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Thread: Continuing dental problem worried we can't fix this

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    Cavy Slave LuvsMyPiggies's Avatar
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    Continuing dental problem worried we can't fix this

    I am not sure if previous owners of my Mocha had endless supply of hay or not but I know I always have. So this issue has me puzzled since it appears that normally would be cause of spurs and misshapen teeth from lack of hay to munch on. So I have had him for a few years and this has only been a recent problem where he cannot eat due to his molars getting spurs that dig into his cheeks causing soars and pain so he ends up not being able to eat. I don't know if maybe it was only unnoticeable because he was previously denied hay and it just got worse because it already happened. There has always been hay there for him from me. Wooden sticks, blocks and toys they can chew on. Of course none of my gp's touch any of the wooden sticks or toys they could care less about those.

    So now for the 3rd visit to the vet this coming Fri. to have the vet trim the molars down every 3-4 weeks because it has been a viscous cycle. He starts getting better almost instant then slowly starts eating less and back in pain again till he wont eating nothing but critical care so he does not lose too much weight or cause other issues.

    I also have noticed the other day his incisors are not lining up. his front ones are much more further out than the bottoms so they are not able to wear each other down properly. Now I know she trimmed them down a little but I am curious to if she will need to probably trim them down much more than she should normally do in most situations. So that they might grow back normal.

    I am hoping someone else has gone through this and was able to get results and what was done. I love my baby but over 200$ every 3-4 weeks on top of all the other care for all my babies hits the bank account pretty hard. Plus I just want him back to good health and be able to eat normal again to keep his teeth worn down properly so we aren't back at square one again in 3 or 4 more weeks. Is there any way to correct overbites? Has anyone had to get their guinea pigs molars extracted due to repeated teeth trims so soon?

    Note* this is not my Mocha's mouth its is from the internet. His would be the buccal spurs for the molars.
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  2. #2
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Continuing dental problem worried we can't fix this

    I have heard that if you are needing to trim teeth regularly, you can learn to do it yourself. I think that might be a good option for you if you are willing to learn it

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Continuing dental problem worried we can't fix this

    @RandomCavy , there's no way for an owner to trim the back teeth. It's possible to learn to trim the incisors, but they don't usually need it unless there's a problem with the molars. Most vets anesthetize pigs to trim the molars, and many vets will refuse to do the procedure at all because they're not comfortable with it. Please don't post advice you've just "heard" somewhere. People depend on this forum for accurate information.

    @LuvsMyPiggies , the misalignment of the incisors is almost certainly due to the problems with the molars. Since the spurs cause pain, he chews with an abnormal motion, so the incisors don't get worn down.

    I didn't understand exactly what you meant about this next vet visit. Will this be the third tooth trimming, or just the third trip to the vet?

    It's a hard thing to face, but if your pig is going to need repeated expensive dental procedures, and is going to be in pain a good bit of the time between those procedures, having him euthanized might be the kindest thing to do. Dental problems can be very hard to treat in guinea pigs, and malocclusion and elongated roots are two that usually have no good outcome. If the malocclusion is caused by lack of fiber in the hay, sometimes one molar planing will put things right, and then good hay from there on will keep the teeth properly ground down. But if the cause is injury, or genetics, and the problem just keeps repeating, there's not much that can be done for it.

    Let us know how he gets along.

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    Cavy Slave LuvsMyPiggies's Avatar
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    Re: Continuing dental problem worried we can't fix this

    this is his 3rd visit to the vet to get his teeth trimmed all within 3-4 weeks apart. each visit a little over 200$ for the procedure & meds. I am just wondering if trimming the incisors further down than normal if they would grow back in the right way. because i have a feeling that even though the vet has trimmed down the molars, he isnt able to eat as much hay due to the messed up incisors. so he ends up with the back ones growing back into spurs and eating less from increasing pain. turning into a vicious cycle. if he is just going through some dental issues that can be reversed with the proper care then i do not want to put him to sleep over dental issues. however if this is something that cannot be fixed and then prevented. then i do not want him to have to keep going through it repeatedly. as far as hay goes, i buy boxes of timothy hay from dr.foster and smith. for awhile i was buying orchard hay due to my severe allergies and i didn't like the fact that the timothy is always like spears and afraid they might poke an eye out or something. however since this dental issues and it being better for them, i decided to switch back to the timothy. but there has always (in my care) always had 24/7 supply of hay. I read this article that says The treatment consists of tooth trimming and occlusal adjustment. I am going to mention the occlusal adjustment to see what she says. but i do not know if anyone has been through this and it has been successful or any other procedures. here is the link i kinda got an idea on possible help http://www.guinealynx.info/pdf/malocclusion.pdf even with reading things that might work, it is nice to know what others have done, what the outcomes have been and if it is worth it. trying to gather facts, opinions and advice then go with my gut and hope for the best.

