Still not eating after having teeth fixed

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Post   » Sun Sep 24, 2017 7:59 pm

My 2yr old boar Possum had his teeth fixed about 10 days ago. For some reason he had a vitamin D difficiency even though he was being fed vitamin rich veggies daily along with his timothy hay and pellets. He was already a smaller pig compared to our others. His difficiency led to his teeth malocclusion and he stopped eating. We took him to a vet that said his teeth were fine despite the drooling and weight loss. We started feeding him critical care on the advice of a breeder we had spoken to and they also suggested we find another vet. We were feeding him critical care for 2 to 3 days before we got to the vet and then for another 4 days before we got him to another vet that specializes in small animals and birds only. This vet determined his teeth were badly overgrown and needed to be fixed as soon as possible. He went in a day later and had them done. Everything went well but the vet said it may take a couple of days before he starts to eat on his own and his jaw was a bit different because of the potential scurvy he had. He still is not eating on his own...only very soft veggies. He gets critical care at least 4 times a day and eats it till he is full. He will not touch his hay and I worry about him not eating correctly. His behavior is not a concern...he is still bright eyed and behaves normally. I am concerned he will not start eating his food yet and how long this will go on. Vet says he does not understand why he is not eating on his own yet also. Xrays show teeth are the way they should be now...please help

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Post   » Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:13 pm

It's normal for a few days to pass before a pig is willing to eat normally after their teeth have been worked on. Their mouths are very small, and the molars are pretty far back in. It's hard to plane the teeth without nicking the gums/tongue/cheek, which can leave the pig in a good bit of pain. Most vets will send a pig home with pain meds to get through the first three days or so, and by then, the pig is usually willing to eat.

Will he eat hay if you poke it into his mouth, all the way back to his molars? If the vet trimmed his front teeth, which is not usually done, he may be unable to pick up anything as small as a strand of hay. If that's the case, he should start eating as soon as the incisors are long enough for him to pick up the food.

One thing to try is to make sure he's hungry when you feed him hay. You don't ever want to withhold food very long from a guinea pig, but they can come to prefer veggies over hay, and just won't eat the hay if they're not hungry. I'd try taking everything away for a couple of hours and then putting him down in a pile of hay and see if he'll eat it. If he doesn't, go ahead and feed him anyway, because he shouldn't go long without food.

Another trick is to make sure you're giving him very fresh, green hay. If you're getting the stuff in the small bags from the pet store, it's usually dry and fairly tasteless. Most pigs will go nuts for good green hay, so it's worth a little effort to see if you can get some.

Other than that, the only thing I can suggest is hand-feeding him his hay if he'll take it. If you can pick out the strands with the seed heads, most pigs really love those, and he may be willing to take that. And cross your fingers that he'll remember that he likes hay, and continues to eat it!

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Post   » Mon Sep 25, 2017 1:46 am

Vitamin D deficiency can derive from complete lack of sunlight, or a bowel absorption problem, when the food is fine. Bowel absorption causes mine, and since I became disabled, lack of sunlight made it worse, being at home almost 24/7. I solved it by adding a sunlight device in the room where the pigs and I stay most of the day. Since we moved, there is enough sunlight, but in winter, I still switch the extra daylight light on daily.

Lack of vitamin D does not make anyone stop eating, the malocclusion did. If the pig eats enough hay a day, the cause needs to be determined. An X-ray can show if there is an underlying problem. If there is nothing to see, the heart may be the culprit. A heart scan can show more. I had a piggie whose heart problems caused teeth issues, but it was discovered too late.

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Post   » Tue Sep 26, 2017 1:22 pm

It really depends on the vet too and the way they treated your piggy. When one vet did our Jessie she wouldn't eat for 3-5 days, even syringe feeding was a struggle. But once we swapped vets, we found Jessie bounced back very quickly, in fact in a matter of hours.

With the first vet we needed Metacam-pain medication, with the second vet we needed nothing at all. The second vet also used only the gas to put her under, none of the other sedation medication. Hoping Possum feels his normal self real soon. Weigh him regularly to make sure he's not losing too much weight.Keep up the good work.

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