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Trouble Eating And Holding Food In Mouth

divadisco

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Hello. I have a couple guinea pigs called Disco and Diva. Both are just under 2 years old. About 12 days ago as I was about to feed them their breakfast, I noticed Diva was limping. We took him to the vet the following day, as it was a Sunday, and the vet thought he had a sprain. Gave us a prescription of metacam to give for a week. By the end of the week, he didn't seem to be doing much better and was not eating much and was having trouble chewing. Also noticed his paw had swollen, so took him back to the vet this past Tuesday. Was examined and given some antibiotics for swelling along with Recovery Plus. Had no explanation for the trouble chewing.
Leg seems to be improving slowly and has been a little more vocal. He was the one that was always making noises, while Disco was the quiet one. However, his chewing issue seems to have gotten slightly worse. Wants to eat, but can't hold and chew. He'll pick up a straw of hay, but can't hold and eat it. Picks up small pieces of veggies, but can't hold it up and eventually will chew it slowly from the ground. As a result doesn't eat much as well, though am pretty sure he is hungry. Was able to eat a couple dry pellets yesterday, but wasn't able to today.
Have been giving him medicine with a syringe and now also the Recovery plus with a syringe as well and was hoping maybe his jaw was just getting tired, but I think it's probably something more serious. 2 separate Vets haven't noticed anything wrong with teeth or mouth when examining him. Was planning on getting xrays done tomorrow morning, but vet will be charging between 200 and 250 pounds and I know we really can't afford it. I haven't canceled yet, but I know my wife won't want to pay that.
It's a bit heart breaking for me to see him struggle. Of the two, he was sort of the younger brother who was very active and noisy and liked to play. Does anyway have any ideas or suggestions on what the cause could be. Thank you.
 

Merab's Slave

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Is your vet good with exotics?
Some general vets are excellent but some are less good with exotics like guinea pigs.
Vet costs can be expensive but it’s part of pet ownership.
Your vet may be willing to discuss a payment plan with you.
Where are you located?
Others on this forum highly recommend Simon in Northampton as top get for dental issues.
I can’t remember the surgery name but scroll through messages relating to dental issues and you will find it.

Welcome to the forum and hope things work out with Diva.
Keep us posted
 

divadisco

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I am located in Dudley. Not sure if our vets are good with exotics. The vets that have examined Diva haven't noticed any dental issues and he was having no problems eating before hurting his leg. I can't remember if he was having problems chewing the day he got hurt as I attributed any eating issues to not being able to use his hurt front paw. What might x-rays show and what might they not show with a hurt jaw or mouth or teeth. Thanks.
 

Wiebke

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I am located in Dudley. Not sure if our vets are good with exotics. The vets that have examined Diva haven't noticed any dental issues and he was having no problems eating before hurting his leg. I can't remember if he was having problems chewing the day he got hurt as I attributed any eating issues to not being able to use his hurt front paw. What might x-rays show and what might they not show with a hurt jaw or mouth or teeth. Thanks.

If you can, please go and see Simon Maddock in Northampton; he is a general vet, but ones that only treats cats, rabbits, guinea pigs and small furries, so he sees and treats more guinea pigs in a week than most vets see in a year! He's also up to the notch on research and operation techniques.
He is by far the best vet to see for any potential dental or complex health problems in our wider area and treats dental guinea pigs from all over the country, as far as Edinburgh.

We have several members from the Wolverhampton to Stoke area who travel there. He's also saved a number of my own piggies over the years where my local vets were just out of their depth, including my Hywel, who lived a year longer to 7 years of age with a jaw abscess, which my local vets couldn't deal with.
The Cat and Rabbit Care Clinic

An x-ray will show any misalignment, overgrown spurs or elongated roots or if he has got something wedged in between his teeth at the back or another anomaly. It can be that your boy is working on an abscess which is not yet visible.

How are his front teeth looking? Are they even and neat, or are they slanted, jagged or inward growing? Are there any discolourations? Does he has trouble chewing/is chewing very slowly, picking up veg and letting them drop?
Are you weighing daily at the same time to keep an eye on the food intake so you know that you are feeding enough top up feed from day to day? 80% of the food intake is hay, which is impossible to control check on otherwise.
Please take the time to read our syringe feeding guide. You may find it helpful with the many tips, help with amounts and a section on caring for a dental piggy. Complete Syringe Feeding Guide
 

divadisco

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I know my wife won't want to drive that far. As far as I can tell, his teeth look even and neat. I'll try to take a better look when we feed him later tonight.
However, he does have trouble chewing/is chewing very slowly and will pick up vegs and let them drop. Sometimes he looks like a person who has no teeth chews food, if you know what that looks like. If not, then once again, yes to trouble chewing, chewing slowly and dropping vegs, along with hay and pellets. He is currently on Baytril, which he has been on since Tuesday, for his swollen paw. When we took him to the vet a couple days ago, he had lost 200 grams in one week and I know he is not eating enough hay as I have seen him pick up a straw of hay, try to chew it but not able to and then drop it.
 

