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Guinea pig drooling, a few strange changes in behavior, no major changes...teeth problems?

furgetful_piggy28

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Good day, everyone! I've been lurking on here for the past couple of years and this place has helped me immensely in raising my first guinea pig. He lived for six wonderful years until his passing in 2018. Now, my family recently bought me a new darling little guinea pig I named Horatio who I've been caring for for the last 3 weeks. He warmed up to me quickly and loves to cuddle and run around my room (with supervision, of course!). Everything was fine up until recently. I apologise if this is too verbose.

He's bitten me twice since last week, and both times led to bleeding (not a lot, but there was blood). Last week Monday, I think, he bit me whilst I was checking if stool had accumulated and been making it difficult for him to poop (I'd noticed that he pooped less frequently and had dry stool). I'd held him in this position before, so it was a shock when he bit me hard enough to draw blood. Anyway, please don't worry about this bit, his pooping and stool have gone to normal, but getting bitten was shocking as the past guinea pigs we'd raised had been docile little creatures who'd never bitten hard enough to draw blood. The second instance was even stranger. I was simply holding him like normal, no struggles, no complaints, he seemed rather content. He all of a sudden bit me very hard, causing another finger to bleed again. My hands did not smell like food nor did I hold him in an abnormal way. He's a very gentle cavvy, and he hasn't displayed any aggressive behaviour since then.

Today I noticed that his chin was wet with drool, his bowl had some drool and sort of yellow-y material (also liquid-y), and he appeared to be gagging. After gagging, though, he went on to eat like normal. In fact, his whole attitude has been completely normal minus the drooling, heaving, and random bursts of aggression (he hasn't been aggressive recently, though!).

Is it teeth problems? He's eating normally and isn't lethargic in any way. Something I've noticed, however, is that he's constantly 'talking' or grinding his teeth. Other than the issues mentioned above, he's still a happy boi who loves to eat, cuddle and explore. He hasn't been losing weight either (quite the contrary, really!). What's going on with my Horatio? I've never experienced this from my previous piggy and I feel helpless. :( Many thanks in advance!
 

Piggies&buns

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If you are concerned there may be a health issue, then he does need to see a vet.

How old is he and does he have a friend? Piggies need to be kept in pairs, they get lonely if they are by themselves
 

anyar.dris

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What you just told are signs of teeth problems, based on my experience with my past dental piggies. Have you been weighing your piggy? This will determine whether he is eating or not. Please bring him to a vet and have him checked for dental problems. Since you live in the Philippines (I'm originally from there), I know it's quite difficult finding a knowledgeable guinea pig vet, but if you can find any vet and have him look at, that is still good. Though hopefully you can find an exotic vet wherever you are.
 

furgetful_piggy28

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If you are concerned there may be a health issue, then he does need to see a vet.

How old is he and does he have a friend? Piggies need to be kept in pairs, they get lonely if they are by themselves
If you are concerned there may be a health issue, then he does need to see a vet.

How old is he and does he have a friend? Piggies need to be kept in pairs, they get lonely if they are by themselves
Hello, Piggies&buns! Thank you for your kind response. I've talked it out with my family and we will be seeing a vet ASAP. There is an animal hospital nearby (I believe it is closed at this time, however), so thankfully we would be able to travel there when we finally can.

Horatio is 3 months old, and no, sadly, he is without a friend. :( We were supposed to get him a friend yesterday, but they were out of piggies and only had rabbits. I'd read sometime ago that rabbits and guinea pigs get along nicely, so may I ask how life really is with guinea pigs and rabbits? Are yours living together? Thank you so much in advance! <3
 

Piggies&buns

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Hello, Piggies&buns! Thank you for your kind response. I've talked it out with my family and we will be seeing a vet ASAP. There is an animal hospital nearby (I believe it is closed at this time, however), so thankfully we would be able to travel there when we finally can.

Horatio is 3 months old, and no, sadly, he is without a friend. :( We were supposed to get him a friend yesterday, but they were out of piggies and only had rabbits. I'd read sometime ago that rabbits and guinea pigs get along nicely, so may I ask how life really is with guinea pigs and rabbits? Are yours living together? Thank you so much in advance! <3
No, what you have read is very outdated - rabbits and piggies do not get along and must never be kept together - for several reasons,

- A rabbit could severely injure a guinea pig
- they have different dietary requirements
- rabbits can carry diseases which can be fatal to guinea pigs
- rabbits and guinea pigs do not talk the same language so cannot provide company for each other.

My own rabbits and guinea pigs never have any contact and are kept totally separate at a distance from each other at all times.
 

furgetful_piggy28

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What you just told are signs of teeth problems, based on my experience with my past dental piggies. Have you been weighing your piggy? This will determine whether he is eating or not. Please bring him to a vet and have him checked for dental problems. Since you live in the Philippines (I'm originally from there), I know it's quite difficult finding a knowledgeable guinea pig vet, but if you can find any vet and have him look at, that is still good. Though hopefully you can find an exotic vet wherever you are.
Hello, anyar.dris! Thank you for your kind response! And thank you for confirming my suspicions, I was worried it was teeth problems. :( No, our old scale is stuck in our previous home as we no longer used it after the passing of my first guinea pig and we are still waiting for our new scale to be delivered (ordered only a couple of days ago). In the meantime, we are seeing him grow and get heavier by the days, and of course we make sure his food bowl is empty or at the very least nearly empty after every meal. I will definitely update you on his weight and progress as soon as we get the scale, though!

