Drooling, not eating

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Post   » Mon Mar 30, 2015 3:24 am

I stepped accidentally on my guinea pig 3 weeks ago(when this happened, I heard a crack). Since then, I must force feed him, since on his own, he eats only very small amount of food (no hay, only carrots). He seems interested in food, but to me it seems as he cannot chew. I was with him to the ER (after the accident), afterwards multiple times at the vet, but they cannot determine why he isn't eating. His front teeth were cut 10 days ago (the vet thought that maybe they are overgrown), but it didn't help much. I am thinking that maybe he has problems with his molars also, since I observed that he is drooling(and that would explain his lack of appetite)? After the accident he wasn't interested in food for a week, it is possible that his molars, because of lack of use, had overgrown? Advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!

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Post   » Mon Mar 30, 2015 4:20 am

First off, if the vet trims the incisors only, in the vast majority of cases they trim them too short and the pig can't pick up their food. That may be part of his problem.

Second, where did his injury occur? If on or near his head, his jaw may be fractured or dislocated.

He needs an x-ray of his head, and a thorough examination of his teeth, molars as well as incisors. This is best done under light sedation.

Mild jaw damage will heal on its own, and sometimes dislocations will work back into place, but the molars can overgrow during that time. You need an x-ray and dental exam with the most cavy-knowledgeable vet you can find.

Keep handfeeding him in the meantime. Does he show signs of pain?


Post   » Mon Mar 30, 2015 4:38 am

Talishan, thank you for your answer.
I stepped on his upper back. I found a wound is his mouth, which in the meantime has healed.
The vet said that they don't do x-rays for such a little animal, and he said his molars are ok, after examining them from the outside(feeling the molars with his fingers from the outside).
He doesn't show signs of pain.
I will contact another vet (though the current is said to be the best), hopefully who will do an x-ray. The problem is that his losing weight, so I am very worried that I will run out of time.

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Post   » Mon Mar 30, 2015 5:09 am

Can't do x-rays on a small animal, or won't?

If it's won't, they're not a very good vet.

All you can really tell from the outside of the jaw is whether or not the piggie has severely elongated roots, which I doubt is the problem here. Your little one needs an x-ray and a gentle, competent oral exam by a knowledgeable vet. Do try the other vet. Sometimes the one that's said to be the best, isn't.

In the meantime, weigh him daily. If he's losing weight, he needs more food -- either more frequent feedings, more food at each feeding, or ideally, both.



Can you get Oxbow Critical Care, or a similar handfeeding product for small herbivores? And is he able to drink on his own?


Post   » Mon Mar 30, 2015 6:40 am

The vet finally agreed to do an x-ray, we'll have it in a few hours. I will ask for a more thorough mouth exam.
Unfortunately, I am not able to get Oxbow Critical Care, I mix his meals myself.
Thank you for the links, I will post updates.


Post   » Mon Mar 30, 2015 11:47 am

I just got back with the results. The x-rays was done from above, and shows no injury. Unfortunately, there was no x-rays from either side, they didn't want to sedate him.
He got a thorough oral exam, the vet said his molars are Ok.
The doc gave him an injection which should increase his appetite, and truly, it is much easier to hand feed him. He said he should receive baby-food.

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Post   » Tue Mar 31, 2015 12:41 am

What was the injection? This is important (it should say on the bill). If it was pain medication, they should be able to give you some to use at home that will help him recover. If it was a vitamin B supplement, you can supplement him with that at home too to help him.

The vet means well, but is giving you outdated advice. Baby food does not have enough fiber in it to wear his teeth down. If he doesn't have a molar problem now, and you feed him just baby food, he will most likely develop a molar problem from the lack of fiber in the baby food.

Do you have a sturdy blender?

If so, try taking some of his hay, some of his pellets (what kind of pellets do you feed him?), and some fresh greens. Blend this into a slurry with the blender (use a low to medium speed, otherwise the hay will tear up the blades pretty quickly). Mix some baby food in with this, and try syringing that to him.

What is in the mix you are feeding him now?

Keep going. You are to be congratulated for taking such good care of him and hanging with him after his injury. A lot of people don't care and wouldn't bother. Kudos to you for caring for him so well.


