Malocclusion Experiences and Links To Gp Illnesses

User avatar

Post   » Sun Aug 01, 2010 12:24 pm

lildave777, you might want to read over (no chat speak) and the sticky on posting advise regarding new posters.

We do not recommend salt licks at all.

Tonya, I think your idea of using river rock won't help and is going in the wrong direction. High quality tasty hay will take care of the teeth. Other than that, monitoring weekly for weight loss or illness (which can be a direct or indirect cause of malocclusion) is recommended.



Post   » Tue Sep 14, 2010 9:52 pm

1) Name/Guinea pig breed/age
2) How old when first malocclusion treatment and how many treatments since
3) Heart problems/other illnesses experienced by pig (please specify before or after onset of malocclusion)
4) Treatment
5) Did treating the other problems (eg heart prob or others) hinder, delay or stop the malocclusion?

1) Spook, American TSW, 5 years old.
2) First treatment at 5 years old. Just took him to the vet today. Unknown what future treatments may be necessary.
3) No known heart problems. He has significant arthritis in his hips and knees due to old age, per x-ray a few months ago. Was treated for possible URI last month with 1 week of Baytril. Otherwise, no major or chronic health issues.
4) I noticed that he stopped eating his baby carrots even though he had always loved them. He would take them and run over the corner with it to keep it away from the others like always, but then put it down reluctantly and come back for something softer like lettuce. He would still eat things he didn't have to bite into, like parsley or hay. His incisors looked a little long to me and one of the lower ones a bit off kilter, so I took him to the vet today. The vet gave him light anesthetic (gas only) and trimmed the incisors and slightly planed the molars, though those were thankfully not bad at all. The bad news is, she noticed that he appears to have an abscessed lower right incisor. Pain from this probably caused him to not want to bite into things, which in turn led to the beginnings of overgrowth. Currently, he is home again with some trimethoprim sulfa twice a day for a week to try to get rid of the infection. After that, I am not sure what will happen with the tooth, nor do I know what caused the abscess in the first place. Advice or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
5) I do not know of any other conditions that he has that might be related to the current tooth problems, but if I discover something that is relevant to it, I will post it.


Post   » Wed Oct 27, 2010 6:17 am

Wanita, Tri colour. 3.4 years

Weighs currently 500g very small piggy normal weight is 800g growth has been stunted due to her illness when very young

I noticed something on Wanitas head when she was approx 8-10 wks old being a 1st time piggy owner I didn't know what this was until it turned into a horror fungal infection, treated aggressively for 3-4 months. Vet believes a lack of calcium? when pigs are young can lead to teeth issues later in life, possibly wasn't getting enough calcium whilst treating her for fungal, possible link to current malocclusion? who knows

First malocclusion treatment approx 2 months ago (Sep 2010)
Damaged back right molar removed, and left molars filed down couldn't eat due to tongue entrapment didn't seem to fix the problem syringed feed for the next 2months

2nd treatment 2 days ago (25th October 2010) - here is the vet report alot of vet jargon that I don't understand but I get the gist of it.................

Owner has been syringe feeding her for 8 weeks
Incisors very uneven
Scoped - molars meet across the tongue again
Upper right ginigival rostral to 1st molar red and inflamed
No palpable abscesses

Admit for burring of all teeth estimate $230-400 with or without extraction

(Note had diarrhoea from oral antibiotic previously)

3mg ketamine/0.3mg butorphanol/0.49mg medetomidine IM induction
Maintained on intermittant oxygen and isofluorane 3% gas anesthesia by mask
2.5% glucose 0.45 saline 6ml s/c

1 Incisor malocclusion - chewing with lower jaw pulled to left due to poor molar occlusion on right
2 Molar malocclusion bilaterally. Worse on right with caudal lower molars much longer
3 Molar spurring lower jaw. Lingual spurs of molars 1 & 2 meeting across the tongue rostrally. Lingual spurs of molars 4 causing ulceration of tongue caudally
No inflammation or swelling of gingiva

1/ Circular cutting and grinding burr used to reduce and even out length of incisors. Repeated at end of procedure once bit improved
2/ Long grinding burr used to shorten molars on lower right to encourage more bite
3/ Long grinding burr used to remove lingual spurs bilaterally and release tongue

Treatment plan
1/ Anti-inflammatories to be continued at home at higher dose rate for 1 week and then reduced to lower dose rate (Owner has the meloxicam at home and it is labeled - she should follow the label direction as if starting the course anew)
2/ No antibiotics necessary
3/ Syringe feeding of critical care should not be necessary for longer than 24 hours
4/ revisit in 2 weeks to view molars by scope and assess rate of regrowth of spurs. They will regrow

Currently she still is been syringe feed and has no interest in grass or hay.

Vet believes that Wanitas molars are positioned in such a way that they will continue to regrow over her tongue

I have considered euthanasia, but quickly gave up on the idea yesterday, she still has that spark in her eye and goes crazy for critical care. I realise I will do anything for her, even if I have to sell my but on the street to pay for the mounting vet bills (just kidding here) fingers crossed that they don't regrow so quickly.