And yes, it's difficult to find a good vet here in the Philippines. :( There's an animal hospital nearby though, and I believe they take in exotic animals as well. If not, there is still another one a little further away but close enough (it's where we took my first guinea pig. Haven't visited in a while, for obvious reasons:/, but the vet was very good and took in exotic pets. Hoping she's still there!).

May I ask what happens after they determine dental problems? What would be the maintenance required after that? Thank you soo much in advance! <3
 

furgetful_piggy28

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No, what you have read is very outdated - rabbits and piggies do not get along and must never be kept together - for several reasons,

- A rabbit could severely injure a guinea pig
- they have different dietary requirements
- rabbits can carry diseases which can be fatal to guinea pigs
- rabbits and guinea pigs do not talk the same language so cannot provide company for each other.

My own rabbits and guinea pigs never have any contact and are kept totally separate at a distance from each other at all times.
Oh dear, I see. Thank you for letting me know! We'll be getting Horatio a friend very soon. Thank you for your informative responses, Piggies&buns! Hope you, your piggies and bunnies all the best!
 

Piggies&buns

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Hello, anyar.dris! Thank you for your kind response! And thank you for confirming my suspicions, I was worried it was teeth problems. :( No, our old scale is stuck in our previous home as we no longer used it after the passing of my first guinea pig and we are still waiting for our new scale to be delivered (ordered only a couple of days ago). In the meantime, we are seeing him grow and get heavier by the days, and of course we make sure his food bowl is empty or at the very least nearly empty after every meal. I will definitely update you on his weight and progress as soon as we get the scale, though!

And yes, it's difficult to find a good vet here in the Philippines. :( There's an animal hospital nearby though, and I believe they take in exotic animals as well. If not, there is still another one a little further away but close enough (it's where we took my first guinea pig. Haven't visited in a while, for obvious reasons:/, but the vet was very good and took in exotic pets. Hoping she's still there!).

May I ask what happens after they determine dental problems? What would be the maintenance required after that? Thank you soo much in advance! <3
a guinea pig needs to have hay constantly available, it makes up the main food intake. When you say you make sure his bowl is empty, what are you putting in the bowl? If you mean guinea pig pellets, then they should only have just one tablespoon of pellets per day (they are the least important and least healthy part of the diet). Eating hay constantly is so important to them for gut health but also to help keep the teeth wearing down properly
 

furgetful_piggy28

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a guinea pig needs to have hay constantly available, it makes up the main food intake. When you say you make sure his bowl is empty, what are you putting in the bowl? If you mean guinea pig pellets, then they should only have just one tablespoon of pellets per day (they are the least important and least healthy part of the diet). Eating hay constantly is so important to them for gut health but also to help keep the teeth wearing down properly
Yep, hay is always available for the piggy! And yes, I was referring to the guinea pig pellets in his bowl. Thank you also for letting me know about how much pellets he should have! I feed him pellets twice a day with his veggies. He has more veggies than pellets, but his daily intake of pellets exceeds the 1 tablespoon principle. :( I'll definitely be cutting his pellet intake. Hay and vegetables mostly make up his diet, but he sadly enjoys pellets above everything else. Thank you for all this valuable information, it is highly appreciated! :)

Edit: words
 

anyar.dris

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Hello, anyar.dris! Thank you for your kind response! And thank you for confirming my suspicions, I was worried it was teeth problems. :( No, our old scale is stuck in our previous home as we no longer used it after the passing of my first guinea pig and we are still waiting for our new scale to be delivered (ordered only a couple of days ago). In the meantime, we are seeing him grow and get heavier by the days, and of course we make sure his food bowl is empty or at the very least nearly empty after every meal. I will definitely update you on his weight and progress as soon as we get the scale, though!

And yes, it's difficult to find a good vet here in the Philippines. :( There's an animal hospital nearby though, and I believe they take in exotic animals as well. If not, there is still another one a little further away but close enough (it's where we took my first guinea pig. Haven't visited in a while, for obvious reasons:/, but the vet was very good and took in exotic pets. Hoping she's still there!).

May I ask what happens after they determine dental problems? What would be the maintenance required after that? Thank you soo much in advance! <3
Depending on how bad the teeth are. In my experience, drooling is a result of problems with overgrown back teeth. They can't chew properly because of it. It needs burring or filing. This can just be done once and the problem is solved, but in most cases it's done every few weeks until the vet is sure that the problem is solved. The most I've gone to the vet in the past for my dental piggies is every two weeks. My vet does it GA free (or without general anaesthetic) so doing it every 2 weeks is not a problem. If the vet uses GA then that's where it can be a problem coz of the side effects of GA.

Speak to a vet first and see how it will go on with your piggy. Make sure to ask loads of questions.
 

furgetful_piggy28

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Depending on how bad the teeth are. In my experience, drooling is a result of problems with overgrown back teeth. They can't chew properly because of it. It needs burring or filing. This can just be done once and the problem is solved, but in most cases it's done every few weeks until the vet is sure that the problem is solved. The most I've gone to the vet in the past for my dental piggies is every two weeks. My vet does it GA free (or without general anaesthetic) so doing it every 2 weeks is not a problem. If the vet uses GA then that's where it can be a problem coz of the side effects of GA.

Speak to a vet first and see how it will go on with your piggy. Make sure to ask loads of questions.
I see! Good to know what we'll be in for when we visit the vet. Thank you so much for your time and informative responses! Your sharing of personal experiences is very helpful and reassuring. Thank you so much once again and I hope you and your piggies have a wonderful day! x
 
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