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Thread: Eating troubles

  1. #1
    Cavy Slave
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    Eating troubles

    My almost 4 year old pig Bilbo is having trouble eating pellets and hay. Weíre 99% certain itís a problem with his teeth.
    He is chewing the bars on his cage, which is something he has never done before.

    PROBLEM: I absolutely cannot take him to the vet right now as itís not considered urgent. Urgent services only.

    He will eat lettuce.
    He will nibble peppers.

    Their fresh food is cut down because we are rationing for us.

    He will eat his pellets if I add water. In fact, he goes absolutely crazy over it

    He had lost a significant amount of weight and his poops shrunk to 1/4 size in a few days before I realized just how much he was not eating. His poops have doubled back in size and are the right shape and colour again.

    How long do you think itís safe to continue feeding him like this?
    He is getting 1 Tbsp of pellets mixed with 2tbsp of water twice a day. Iím also syringe feeding him water two to three times a day, since the tooth problem is causing him to have issues drinking from his water bottle.

    Iím pretty sure itís his top front tooth. It looks... wrong.

  2. #2
    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Eating troubles

    Trouble with front teeth is caused by problems with the molars 99% of the time. So let's assume that's the cause.

    If his molars are overgrown, they will trap his tongue and he will be unable to swallow. That requires dental work by an exotic vet with rodent dental experience. And if it's not urgent today, it soon will be.

    If he has an abscess, he also needs treatment. An antibiotic is necessary, and surgery might be. But it won't get better on its own.

    If he has elongated roots, that's not a problem that can be cured, but it can be managed with regular tooth planings. Of these three options, this is the only one that doesn't require pretty quick vet work, although you will have to continue to feed him. And FYI, if he's not eating hay, that's not nearly enough pellets to be feeding him. The general rule of thumb for hand-feeding a pig that isn't eating anything else is that it needs 100+ cc of Critical Care or pellet slurry for every kilogram it weighs, every day, broken into 6-8 feedings throughout the day and night. Adjust up or down according to the pig's weight, and down if it's eating any significant amount of other foods.

    I assume that you can't see the vet because of the coronavirus restrictions. What many vets in the US are doing is having owners call from the parking lot when they arrive at the clinic, a staff member comes out and gets the pet, the vet calls the owner on the phone and discusses the situation, the staff member brings the pet back out. I assume vets in Canada are doing something similar, or maybe you could suggest it to your vet.

    If it were me, I'd ask to have the vet call me so i could explain the situation, and ask if Bilbo could be seen. Don't settle for talking to the staff -- you never know whether you've got a receptionist who knows nothing, or someone knowledgeable. He needs skull x-rays, top and bottom views, to diagnose what's wrong. And if he has overgrown molars or an abscess, he needs treatment pretty quickly. Not tonight, but within the next few days.

    There's a small, very small, chance that it could be something wrong with the front teeth that could be fixed, but that definitely needs a vet to diagnose.

    Good luck, and let us know how you get along.

  3. #3
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Eating troubles

    Sadly at 2:05pm, Bilbo had a seizure and died.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Eating troubles

    I am so sorry you lost him.

  5. #5
    Cavy Slave Beatrix187's Avatar
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    Re: Eating troubles

    I am so sorry for your loss. May he fly free at the rainbow bridge <3

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