Your guinea pig will be itching, … They should be white and the lower ones slightly longer than the upper set. Just like us, their teeth are covered with a protective white enamel. This dynamic (changing) relationship between the upper and lower teeth can result in malocclusion development. Start by making sure that your hands are clean and then carefully towel wrap your pet. This is unusual in the rodent family whose teeth are typically yellow. What is the Average Lifespan of a Guinea Pig? Tooth Loss and Broken Teeth: Your Guinea pigs can break teeth much like a human. Where Can I Get My Guinea Pig's Nails Clipped? This condition is sometimes referred to as slobbers. Whilst there are lots of ways to help these complaints from becoming serious, there are some common teeth problems from which they may suffer, including: Malocclusion is the technical term given when teeth are incorrectly aligned and cause ‘bite’ problems. In this case, you should watch your guinea pig closely when it is chewing. Unlike many mammals, the teeth of your guinea pig are open-rooted; this means that they grow continuously. What Are The Most Common Guinea Pig Dental Problems? Guinea pigs are susceptible to common diseases of the mouth and teeth including plaque build-up, bacterial infections and abscesses but also specific problems which relate to the way their teeth grow. The buccal pad separators (pictured above) and a dental file (not pictured) were obtained from the Cambridge Cavy Trust. Did you know a guinea pig has 20 teeth! Often, this will be apparent from a young age and can be seen most often in baby pigs that are white with microphthalmia (small, or no, eyes). However, broken teeth aren't completely harmless for guinea pigs. Only a trained veterinarian can correctly inspect and diagnose malocclusion in your pet pig. What are the most common teeth problems in guinea pigs? If you are at all concerned that your guinea pig may be developing dental disease, please get it to a veterinarian as soon as possible! Saskia from Los Angeles Guinea Pig Rescue 13,028 views. My guinea pig has a birth defect and his teeth always snap off. Guinea pigs have very long teeth that are needed to break up their food, which can often be very tough. Examine your guinea pig’s mouth. The teeth of guinea pigs grow continuously and must be worn down by gnawing. However, their preference will usually be for softer food. Sometimes the teeth develop sharp points that can cause ulcers on the tongue or the side of the mouth. Thank you to www.skullsite.co.uk for letting us use this image. This can include toys that aren’t suitable for your pet or if they are prone to chewing on cage wires. Guinea Pig Mouth Lip Scabs & Sore Problems . Softer foods do not stimulate a guinea pig to chew vigorously side-to-side like it does for timothy hay. For pregnant guinea pigs, the pellets should be increased in amount so there is always some in the bowl. Dental problems may develop in a guinea pig for a variety of other reasons. Guinea Pig Oral and Dental Health Care . Guinea pigs are susceptible to common diseases of the mouth and teeth including plaque build-up, bacterial infections and abscesses but also specific problems which relate to the way their teeth grow. In fact, if deprived of food for 24 hours or more, most guinea pigs will experience intestinal problems. A radiograph of the skull may be needed, to better understand the health of the roots of the teeth, and to see if there are any other changes in the bones of the skull that may be affecting your guinea pig’s health. Holding him securely, on his back, place him in your lap where you have good light. Whilst you are performing this check, also ensure that his mouth is free from any scabs, lesions and sores. It means that the overgrown incisors might not overlap each other. As long as they are aligned correctly, they will, roughly, be around 1.5cm in length. Guinea Piggles is reader-supported. It was too late by the time another vet figured out it was a throat infection and I sadly lost her. Sometimes, it is a simple matter of filing the abnormal teeth back into a shape that promotes normal chewing. This is a minimum amount; you may safely give 125 milligrams without worry. 12:35. How about its droppings — are the fecal pellets smaller and harder than normal, or maybe they are larger and softer? Guinea pig dental care. COMMON DENTAL PROBLEMS IN RABBITS, GUINEA PIGS, CHINCHILLAS AND RODENTS: TREATMENT & PREVENTION Sari Kanfer, DVM February 29, 2004 I. Poor diets for guinea pigs have been associated with muscular dystrophy, metastatic calcification, difficulties with pregnancy, vitamin deficiencies, and teeth problems. Never free-feed pellets and always have timothy hay available; this ensures that your guinea pig chews enough timothy hay to wear down its teeth. However, there are some visual signs that can give you a clue. The oral endoscopy helps the veterinarian better understand what is going wrong, and allows you to see the changes in your pet’s mouth. - Duration: 12:35. However, if the break goes beyond the gum line then extraction of the tooth is the only option. In most cases, owners present their pet guinea pigs to the vet far too late for any treatment to be effective and, unfortunately, euthanasia it is often the only option. Thank you to www.skullsite.co.uk for letting us use this image. Run the tip of your finger over the edges of the teeth to check for any breaks or tooth spikes. The incisors of a healthy guinea pig can grow at a rate of 5 to 7.5cm each year. Guinea pig teeth and food problem? … Very quickly, a guinea pig with scurvy will develop malocclusion problems with its teeth. Once the teeth are loose, they start to hurt, and the guinea pig may start to prefer eating soft foods and avoid its hay. 2.2. Guinea pigs have 20 teeth in their mouths which consist of: The sharp incisors at the front of the mouth are used for cutting food