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Teeth Not Sure What To Do About Teeth Grinding

TMTguineapig

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Hi. I am new to owning guinea pigs. My daughter rec'd 1 (Scooby) for Christmas. After researching on line, we decided to get a buddy (since everything seemed to say they get lonely. So now we also have Rocco. We kept them in separate cages for 3 weeks and let them interact with each other in their free range time. I finally put them in the same cage today. Now Scooby is grinding his teeth. He has not been eating his hay for the last week or 2 so I am not sure if he is grinding them because he is sharing his home now, or if it is due to not eating the hay. I have kept chew treats in his cage at all times. I also give him carrots on an almost daily basis (I thought these helped grind their teeth down). I really need some advice if anyone can offer it. Should I try to look at his teeth? If so, how can I do that? Should I just take him to the vet?
 

Rnd210

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If he is not eating you need to hand feed and take him to a vet.
 

Kimberly713

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Grinding his teeth how? Like a chattering sound? If it is towards your other pig then it's not a problem with his teeth, he is just telling the other pig to back away. My pigs do it to each other and me if I scare them by trying to grab them. It sounds like when you are very cold and you chatter your own teeth right?

But is he is losing any weight a vet trip is necessary, and hand feed him
 

Peggysu

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Oh boy, you need to do a lot more research.

Did you actually quarantine these pigs? As in separate rooms behind closed doors.

Carrots should not be fed daily as they contain lots of sugar and have little nutritional value. Hay is what grinds their back molars down. To be seen a professional would need to do that. Teeth grinding is something pigs do while establishing who is boss.

If your guinea pig has not been eating hay for at least a week you may have an ill cavy. Where did you get both of them?
 

idramaxx0

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Peggysu

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I believe Ly says in the nutritional chart that a baby carrot is okay to give everyday. I always refer to the following when it comes to vegetables.

Yes, I understand what you are thinking. It really is only a treat type veggie and should be limited.
 

TMTguineapig

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I did not mean to imply that I feed multiple carrots daily. I have actually tried to stick with one pinky sized baby carrot daily (got that off this site). There have been some days when they have gotten more than 1 (I will avoid that in the future).

I regret to say that I did not quarantine the guinea pigs - I found that out after I had already exposed them to each other. We were just so worried that Scooby would be lonely that we introduced them immediately. The only thing we did do right in this case was to keep them in separate cages until they were used to each other. However, I have had them both for nearly a month now and they seem to be healthy.

My only concern at this point is that Scooby has not been eating his hay. At first, I thought it was because he was getting such a variety of vegetables that he was neglecting the hay. He did not seem to have any issues with digestion. I did make the mistake of thinking this would not be so bad since he was eating the carrots and since he had chew toys. (I did give him some finer hay starting yesterday, and he has eaten some of it although I don't know that he is eating enough of that either)

The grinding he is making is not chattering. It really sounds the same as it would if you or I were grinding our teeth. I just wasn't sure if it was towards Rocco or if he is having issues with his teeth. It only started about 3 hours ago. They have been in the cage together for at least 10 hours by now.

I also regret to say I bought them at a pet store (Petsmart) to be exact. I wish I would have known about the rescues before hand. I would have definitely taken that route instead.

Also - Scooby has been eating. He does not seem to have a lack of appetite. That is another reason why I was not sure about the teeth grinding.

I apologize for this being so long and scattered. I was trying to make sure I answered everyone's questions. And I will definitely continue my research. I want to take care of our guinea pigs to the best of my ability and appreciate any advice I get.
 

Ly&Pigs

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Pigs naturally grind their teeth, often even. But not eating hay is what is more concerning to me than the teeth grinding.

What kind of hay are you giving? Have you tried any other hays?
 

TMTguineapig

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We are feeding them Timothy Hay plus Marigold. Scooby seemed to like this and will still eat a strand here and there if we hand feed it to him. But he has not been eating from the hay in his cage. Maybe there is too much in there and he is picky? I just don't know. There are these "fluffy" things mixed in - not sure what those are. He also likes to eat the marigolds, but he hardly touches the hay itself. I just switched him back to the hay we were originally giving him yesterday. It is Timothy hay also (sun cured/Western cut) but the pieces are very thin and I did not think it could benefit him that much. He has eaten a little bit of that, but compared to Rocco (who devours his hay), I am still not sure he is eating enough of that either. Exactly how much hay should they eat in a day?
 

Ly&Pigs

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It depends on the pig. Some eat tons of hay and others not as much.

The stuff with the marigolds is best fed every few days as a treat as the marigolds aren't good daily. You can give the regular timothy everyday.

Is there anyway you could get a hold of a different kind of grass hay such as Meadow grass or orchard?
 

TMTguineapig

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I don't know. I will check my local pet stores (PetsMart & another store that the name is slipping my mind right now). Can you suggest any sites I could order it from in case I cannot find it locally?
 

Rnd210

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You can order hay and pellets here Kleenmama's Hayloft :: Home or depending on your locations Sweetmeadows might be cheaper for. KM's is cheaper for me and her hay and pellets are the best.
 

TMTguineapig

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I cannot get this product at my local pet stores so I am going to order it on line. I found the following on Sweet Meadows site:

THE GUINEA GRAB: (does not contain alfalfa)
3 Timothy, 2 Meadow Hay, one 10 LB Timothy guinea pig pellet. We can substitute the Tim/Alf blend pellet by request.

Is this suitable. Should I also order some orchard grass? Should I mix the Timothy, Meadow, and Orchard daily?

