• Discussions taking place within this forum are intended for the purpose of assisting you in discussing options with your vet. Any other use of advice given here is done so at your risk, is solely your responsibility and not that of this forum or its owner. Before posting it is your responsibility you abide by this Statement

Specialist Dental Abscess/jaw Arthritis

Status
Not open for further replies.

Littlepig&co

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Apr 8, 2012
Messages
326
Reaction score
648
Points
455
Location
Wiltshire
As some of you may know, 2 weeks ago today Daisy was diagnosed with arthritis in her jaw following an x-ray to find the cause of her weight loss.
She has been on 0.5ml of septrin twice a day as there was a chance there could of been an infection in her jaw too. She has also been on 0.1ml of metacam twice daily for the pain and inflammation. Despite this the weight is still dropping off her :(. I have been supplementing her pellets with some critical care on top to try and build her back up again. She's eating although I don't think she is eating enough.

I have been doing some research and found on the Cottontails Rescue website that an effective way of treating Arthritis of the jaw is with a long acting corticosteroid injection. Does anybody have any experience with this? how long do the injections last before symptoms start appearing again? I just want my little girl back to a healthy weight, I hate seeing her so small and skinny. She is just 790 grams now, she was 1kg just 12 weeks ago. I weigh her every 4 days and she is just gradually going down. I have linked the info I found from the Cottontails
website here.


Another issue we are having, which I think may be contributing to it is Delilah (Daisy's relatively new friend) is barbering her. We adopted her from Cottontails on the 7th December 2014 after Daisy lost her half sister and companion of 3 years; Ruby on the 1st of December. The first month or so she was fine as she was very nervous and shy but as she has settled in this habit has come out. Daisy just lets her get on with it too, she is too gentle to tell her off. They will sit/sleep side by side and Delilah will just chew away at her fur. Daisy looks awful what with being underweight plus scruffy chewed fur. I don't know how to stop Delilah from doing it. Daisy's weight loss was only since getting her new friend too, I know she has this arthritis in her jaw but I am starting to think that the weight loss may be because of this as well?

I have an appointment for Daisy on Saturday at 10:00am , can't go any sooner as my vet is away until then. I have also left a message on the rescue's answer phone for advice. They do have info on their website about barbering, I have tried all of the suggestions apart from the vics vapour rub/olbas oil as I am a bit worried about trying that.
 

Wiebke

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 10, 2009
Messages
68,216
Reaction score
36,034
Points
3,466
Location
Coventry UK
@Pebble @Elwickcavies

Are you feeding your girls together? it is likely that Delilah is getting the majority of what you leave out. Please try to keep Daisy topped up with hand feed as much as she will take. It is likely that pain may prevent her from eating fully or fast.

Please DO NOT use vicks around guinea pigs! To be honest, I have to yet see any effective advice against barbering.
 

Littlepig&co

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Apr 8, 2012
Messages
326
Reaction score
648
Points
455
Location
Wiltshire
Are her teeth okay? I have had a number of guinea pigs come to the sanctuary who have been diagnosed with arthritis of the jaw, and yet in every case their problem has been sorted by dental work.
She had a dental two weeks ago when she had the x-ray under GA. As a result of her arthritis her molars on one side were overgrown.

edit - here is the original thread from 2 weeks ago https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/worried-about-my-daisy.123856/ @furryfriends Excellent Adventure Sanctuary
 

Littlepig&co

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Apr 8, 2012
Messages
326
Reaction score
648
Points
455
Location
Wiltshire
@Pebble @Elwickcavies

Are you feeding your girls together? it is likely that Delilah is getting the majority of what you leave out. Please try to keep Daisy topped up with hand feed as much as she will take. It is likely that pain may prevent her from eating fully or fast.

Please DO NOT use vicks around guinea pigs! To be honest, I have to yet see any effective advice against barbering.
Yes I am feeding them together, Daisy won't eat her pellets outside of her setup. But she will eat her veggies anywhere, so I will make sure I feed her separately as much as possible. Don't worry I wont be trying it, I just need a solution as I think it is contributing to Daisy's weight loss...She was fine 12 weeks ago, then when she lost Ruby it just went down from there.
 

