Help for Casper - deaf/blind white baby with teeth problems

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Caspersmom

Post   » Sat May 03, 2008 6:29 am


Hi, I'm new to pigs so please forgive me! I'm learning quickly but need some help. Casper is sleeping on my tummy as I write this, all sprawled out and happy!

I bought a guinea pig (named Pig) at a pet store who turned out to be roan - and pregnant. She had two healthy boys (since adopted by another family) and my special baby Casper, a 7 week old white girl with small blue/red eyes. She is deaf and blind (possible partial sight in one eye). I took her to the local vet but realized I knew more than he did about pigs, which isn't very much. I've since found the name of a pig specialist, but it's Saturday here and they're not open till Monday.

Casper gets around great, has been eating well (or so I thought). She weighs 325 grams (is this good or bad for 7 weeks? her brothers were MUCH bigger than her, though she was largest at birth).

I looked at her teeth today for the first time (again, forgive me I'm new to this!) and she only has one front tooth that is cuving out and back in to her mouth - very pointy and sharp. I looked in her mouth because I noticed she ate small foods easier - fresh clover, slivers of any veggies etc. and seemed to avoid large food. I've bought a few kinds of pellets and she eats the kind that is very small. She holds her head to the side and chews for a long time, very loudly.

I'm crazy about Casper, she's adorable - very sweet and cuddly (doesn't startle like her mom because she's deaf and blind - she doesn't ever panic like her mom Pig - who I chose because she was so freaked out at the pet store, screamed her head off when held and stuffs her head into any corner - a pig that would appreciate a quiet adult home with no kids mauling her!).

Since noticing the overgrown tooth this afternoon (and I have no idea what her molars look like, could be worse) I've grated food for her, which she slurps up very happily. I also mixed some pellets with cranberry/raspberry juice, which she loved. She ate a lot, then I weighed her for the first time, which is the 325 grams.

My concern is - will she be ok till the vet opens on Monday, if I keep feeding her carefully? She pooped and peed lots after I fed her.

I should also say that her mom Pig does not like her at all, and stopped feeding her when I weaned the boys from her at 3 weeks. She nips at Casper when Casper comes near - should I seperate them or let them sort it out? I built a very big cage for them, hoping this would help (2 by 5 feet) with lots of hidey spots like cheap Ugg boots but it hasn't so far as they seem to end up in the same part of the cage or the same Ugg boot!

Thanks for any advice!

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Jennicat

Post   » Sat May 03, 2008 7:17 am


Casper sounds like she may be a "lethal" guinea pig. This is a congenital deformity, which will always need hand feeding. Lethals are produced by roan x roan breeding.

http://www.guinealynx.info/eyes.html#congenital
http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/kitchen/4190-lethal-guinea-pigs.html

Check those out as kind of a primer on what to expect. Each lethal is different, depending on the severity of their congenital problems.

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Caspersmom

Post   » Sat May 03, 2008 7:34 am


I think you're right, she sounds like a lethal. Now I'm all worried about the issues I can't see but may be there.

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sus4rabbitsnpigs

Post   » Sat May 03, 2008 7:44 am


Ditto Jenni. You have a lethal most likely.

You should pm salana for advice but the above links have some info. Here is Einstein's thread http://www.guinealynx.info/forums/viewtopic.php?p=149871#149871

You probably need to make a pellet mash or feed the baby:
http://www.guinealynx.info/handfeeding.html#pups

Moms usually don't nurse past 2-3 weeks.

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Caspersmom

Post   » Sat May 03, 2008 7:54 am


Casper looks just like Einstein, except she has a tuft of hair that stands straight up on her back.

I tried to PM Salana but as I'm new here the system wouldn't let me for some reason.

She needs to get that front tooth trimmed right away, it must be so uncomfortable (it curves out between her lips) with a dagger sharp end. But she's a happy active little girl, popcorning around her cage.

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sus4rabbitsnpigs

Post   » Sat May 03, 2008 8:02 am


I pm'd her for you.

It's good she tries to eat on her own and she's perky.

Was the vet able to look at her molars?

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Caspersmom

Post   » Sat May 03, 2008 8:14 am


She's a trooper, this girl. Loves playing in her outdoor run, exploring, nibbling grass and checking things out!

She knows I'm around as she smells when I'm near her - she lifts her head and sniffs around when I talk to her, looking for me.

The only vet she's been to so far is the useless one - I have to wait 2 days to try to get her in to the GP specialist (I'm in Perth Australia, if anyone has a suggestion for a vet here).

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Topaz

Post   » Sat May 03, 2008 8:18 am


I hope this vet you're seeing on Monday knows their stuff. It's so very important to find someone you can trust and work well with, and I would think especially now that you're dealing with a lethal.