By the way, Scooby is not grinding his teeth this morning, and he seemed to have a very healthy appetite this morning. I did notice that he went to his pellets a lot more than the veggies. I am not sure if he is bored with them or what. Just to give some detail, I have been giving the guinea pigs 1/2 c each of different types of lettuce in the mornings (mostly romaine, I have also given them endive, escarole, red leaf lettuce). In the evenings, I give them each 1/2 c of mixed veggies altered throughout the week (such as green, yellow, red bell peppers, cherry tomato, dandelion greens, cucumber, baby carrots, broccoli a couple times a week, basil, cilantro). I also give them spinach once a week, and I give them a section of clementine, apple, or banana as a treat (occasionally - not daily). I have given them each a couple of blueberries and a slice of strawberry in the near month I have had them. I try not to give them too much fruit because of the sugar. Anyway, I said all that to say that I only give them lettuce in the mornings because if I feed it with the other veggies, they seem to waste it. So I started giving it by itself in the mornings to make sure they eat it. I am just wondering if Scooby is bored with the lettuce? Rocco has no trouble tearing through it. He has quite an appetite. Scooby did eat all of his lettuce this morning when we hand fed it to him. Could this be related to his teeth? Or is he just being spoiled? I have decided to take them both to the vet just to be safe (since I am so new at this).

One last thing - Scooby STINKS. I think he needs a bath, but I want to make sure I use the right shampoo. Any recommendations?
 

Ly&Pigs

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Ditch the spinach and discontinue banana also. They aren't very good veggies really. Spinach is through the roof in oxalic acid. Banana can cause severe bloat. Limit any fruit to no more than twice a week.

Any possible way you could order some of KM's bluegrass instead of the sweet meadow hay? Her bluegrass has been known as "piggie crack" and is of excellent quality.

If not, then you could go with the sweet meadow products. You can get orchard too if you wish but you don't need to.

Four Paws Bunny Bath is a good shampoo to use. Just don't bathe more often than about every 4 months.
 

sdpiggylvr

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If you are feeding lower quality hay such as Kaytee or other brands sold at pet stores, your guinea pigs might be less inclined or excited to eat the hay. I, among others, have noticed an increased enthusiasm for Kleenmama's and Oxbow hay as opposed to the Kaytee junk. If you are feeding a lower quality hay, trying out Kleenmama's or Oxbow hay may help.

As Ly mentioned, Sweet Meadow is a "just okay" brand of hay. Since guinea pigs are eating hay constantly, you should choose to buy the best possible; in this case, either Kleenmama's or Oxbow are good choices. A lower quality pellet is more acceptable since only small amounts are being eaten; however, you don't want to skimp on nutrition unless absolutely necessary for financial or logistical reasons.

Kleenmama's is the absolute best in hay and pellets that you can feed your guinea pigs. When you buy in bulk, you will save a lot of money, especially if you have only two or three pigs. It is a little surprising at first to see a high price for a large amount of hay or pellets with shipping, but the money you will save in the long run is more important (at least to me).

I did a cost breakdown and found that if I went with the Oxbow Western Timothy Hay found at Petsmart, I would spend $139.90 for the same amount at Kleenmama's (only $62.80 with her). For two pigs, I think 45 lbs. lasted me about nine months. With Kleenmama's, you would be spending about $90 a year; if you chose Petsmart Oxbow, about $190 yearly. That's an approximate hundred dollar difference.

Good luck!
 

Ly&Pigs

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As Ly mentioned, Sweet Meadow is a "just okay" brand of hay.
I'm sorry but that's NOT what I said. I never said anything about the quality of that brand of hay or that it wasn't good to feed. I actually said the original poster could get it if they did not wish to get KM's. I also tend to get a bit upset when others try to "stick words in my mouth I didn't say".

I've never used Sweet Meadow hay and I'm sure it's great too (and it's gotten a lot of great reviews by members here) but I can personally vouch for KM's hays since I do use those.
 

TMTguineapig

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I will use the Kleenmamma's hay. I actually went to the other site because I did not see the orchard grass on Kleenmamma's. Being new to this, I was unsure if I should use the bluegrass. But since Kleenmamma's seems to get such high praise, I will go with it. Price is not necessarily an issue. I am just trying to make sure I give my guinea pigs the right things to eat. Should I still be giving them Timothy hay and or Meadow Hay as well? Or is the Bluegrass the only thing they need?
 

Rnd210

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I only give the bluegrass hay as my husband and other family members have issues with the timothy hay.
 

sdpiggylvr

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I actually went to the other site because I did not see the orchard grass on Kleenmamma's. Being new to this, I was unsure if I should use the bluegrass.

They call orchard grass "bluegrass" over at Kleenmama's. It's basically the same.

Should I still be giving them Timothy hay and or Meadow Hay as well? Or is the Bluegrass the only thing they need?

Any grass hays you provide is good. You can feed either of those kinds. Some people alternate Timothy hay and bluegrass for Kleenmama's each time they order, but one kind or the other will be sufficient.
 

Sirene

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KM's bluegrass is wonderful, although I have been reading on here that this season's is very stemmy (lots of hard stems) compared to previous year's. You could email Linda (the owner of KM's) and ask her about the quality of it. I got mine in June of this year (I got a LOT!) so I may still be feeding last year's, I'm not sure.

I've also tried Sweetmeadow's orchard grass and did not care for it as much. It was very brown and the first batch I got almost smelled "fermented". Al replaced it immediately, but the replacement was still brown-ish. The pigs LOVE their pellets, though. I've switched to KM's because it was easier to order from one place, but Sweetmeadow is a very good brand.

Edited to add: I don't feed Timothy hay at all, because my husband and I are both HORRIBLY allergic to it. Orchard/bluegrass is fine as a complete substitute if anyone in the family has allergy problems.
 
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