Wiebke

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 10, 2009
Messages
68,216
Reaction score
36,034
Points
3,466
Location
Coventry UK
Yes I am feeding them together, Daisy won't eat her pellets outside of her setup. But she will eat her veggies anywhere, so I will make sure I feed her separately as much as possible. Don't worry I wont be trying it, I just need a solution as I think it is contributing to Daisy's weight loss...She was fine 12 weeks ago, then when she lost Ruby it just went down from there.
I would strongly recommend to try mushed up pellets and hand feeding, especially if you are looking at a potential dental problem that has no direct connection to Delilah even though a barbered piggy is not a great sight.
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/complete-hand-feeding-guide.115359/
 

furryfriends (TEAS)

Forum Founder
Senior Guinea Pig
Joined
Jul 30, 2006
Messages
12,088
Reaction score
8,505
Points
1,875
Location
Director at TEAS (East Hunsbury) Northampton
She had a dental two weeks ago when she had the x-ray under GA. As a result of her arthritis her molars on one side were overgrown.

edit - here is the original thread from 2 weeks ago https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/worried-about-my-daisy.123856/ @furryfriends Excellent Adventure Sanctuary
This just sounds very like what was happening with a piggy who came here last year from Scotland. He needed two weekly dentals for a few weeks and then we started to stretch out the time between dentals and after about 2 1/2 months his dental issues were cured. Although he had been diagnosed as having arthritis in his jaw this really wasn't the case once the teeth were sorted.

I will have a read through your original thread. xx
 

Littlepig&co

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Apr 8, 2012
Messages
326
Reaction score
648
Points
455
Location
Wiltshire
This just sounds very like what was happening with a piggy who came here last year from Scotland. He needed two weekly dentals for a few weeks and then we started to stretch out the time between dentals and after about 2 1/2 months his dental issues were cured. Although he had been diagnosed as having arthritis in his jaw this really wasn't the case once the teeth were sorted.

I will have a read through your original thread. xx
Thank you, I just do not know what to do for the best. I have had bunnies before with dental issues and tooth roots but their conditions were easily managed. This is my first experience with dental issues in piggies. The whole diagnosis and op 2 weeks ago cost £335, I just hope she does not need another dental as they cost £117.81 at my vets. Daisy definitely could not have one without an anesthetic as she is quite wiggly.

So much stress...need to breath! I currently have one of my other pairs recovering from URI's.
 

furryfriends (TEAS)

Forum Founder
Senior Guinea Pig
Joined
Jul 30, 2006
Messages
12,088
Reaction score
8,505
Points
1,875
Location
Director at TEAS (East Hunsbury) Northampton
You can't be paying that much out regularly. The dentals at my vet are £25 and no piggy has ever been too wiggly. They are wrapped and the nurse holds them while the vet files. With regard to the use of steroid, my vet doesn't like using them on piggies. I do offer temporary places at the sanctuary to enable piggies to receive treatment from Simon and then return home when they're better. I know you probably wouldn't want to consider this, but just wanted to make you aware that it could be an option. xx
 

Littlepig&co

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Apr 8, 2012
Messages
326
Reaction score
648
Points
455
Location
Wiltshire
You can't be paying that much out regularly. The dentals at my vet are £25 and no piggy has ever been too wiggly. They are wrapped and the nurse holds them while the vet files. With regard to the use of steroid, my vet doesn't like using them on piggies. I do offer temporary places at the sanctuary to enable piggies to receive treatment from Simon and then return home when they're better. I know you probably wouldn't want to consider this, but just wanted to make you aware that it could be an option. xx
£25 gosh that is cheap. Could have 4 of them for the price of one at my vets and 13 for the cost of Daisy's treatment recently.
 

