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Thread: Is malocclusion fatal?

  1. #1
    Cavy Slave
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    Unhappy Is malocclusion fatal?

    My pigs were fine until last week, when one of them started to lose weight. From I can see he has molar malocclusion:
    - He slobbers
    - He lost weight
    - His mouth don't seem to close completely, even thought the incisors are not touching and are of a reasonable size.

    Now he stay hidden most of the day, and since last week his urine started to have a really strong odor, I look it up and its a sign of dehydration. The two pigs are young (about 6 months), and the other one is fine without any sign of problem or weight loss.

    I already looked around for veterinaries in my area that handle exotic pets and found none. Therefore I have no means to treat my pig. Can he survive with malocclusion? What about his dehydration? Is he suffering yet?

    It its a case of no hope, I would ratter have a vet performs euthanasia, them let him suffer.

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    Moderator foggycreekcavy's Avatar
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    Re: Is malocclusion fatal?

    It sounds as though there may be something else going. I hope you can find a cavy vet as soon as possible.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Is malocclusion fatal?

    I took him to the only vet in the region that deal with some exotic pets. He was not positive that it was molar malocclusion, but it probably was (the pig couldn't close his mouth). Also, the state of pig was very bad, he lost a lot a weight in just a couple days, he was dehydrated and very weak.

    I end up leaving it there to be sacrificed.

    Now my other pig is alone without a buddy.

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    Re: Is malocclusion fatal?

    Oh,I'm so sorry.

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    Re: Is malocclusion fatal?

    I'm sorry for you loss. :(


    What is sacrificed though?? Is it like euthanized in the states???

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    Unhappy Re: Is malocclusion fatal?

    Quote Originally Posted by zhouluyi View Post
    My pigs were fine until last week, when one of them started to lose weight. From I can see he has molar malocclusion:
    - He slobbers
    - He lost weight
    - His mouth don't seem to close completely, even thought the incisors are not touching and are of a reasonable size.

    Now he stay hidden most of the day, and since last week his urine started to have a really strong odor, I look it up and its a sign of dehydration. The two pigs are young (about 6 months), and the other one is fine without any sign of problem or weight loss.

    I already looked around for veterinaries in my area that handle exotic pets and found none. Therefore I have no means to treat my pig. Can he survive with malocclusion? What about his dehydration? Is he suffering yet?

    It its a case of no hope, I would ratter have a vet performs euthanasia, them let him suffer.
    Yes it is fatal, I almost lost mine and what you are explaining is exactly what happens. He was taken in to the vet and the vet put him under and filed back his teeth and I had no idea they had 22 teeth. He was on Critical Care until he was done and was on it a few days after but he got through very well. You have very little time before they die. They are grazers and eat every couple of hours and because they cannot chew their tongues can no longer work. Please get him in to an exotic vet really quickly and it is expensive and if you cannot afford the surgery you may have to make other decisions. Their teeth constantly grow and need hay and pellets to keep them at the size to allow their tongues to work. Unfortunately through breeding my little Ernie's teeth were not in the proper position and we had no choice but to get them done or we would have lost him. He had to have them done pretty regularly and I weighed him every other day and it was very easy to say when his weight started to dip for a couple of days in a row he was not eating. Onto the Critical Care and into the vet and I saved him many times.

    I just realized you has lost your little one and I am sorry to hear that.

    I am hoping now others realize how serious this is and weighing your piggies is the best way to catch the teeth issue. I have a kitchen scale now and a constant decrease in weight is the first sign something can be seriously wrong.
    Last edited by Domino & Bedhead; 07-24-10 at 02:59 pm. Reason: I only read the first post, didn't realize he has passed away

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    Re: Is malocclusion fatal?

    Sacrifice is the same as euthanasia, the latter term seems more medical, but both mean the same thing, to kill some animal. The vet said he first injects some anesthetic then he given the letal drug.

    About the proper care and treatment, the vet said there isn't much to be done here. There are no experts in these kinds of animais, so, if you teeth problem is more than incisor trimming (my case), you are screwed. There nothing left to do but to sacrifice the animal.

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    Re: Is malocclusion fatal?

    Domino - it sounds like your case was very special.

    Maloclussion is treatable and not always fatal unless there are more severe dental issues. Some pigs need a teeth trim every month or two and regular handfeeding: http://www.guinealynx.info/handfeeding.html
    http://www.guinealynx.info/teeth.html

    But they can live.

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    Moderator foggycreekcavy's Avatar
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    Re: Is malocclusion fatal?

