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Mouth jaw fractured during dental procedure


Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Feb 9, 2011
It has been years since I have been on this site and longer since I posted.
But I came in tonight hoping to find someone with an experience like the one that I am having.
I am a long time guinea pig mom and I am versed in their care.
I have 2 sows that I are foster fails from a rescue in my state. I have had then 2019 and their ages were a bit unknown.
I originally fostered 3 but one passed around a year and a half ago.
Best I know the two I have still around around 5 years old since I was told there were a year when I got them.
I noticed that Penny was losing a little weight but nothing too drastic. She has always been plump.
I noticed around the 10th that she was "playing" with her food. Picking it up, moving it around in her mouth and dropping it.
I knew the signs of teeth issues and had been told at the vet during her last visit in April that she had a spike.
So, I got her in the see the vet one the 14th and they said that she had a tooth that was overgrown and pressing on the inside of her cheek. They gave me some pain meds, and antibiotic and got me scheduled to have the tooth taken care of today.
Up until she started the pain meds and antibiotics she was eating her critical care great. gobbling it up.
Once she started the meds I had to force every bit into her.
I was given her benebac but her appetite was gone.
She ended up losing so much weight in a week.

Today I took her in for her procedure only to find out that they changed the order to an extraction because the vet saw the tooth was abscessed.
I was devastated cause I know that is a lot more on a pig her age.

I get a call from the vet midday saying that she was out of her procedure that the work that was needed was far more involved than what they had originally thought and that her jaw was fractured during the procedure. I am at work when I get this call so I am a mess. She tells me that it was because of the extent of the infection... which I am not really believing to be 100% true as to the reason behind the fracture.
But she tells me that they have wired her jaw closed. I have no idea how this is even possible for a pig. She says that it could take up to 8 weeks for the fracture to heal and that due to the infection, it may never heal.

She was pretty nice about it all. Overall, I think I have a good exotics vet. She told me she would need to be syringe feed her food and water for the next 8 weeks (more depending on how long it takes to heal).

Once I went to pick her up, I was shocked at what her mouth looked like. They had her front teeth attached with a clear tubing and sutures. They told me I would only be able to syringe feed her on one side of her mouth and that she would not be able to move her jaw at all.
I was so overwhelmed. syringe feeding is difficult when you have full access to the pigs mouth. Now I am needing to feed her and give her 3 meds a day using a space that only a tiny "insulin" style syringe will barely fit into.

They offered to keep her for a couple of days to care for her since I was so visibly distraught and overwhelmed, but I could not leave her with there.
So, I brought her home and starting searching the internet. I have not found anything any where were a guinea pig had it's jaw wired closed.
No point of reference for it.
I spoke with the director of the rescue where I got them. She is the most amazing compassionate lady. I told her I did not want Penny to suffer or waste away. She told me she knows I will make the best decision for Penny.
I already discussed with the vet weight lose and signs of failure to thrive. In case I needed to make a difficult decision.
So, I am posting this now to see if anyone knows of a pig that has had this type of procedure. Any tips on how to feed a pig when you only have a small opening to work with and the pig cannot chew at all.

I love her. She is my lovey pig. She does not like to be picked up but once you get her on sitting on your chest, she gives the best chin kisses.
She is an excellent cage mate to her sissy, Henna.
And I just want to do what is the best for her.
So, if anyone has any info about this type of situation, please post.
I am going back to the vet tomorrow because I do not think what they are proposing is physically feasible.

Thanks in advance.
I am so sorry this happened to Penny and to you.

I've known of pigs that have had teeth extracted, and I've known of one pig that had to be hand fed for three years because of a broken jaw, but not with the jaw wired shut. Like you, I'm not sure this is a feasible remedy, even short term.

Hard as it is to think about, this may be one of those cases where euthanasia is the kindest option. Guinea pigs are fragile creatures. I've heard one well-regarded exotic vet say that they tend to give up very quickly when faced with big obstacles, and that they're one of the hardest pets to keep alive in tricky situations. It's a terrible choice, and I hope you don't have to make it.

Please post back after you've seen the vet tomorrow and let us know what happens.
I met with the vet again this morning and made the very difficult decision to say goodbye to Penny. She deserved not to have to struggle. And the battle was gonna be all uphill from the jaw fracture.
Hardest decision I have ever made.
I'm so sorry.
I met with the vet again this morning and made the very difficult decision to say goodbye to Penny. She deserved not to have to struggle. And the battle was gonna be all uphill from the jaw fracture.
Hardest decision I have ever made.
Kim..... good to see you back, just not under these circumstances.

My heart goes out to you. 🥲🌈🐶 I know from my experience just how difficult and painful it is to have a beloved cavy euthanized. Be comforted by knowing that Penny had a good life with you and obviously knew that she was loved. You did the best for her, not for yourself.
I am so sorry for you and Penny. You did the very best you could and made the right decision to let her go. My condolences.
This was always one of my biggest fears with Sly, when he was going through these dental procedures, and to a lesser degree with Scooter and Punkin.

My heartfelt condolences on the loss of Penny, @Kim37040 . You did everything right and sometimes, the outcome just isn't what we want or deserve. Rest in wheeks at the Rainbow Bridge, Penny. We are all thinking of you.
My sole remaining pig Henna and I drove 7 hours round-trip yesterday to my local guinea pig rescue.
Henna had floor time with some lovely piggies. And came home with these 2 lovely girls. Celeste and Jasmine. They are both young- less than 6 months. And they are getting along amazingly.
I miss Penny so much. But these 2 girls and how well Henna is doing with them has definitely made my heart light


I’m so happy for you and your girls. They are so lucky to have such a good home.

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