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Ref: Guinea Pig Not Eating, Possibly Teeth? Need Advice

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Dewi Rhys Jones

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hi there

I have just spotted my guinea pig Joni is off her food, and i suspect it may be tooth related.
I've kept guinea pigs for about 5 years now, and lost one of my boars to a similar issue last year. I took him to have his back teeth ground down, but unfortunately he never picked up from the anaesthetic and we lost him a few days later.

I currently have two - Joni and Alice

Joni was eating okay yesterday, so i am hoping i have spotted it early. I am going to try take her to the vets to have her checked out, but am wondering whether to literally start the critical care now? Hand-feeding Bowie seemed to really stress him out, and i suspect he didnt pick up because he was so worn out from the vets and being handled constantly

Just wanted some advice as i am worried - it seems the same thing as last time with Bowie, and i just want to make sure i do everything i possibly can to get her better.
It was heartbreaking last time, but also frustrating as i literally did everything I could to no avail

I live in Coventry, and my local vets are nice but no specialists in small animals. They were helpful with Bowie, and did a good job with his teeth, but couldnt really offer any other support.

As i type this Joni is cuddled up with Alice, is still purring loads when i stroke her and seems okay. If its just today she hasnt eaten i am hopeful she may take food from the syringe without a struggle

Just want to say thanks for any help you can give - and i can empathise with anyone out there currently going through something like this. I'm a 31 year old guy, but the slightest thing wrong with these guys and i fall to bits !

CheersPhoto on 11-05-2016 at 20.16.jpg
 

VickiA

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Hi there - age and gender are no determinants for our emotion over these little chaps. You are among friends here! I'm no expert on dental issues but many members on here have had such issues.

Simon Maddock at Cat and Rabbit The Cat and Rabbit Care Clinic - Home is the specialist dental vet to TEAS and many other members from all over the country go there for Guinea pig dental issues. If you think it is a specific dental issue he's your man. For an informal advice you can also email,Debbie who runs TEAS She is a member on here. @furryfriends (TEAS) but is rather busy at the moment so email may be better to reach her. Her email is. theexcellentadventuresanctuary@gmail.com.

In the meantime have you tried feeding warm pellet mush if critical care is not going down well, or grating some carrot or similar. I'm going to tag @helen105281 who also has some dental,experience.
 

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I see you are in Coventry. Please take your piggy to see Simon Maddock at Cat and Rabbit Care Clinic in Northampton, as mentioned above. He really is the best! He sees guinea pigs from all over the UK and the results he gets with dental issues is amazing! Simon can carry out dental work, in most cases, without the need for GA. He has more experience in guinea pig dental disease than any other vet in the UK
 

Dewi Rhys Jones

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Thanks for the responses - i remember i tried to look into going for my boar Bowie when he was ill, as i'm friends with TEAS on FB and had heard about them - but unfortunately I do not drive and it was too hard logistically to get there (in fact any vet trip is a nightmare! my vets is 15 mins walk away here, which is the only way its possible).

My boar had his teeth ground down with GA, and it seemed it was that which knocked him for six and from which he didn't really recover.

I am speaking to my friend to see if i can possibly arrange a lift to Northampton and back on Saturday - bit of a long shot, but will have to wait and see. First i need to get her to the vets tomorrow here and have her checked out to see if it is teeth or not. Is it difficult to get an appointment?
 

Dewi Rhys Jones

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Also - i rescued Joni and Alice from a sanctuary here in Coventry, R.A.G.S.
hence Joni does fret a little bit, though have found this evening if she is calm she will eat the Critical care from my finger
hopefully this continues, as after my last experience of hand/syringe feeding its one of the most frustrating, and depressing, things ive ever had to do
 

Dewi Rhys Jones

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UPDATE -

So I am booked in tomorrow for 4.50 at Northampton :)
Unfortunately the logistics are not great (lift, train, taxi - taxi, train, taxi) to get from Coventry, but beggars cannot be choosers; and after hearing the sterling testimonies here about them I am confident I am doing my level best to help Joni out. Fingers crossed for both of us tomorrow and that it is something that can be fixed.

Unfortunately I had a very negative experience with my local vets this morning, who i visited to check and see if i had missed anything. There seemed to be a new vet (usually it is Ross Butler @ Bell & Partners, who has always handled my pets with care).. and he was unhelpful to say the least.

He figured out there was something wrong with the left side of her mouth, but didn't really check her teeth out. He basically said "i dont know what to suggest but i can give you some antibiotics and painkillers and hopefully it'll go away". I was a bit taken aback, but at that point just wanted to get out of there.

Whilst waiting for the medications i overheard the receptionist questioning what he was prescribing. Around ten mins later she relented and brought out a strange antibiotic i'd never heard of (it wasnt baytril or one of the usual ones i've heard of) and an entire bottle of Medacam painkillers (they wanted to charge me £18 for the entire bottle). Very very surprised, so i just said i didn't want the medications as from my knowledge of treating guinea pigs i know the antibiotics can mess them up at the best of times, and that painkillers are given at extremely low doses The fact they were giving me something really leftfield, and the fact i overheard him arguing with the receptionist about it, made me completely lose confidence in them.

Will let you know how i get on tomorrow, but just wanted to say thank you so far for the support. Its been a big help having such positive advice on here.

