Elongated Roots advice

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Post   » Sun May 26, 2019 3:25 am

Hi, I'm looking for some advice for my guinea pig's medical problem.

Let me tell you some things about Carver. In 2015 I found him in an animal shelter. Immediately I fell in love with him, he was alone, in that place. They told me that I should have about a year or a year and a half. Create a very strong link with him. He became my friend.

In August of 2017 he had a problem of malocclusion, so his teeth were filed and he returned to eat normally. From this occasion, every four months Carver had to assist so that his teeth were trimmed.

* In January of 2018 they found a small tumor in one of their mammary glands, so it was removed and was sterilized (since the veterinarian told me that the tumor was due to a hormonal cause). Despite the complicated operation, that same day he tried to jump towards me from the incubator where he was. The tumor turned out to be malignant, but to date no new lumps have been found or any indication that the discomfort has returned. Returning to the problem of malocclusion, Carver's teeth were trimmed on April 23, 2019, but his recovery was very slow.

Previously, Carver had been a very strong guinea pig, so on the first day after his tooth reduction he was already eating. This time it did not happen like that, a week had passed and he still could not eat. At first I attributed it to the veterinarian who only sent him Meloxipet to alleviate his pain, when in previous occasions it also included Tramadol (for the care of his intestinal flora always used Benebac).

I assumed that the medical reduction was due to the strength of my little guinea pig and for a week I could not communicate with my veterinarian because he was changing to a new place.

During the following week I fed him with Critical Care, so he kept his weight. On May 1, he began to eat alone, but he did not touch his timothy hay or his corn leaves, he simply ate lettuce, pieces of red pepper and some other soft vegetables cut into thin strips. On May 3, he again attended his checkup, but when he saw him eat, my veterinarian decided to give him a few more days with medication and wait. With the Tramadol and Meloxipet, Carver began to eat better, he already ate pellets and even the softest leaves of the corn, but he still did not eat hay.

The medication continued until May 14, when he was taken again for a check-up. I told my vet that Carver still did not eat hay and that I was worried that his teeth would grow a lot. I assumed that they had to do a dental job again because maybe the angulation of the teeth did not help him eat.

The veterinarian performed x-rays and told me that, probably due to her age (about 5 years old), she had level 4 malocclusion. I asked the veterinarian what procedure we should follow now, and she told me there was not much to do more than to pamper him and take care of him.

My processing of this news was very long. I cried a lot and I left one of my jobs to stay with Carver as long as possible.

During this week, I have seen him continue to fight, he continues to eat mostly vegetables and green leaves, and almost the majority of his pellets (he still does not touch the hay). Looking for what I had and if there was a cure or some treatment, I found something called elongated roots within the main themes. I have read the NCBI file and would like to know if someone familiar with this could give me advice. I live in Mexico City.

I appreciate the time it took you to read me.

I do not know how to upload images. I leave a google link with the latest x-rays of Carver. If someone could advise me to upload the images, I'll gladly do it. An apology.


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Post   » Sun May 26, 2019 7:38 am

I am so sorry your guinea pig is having these problems. I have never heard described "level 4 malocclusion". I do not have a veterinary background so cannot advise well and cannot read your xrays. If there are elongated roots, from what I understand is that it is difficult to maintain. The molars can be ground down more to help aleviate the pain from chewing. I think there is some info here:

Are you weighing regularly? Can he eat Critical Care by syringe?

It is possible your vet could consult with Dr. Legendre in Canada. I think the teeth pages have links to some veterinary dentists and contact info for Dr. Legendre.

I broke up your long post and added lines of spaces in between the paragraphs for readability. Please break up your posts for readability.

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sun May 26, 2019 8:27 am

I am not a vet, but it does look possible to me that your pig has elongated roots. If your vet is not experienced with rodent dentistry, I would find one that is and ask to have the x-rays evaluated. Lynx's suggestion of contacting Dr. Legendre is a good one.