She sounds like a sweetie.

EllieMom

Post   » Sat May 03, 2008 8:43 am


No advice, but some long-distance encouragement. She sounds like a real honey. Hopefully Salana and others who have managed to keep little lethals alive and happy will be able to help. There's a special place in my heart for those special little ones.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sat May 03, 2008 11:10 am


It may be possible for you to file that long tooth yourself. You want to prevent it from touching the opposite side of the mouth.

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Caspersmom

Post   » Sat May 03, 2008 7:36 pm


I managed to file the sharp point off her tooth, thanks for that advice. Not sure how much I can file down though!

She eats any veggie that I cut in to a strip about the width of this sentance, if that makes any sense, and munches them down if I hold them out for her. Clover she eats on her own.

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salana
GL is Just Peachy

Post   » Sat May 03, 2008 10:08 pm


If she is gaining weight, even slowly, then she can last until Monday. You may need to hand-feed or offer softened pellets or mash. 325g sounds okay for a lethal that age. She will always be smaller than her siblings--I think lethals aren't able to digest their nutrients as well as not being able to eat very well. She has lived past weaning and that is a big hurdle that many lethals can't pass.

Definitely get her teeth looked at thoroughly. Tooth problems are the most prevalent and most correctable obstacles in a lethal's daily life.

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Caspersmom

Post   » Sat May 03, 2008 10:35 pm


With hand feeding, she's gained about 20 or 25 grams so she's now about 250 grams (in 15 hours). Thanks everyone for the help and encouragement!

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pigsforlife3

Post   » Sun May 04, 2008 7:51 am


Casper - I live in Perth as well. The only cavvy savvy vet in W.A is Dr Vickeridge at Rabbit Medicine - I take it you are seeing her? She is really nice, but does tend to rush you through so getting an half hour appointment may be a good idea (as a pose to a 15 minute appointment).

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Jennicat

Post   » Sun May 04, 2008 8:17 am


Caspersmom, bless you for taking care of her. There are so many people that wouldn't bother for "just a guinea pig". Please let us know how Casper keeps doing!

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Caspersmom

Post   » Sun May 04, 2008 8:20 pm


Pigsforlife3, it is Dr. Vickeridge I tried to get in to this morning - but she's away till Friday, so I booked a half hour appointment for then (thanks for that tip). They suggested Riesely Street, Murdoch or Balcatta clinics for an emergency check up, and to come in to their clinic to pick up Critical Care and pain meds. Is there any other vet you can think of here that could trim Casper's teeth this week?

Jennicat, this is a special little pig, I don't have a choice!

I also realized that she gains 20 grams each meal - then poops about 20 grams. So she's not really gaining weight, but maintaining weight at least.

If I can figure out how to add a photo here, I will.

EllieMom

Post   » Sun May 04, 2008 8:55 pm


Tell Casper there are a lot of people out here rooting for her.

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Caspersmom

Post   » Sun May 04, 2008 10:11 pm


Aw, thanks EllieMom, much appreciated!

I found the best way to get her to eat on her own is to grate the veggies with a veggie grater (carrots, sweet potato, zucchini) and then very finely slice everything else.

We're off to the fill-in vet (Risely Street) to get her teeth trimmed hopefully, and pick up the Critical Care.

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Caspersmom

Post   » Mon May 05, 2008 2:18 am


Just got back from the vet - he said her mouth is deformed as well as her teeth, there was nothing he could do and that she would die. Casper shrieked a lot while he poked around, poor little thing. He didn't charge me, was very nice, but I drove teary-eyed to the specialist's office to pick up Critical Care.

The Rabbit Medicine staff were really nice - said they didn't think it looked that hopeless (I filed a good amount down apparently!) and the vet will help on Friday. They didn't make Casper shriek when they looked at her mouth. They showed me how to feed her Critical Care, and fed her some (they thought her weight looked pretty ok considering). So I'm feeling more hopeful. She may not live a long life but I'll make sure she lives a good life.

And I couldn't help but get a baby rabbit to keep my rabbit company, a little chocolate dwarf lop. I'll get him in a few weeks time, and the price includes neutering. Dangerous place to visit!

I'll try to link to some photos here. As you can see, Casper's pretty adorable, full of personality and a tough little critter to survive 7 weeks with me, her idiot mom, throwing big chunks of food at her.

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Tracis
Let Sleeping Pigs Lie

Post   » Mon May 05, 2008 2:23 am


Casper looks so adorable, and she is very lucky to have you to care for her. You are doing such a wonderful job with her. :)

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