whilst the premolars and molars do all the grinding and chewing. Some guinea pigs will need liquid diets assist-fed afterward, and in rare cases a guinea pig may need a feeding tube placed in the side of its neck to allow feeding while its mouth heals. Infections may develop. As humans, we know how painful toothache can be and how it affects our appetite and mood. The endoscope helps magnify the teeth and reach deep inside the mouth to detect problems that would otherwise be overlooked. In this guide, we’ll take you through all the basics of the proper care of your guinea pig’s teeth and oral hygiene as well as answer your questions on what to do when there is a problem; from home-care and routine dental maintenance to when to take your pet to the vets. Lastly, a poor diet can also cause your guinea pig’s teeth to be susceptible to fractures due to malnutrition. Guinea pigs eat on a nearly constant basis, and they need to do so to keep their intestines and liver functioning properly. To help your guinea pig have healthy teeth, the single most important thing you can do is to measure out the amount of pellets your pet guinea pig eats. The veterinarian should offer to examine and photograph your guinea pig’s mouth using an endoscopy, which will provide a clear image as a reference for future examinations. 3. How Long Do Guinea Pig Teeth Grow? In some cases, your vet may remove a few teeth in order to alleviate the symptoms of malocclusion. On rare occasions, where the adjacent bone has also been affected, this may require additional surgery. Once the teeth do not line up with each other, the food particles are not ground into the proper size for digestion. This can lead to weight loss as they struggle to ingest food. Fractures can also be caused by your guinea pig chewing on inappropriate things. The common dental problems of your guinea pig. However, your guinea pig will usually let you know in other ways that there is a problem with their teeth beforehand. It is sometimes referred to as ‘the slobbers’ as overgrown teeth can prevent proper chewing and swallowing thus producing an excess of saliva, or drool. So, it happens when the diet isn’t good and healthy and is lacking vitamin C and calcium. Make sure to bring your guinea pig in for regular physical exams performed by an experienced veterinarian who will check the length and condition of your pet’s teeth. For growing guinea pigs, we recommend that you always have the bowl full with a pellet designed for growing animals. Dental hygiene is a vitally important part of caring for any animal and problems with the teeth can cause different ailments and problems. Guinea Pigs have continually growing and erupting teeth. Cheryl Hustwith's rodentologist showed her how to maintain the teeth of four of her guinea pigs who suffer from ongoing dental problems. Some guinea pigs have had all their cheek teeth removed and do well. Placing the tip of your little finger into his mouth, feel along the gum line and beyond the diastema gap to the premolars and molars; about three quarters of an inch inside the mouth. Some fractures, such as those present in the front teeth (or, incisors) are visually apparent. A guinea pig should always have available a large amount of high-quality timothy hay. Gastrointestinal Disease. Consult with your veterinarian about any special needs your guinea pig may have. While guinea pigs positively thrive on a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, such foodstuffs … These teeth are ‘open rooted’ which means they continue to grow continuously for their entire life! (But three weeks after she has had her babies, cut back to 1/8 cup!) All; ... My guinea pig just fell like a foot off the ground into a trash can, he was wriggling because I was trying to dry him because he got wet. Pellets should be offered so that the whole bowl is eaten within a few hours and the rest of the time your guinea pig has to eat the hay. A guinea pig may show early signs of dental problems such as drooling, stained or matted fur on its chin and jaw, a loss of appetite, a shift in appetite to only its favorite foods, or a change in the quantity or consistency of its feces. All of this is stressful for a small animal so sedation is the preferred option. One of the first signs is weight loss as the pig is unable to eat properly. Whilst there are a few ways we can help to prevent malocclusion in our pet pigs, there are some animals that are predisposed to this disorder. Fibrosarcoma Cutaneous neoplasia. Vitamin C-rich fresh fruits and produce should be offered too, such as parsley, bell peppers, and small pieces of oranges. All surgery of this kind carries risks, particularly in animals this small, and possible complications from dental surgery include tooth root abscesses, chronic pain and damage to the jaw muscles. Incorrect trimming can cause damage such as tooth fractures and you may potentially be ignoring other problems; for example, if the incisors are misaligned then this could point to problems with the molars overgrowing. Unfortunately, many pet guinea pigs are offered too much of the wrong sort of Guinea Pig Food. A fracture can also result in incorrect trimming of the teeth which is why it’s important that you only let your vet perform dental maintenance of this kind. Lice and Mites. To prevent overgrowth and misalignment it is important that your guinea pig is given the correct diet with fibrous roughage to gnaw on. Guinea Pig Harnesses & Leashes: These are Dangerous! Prevention and Treatment. Is your guinea pig drooling? Due to the importance of symmetry with rodent’s teeth, the corresponding tooth on the opposite jaw would also need to be removed to prevent overgrowth. It is essential that you ensure your pet pig has an adequate source of abrasive and fibrous foods which include grasses, hay and even the small branches from fruit trees. Quickly, this will lead to dental disease if