Coco's tooth

Let Sleeping Pigs Lie

Post   » Mon Sep 08, 2008 11:37 am

Here is your photo:


Sending good thoughts for Thursday's vet visit.


Post   » Mon Sep 08, 2008 9:18 pm

Thanks for the good wishes, and getting my picture up. I'm not good with computers on the best of days, and definitely not when I'm in a rush to get to work. I really appreciate it. I will let you all know how it goes.


Post   » Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:22 pm

Well, the vet looked at Coco's teeth, said his gums still looked quite red, looked as well as she could at his premolars with an otoscope and said they appeared to be fine. So she put him on antibiotics for 2 weeks to see if it would help his gums look better and possibly make his tooth start growing in normal. I was quite hesitant to put him on the antibiotics as he normally reacts to it and stops eating and gets diarrhea. He is on novo trimel (Bactrim) and so far, its day 3 and no reaction, he even seems to enjoy taking it. So fingers crossed that this will work. If not she wants to sedate, do radiographs and take a good look at the back of his mouth. I am not quite prepared to do that, as the risks are much higher of a guinea pig dying that way then when a dog or cat goes under anesthetic. She also quickly looked at my other guinea pig Taz, I guess as a comparison and I brought up that he has this white mark on his eye that is growing. Apparently it is a calcium deposit, that can continue to grow and make it difficult for him to see out of that guinea pigs are not even 3 yet and so many issues. I don't know what else to do, they get unlimited hay, veggies twice a day, Oxbow Cavy Cuisine (measured to 1/4 cup a day - for two piggies). I hope this is just a snag and the live a lot longer.

Let Sleeping Pigs Lie

Post   » Wed Sep 17, 2008 1:32 am

I hope the Bactrim helps Coco. It is usually tolerated better than Baytril.

"She also quickly looked at my other guinea pig Taz, I guess as a comparison and I brought up that he has this white mark on his eye that is growing. Apparently it is a calcium deposit, that can continue to grow and make it difficult for him to see out of that eye."

If you're interested, there are other members here that have guinea pigs with similar conditions:

Osseous Choriostoma Osseous Metaplasia

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I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Wed Sep 17, 2008 9:28 am

I am not quite prepared to do that, as the risks are much higher of a guinea pig dying that way then when a dog or cat goes under anesthetic.
The risks are greatly reduced with a good vet. If the pig had an abscess under that root, the tooth may have to be removed.

The only way to properly examine the molars is under light anesthetic. I wouldn't hesitate to do this given what you're dealing with, and as long as you have a good vet.

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Post   » Wed Sep 17, 2008 10:44 am

An xray can provide very valuable information. I would definitely have one done if you wish to know what is really going on.


Post   » Thu Sep 18, 2008 6:27 am

Thanks for the info on the calcium deposit, I'm going to go look at all of it tonight after work. I actually had x-rays done of his mouth, without sedation a couple months ago when he had the abcess under the gums. So you actually just reminded me that I'm going to call that vet today and get her to take pictures of them and email them to my new vet. My new vet does seem to know quite a lot about guinea pigs and exotics in general. She deals with everything from Kangaroo's, lizards, birds, rodents, etc. Coco still is doing well on the Bactrim, no diarrhea and his appetite has not decreased at all. He goes for a recheck once he is finishing the antibiotic and then we will go from there. I'll let you know what happens at the recheck in a week. Thanks again for all of your support and interest.


Post   » Sat May 30, 2009 4:16 pm

Please help me again!! Since the last time I wrote Coco's one tooth, the smaller one appeared loose one morning and I brought him to the vet and she took it out, said it was broken below the gum line and that the tooth should grow back. Well the tooth never grew back and his other tooth stayed large and he seemed fine with just the one bottom tooth. I noticed yesterday that he was having a difficult time eating his carrot and this morning again with his veggies. So I just felt his one bottom tooth and it was loose, with only a bit of force it came right out. So now Coco has no bottom teeth, he seems to be able to eat pellets alright without any teeth. I am really starting to think he has a bad abscess under the gums, or some sort of cancer. Has anybody had there guinea pig still be able to eat with only two top teeth?? I weigh him all the time and he hasn't lost any weight, he weighs 2.5 lbs. Any help would be appreciated, Im soo scared that I'm coming to the end with him and it breaks my heart.


Post   » Sat May 30, 2009 4:28 pm

give him a lot of vitamin c, when my little one has the teeth problems (she died on tuesday) my vet told me she is happy that the teeth not appear weak and loose, she said that one of the common problems are that the teeth are weak and loose and the vitamin c keep them strong, go to the vet again, I hope everything will be fine, maybe you should help him a little bit with critical care.

