Where People & Piggies Thrive

Newbie or Guinea Guru? Popcorn in!

Register for free to enjoy the full benefits.
Find out more about the NEW, drastically improved site and forum!

Register
  • ONE THREAD per pig please!
    We really want your pig's history all in one place to help you. Please don't start a new thread for a new issue. Just reply to your old one. We can edit the title for you if needed.

Not Eating One pig, two problems?

SandyPig

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Nov 30, 2013
Messages
124
5 year old piggie went to the vet today because she is having trouble eating and is losing weight.
Vet said she has malocclusion but it didn't look like simple dental overgrowth. They want to do X-rays and even then aren't sure this will be something obviously treatable. Any of you had pigs where malocclusion could not be solved? We are going to use critical care to feed her for now but I can't figure out what the solution will be. They are sending us an estimate for the x-rays so we can decide whether to schedule. I don't think she can ever eat food or hay again! This is a disaster.

The vet also said she has lice! This was shocking and I am not convinced it is correct. Piggie lives with one cagemate. They have been together for 2 years, no other animal exposures. No scratching, no fur loss, nothing. There were a few flakes in her fur that the vet said were nits. She said they could have been present since we got her as a rescue 2.5 years ago. Recommended Revolution. This just doesn't seem right to me. I got a nit comb and am going to see if I can find real evidence on either pig. Is it even possible to have lice for >2 years with no symptoms and no transmission to people?

Would appreciate any comments about either of these problems.
 
Regarding pigs with malocclusion that couldn't be solved...........yes. I had a senior boar named Sly who developed malocclusion shortly after his 5th birthday. You can read his rather lengthy story here :


In all a reason for his malocclusion was never found. He endured, I believe it was 11 dental surgeries in all, from December 2016 until his passing in August of 2018.

Malocclusion IS treatable and manageable, but you MUST be willing to continue that treatment if need be. Sly's medical thread will give you some insight as to what to expect as well as the roller coaster ride that it will entail for you. The x-rays will determine if the cause is something that may or may be treatable and that information is critical.

Get the radiographs done, and go from there.
 
I'll let someone w/ more experience and knowldge discuss the teeth issue. As for lice, bugs can come in via hay, food, and bedding (like paper bedding). So it is entirely possible to accidentally expose your pigs to that. Revolution is a great/easy treatment for that. Your vet will calculate the dosage and apply it to their back like you would a cat or dog. Whether or not piggies could have lice and show no symptoms, I don't know. We have used Revolution as a precaution in my pigs that were itchy, had bald spots, and obviously had a skin issue.
 
You can tell whether the bits in her hair are lice nits by trying to get them off the hair. If you can just flick them off with your finger, they're not nits. But if they're stuck to the hair shaft and you have to slide them all the way off the end of the hair, they're definitely nits.

Why does the vet think it's malocclusion? What are the symptoms? Are her front teeth crooked? Can she pick up her food ok? Or is she having trouble chewing?

It does take, at a minimum, skull x-rays to diagnose tooth problems. And it may also take "whiffing" them under with anesthesia to get a good look at the teeth. There may be points on the teeth that are poking the tongue or the cheeks. The molars may be overgrown and are trapping the tongue. Or the roots may be elongated and causing pain when the pig tries to chew. All of those are treatable to some degree, but the elongated roots require the most intensive (and expensive) treatment for the rest of the pigs life. The others may or may not be fixed after a couple of treatments.
 
It's malocclusion because her bite is off center, her whole jaw and face are asymmetric (obvious once the vet pointed it out). She is indeed having trouble picking up and handling food.

Tried giving her critical care tonight, She only ate a little of it. She can eat small slivers of vegetables. Not eating any hay that I can tell.

Feeding her is becoming quite arduous because she eats so slowly. We have to remove either her or her cagemate for a while each time because cagemate gobbles her own veggies and then goes to steal whatever hasn't been eaten yet by the slow eater.

My fear is that there is no easy fix and I do not want to subject her -- and us-- to multiple vet visits that don't amount to anything other than discomfort.
 
Still worrying about our pig. Slowly she is increasing how much Critical Care she will eat. She wants small amounts of it really often. She licks it off a spoon or out of a container. I can't leave it in the cage or her cagemate eats it too. So we've been taking her out multiple times/day for feedings. I wonder if we should just keep them in separate cages?

Stuck about going ahead with treatment. Estimate was around $700. This is the hardest pig decision we've had in a long time. Tell me you'd pay $700 for a 5 year old pig...
 
Still worrying about our pig. Slowly she is increasing how much Critical Care she will eat. She wants small amounts of it really often. She licks it off a spoon or out of a container. I can't leave it in the cage or her cagemate eats it too. So we've been taking her out multiple times/day for feedings. I wonder if we should just keep them in separate cages?

Stuck about going ahead with treatment. Estimate was around $700. This is the hardest pig decision we've had in a long time. Tell me you'd pay $700 for a 5 year old pig...
I spent roughly $3000 for Sly's dental surgeries over a 2 year period. As @bpatters said, it may be an easily fixed issue but it may not be. Sly's was not. That's not to say yours isn't. What I CAN say is the longer you leave it, the worse it gets for her. She may reach a point when she can no longer eat even critical care.
 