Littlepig&co

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Apr 8, 2012
Messages
326
Reaction score
648
Points
455
Location
Wiltshire
Just wanted to make it clear that cost is not an issue and we will do everything possible to make sure Daisy gets better/her issues managed. I only mentioned the prices just to emphasize how much we had to pay recently in order for her to be ok. I hope this shows how much that I care, we care for her. I appreciate your offer @furryfriends Excellent Adventure Sanctuary i really do. However Daisy is my little girl and is my responsibility to make her better, how much it may cost. I know you probably get a few people who are prepared to just hand over their piggies when they become a problem and end up costing money, but I am not one of those people. I hope this post does not offend anyone. Just wanted to explain in case anybody made assumptions. I will be very grateful for any advice though however, in order for me to understand this condition. xx
 

furryfriends (TEAS)

Forum Founder
Senior Guinea Pig
Joined
Jul 30, 2006
Messages
12,088
Reaction score
8,505
Points
1,875
Location
Director at TEAS (East Hunsbury) Northampton
Just wanted to make it clear that cost is not an issue and we will do everything possible to make sure Daisy gets better/her issues managed. I only mentioned the prices just to emphasize how much we had to pay recently in order for her to be ok. I hope this shows how much that I care, we care for her. I appreciate your offer @furryfriends Excellent Adventure Sanctuary i really do. However Daisy is my little girl and is my responsibility to make her better, how much it may cost. I know you probably get a few people who are prepared to just hand over their piggies when they become a problem and end up costing money, but I am not one of those people. I hope this post does not offend anyone. Just wanted to explain in case anybody made assumptions. I will be very grateful for any advice though however, in order for me to understand this condition. xx
People don't just hand over their piggies. When they come as temporary residents they pay their own vet bill and their piggy returns home once better. A few piggies come and stay here permanently as unfortunately some dental issues can be managed but not cured and if the owner lives a long way away then it wouldn't be practical for them to keep travelling, and then the veterinary costs are paid for by the sanctuary. My heart goes out to anyone who finds the only way forward is to hand over their guinea pig permanently, as they only do so because they can't get appropriate treatment closer to home. Simon has such fantastic success dealing with dental disease in guinea pigs and people travel from all over the UK to see him.
 

Pebble

Banned
Joined
Oct 12, 2009
Messages
3,030
Reaction score
1,484
Points
880
Location
Sussex
Firstly on a practical level: a lot of good advice already given about hand-feeding and how to get Daisy to eat more.
A couple of other suggestions:
a) it;'s worth putting a bowl of water in - some dental pigs find it difficult to get enough fluids from a water bottle and this can contribute to weight loss.
b) alternative pain relief - we have found that either tramadol - and more importantly buprecare - are more effective at relieving pain in dental pigs than metacam. (The latter can also be given but for its anti-inflammatory properties rather than as effective pain relief)
c) Softened nuggets can work well -
d) Extra Vit C (either syringe fed or sprinkled on food - ie not put in drinking water) can also help in these situations


Moving forwards:
I can completely understand your wishes and concerns about Daisy being your responsibility. However I would like to offer you an alternative perspective based upon my own recent experience.

My young boar Valentine was adopted a year ago following a large rescue in the north east. For the first few months his health/weight improved but suddenly it was clear he was developing issues. The first inkling I had was he developed diarrhoea and lost all the weight he had put on.
Following a shed-load of (expensive) investigations by my own very experienced exotics vets (including Xrays, cultures etc), a dental under GA was performed and the bad news was delivered....he had a jaw deformity, wobbly teeth, a possible infection in the bone and may need several molars extracted. It was looking like the best course of action might be to help this <1yr old boar to The Bridge.
Because my vet had never seen anything like this before he agreed I could take Valentine to see Simon for a second opinion (who also had not seen anything like it before) Both vets then conferred and a treatment plan for this youngster was devised to help "rectify" his appalling dentition.

In early January - Valentine underwent a second dental under GA from my own vets and a single molar was extracted. It has taken 6 weeks following extraction for him to be able to eat hay and softened pellets on his own without me giving him supportive syringe feeding or pain relief 24/7. He has been on metacam to counteract the inflammation but the best pain relief we have found is buprecare. The stress for me has been enormous (and I am used to coping with sick piggies!)

His condition is long term/permanent - his lost molar will never grow back and the deformity cannot be cured. He will need ongoing dentals to prevent molars overgrowing or the resulting spurs causing ulceration of his soft palate. My own vet will only perform dentals under GA and recognises this is not the right solution going fowards for Valentine. The fact that Simon can do these corrective dentals without GA was the main factor in deciding not to put Valentine to sleep back in January and to go ahead with the op - it made the difference between a poor prognosis/quality of life/PTS and a good prognosis.