One thing - for tonight i am going to try keep Joni going with grated vegetables and the CriticalCare food like last night. She still seems to be picking at things and trying to eat, so am hoping i can keep her on the up tonight in preparation for the adventure tomorrow. I am worried - but need to bite the bullet i think
 

helen105281

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Glad you have an appointment. My partner goes there on the train and then gets the bus, I can find out which one if it would help? he then gets a plus bus train ticket.
 

Dewi Rhys Jones

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If you could find out that would be a tremendous help, thank you. Though I must admit I heard the treatment is £45 (which is nothing compared to what I have previously paid at other practices) - so getting a taxi isnt too much trouble if it saves on the stress for my animals.
Any idea how much I am looking at for a taxi?

I am a bit concerned about taking my animals out on the train, but obviously at this point its something that needs to be done.

Does anyone have any advise on how to keep her ticking over till then? I am reluctant to start full-blown hand feeding as i am worried she will get stressed and not want to take food on. With Bowie he started to really reject food as i think it became associated with stress for him
 

Dewi Rhys Jones

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I see you are in Coventry. Please take your piggy to see Simon Maddock at Cat and Rabbit Care Clinic in Northampton, as mentioned above. He really is the best! He sees guinea pigs from all over the UK and the results he gets with dental issues is amazing! Simon can carry out dental work, in most cases, without the need for GA. He has more experience in guinea pig dental disease than any other vet in the UK
hi - just have a quick question. i have an appointment with the vets in northampton tomorrow at 4.50 - in the meantime, i am wondering whether i should start feeding critical care by hand to Joni, or keep trying to coax her with small grated food. i am concerned if i hand feed her she could get very stressed out and be bad tomorrow.
i am concerned she isnt drinking much either, so ill probably have to syringe feed some water as well.
just wondered what is best in these circumstances?
 

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Yes definitely start syringe feeding. If she isn't keen on Critical Care, then mush up her normal nuggets and syringe feed those. Most piggies seem to prefer nugget mush. Don't worry too much about water as you will be adding water to the syringe food, so she will be getting plenty that way. For now it is important to keep her strength up, rather than worry about whether she is eating for herself. I am so pleased you have got an appointment to see Simon tomorrow.
 

Dewi Rhys Jones

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she is being quite lively at the moment and jumping around quite a bit. its nice to see, but i know i'm gonna have to tackle feeding her again shortly. she is still motioning to try get food herself. when i tried feeding her before i managed two syringes before it got too difficult to hold her, and afterwards she was really shook up. I live by myself so its very difficult syringe feeding. I literally have to sit on the floor in front of a mirror!

she is making a funny face every now and again too, like she has something stuck in her mouth. i am wondering if its an ulcer or something in her gum as opposed to her teeth? or it could be from when the bad vet tried to take took at her teeth this morning
hopefully find out tomorrow - i still have hope
 

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Ross says the bus is the 9 or 9A to Limehouse square.
 

Dewi Rhys Jones

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Thats great, thanks for the info. I'm going to bring her back in shortly and try get some syringes down her. Its just hard as shes still energetic - but i know thats gonna fade if she doesnt have anything. She is still picking at stuff, so i'm hoping its been caught fairly early and tomorrow she is strong enough for the trip there and back without being too stressed.

Here's some pics of the troublemaker!

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Dewi Rhys Jones

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Bit of a fight, but managed to get 5 syringes down her just now. My set up is crazy - the only way i have found i can do this by myself is with a mirror and the towel wrap. And it never ceased to surprise me how much they can swipe with their front paws!
I think this is literally the most frustrating thing I've ever done, and this is my 3rd time!

Letting her chill out now with Alice so we can both have a rest. Am trying to keep her perky

Sorry for the piles of updates - but finding it is helping me keep sane :)

Photo on 12-05-2016 at 18.55.jpg
 

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Awwww gorgeous piggies, I have a look a like piggy <<<<<<<< :D Have you checked out the syringe feeding guide on here? I find if you face them to one side on your lap, then stroke them from head to rump usually distracts them, feed just a small amount of Critical Care or Recovery syringe food (Or softened pellets in cool boiled water mixed to a soft paste). I use 1 ml syringes with the end cut off & filed smooth (Remove the rubber bung first) Good luck with the vet appointment, Simon & Kim are fantastic vets :)
 

Dewi Rhys Jones

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In my experience I have found it very difficult to syringe feed in general. This is my 3rd and it doesnt seem to get any easier.
I am worried of stressing and tiring her out, as she is fighting me a lot and i hate having to hold her firmly to feed her.
I know she needs the food, but its also proving impossible to get it in!
I read somewhere that they recommend 120 x 1ml syringes through the day. I have no idea how that is supposed to happen! Today i think i'm on about 15, and thats all day! I have to keep giving her a break as its tiring me out and her. Just a horrible situation to be in - heres hoping tomorrow is better
 

Dewi Rhys Jones

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Have done as much as i can this evening. She is fighting fiercely to my attempts to feed her. And afterwards i can see its taking a lot out of her.
I just have to hope now I have done enough to get her to the vets tomorrow. I can't believe that I spotted this yesterday, and just 24 hours later i'm worried that i've lost her.

Its a fine balance between reading she needs 120 syringes a day, and the reality that i think I have managed about 20 all day.
I feel awful, but also know I can't do any more without her killing herself fighting the syringe. I've sat here all day with her.

Just gotta hope for a miracle now and hope a good nights rest means she is still here for me to bring to Northampton. Weighed her and she was 945g, which is quite a bit lower than normal.
 
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