Unfortunately, there's nothing to be done for elongated roots except repeated planings. Those are expensive for you, painful for the pig, and the repeated sessions of anesthesia that are required are hard on the pig. Most people opt for a few of them, and then come to a point where they decide to euthanize the pig.

I'm sorry your pig is having such problems.


Post   » Sun May 26, 2019 5:14 pm

Thank you very much, Lynx. I was also looking for the level 4 malocclusion on the internet but I have not found anything at all.

I was already reading that section. Do you know any case of elongated roots where the Chin Sling device is effective?

Since his teeth were trimmed, I have weighed him daily:
In the days after the operation (April 24 - May 1) his weight ranged between 970 grams and 1008 grams. He kept this weight force feeding him (His normal weight when he is healthy is usually 1200 grams).

After his check-up on May 3 and the prescription drugs, he began to eat by himself and has maintained his weight from 1026 grams (May 3) to 1024 grams (May 26). He has not gained more weight than that, but he has not gone down either.

I fed him Critical Care during the first week, after his operation, but little by little he started eating alone.
To answer in particular: Yes, I have fed him via syringe.

Thank You, I'm sorry for the long post. I appreciate that you have helped me with the length of my text.


Post   » Sun May 26, 2019 5:27 pm

Hello bpatters. Thanks for your answer and for taking a look at the x-rays. Do you know how the level of severity of the elongated roots can be measured?

My veterinarian specializes in exotic animals, She was recommended to me by the Veterinary School of the UNAM, in a medical check I made of Carver during 2015. I am going to talk to her about Dr. Legendre.

I feel very sad. I do not know how to make that decision. When is the time to do it? How do I know he wants that? I see him eating and maintaining such a normal attitude (except that he does not eat hay at all) that makes it difficult for me to make that kind of decision. Probably this week I have to take it back to trimmed his teeth. And I am worried that this time his recovery will be even longer.

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sun May 26, 2019 6:06 pm

If there's a way to measure the severity of the root problem, I don't know what it is. The problem just makes it very painful for the pig to grind the molars, so they stop eating hay, then the molars overgrow.

A chin sling would probably not help if the problem is elongated roots -- it's designed to help with problems with the jaw joint.

It shouldn't take him all that long to recover from a tooth planing. You may have to hand feed for a day or so, but the procedure itself shouldn't be that bad. The problem with it comes from the necessity of repeated anesthesia and the effects of that, and from the cost. But I've known of several pigs who've lived a year or more with repeated planings.

You can quote me

Post   » Thu May 30, 2019 7:45 pm

We had one who lived well over a year with repeated planings. He was a sturdy pig who came from a shelter and had had a horrible background. The key is to find a good veterinary dentist who can do the work properly. The vet we were seeing at the time got a quick routine down that really minimized recovery time, and she gave us a bit of a discount a la "frequent flyer".

What kind of anaesthesia does your vet use? Inhalant anaesthesia (sevoflurane, isofluorane) is best because it clears their systems quickly and they come up quickly.

It might be worth looking into a chin-sling. As bpatters points out, elongated roots wasn't its original purpose but it has helped a few pigs manage the overgrowing dental material by forcing a correct, firm grinding action.


Good luck and blessings to him and to you.

You can quote me

Post   » Thu May 30, 2019 8:39 pm

Also -- without reading back, is he given any pain medication, such as Metacam, post-trim? This can make an enormous difference in how quickly he recovers.

Their teeth don't hurt per se, but their mouths are very small and even the best vet can nick a gum or cheek accidentally. It's almost impossible not to. The vet that cared for our elongated roots pig used a 'magic mouthwash' formulation immediately after each trim. These formulations vary but they all have an ingredient that ends in -caine in them; i.e., a topical anaesthetic (similar to that in baby teething gel). Many include saline to help promote healing. Might be worth asking your vet about. It helped our pig dramatically.

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