GuineaPigPapa-- What would you do if you were starting your journey from the beginning?

I'm reading all the threads I can find on here about malocclusion. Sounds like this is not a one-time fix. Piggies have to keep going back for more treatments. There is no way my husband is going to agree to spend so much on a guinea pig, and I cannot miss work so much if this is going to turn into frequent regular vet visits. Wish I knew what to do.
 
I'd have it treated as least once, as that sometimes takes care of the problem. If it doesn't, it would at least buy you a little time to look for a rescue that might take her and provide the treatments.
 
GuineaPigPapa-- What would you do if you were starting your journey from the beginning?

I'm reading all the threads I can find on here about malocclusion. Sounds like this is not a one-time fix. Piggies have to keep going back for more treatments. There is no way my husband is going to agree to spend so much on a guinea pig, and I cannot miss work so much if this is going to turn into frequent regular vet visits. Wish I knew what to do.
Personally? I wouldn't do anything different. It was a very difficult journey, that's for sure. There were a lot of emotional ups and downs, and there was a lot of personal time invested in Sly's care. But through those surgeries and through some difficult times, Sly was a happy and healthy pig for almost another 2 years. I understand that option is not for everyone but for me I chose to do whatever I had to do. Your situation may not be the same. @bpatters suggestion may be a good place to start. You won't know for sure what the problem is until you get him looked at.
 
As far as spending a large amount of money on an older pig, that’s how life works. The older you get, the more your health care needs and costs increase.

I’ve spent thousands on older pets. That’s when they’re most likely to need meds, special food, and procedures. Everyone has different monetary situations, so ultimately the decision will be up to you. If it were me, if I could afford the cost without extreme hardship, and if the vet seems to know the score, I would try it and see.
 
If anyone's still reading this thread...
She had her dental work today. Vet said *if* she does OK she will still need ongoing work every few months.
Taking it one day at a time.
Right now she is rather dazed and not doing much.
The goal is for her to be able to eat independently. If she can't, and requires hand feeding permanently, I don't know how long we can keep that up.
 
If anyone's still reading this thread...
She had her dental work today. Vet said *if* she does OK she will still need ongoing work every few months.
Taking it one day at a time.
Right now she is rather dazed and not doing much.
The goal is for her to be able to eat independently. If she can't, and requires hand feeding permanently, I don't know how long we can keep that up.
I've been watching this thread intently, as I know EXACTLY the position you're in. If you've read Sly's thread, you'll get a pretty good idea of what to expect post-surgery. I think Sly went 3-4 months between his first and second procedures.

I'm glad you got the dental work done. I understand its not an easy decision to make and when and if the time comes to make another decision, you'll know when that time is. It's her first and hopefully only procedure so it'll take some time. She should be eating on her own in short order.
 
GuineaPigPapa-- do you know why your Sly thread only has your posts and no one else's in the string?

Our piggie is taking plenty of Critical Care, but doesn't seem able to eat much else yet. She tries small pieces of veggies, but can't seem to hold them in her mouth and they fall out. I hope this gets better!
 
GuineaPigPapa-- do you know why your Sly thread only has your posts and no one else's in the string?

Our piggie is taking plenty of Critical Care, but doesn't seem able to eat much else yet. She tries small pieces of veggies, but can't seem to hold them in her mouth and they fall out. I hope this gets better!
Yes. I was accidentally banned for reporting a spam thread, some time ago. All of my threads were deleted and it took the IT guy some time to restore as much as he could, but all the replies were lost.

That fact that she's hungry and taking critical care is a big positive! Every pig is different, but most pigs are eating normally within a few days, possibly a week.
 
Our little piggie is now 4 days out from her dental surgery. She is only consuming Critical Care. She does not touch the water bottle, her pellets, or hay. One side of her mouth looks squished in and I think her cheek is falling between her molars. She dribbles the critical care on that side. She tries to eat veggies but they fall out of her mouth.

She doesn't seem to be in pain. She is cheerful for the most part, and interacting normally with her cagemate.

What do we do now? We have a pig who cannot feed herself and I'm doubtful she ever will. She requires syringe feeding every few hours throughout the day. We've been able to do that between my husband and myself, but we are not always this available and there will be times we can't do that. We give her as much Critical Care as she wants and she is enthusiastic for it but let's us know when she's full. It's probably not enough overall and I think she's still losing weight slowly (scared to weigh her the past 2 days).

The vet says she's probably going to be like this permanently and brought up euthanasia. I don't feel like I can do that at this point.

(On a separate note, we treated her with Revolution but I don't believe she actually had lice. The vet didn't see any evidence of it less than a week later).
 

Similar threads

D
Replies
1
Views
459
bpatters
bpatters
Becci89
Replies
14
Views
957
Becci89
Becci89
gpihgos
Replies
1
Views
299
bpatters
bpatters
Top