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Abscess Elvis

Heather Hill

New Member
Cavy Slave
Jan 2, 2012
My handsome boy Elvis I think has an abcess? He hadn't been eating, and as he has off days now and again, I thought that was it. We took him to the vet who said he had a growth on his back teeth? and there was some infection. She prescribed antibiotics of which he has had three doses, he seems to be getting a bit better but is unable to eat or drink. I have been syringing vegetable baby food and water but dont think he is getting enough, as he hates the syringe. Anyone any ideas on how to get more food and water into him?
can they trim the teeth? I don't know much about guinea pigs teeth but I was told by our vet that sometimes light triming of the teeth will give them better care and less chance of abcessing or gouging themselves. "what" is growing on his back teeth? Did the vet mean the gums by the teeth? Antibiotics typically take 24-48 hours to kick in to where you will not be in pain. I wish I had answers but we are new to guinea pigs. I'll be watching this thread. Hope he is okay and meds kick in soon <3
It does sound like a dental abscess. Did your vet anesthetize him to check it out, and to see if he needed his molars planed?

Does he have bad breath? If so, it's most likely draining into his mouth and stomach, which could be giving him a stomach ache. Also, the abscess can be making it painful to eat, so he may need pain medication.

What's the name and dose of the antibiotic your vet prescribed?

You will have to be tougher about handfeeding him. Have you read this yet? https://www.guinealynx.info/handfeeding.html
I don't know what the vet means by "a growth on his back teeth." Was this a dog-and-cat vet, or an experienced exotic vet? The latter is what you need if your pig has teeth problems -- I wouldn't let a dog-and-cat vet touch my pigs' mouths.

The molars can over grow and trap the tongue, which makes the pig unable to eat. That requires dental work on the back teeth only -- they should not have to bother the front teeth.

Pigs can also have elongated roots which makes it painful for them to eat. Or they can have abscesses, which your post sort of sounds like. But they can also get hay stuck under the gum line, which usually can be resolved fairly quickly if you find it soon enough and get it out.

What kind of antibiotics were prescribed? And how much of a dose? Those can make a pig stop eating, in which case you need to switch to a different kind of antibiotic.

To hand feed, you need a bunch of 1 ml syringes with no needles, and a larger syringe, like 10-12 ml. Trim the end of the small syringes so that the hole in the end is as large as the barrel of the syringe, and either sand it smooth or melt it slightly so that there are no scratchy places on it. Use the large syringe to fill a bunch of the small syringes.

Wrap the pig in a towel like a burrito and put him in your lap with his back to your body. Hold his head and insert the syringe into his mouth from the side, behind his front teeth and in front of his back teeth. Work it into his mouth a little ways and try to get it as straight into his mouth as you can.

Squirt a little of the food into his mouth, and watch to see if he chews. If he's chewing, he's eating. Be careful not to put too much food in at one time, or to get the syringe too far back into his mouth -- you don't want it to go into his lungs and have him wind up with pneumonia. You do the same thing with water, being even more careful not to get it in his lungs. You also have to watch the end of the plunger in the syringe -- you don't want it to extend out the end of the tube, because the pig will bite the rubber tip off.

You need to aim to give him 50-60 cc. of food per day, preferably split in 4-6 feedings. It will take quite a while to do each feeding. It's not the easiest thing in the world to do, and it's called "force feeding" because that's what it takes to do it. However, the pig can die in as little as 12 hours if it isn't fed, so good luck!

Also, vegetable baby food isn't the best thing for him. You can use it to help flavor the other food, which should be Critical Care (from your vet or maybe online) or Critter Be Better or even ground up pellets.
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