As I type this he is in his cage, purring like a little motor, as he struggles valiantly with a very large blade of hay.
I am really surprised. I thought Bloat was a condition, like something that took a long time to resolve. Rosie's gas cleared up in a matter of hours. Was that not Bloat, then?
I was thinking about it, and came up with this: He's been fed on Critical Care/Pellet Mash for days on end, and yesterday actually ate 1/3 cup (A HUGE amount) of Proform Pellets. I am wondering if the sudden influx of "solid" food caused him to blow up like a balloon. Is that right? Should I continue to give him the Simethicone, even if I don't see any visible Bloat signs? How about the Lactulose?
I think after not eating, then eating alot, pigs frequently get bloat. I think that is one concern about a pig not eating for a bit, is once they start back in that is common. I've never dealt with it, so I would have been no help anyway.
We keep some on hand in our "pig formulary", just in case.
His molars had overgrown, entrapping his tongue. He's apparently had the condition for quite a while. His tongue was permanently stuck out and you can see the indentation of the teeth.
Here are Rosie's teeth during the procedure:
If these links don't work you can view the pictures at
Para, I believe that the first pictures displays the elongated molars on both jaws trapping the tongue, right?
And in the second picture the left jaw molars have already been filed, and there is a kind of a sling pulling the lower incisors as well as a swab holding the tongue down. So this is about half of the procedure on the bottom molars, correct?
I believe the same filing was performed in the upper molars. How long did it take to complete all the procedure?
The second picture shows Rosie's left molars (shown on the right) that were clipped and filed. The right molars (shown on the left) were in-progress. The Dr. used a gauze sling and a small pad to wrap around the bottom incisors to help hold his mouth open and give her some stability for filing. His tongue was sticking out because he's used to it hanging out like that and because he was asleep, so they put a pad there so as not to injure it.
Since the top molars were fine the procedure didn't take that long. I think from the time they asked me to come in (once he was already asleep) to the time they wrapped him in a towel and let me hold him for a minute took about 15 minutes or so.
He woke up 15 minutes later just fine. He's a little sleepy but otherwise ok. He ate well about 20 minutes after the procedure.
I think some people think it's a genetic thing, a predisposition, if you will. I have read the Malocclusion page here where it is stated that jaw muscle strength might be to blame. I really don't know.
Pinta would probably be a good person to ask. Hopefully she'll come along and offer her advice. I'm going to get a Chin-Sling for Rosie, and we are hoping it will help. My vet really seems to think so, although she did say that it was probable we would have to come back and get his teeth done again.
She showed me his "bite" - With his mouth closed but his lips drawn back you can see that the teeth almost meet. She said that his muscles are probably very slack since his mouth has been hanging open all this time and that the Chin-Sling sounds like it will really help him. I am hoping. It was nerve-wracking seeing my Rosie on the table, looking dead except for his slow deep breathing. I hate that limp look!
Lynx, could you add these photos to the Maloclusion page? I think people need to know and see what can happen and why they need to take their pigs to a qualified Cavy vet or Dentist.
I believe we were the first to make a connection between malocclusion and jaw muscles. Now when Dr. Legendre does seminars, he includes this information.
Another recently discovered cause of malocclusion is the jaw getting misaligned and stuck in one spot(usually gets stuck on a ridge). Weak jaw muscles can make them more susceptible to this. An animal physical therapist can maneuver a misaligned jaw back into position but the muscles must be built up again to keep it in position.
An vet won't notice this misalignment while the animal is sedated because all the muscles and joints are relaxed. Misaligned jaws can be felt. They feel thick and unmoving on one or both sides. The lower jaw should move back and forth, to and fro, and up and down. You should feel the jaw (where it hinges) move well while they are chewing.
I believe that weakened jaw muscles (age related)is the most common cause of malocclusion in adult/senior pigs.
How can we prevent this from happening?
Reduce or completely remove pellets forcing them to get their calories from hay and grass. Dr. Legendre advocates complete removal of pellets. They will be forced to continually chew to get the same nutrition from hay that they get from pellets.
Dr. Legendre has told me that malocclusion does not occur in wild pigs to the degree it does in domesticated pigs. (He may have even said it doesn't occur in wild pigs at all.) Another well known dental vet (David Crossley, I think) did a study of skulls of wild pigs of various ages and the teeth were perfect. He attributed this to the rough and low nutrient diet that forced them to work their teeth continually (and in doing so, work their jaw muscles).
Causes of malocclusion:
1) genetic - usually seen in young animals under the age of 2.
2) weakened jaw muscles (TMJ)reducing the grinding contact of the molars - usually starts to be seen in animals over the age of 3.
3) jaw misalignment - usually caused by a weakness on one side of the jaw that allows an awkward jaw movement to lock the jaw into place. Usually seen in older pigs - diagonal incisors indicates a problem on one side of the jaw that could be jaw misalignment or TMJ on just one side.