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner
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    Re: Continuing dental problem worried we can't fix this

    Maybe a chin sling would help in your piggy's case?

    I had a satin piggy (Elma) who needed top up dentals every month due to osteodystrophy in her jaw, she had 14 months worth of dentals before she developed an aggressive form of small cell lymphoma (unrelated) and had to be PTS. Dental issues are often ongoing, but do get better with regular dental treatments, I've found.

    What other foods (if any) do your piggies have access to in addition to hay during most of the day? I found to maintain dental health it was best to only have a small window only (say, 2 hours) during the day where other foods other than hay (pellets, veg) are offered to encourage more hay consumption throughout the rest of the day.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Continuing dental problem worried we can't fix this

    Can you post a picture of the incisors?

    I suppose it could be a vicious circle of messed up incisors-molars-incisors due to lack of hay, but I doubt it.

    It's possible that a chin sling would help. A few people have had pretty good results with them, but a lot have not, either because the sling didn't address the problem, or they couldn't get it to fit right, or the pig wouldn't wear it. If you mail the GL user pinta through the GL mailer, she has patterns and instructions for the sling, or you can purchase a sling from her. She's had more experience with it than anyone else.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Continuing dental problem worried we can't fix this

    I had heard that you could trim teeth from this forum, so I am sorry if I didn't have the correct information.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Continuing dental problem worried we can't fix this

    I've been on this forum more than four years, and I've never read that a user can trim a pig's back teeth. VERY occasionally, we will suggest that someone learn to trim the incisors, but that's when there are extenuating circumstances. There's a danger of cracking the teeth, but when someone has a lethal, or a guinea pig with wonky incisors for whatever reason, and a vet visit is very difficult or impossible because of money and/or distance, it's possible for them to learn to trim the front teeth.

    If you're going to make recommendations to people, especially about medical or dental care, you need to check first to make sure they're given the complete story.

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    Cavy Slave LuvsMyPiggies's Avatar
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    Re: Continuing dental problem worried we can't fix this

    @stray hares they pretty much all have unlimited hay, pellets and water. then they get veggies as well just not unlimited all day. however most of the guinea pigs i have will not sit and eat the pellets all day except for one my bores who is kinda a heffer and I have had to cut him back and only give a tiny bit at a time. My Mocha who has this problem normally would not have any problems and used to eat the hay like crazy. that is why i am puzzled why now. unless it was an underlying problem before i got him and it just caught up to him. I have seen those chin slings. just was not sure what malfunction was going on to need one.

    @bpatters I just went to upload a darn photo of his incisors and notice his bottom right one broke almost all the way off since I looked at it the other day. geesh. so i didn't feel like bothering him with the teefers right now. however, his top ones should barley go over his bottoms and there is probably
    almost a quarter of an inch of a gap between the 2.

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    Cavy Star mufasa's Avatar
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    Re: Continuing dental problem worried we can't fix this

    Could there possibly be another issue coming into play here? My Borat stopped eating, and initially the vet thought it was his teeth, since they did have some abnormalities, but the problems continued. Eventually I brought him to a specialist, and he had a genetic defect of the jaw. Sadly, I had to have him put to sleep since it could not be fixed. If you have a specialist nearby and can afford it, it might be worth the peace of mind (depending on how much your regular vet knows about piggies...mine is good for standard things, but this was beyond her).

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner
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    Re: Continuing dental problem worried we can't fix this

    I would cut out the unlimited pellets, and see if that helps. Unless they're very young piggies they shouldn't have access to unlimited pellets, and it will encourage them to eat more hay, which is what you really want in a pig with dental issues. Sometimes pigs will choose pellets over hay because it's easier to eat. I'd remove the temptation and limit pellets to the recommended daily serving size.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Continuing dental problem worried we can't fix this

    Adult guinea pigs only need 1/8 cup of pellets each. They'll eat pellets in preference to hay, but the hay is much better for them -- keeps their teeth ground down and their guts moving properly.

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    Cavy Slave LuvsMyPiggies's Avatar
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    Re: Continuing dental problem worried we can't fix this

    Well we made our trip back to the vet yesterday. She only had to trim his right side a little bit the left had completely healed from the last trip. The right side had just started to get irritated. He is over in his cage and eating again, feeling better today already well really once he wasn't groggy after his visit you can tell he was starting to feel better. Well for a couple of weeks we are good again. The specialist did say with gp this old there really isn't much they can do with bad jaw alignments

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