eating her sliced carrots and her lettuce. Raven on pain meds is almost like her old self.

    I am terrified of her surgery but anxious to get it done. Praying that she makes it through it ok. And praying that we are able to manage her pain well afterwards.

    I know she has more days behind her than she has in front of her. But I want every day I can get and I want her to be as happy and as healthy as possible for all of them.

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    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: Overgrown Molars

    I truly hope that they're right, and that they can do the surgery successfully. I don't think I'll ever fully understand why such sweet, innocent creatures have to endure issues like this.

    My boy goes for surgery again tomorrow morning, and I know exactly how you feel. Sly is 6 1/2, and I also know his time has grown very short indeed. I feel the same way you do, about him. I don't feel that they deserve any less.

    Looking very much forward to hearing good news from you, and a positive outcome for Raven.

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    Cavy Star Kim37040's Avatar
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    Re: Overgrown Molars

    Raven is scheduled for surgery tomorrow.
    The goal had been to drain the cyst so that she would be more comfortable, start eating, and gain some pre surgery strength.
    But that is not happening. Her appetite is not getting any better and she is not getting any stronger.

    I don't think she is strong enough or healthy enough for surgery. I feel like I have just arranged her death sentence.
    But I can't just have her waste away to nothing.

    So, my heart is breaking. Thinking this may be my last day with her. She has been such a sweet little pet and deserves far more than what she is going through right now.
    I have been so diligent with the care of my pigs and I hate that I am not able to do anything more than this for her.

    Asking for prayers that she musters up all the piggy strength she can to make it safely through this surgery and recovery.

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    Re: Overgrown Molars

    Myself, and all three of my boys, are sending you all the positive energy we have.

    We are praying that her surgery goes well, and that you two still have plenty more time together.
    Best wishes, Raven, and a very speedy recovery.

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    Re: Overgrown Molars

    Quote Originally Posted by Kim37040 View Post
    Asking for prayers that she musters up all the piggy strength she can to make it safely through this surgery and recovery.
    You got it! I know how much you love your cavies, Kim. Be positive and cherish the time and happiness that you and Raven have given each other. Wishing you both all the best!

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    Re: Overgrown Molars

    Both you and Raven will be in my thoughts and prayers tonight.

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    Cavy Star Kim37040's Avatar
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    Re: Overgrown Molars

    I dropped Raven off early this morning for her surgery.
    I knew before they told me that she has lost a lot of weight since her visit on Wednesday.

    Spent last night giving her big cuddles and remembering when I drove 3.5 hours back in 2012 to the Knoxville Guinea Pig Rescue to get her and Joanie. I had just lost my sweet boy, Charlie, and my heart was breaking.
    The girls did not replace Charlie but they definitely gave me extra reason to smile.

    I know anything is possible and I am hopeful Raven will pull through her surgery and come home to an issue free recovery.
    But if she does not, I know she enjoyed her life and I definitely loved having her in mine.



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    Cavy Star Kim37040's Avatar
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    Question Post surgery care for spay

    Good news!!!

    She made it through surgery!!!
    They want to keep her till 5 pm today so that they can continue to give her fluids and keep her warm.
    They removed both ovaries (found more cysts) and her uterus.

    I am sure the doc will give me good aftercare instructions but I would love any suggestions from others who have been through this.
    She was not eating hardly anything prior to her surgery and had lost soooo much weight. So I am most concerned with her not eating still.
    So, any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    So much more could still go wrong, but I am so happy that she made it through surgery.

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