Betsy

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You need to start syringe feeding him now to keep him alive to lose that much weight in a week is not good as its important to keep his guts moving. Use the guide that @Wiebke has given you the link for.
 

furryfriends (TEAS)

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Although it isn't close, it really would be worth the trip to see Simon at Cat and Rabbit Clinic. I run a sanctuary for guinea pigs with ongoing dental issues and time and time again we speak with owners, who have spent many hundreds of pounds at other vets, trying to get their piggies dental issue sorted, with no success whatsoever. Simon is able to do the dental work without the need for GA, which keeps the price much more affordable and it is far better for the guinea pig too, as they don't need to recover from a general anaesthetic. The results he gets are amazing and most piggies are eating well again before even leaving the practice.
 

divadisco

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Do they do actual x-rays without using GA or do they not use x-rays and base any dental work that might or might be needed based on examination.
 

Cavy Kung-Fu

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When they checked his teeth, did they look at the back teeth or just the front? Most vets I've been to in the past won't look at the back teeth because "it is too hard without GA" which is rubbish.

I've been to the Cat & Rabbit vet in Northampton (by train as I live near Brighton) and they checked my Iggy's back teeth without any kind of sedative (it took no time at all) and did an X-ray (not for teeth, for stones) and bloods with a whiff of anaesthetic rather than a full GA. It's super far for me to get up there but definitely worth it, especially when local vets aren't able to deal with the issue.

That's a substantial weight loss, are you syringe feeding critical care? That will help him out some weight back on, and if you don't have any CC you could mush his pellets up in warm water and syringe feed that to keep his guts going.

Hope he feels better soon :)
 

furryfriends (TEAS)

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Do they do actual x-rays without using GA or do they not use x-rays and base any dental work that might or might be needed based on examination.
An X-ray won’t be needed. Simon will be able to feel for any swelling around the jaw, that could suggest a brewing abscess. He will ensure the teeth are filed correctly, as guinea pigs won’t eat unless the teeth are exactly right.
 

Pound Shilling & Pig

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Hi, is your pig still on the metacam? I think it would help to continue with it. From what you say it seems the limping and eating less started around the same time. It is possible he had a fall or something (or even a fight) that caused injury to his foot and face. If he has landed on his face or smacked it hard into something he may have broken his incisors below the gum line resulting in it being very painful and difficult to eat. As their teeth constantly grow, like our fingernails do, in time the broken teeth will drop out and eventually new ones grow back. If this is the case he will need a lot of support with syringe feeding during this time.

My vet does not do dental work like Simon in Northampton does, but he is very good with piggies in general and I would reccomend him if you wanted a second opinion. His name is Rob and he is based at Severn Edge vets in Much Wenlock, which is perhaps close enough for you to travel to?
 

divadisco

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Thanks for everyone offering to help. Looks like we will be taking him to the local vet for x-rays. My wife works long hours and can't make it out of work in time and I don't drive. The last time we gave him metacam was on Friday, but we have been giving him Recovery Plus since Tuesday night after our last vet visit. Have enough till tomorrow night and then if need to, will start syringe feeding him mushed up pellets.
I thought the first vet we saw took a good look into his mouth, didn't think the second vet did as much but I was holding Diva from behind during the second visit so didn't have as good a look as the first visit when I was in front of him.
Because his front paw is hurt, he is often leaning down face first. Since the injury occurred overnight, it's hard to know how it happened, but yes there is a chance he also hurt his mouth/jaw when he hurt his paw. Thanks for the recommendation of another vet for a second opinion, it is a little closer to where we live and will keep it in mind, thanks.
And you have given me other possibilities to consider as well and have given me wonderful suggestions. Thank you.
 

Cavy Kung-Fu

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Ah okay, it doesn't sound like the vets have examined the back teeth as they're hard to see just by opening the mouth. It's a wrestle to get the mouth open enough! :))
 

divadisco

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Thanks for that link. Wish I had joined this site earlier. Yes, the vets just checked by opening his mouth, so you may be right that they haven't checked his back teeth. Time to feed Diva. Thanks once again to everyone.
 

sport_billy

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Can you drive to Wolves? Our vet below is very good

White Cross Vets
Rosie Levene-Barry
333A Penn Rd
Penn
Wolverhampton , West Midlands WV4 5QF
01902 599 880
www.whitecrossvets.co.uk
 

Streaky

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Hi, sorry to hear about this, must be so stressful and sad!
I live in Birmingham, and go to Quinton Vets4Pets, the vets there are so good with guinea pigs. Highly recommend!
 

Freela

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As others have said, I would suspect some sort of dental issue. Vets may be more or less experienced with pigs and what their teeth should look like. Some vets may just check the front incisors without getting a good look at the molars (where problems tend to start.) Even when vets do try to look at the back teeth with an otoscope (which is normally used for ears, with a light on it and a scope to look through) the back teeth can sometimes be obscured. I hope you are able to get some clearer answers.
 

divadisco

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Thanks again everyone. The White Cross vets is one of the places my wife looked at from the link provided. Will see how x-rays go and what vets says and then see if I need to get a second opinion.
When we were feeding Diva, my wife seemed to think that he took food from the syringe much easier from his left side then the right side. Think I will mentioned that to the vet before x-rays are done. It's been a long day, but glad I took the time to join and get the feedback and support from everyone here. Thanks.
 
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