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Contributor in 2018

Post   » Sat May 30, 2009 9:34 pm

I've had guinea pigs break incisors before and they were able to eat pellets and hay okay since they chew with their molars. It would be helpful to shred/grate veggies for him because he can't bite pieces off with missing front teeth.

Keep an eye on the top teeth, if they get too long your vet may need to trim them.

Has he had an x-ray?

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Post   » Sat May 30, 2009 11:01 pm

How long ago did the first tooth break off? Still likely they will grow back. If not, you may need to file the upper incisors slightly to keep from injuring the bottom of the mouth. They do need some length, though, to pull the food into their mouths.

I don't think vitamin C is a cureall but do make sure your guinea pig is getting at least 25mg/day.


Post   » Sun May 31, 2009 9:31 pm

Thanks for all your support. It has really amazed me but Coco like you said is still able to eat hay and pellets, and even his veggies if I cut them small enough. He lost his one tooth at least a couple of months ago, the vet pulled it out, and I'm thinking she pulled the root out too. She also trimmed his other front teeth that were left and trimmed them too short that I was having to feed him critical care for a couple of days until the 3 teeth grew long enough for him to grasp things. To my amazement as well, this morning I took a look in his mouth and I can already see a tooth coming through, so he will be back to having 3 incisors by the end of the week hopefully. I will definately keep an eye on his top ones though and make sure they don't get too long. I really don't trust the vet anymore since I feel she did more damage than good the last time his tooth got loose. I work at a vet clinic for dogs and cats, but my vet is great. I'm going to bring Coco in sometime this week and x-ray him myself and see what I can see. I feed him veggies twice daily, and I bought some Vitamin C to add to the water, and he eats Cavy Cuisine, do you think feeding him some veggies that are higher in calcium would help? Like kale, parsley, etc, I normally try and only feed those every now and again as I am worried about urinary issues. I dunno, I'm just soo glad he is doing ok as of right now, and I really appreciate all your support. I'll keep you posted on his progress.

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Bugs Mom

Post   » Sun May 31, 2009 9:49 pm

Don't add vitamin C to the water. It will degrade quickly and quite possibly taste funny so he won't drink it. You can use either children's liquid vitamin c or human ones and just supplement 25mg a day.

I wouldn't increase the amount of calcium he's getting as it has the potential of adding another problem to an already existing one, e.g. bladder stones/teeth issues.

Good luck with your little one. You could go to the care guide above, print out the pages on teeth and take them with you when you talk to your vet.


Post   » Sat Feb 25, 2012 6:08 pm

Well my 7 1/2 gp is still alive, been through so many teeth issues and now only need to travel about every 5-6 months to get his premolars/molars trimmed. He now has a new issue with his teeth.

He has not had any real lower incisiors for a couple of years, but the one side remains open as a small tiny tooth (smaller than a toothpic) will poke through every so often, and I have to trim it to keep it down to where it will not rub on anything when he eats, as it is painful.
There has been pus draining from this hole for at least a year. The guinea pig specialists had said there is nothing they could do for it that would not be a big risk. So I rinse it every day, he is on a high dose of Metacam for this and his elongated roots. He is also off and on Metronidazole (which makes no difference).

He now has a small swelling under his jaw (abscess). We went to the specialist yesterday to have his teeth trimmed under general anesthetic. They also did a whole body radiograph.
They found two things on x-ray: he has some calculi in his bladder, but in a strange position as they are located very far back. They also found what they believe is a abscess under his jaw, that may be affecting his jaw as well.
There options to me is to continue with status quo and add on some TMS antibiotic for a month, and up his Metacam dose. They suggested that I could have surgery done to explore the area under his jaw, and possibly need some of his jaw amputated. They have left it up to me on what to do. I believe, although they didn't say it, is because he may not make it through the surgery.
My first issue is that he cant be on TMS or any antibiotic besides Metronidazole without getting severe diarrhea and he stops eating.
Also, I'm not sure if anybody here would remember, but back in June I brought in my guinea pig Taz to have a bladder stone removed. He died the next day in my arms, as I believe he had a stroke. I feel guilty for having the surgery done, as he was doing ok on Metacam and he could of lived longer had I not had the surgery done. But it is hard to judge quality over quantity of life with a guinea pig as they don't show their discomfort well.
So any suggestions to any of this would help me make the decision. Today Coco is doing great, I increased his Metacam dose and he is eating like a champ and seems very happy.
Also does anybody know of any natural remedies to help with the abscess. Like can I flush the area with apple cider vinegar, as he may swallow some if it if I do that.
I am going to bring him to work with me all week, and do laser therapy to the area as well.
What would you do?