Have been reading a bit about chin sling and massages these are inexpensive options will do more research, vet hasn't taken xray of teeth so maybe it's a root issue? I don't know

This has been a very helpful thread, inspires me and gives me hope, thanks for your experiences piggy slaves


User avatar

Post   » Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:14 am

An xray is certainly advised. What antibiotic used previously that caused diarrhea? I think Pinta knows the most about teeth around here. Hopefully she will have some comments.

Are you now able to maintain weight or is it still dropping? I trust you are weighing daily.


Post   » Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:00 pm

I weigh her twice daily, she mostly maintains 500g. Tonight she dropped down to 480g. I think that's due to the fact that I ran out of critical care, I'm just about to syringe feed as much pellet slurry as I can.

The antibiotic was BAYTRIL, the vet told me after I used it for 2 weeks on her that I should have discontinued it's use as soon as I noticed the diarrhea (I thought this was an unavoidable side affect).

Poor baby, wish I had known, hope this hasn't had any long term affect on her.

User avatar

Post   » Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:25 pm

With antibiotic use, we recommend reading gl/antibiotic_advice.html Usually it is loss of appetite but sometimes diarrhea.

It was your vet's responsibility to tell you what to look out for.


Post   » Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:39 pm

Lynx your right, I should have been advised from the vet about the possible side affects (diarrhea) of Baytril BEFORE it's use.

I'm doing as much research on malocclusion/meds as possible hopefully I'll learn something that may improve her condition.


Post   » Wed Nov 17, 2010 5:15 am

Hi just thought I should update

Wanita had her 3rd filing Thursday 11 November

Xrays showed -
Servery dislocated jaw due to possible (now healed) fracture.
No wonder the poor girl has so much trouble eating!
and bone resorption which means that part of the jaw bone is gone, SCARY, according to the vet hopefully the chin sling can provide enough muscle around this area to compensate for the missing bone.

User avatar

Post   » Wed Nov 17, 2010 2:54 pm

Is there thinning of other bones? Does she have some sort of bone condition like osteopenia?


Post   » Wed Nov 17, 2010 8:04 pm

No Lynx the some of the actual jaw bone is gone.
Not on the jaw hinge but on the "hook?" part near where the back molar is, (sorry this is vague) according to the vet the spurs on the back molar have in time worn away the bone.

I wish they'd let me have the xray so I can post a copy on GL
(Why aren't clients allowed to take home the xrays or at least a copy I wonder?)

User avatar

Post   » Wed Nov 17, 2010 8:25 pm

While you are there, ask to see the xray and photograph it against a bright window. You might be able to get something.


Post   » Wed Nov 17, 2010 11:04 pm

Totally agree Lynx

Next visit to the vet I wanna see that xray!

I like to see things for myself not just be told about them

User avatar
Supporter 2016-2018

Post   » Sat Nov 27, 2010 4:16 pm

Jessie is a mix breed a bit of this and a bit of that-that's what makes her so special! Jessie had just turned 3 when she developed abscesses,these were marsuplised but always returned, finally proper dental X-rays were taken which showed a bad tooth, this was removed but then was told the jaw was broken as incisors were badly misaligned. The Jessie developed motility issues and was put onto medication. She got her teeth filed evry 6-8 weeks, then she got the chin sling and things have gone down hill since then because we put it on too soon after a filing. X-rays show she has elongated roots, badly misalined molars and left side her teeth are brown.
The worse part of all this is the incompentence of the vets and the refusal to treat Jessie the way I know she should be treated medically, they admit I knowmore about guinea pigs than they do but won't listen when I ask them to do something a certain way.
Like for elongated roots it is recommended you file teeth down to gum line but NOOOOO the vets here know better and say this won't help, yet is because of them Jessie's mouth is so bad, So i recomend you get second opinions, speak up, do research and blow the vets it is your fur baby you do what you think is right and if the vet disagrees change Vets! Just wish Jessie and so many of our fur/feathered babies didn't have to suffer at the hands of vets!
Jessie's story( a looooong one) can be found under emergency and medical-Jessie and the vet.

User avatar
Sweet boys!

Post   » Sun Apr 17, 2011 6:20 pm

1) Oscar - American Smooth Hair - 10/12/07-4/15/11

2) Tooth trims occurred on 12/30/10, 2/03/11, 2/28/11, 3/24/11

3) As a young pig (3 mo.) Oscar experienced an abscess under his chin from a hay poke. Aside from that he was healthy and fine until the end of 2010. He had pneumonia starting 12/25/10. On 1/19/11 his right eye was removed and it was discovered that he had a retrobulbar abscess behind his eye. The vet never found any signs of tumor or cancer or other ailments, despite looking at his surgery site many times and drawing blood for lab work on 2/10/11.

4) Treatment - We began using the chinsling after his 3/24/11 tooth trim, this was as early as we could given his eye that did not seem to want to heal. It did seem to make a difference, however after Oscar stopped eating at the end of December 2010 he never ate on his own (at least not anything of substance) again.