So, with the blessing of my own vets, I have personally taken Valentine up to see Simon every 3 weeks since the extraction and each time he has needed conscious dentistry to remove spurs etc so he can continue to eat for himself and put back on the weight he has lost. He then goes back to my own vets together with his notes to keep them informed of his progress. We (me, my vets, Simon and Debbie) are very hopeful that these regular dentals during this "acute phase" will mean that the interval between dentals over time will become much longer as his teeth adjust and he is able to eat more dry fibre to wear his teeth down properly. Valentine is only a youngster at a year old. He deserved a chance and I'm glad between us all we have put together a workable care plan for him.

Unfortunately I currently have other sick pigs to care for at the moment and so Valentine has been accepted as a temporary resident at the Sanctuary so he can get his dentals done every 3 weeks and give me a bit of a respite from travelling (it's a minimum 6hr round trip). I pay for his board and vet bills. Also it reduces the stress on me because if he needs treatment earlier than 3 weeks, he is currently on Simon's doorstep and Debbie will take him to his appointment. It also means my other pigs don;t lose out on my care and attention. So I'm extremely grateful to Debbie for offering to take him on as a temporary resident as I know how stretched she is.

Like you @Littlepig&co - I will always accept responsibility for my own pigs. I have always been extremely independent and do not readily ask for help.
However I also have a responsibility to seek the best care for my pigs...and if that means taking whatever steps are needed for them to see Simon re dental issues rather than my own vets, then that is what i have done. It has not been easy - I have had several altercations with my own vets in the past about conscious dentistry/other vets etc....but finally, (albeit owing to Valentine's condition) my own vets are now working with Simon and Debbie at TEAS.

I note you are in Wiltshire - are you seeing Great Western Vets?
If you are unable to travel yourself to see Simon - a piggie train can be organised @Stewybus . Given what you describe I think this needs to be within the next week.
Regrettably - I'm not due up to Northampton next until 3weeks today - otherwise I would offer to come and pick up your piggie to take them to Simon this week
I am however doing an M4 trip at end of feb which would tie in with my next trip to N'ton

No pressure - this is just a suggestion.
I hope you are able to put together a good treatment plan going forwards for Daisy
HTH x
 

Littlepig&co

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Apr 8, 2012
Messages
326
Reaction score
648
Points
455
Location
Wiltshire
Thank you very much for the advice and suggestions, I really appreciate them and will be making these changes and discussing them with my vet. By the way in case nobody has realized. My vet is John Chitty, a well known exotic expert specifically specialized in both rabbits and guinea pigs, this is his page in case you have not heard about him http://antonvets.co.uk/exotics/189-2/ I for one do not doubt that he has not done anything that he should of done, he knows exactly what he is doing. Without him then I would not of had the extra years I had with my previous poorly rabbits. He is a brilliant vet with 25 years experience, I have my full trust in him. I will be seeing him on Saturday with Daisy.
 

Poppy'sMum

Senior Guinea Pig
Joined
Jun 18, 2011
Messages
5,471
Reaction score
2,137
Points
1,120
Location
Dear old Blighty UK
Hi Littlepig if your piggy is losing weight at this rate it really is a matter of time is precious. However you are entitled to get a second opinion & any vet who loves animals will understand this. I suggest you discuss seeing Simon with your vet on Saturday, simply so you can set your mind at rest that you are doing everything possible. I cannot rate Simon highly enough; he is a wonderful vet & I have seen what a difference he has made to piggies who other vets have not been able to help. He has operated on all three of mine & he was fantastic. Do not be afraid of upsetting your current vet, if you explain about the conscious dentals I am sure he will understand & as soon as your piggy is better you will be able to take her back to your normal vet for check ups .
 

furryfriends (TEAS)

Forum Founder
Senior Guinea Pig
Joined
Jul 30, 2006
Messages
12,088
Reaction score
8,505
Points
1,875
Location
Director at TEAS (East Hunsbury) Northampton
The reason Simon has such great success with the dentals is because he can do them without the need for GA. You can't be anaesthetising a guinea pig every week or two, but doing the dentals the way Simon does, means he can tidy the mouth up regularly, and as the guinea pig starts to eat more then the time between dentals can be increased. This method works really well and many guinea pigs are recovering completely from their dental problem.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top