guinea pigs stop eating. A fracture (or, break)  in the tooth can occur as a result of trauma such as a fall or even from fighting. “In a healthy guinea pig, the biting, chewing and grinding of food (especially hays, grasses and abrasive foods) will normally keep the teeth at the proper length — a length which varies somewhat from one guinea pig to another,” Guinea Lynx adds. Learn more. It is far better to be proactive when it comes to this condition and prevention is better than any cure. Ever catch your cat sleeping scrunched up in a tight little ball or pawing at her litter and wondered what... Coconut oil has many health benefits for dogs. Use a chewable table that contains 250 milligrams vitamin C, and break it in half for your guinea pig. Chewing on grass is hard work, and the teeth are constantly being worn down by the combination of silica and fiber. Malocclusion of the molars can also force the jaw forwards causing the lower incisors to meet with, or move forwards of, the upper incisors. Tumors may start to deform the shape of the teeth. Depending on how badly the misalignment was before it was initially treated, you should do this every 3-12 months. Diet and proper vitamin C levels are important when it comes to keeping … A vet explains how the herpes virus (feline herpesvirus) can cause constant sniffles in cats and how to treat them. 2. Certainly, the recovery from an anaesthetic can take its toll on your pet, particularly if they are old or unwell. Your vet will be able to advise on an individual care plan following any treatment. Left untreated, malocclusion in your pet guinea pig will lead to malnutrition, weight loss and diarrhoea. If your guinea pig has dental disease, skull x-rays will help your vet see the extent of the disease. Getting Teeth Filed Down Visit your vet regularly for teeth filings. A Complete Guide to Caring For Your Guinea Pig’s Teeth, Things You Should Never Buy for Your Guinea Pig. The wrong diet is the most common cause of dental problems in pet guinea pigs. The picture above shows the upper jaw of a guinea pig. The pictures here were taken inside the mouth of different guinea pigs using an endoscope. As a result, these open wounds can become infected and may cause pain and discomfort leading to loss of appetite. Depending on how intense the procedure has been your vet may prescribe some pain relief and critical care food for his recovery. If a guinea pig does not swallow the right size of food, especially if it is not getting enough fiber with each mouthful, it can create problems with fermentation and digestion, leading to soft stool and diarrhea, or sometimes small hard dry stools. Nasal adenocarcinoma. But their teeth are not as strong as a human. This can cause issues as the remaining teeth will not be wearing down properly. Following Other Treatment Strategies Move your guinea pig’s cage to a dark, quiet area. A Guinea pig will lose its hunger due to GI stasis. This can be given in addition to dry pellets which contain a supplement of vitamin C. Trauma to the teeth can also cause malocclusion so it’s important that you make sure your guinea pig is safe from the dangers of any falls. A guinea pig’s teeth grow throughout its life. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Guinea pig’s teeth grow throughout his life and occasionally the roots can get pushed out or grow into the jaw. Sometimes they broke teeth from injury too. It is recommended that you only offer soft fresh food in the first few days after dental work has been done. Unlike many mammals, the teeth of your guinea pig are open-rooted; this means that they grow continuously. Routine tooth trimmingis not necessary … When you have a single guinea pig, it is easier to detect a change in eating habits but when there are two, the second will usually eat the extra food making it harder to judge who is eating what. The teeth grow constantly from birth to death, and with some softer diets, this constant growth can cause problems. The wild ancestors of guinea pigs fed on tough grasses, leaves and bark. Provide at least 90 milligrams of vitamin C to your guinea pig every day as a special supplement. Your practitioner will ask you for your findings and question you on other symptoms as well as a dietary history so it’s best to be prepared. Depending on how badly damaged a tooth is, your vet may be able to trim or grind the affected area down. Your vet will be able to advise on the appropriate frequency of follow up visits. The lower molars are easier to check and should be sufficient as a primary inspection as the the upper molars are rarely the cause of problems. However, this enamel is only found on the front of the incisors in order that the back can be sharpened like chisels. How often does bedding need to be cleaned and what’s a good size cage for mice? If you suspect that your pet pig has an issue with its teeth like any of those listed above then you can perform a basic examination at home to either put your mind at rest of confirm any suspicions prior to taking him to the vets. You may also notice that their chewing becomes slower, more pronounced or accompanied by a grating sound. Malocclusion of the front teeth is usually pretty obvious and if the lower and upper incisors don’t meet correctly causing them to grow excessively then this could indicate a problem. The teeth will keep growing, and they will grow misshapen. Abscesses and infections in the roots can be caused by the inability to chew food properly and this becoming impacted in the gums. By: Caitlin UltimoPublished: February 2, 2011, BeWell / Wellness / Guinea Pig Dental Problems. Elongated roots; Malocclusion; Broken tooth or a tooth loss; Molar spurs; Guinea Pig With Elongated Roots. As a herbivore, guinea pigs do not have canine teeth but their incisors are separated from their molars with a gap known as a diastema. 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