5) Did treating the other problems (eg heart prob or others) hinder, delay or stop the malocclusion? - I don't believe that we got to the heart of what was wrong with Oscar. The malocclusion may have caused the abscess. I'm not sure how the pneumonia comes into play. He may have had an undiagnosed cancer or something that caused him to continue to lose weight despite my hand-feeding, although it was nothing that showed up in the lab work (I was feeding plenty enough to sustain his weight, and he ate it very well for me). I don't believe he had heart disease, mostly because he was sedated 7 times this year and did beautifully with it each time. Though I could be mis-informed about heart pigs and sedation.


Post   » Wed Nov 16, 2011 8:35 am

1) Willy/American?/Unknown, possibly between 4-5 years
2) First and only Nov 16 2011
3) Hasn't had any previous medical issues in the (almost) three years we've been together
4) He had his teeth reshaped under anesthesia. The teeth were not very over grown, but he had shown difficulty associated with malocclusion hence the surgery.

Now we're entering the 'wait and see' period to know if further problems occur or if the surgery has solved the problem.


Post   » Fri Dec 16, 2011 3:40 pm

I'm new to the forum. I have decided to join as the last few days I've been reading various threads in the hopes of getting more information about Guinea pig teeth problems.

1) Odwyn (male)/Abyssinian/3.5-4 years old (I adopted him about a year and a half ago).

2) I noticed last week he had difficulty biting into his food and had stopped eating hay. He had his first teeth-filing this tuesday passed.
3) No issues before this.
4) Teeth-filed, put on Oxbow Critical Care and given anti-inflammatory meds.
5) Guinea pig still hasn't resumed eating like normal.

I have a question, as I am very worried. The vet said she couldn't find any lesions or any symptoms that could indicate an abscess, and he also had an x-ray done and nothing strange showed up. Yet, Odwyn has yet to resume eating normally. I still syringe-feed him the Oxbow Critical Care four times a day, I cut up his veggies in tiny slices (yet it still takes him a while to get through it), and I syringe-feed him apple sauce. I haven't seen him drink from his water bowl, so I also use the syringe to give water to him. Other than that, he seems happier and more energetic but still not eating on his own.

He was anesthetized for the teeth-filing, and apparently he didn't wake up on his own so they needed to do so with the help of something or another (I forget what it's called).

I was wondering what your thoughts on this were? I just called the vet to ask her what to do, she said in the meantime to put him back onto the anti-inflammatory meds and give it another couple of days.

User avatar
Cavy Slave Since '08

Post   » Fri Dec 16, 2011 4:35 pm

Hi Clairebert! You should start a thread about your pig, so the members can help you.

My experience:
1) Name/Guinea pig breed/age
Pantufinha, american female, 2 years and 8 months old.

2) How old when first malocclusion treatment and how many treatments since
She was 2 years and 2 months old when she started to have teeth problems. She had to make 2 procedures in a short period of time.

3) Heart problems/other illnesses experienced by pig (please specify before or after onset of malocclusion)
She is a heart pig, and the malocclusion was a symptom of it. We found out it after the teeth problem.

4) Treatment
2 teeth procedures; heart medication (Lotensin).

5) Did treating the other problems (eg heart prob or others) hinder, delay or stop the malocclusion?
Since we started the heart medication, she is fine, no more teeth problem or other problems.

Pantufinha's Medical Thread


Post   » Thu Oct 11, 2012 4:20 pm

so sorry for your losses. Piggies are just so darn lovable that we hate to say goodbye.

User avatar

Post   » Wed Apr 17, 2013 5:58 pm

Just starting to go through malocclusion issues with one of my pigs.
(medical thread :

1) Carlie, Abyssinian(at least in part), 4 years 8 months old

2) First treatment today, April 17, 2013.

3) No known illness/problems to date. Crossing fingers she is not a heart pig. Vet felt some lower-molar root elongation. Did not X-ray this time.

4) Teeth procedure: bottom molars not quite meeting, but tongue getting caught. Top left side a touch longer than the right. Supplementing with CC, on metacam for two days following procedure.

5)No xray was done, no evidence this soon to say what the cause could be. Still interested in food. Will post if we find something relevant. [/url]


Post   » Thu Nov 14, 2013 5:53 am

I know that hay is generally the only thing recommended to keep teeth in good health, and it's definitely important for them to have hay all the time. I have also found that roughly a 5" long x 1/2" diameter piece of fresh cut cherry branch (free of all chemicals) for each pig, about once a week and then removed once bark has thoroughly been stripped will help with teeth as well. I've done this with every pig I've ever had. Their teeth have always been maintained at a perfect length without any problems. Maybe just luck.

I've also heard that some pigs won't eat at the bark but I've never had any that won't. Some of mine were and are much more vigorous about it than others but all, about 23 now in total, have chewed on it and seem to enjoy it.

Post Reply
111 posts