Eat Crunchy Veggies. The veterinarian should offer to examine and photograph your guinea pig’s mouth using an endoscopy, which will provide a clear image as a reference for future examinations. Some vets treat the scurvy but miss the malocclusion. The guinea pig is firmly wrapped in a towel during the procedure which is done in most cases with no anesthesia. If you are at all concerned that your guinea pig may be developing dental disease, please get it to a veterinarian as soon as possible! Some guinea pigs require such frequent teeth filing that extraction of the abnormal teeth is a better option. Your guinea pig needs your sharp eyes and overall awareness to tell whether he’s having painful dental issues. Typically, a guinea pig has 20 teeth. He's a particularly fussy little guy so he wouldn't hold still for me to try and get it out of his mouth, and guinea pigs are so small that I'm worried about hurting him if I try to hold his head and pull the thing out. New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast. Malocclusion, or misalignment of the teeth, can happen in guinea pigs. This way, when you know his normal, you’ll immediately know what his abnormal is. I know food can get stuck between some guinea pig’s teeth and need cleaning. She responded to a few questions about tooth care on the medical board: Does the guinea pig need to go under anesthesia each time? What’s not a thing and who’s not a vet? Caitlin UltimoFebruary 2, 2011Health / Symptoms & Solutions. Maloccluded molars are ground and filed (usually under anesthetic). Some malocclusion is believed to be genetic, especially in cases where guinea pigs younger than two years are maloccluded. The buccal pad separators (pictured above) and a dental file (not pictured) were obtained from the Cambridge Cavy Trust. Too many vets have only trimmed the incisors and missed the overgrown molars which were causing the problems. If he doesn't have any heart issues, there shouldn't be a problem. Never free-feed pellets and always have timothy hay available; this ensures that your guinea pig chews enough timothy hay to wear down its teeth. Fat pads in the cheeks cover up the molars in the back of the mouth making them hard to examine. Once the teeth have been evaluated, the veterinarian may recommend different treatments. Teeth may need to be extracted, and treatments with antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medications, and other medications may be needed. It is essential that the incisors are not clipped too short. For more information on preventing and treating malocclusion, see Pinta's thread. Discussions taking place within this forum are intended for the purpose of assisting you in discussing options with your vet. Consult with your veterinarian about any special needs your guinea pig may have. An instrument known as a bone rounger (lower right hand picture) can be used to clip teeth. Make sure to bring your guinea pig in for regular physical exams performed by an experienced veterinarian who will check the length and condition of your pet’s teeth. Sometimes the teeth develop sharp points that can cause ulcers on the tongue or the side of the mouth. Guinea pigs spend a lot of time eating, and they chew quite a bit. Teeth can also shift in position and become maloccluded and misaligned due to scurvy, a disorder resulting from insufficient vitamin C in the diet. And I know unclean teeth can cause human gums to swell. An animal physical therapist can manipulate the jaw back if it's misaligned. Pinta writes: Sometimes the jaw gets "locked" by getting stuck on a ridge. In some cases, the guinea pig will need dental work every few weeks. (But three weeks after she has had her babies, cut back to 1/8 cup!) According to Guinea Lynx, these are: It is also worth noting that guinea pigs tend to have white teeth as opposed to other animals’ teeth in the rodent family, which tend to be yellow. The most important thing a guinea pig owner can do for their pet is to weigh it weekly! Pellets should be offered so that the whole bowl is eaten within a few hours and the rest of the time your guinea pig has to eat the hay. Very quickly, a guinea pig with scurvy will develop malocclusion problems with its teeth. Press J to jump to the feed. See also an article on malocclusion written by DVM Elisângela Perez de Freitas and translated by Regiane Bagni: Elongation and dental malocclusion in Guinea Pig: a case report. He won't chew anything harder than hay. How does this monthly surgery affect an older guinea pig? Usually in these cases guinea pigs may not have had hay within their diet. Use a chewable table that contains 250 milligrams vitamin C, and break it in half for your guinea pig. The endoscope helps magnify the teeth and reach deep inside the mouth to detect problems that would otherwise be overlooked. For pregnant guinea pigs, the pellets should be increased in amount so there is always some in the bowl. See a sketch of the teeth illustrating the 30 degree angle and photographs of Paravati's guinea pig before and after dental planing. The front teeth must only be shortened enough to prevent them from contacting the roof of the mouth (if lower incisors) or contacting the lower gums (if upper incisors). If your vet understands the problem, she could possibly manipulate it into position. Softer foods do not stimulate a guinea pig to chew vigorously side-to-side like it does for timothy hay. No, the molars need to be planed shorter than usual to compensate for the elongated roots. Does your guinea pig seem to work at chewing like he has something caught in his mouth that he or she is trying to unstick? Is your guinea pig drooling? A radiograph of the skull may be needed, to better understand the health of the roots of the teeth, and to see if there are any other changes in the bones of the skull that may be affecting your guinea pig’s health. Turns out, … This treatment works best after an initial planing of overgrown molars. These tools were designed by Vedra Stanley-Spatcher and can be obtained directly from her in England. Impaction is the build up of faecal material in the anal sack of the guinea pig. If a guinea pig does not swallow the right size of food, especially if it is not getting enough fiber with each mouthful, it can create problems with fermentation and digestion, leading to soft stool and diarrhea, or sometimes small hard dry stools. You should be able to move it back and forth and from side to side. Knowing what you’re supposed to see is a good start, but you also need to know when something is wrong. Jaw fractures can be caused by an injury (fall) and on occasion, from biting too hard on the cage bars. This is a minimum amount; you may safely give 125 milligrams without worry. The molar teeth wear unevenly, and maxillary cheek teeth develop spurs which grow into and ulcerate the cheeks, whilst the mandibular cheek teeth grow towards the tongue causing buccal ulceration.