On Thursday he was fine. I went out of town and today I returned to find him having some difficulty chewing. He has a very hard time taking a bite out of hard things like carrots, and some difficulty tearing softer things like lettuce. I have seen him spit out carrot twice, but he seems to chew lettuce fine once he tears it and gets it in his mouth. Same with pepper. I checked his front teeth to make sure he didn't lose one that would cause difficulty tearing, but they look like they always have. I let him gnaw on me and he has no trouble inflicting pain by biting me with his front teeth.
The reason I think it might be a situation where he could benefit from a chin sling is because while I had him on my lap to watch him eating, I put my finger under his chin and he seemed to enjoy me supporting the weight of his lower jaw. He also let me massage his jaw for a good length of time, which I can't imagine him allowing if it didn't feel good. I tried to offer food while supporting his lower jaw, but it freaked him out too much and I couldn't convince him to try chewing with my hand under his jaw.
What do you think? He wasn't maloccluded last time, and his jaw didn't and doesn't appear to hang slack. However, I'm wondering if he has a condition similar to Pinta's Willie (from GL's Chin Sling page). Should I hunt down the materials to make him a chin sling and see if it helps?
I purchased the chin sling pattern through Pinta and she was so helpful in answering my questions. I sent her an email last night and asked some questions and ended up sorting it out and buying/receiving the pattern all in one day. It was really great.
Of course, Baxter being Baxter, he doesn't want anything to do with the veggies that I tear FOR him. He goes straight for the stuff I don't rip up that is intended for Jeeves. Right now I have him out of the cage on the bed feeding him his veggies separately so that I can watch him closely (and better make sure Jeeves isn't stealing) and he's trudging right along without any help from me.
- You can quote me
My gut instinct is that the answer to question #1 is yes, but Pinta is the one who will know for sure. I'd email her.
I will say we've had more than one pig with less-than-perfect incisors and the occasional random point on a molar or premolar and they've done just fine. Slanted incisors are not always indicative of a problem, only about 99.97 percent of the time.
I think I have both Baytril and Bactrim... will have to check expiration dates. If I do have both, though, which should I use for a potential oral infection?