2/25/2012, 11:23 am


Marjorie, I’m sorry Coco has an abscess. Take a look at the 2 links below for some advice and an idea on what is involved with dental or jaw abscesses. I won’t sugar coat it, it’s a long, drawn out process requiring very diligent care on your part and a really good experienced exotic vet. In my Timmy’s case, he is on life long AB’s and pain killers to keep the abscess under control since he won't be having anymore surgeries (he's already had 13 for this abscess). If for some reason we slack off on his twice daily jaw cleaning or happen to give his AB late, the abscess starts getting bigger within 24 hours.

He is now 9 ½ years old and most days he’s a very happy and comfortable little old man. He also has an enlarged heart and arthritis in his hips. To be totally honest, the success of the after-care is based on 3 things: your diligent care, your vets experience and Coco’s personality.

Take a look at my Timmy’s thread starting on page 2:

Also take a look at BamBam’s thread about Pudding.

Good luck with Coco, no matter what you decide to do. Keep us updated.

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Post   » Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:02 pm

Kallie had some good advice to share. I am so sorry your guinea pig is struggling with this. How do you flush the abscess? Do you use a curved tip syringe? Sterile saline solution? How did you do it, Kallie?

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Post   » Sun Feb 26, 2012 3:09 am

Once the abscess has been removed or drained – and left open for flushing, we used a diluted solution of Betadine, using a 10cc syringe. This size syringe was recommended by his vet because it provides a little less power, thus less pain and less risk of damaging tissue. Because the head is so low to the ground, it’s also important to wash the surrounding area as well.

Because bone and roots are involved, it is vital to give an AB for a minimum of 3 months. Be sure and have the pus cultured to be certain you are giving the correct AB. Have the vet check to make sure the pus isn’t draining in Coco’s dewlap, which is the usual escape route for the pus. The length of the AB is important because their mouth isn’t exactly clean all the time.

If the abscess is caused by an infected root, there is a good chance the tooth can be removed. Timmy had 2 teeth removed and has no problems with eating. He had 1 bottom incisor and 1 bottom molar removed. He also had 3 holes drilled into his jaw bone so the vet could access the infected roots and clean everything out. It’s important that if you have the tooth removed, that the root is also removed or the problem will continue and spread. He did have to have regular molar trims for approx 1 year until his jaw adjusted itself to the new chewing ways. Now he only needs his incisors trimmed every 3-4 months, which he doesn’t need sedation for.

Besides Timmy being on life long AB’s and pain meds, we still wash his neck and jaw areas twice daily just to make sure the area keeps as clean as possible – as well as rinsing his mouth twice daily by syringing him plain water.


Post   » Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:08 am

I flush it out with warm water and a curved 12 cc syringe. There is still a tooth left in there, way down, and I believe this is the reason it is still open, its a very tiny tooth, but I think this is the issue. Also the large hole is surroned by this fragile tooth like material that is much larger than a tooth, and keeps the hole open. Its hard to explain.
His other bottom incisor fell out a long time a ago as well and it has closed fine, no issues. He eats like a champ without any bottom incisors.
Whats his dewlap?
I'm really thinking that maybe I should do the surgery. I am going to try him on TMS for a month and see how this works for him, but ultimately I think he needs that tooth removed in order for all of this to heal.
I don't have high hopes for trying him on this antibiotic as he always has reactions to antibiotics and ends up worse then when he started. So I will try it for a couple of days and see how it goes. Wish him luck!

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Post   » Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:47 pm

The dewlap is the flabby area on his chest leading up his neck and chin.

If there is a constant hole, this likely is the issue then since it will always have crud in it from eating hay, veggies, pellets etc. can you possibly take a photo of his mouth and post it?

If he were my pig, and in good general health, I would have the tooth removed. If there is constantly a hole in his mouth, this issue won’t clear up.


Post   » Fri Mar 02, 2012 9:47 am

Well so far so good on the antibiotics! Coco is doing very well, eating like a champ and seems to be in much better spirits then before. A chunkc of tooth even came out of the hole last night. I will continue flushing and on antibiotics and Metacam for the next couple of weeks and most likely book him in for surgery from there. As I know getting the infection down first is a good thing to do before surgery. Plus it helps with me saving up some money to do it as well. I'm just so elated that he is in such good spirits right now. Oh and I'll try and take a picture this weekend to post.
Thanks again for all your advice. I will keep you updated on his progress.

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