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Can you file down guinea-pigs teeth?

Discussion in 'Health & Illness' started by Alicia, Jun 7, 2010.

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  1. Alicia
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    Alicia Adult Guinea Pig

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    I know as long as a guinea-pig gets enough hay there shouldn't be any need to file a guinea-pigs teeth down but I was just wondering if this needed to be done (earlier this year a vet thought Barry might have needed his teeth filling down but it turned out he didnt) can only the vet do it or is there any way it can be done at home? None of my guinea-pigs need it done I was just thinking about this and whether a vets trip would be necessary
  2. missy
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    missy Adult Guinea Pig

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    Dental treatment really requires specialist knowledge, training and expertise. It is relatively cheap & easy to purchase the tools required but I'd say it's definitely not the kind of thing anyone should attempt unless adequately trained, skilled and confident. It might sound very simple and straightforward but it takes a great deal of practise and experience to understand exactly where and how to file for the correct/best results and to also spot any other issues or complications.

    When it comes to guinea pig teeth it's also worth remembering that, although the front incisors are relatively easy to access, it's not always a good idea to "adjust" them without also checking/seeing to the back teeth (which are not so easy to get to and work on!)

    The CCT runs guinea pig dental courses so some people do choose to undertake some aspects of this work themselves, once they have completed the course.

    When guinea pigs require regular ongoing dental treatment it can be very costly to keep visiting the Vet but I think the CCT offers its members free dental treatment, which sounds like a brilliant service for anyone who can get to them.

    So in theory it is possible to do it yourself but personally I'd much prefer to leave it to the 'professionals' (i.e. cavy savvy Vet, CCT or experienced Rodentologist) as potential mistakes could seriously affect a pig's health and do more harm than good.
  3. Alicia
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    Alicia Adult Guinea Pig

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    Ok thank you. I don't think I'd ever try it myself because I don't know enough about it but I was just wondering
  4. Laura-CCC4
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    Laura-CCC4 Senior Guinea Pig

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    I fully agree with what Susan said, she's summed it all up brilliantly and everything she has said is accurate.

    I am able to file a piggie's incisors - was taught how to by Vedra at the CCT when one of my sows had predominantly incisor trouble - but as Susan said, back teeth always have to be checked and treated first, as slanted/overgrown incisors very frequently tie in with problems with the back teeth. I'm able to check but not treat back teeth...not sure I've the guts for that challenge quite yet, their teeth are *tiny*!
  5. missy
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    missy Adult Guinea Pig

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    Well if you don't even relish that challenge then I think that speaks volumes about how tricky it actually is! :)
  6. Ruth
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    Ruth Junior Guinea Pig

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    After watching AP do Elvis for the past 4 months I can honestly say I think it take years of practise to know what you are doing.
    Sometimes you can't even see the teeth it has to be done by touch and every pigs teeth are different so whats works on one may be wrong for another.
    I know everyone has to start somewhere but its something you would learn in tiny stages, I would think over the lifetime of many Pigs.
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