    I'm sorry he's gone. Do you weigh your pigs weekly? It's a good way to let you know your pig is sick before it's too late--a sick pig doesn't feel like eating and loses weight.

    http://www.guinealynx.info/weigh.html

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    Re: Is malocclusion fatal?

    With my Ernie I spent over $4,500.00 in four years having his teeth done and it is not the actual teeth trimming that is fatal once you realize it has to be done, it can be the anesthesia because the piggies are so small. Ernie went through it six times in the four years and he came out of really good sometimes and it took alot longer other times and because their teeth have no nerves it is not the little teeth it is what their bodies go through, not much different than how people react sometimes. I did have him for four years so we did well and there is absolutely no explanation as to why he crossed the Rainbow Bridge after his last burring. Very sad....but I know it was hard on him. Without Critical Care we would never had made it that far.
    Thank you for the kind words.

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    Cavy Slave fieryone's Avatar
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    Re: Is malocclusion fatal?

    One of my pigs was diagnosed with this on Monday. In her case I believe it will be fatal. Despite having her teeth trimmed and being hand fed, she's continuing to go downhill. Right now, Critical Care is her only source of nutrition when before she at least showed interest in food even if she couldn't eat it as easily as before. If she makes it through today, I'll be surprised :(

    This is my first experience with this so I can't say whether this is always the outcome or not

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    Re: Is malocclusion fatal?

    I'm sorry for the lost of your pig.

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    Re: Is malocclusion fatal?

    Thank you all for the support.

    My remaining pig is now very sad. Since I took his buddy away, he stay hidden and quiet, he also seems to be eating less. What can I do to ease his depression? I don't want to get a new pig.

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    Cavy Champion, Previous Forum Moderator Duffinvt's Avatar
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    Re: Is malocclusion fatal?

    Other than constant supply of hay, is there any preventative for this? The link says abrasive foods. Such as? I see more and more mention of this problem here on the boards.

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    Re: Is malocclusion fatal?

    Duffinvt, from what I read, there nothing much you can do about it. If the pig is normal this very rarely will come up. But if he got this from his parents, then the teeth grow more than it can be abrased and it will be a problem early on life (mine was at most 6 months old) and there is no solution or prevention.

  16. "Thank you, zhouluyi, for this useful post," says:


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    Unhappy Re: Is malocclusion fatal?

    I am so sorry for your loss. He'll be missed by everyone who knew him.

    Other than getting another pig, there isn't much else you can do. Spend as much time with him as you can.

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    Re: Is malocclusion fatal?

    Quote Originally Posted by zhouluyi View Post
    Thank you all for the support.

    My remaining pig is now very sad. Since I took his buddy away, he stay hidden and quiet, he also seems to be eating less. What can I do to ease his depression? I don't want to get a new pig.
    I had the same problem with mine. He didn't eat very much, just seem to sit in the corner and just seemed as you said very sad. I did go to the Humane Society, saved a piggie and what a difference this has made. I did get another boer so I have them separated but Domino is so much happier now. They talk to each other all the time, sleep beside each other with the grid in between it is very cute. The cage has two levels and they follow each other. Domino is popcorning all over, eating all the time and just a very happy little guy. Guinea pigs usually live in herds in the wild anywhere from 10 -20 so for your little piggie to have a buddy would be one of the nicest things you could do. They don't cost that much more and you may have to separate them but you save one, they have company for each other and you will be happier knowing they are too. Good luck with your piggie and maybe new piggie.

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    Re: Is malocclusion fatal?

    Quote Originally Posted by zhouluyi View Post
    Duffinvt, from what I read, there nothing much you can do about it. If the pig is normal this very rarely will come up. But if he got this from his parents, then the teeth grow more than it can be abrased and it will be a problem early on life (mine was at most 6 months old) and there is no solution or prevention.
    If you are willing to put out the money to have his teeth burred then this can be the solution but it is temporary. I had my little piggies teeth done about six times in 4 years but he had 3 years more than he would have ever had and he gave me that much happiness and even through the surgery was a very happy little guy each and every time. He fought so hard I though I could too and contined with his teeth as long as he was willing to fight and he did for sure.

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    Re: Is malocclusion fatal?

    Domino, besides the money question, I think its not fair to the pig to live like that. The "treatment" (if I can call it that) seems to be very bad and/or traumatic for the pig. Also his quality of life will never be really good since he will feel his teeth growing before it shows any visible symptoms.

    I think that the more humane treatment in this case is euthanasia.

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