Post   » Tue Mar 31, 2015 2:30 am

Thank you for your kind words.
Unfortunately, I didn't received a bill(in my part of the world a bill is not always issued -> no taxes). He received a painkiller in the night of the accident, afterwards around 5 times an "injection for his appetite". I didn't ask what it was exactly, I presumed it was B vitamin. Anyway, yesterday I bought some B6 vitamins which I mix in his food.
I mix his food from: grass, parsley, cornflour, banana in different proportions. Sometimes I added sugar also (rich in calories).
I will buy some pellets (I don't know the food, are these pellets made from hay?), hopefully they can help me in the store.
Based on your advice, I will replace grass with hay.
After the x-ray showed no injuries, and they said that his molars are OK, the only cause which I can imagine is that his front teeth were clipped way too short. Yesterday I gave him a radish, he worked at it several minutes, but to no avail. Maybe You can tell me, in how much time do they grow back?

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Post   » Tue Mar 31, 2015 3:07 am

B vitamin is a good presumption. Supplementing B6 is fine, just don't give him too much of it. Most human, even children's, B vitamin supplements contain an enormous amount because there is no known overdose for these ... in the human. A small animal may suffer from an overdose. It's a good idea to supplement him, and it should continue to help his appetite. Just don't overdo it.

As far as pellets go, yes, they are made (primarily) from hay, and the better pellets include vitamins, minerals and other trace nutrients guinea pigs need. That's the good news. The bad news is that if you can't get a good pellet where you live, you're better off sticking to not using pellets at all, like you are doing now, then giving him a poor quality one.

Can you get these?


(European members, please help me here!! The site above is a Romanian site, which should help Rufi but please doublecheck my product selections!!)

I'd suggest you DON'T go to a petstore and ask their suggestion. They may sell you something with a lot of seeds, nuts and "treats" in the pellets, which are not only unhealthy but can actually kill your pig if they become lodged in his throat. If he can't eat properly as it is now, this risk becomes greater.

Corn flour isn't the best ingredient for his food; guinea pigs' digestive systems aren't set up to process high-carbohydrate foods, but if it's a very small amount, it won't hurt him. Be careful adding sugar in -- it will probably make it more palatable to him, but too much sugar (their bodies aren't designed to process sugar, either) will upset his digestive tract.

At this point I would not REPLACE grass with hay. If he was doing well on a diet of fresh grass before his injury, don't completely replace it now. You can ADD hay into his diet, but you don't need to remove the grass. Plus he probably won't like the hay as well as he does fresh grass -- fresh grass is what their ancestors eat in the wild and he will prefer it.

Incisors (front teeth) grow back VERY quickly. His incisors should be grown back to where he can grasp his foods within about 2 to 4 days.

If you can get a good-quality pellet, you can soften these in water and make a slurry for him (or add them into what you are giving him now).


Post   » Tue Mar 31, 2015 4:01 am

I will make a tour of the animal stores today, and I will buy these pellets. If I order it on the Internet, it will take around 5 days until I receive the product.
I will also change the recipe of his mixed food according to your advices.
If the incisors grow back so fast, what could be the problem? It seems to me that he can pick up his food (and I have been putting small pieces of food into his mouth also), but he cannot slice them in order to swallow them. Should I double-check his molars with an another vet?
I am sorry to bother you with these details, and I know that it is hard for one to make an opinion just from these descriptions. Btw., the vet said that he has no idea why he isn't eating. But he is still loosing weight, and I will run out of time...
Thank you again, You are a very helpful cleaning lady:), with great knowledge.

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Post   » Tue Mar 31, 2015 5:32 am

Thank you for your comments. I don't know about the great knowledge part. I've got a lot of experience, some learned the hard way.

If you can't find a good pellet in the stores, order them online. It's much better to wait for delivery than to feed him a poor quality pellet.

If I had to take a complete guess, his jaw is dislocated. That can be hard to see on x-ray if the vet isn't very familiar with guinea pigs.

Is he drinking okay? Walking normally, behaving otherwise normally?

If you can possibly feed him more frequently throughout the day, it will help.


Post   » Tue Mar 31, 2015 5:47 am

If you order on zooplus, go for these


Grainless and made with timothy hay, also about the lowest in calcium that are available in Europe.

These pellets are big though, so you may need to grind them up so your pig can actually eat them.


Post   » Tue Mar 31, 2015 6:07 am

He moves surprisingly much when he is with his friends (after the accident he has his own cage) , but he don't drinks water on his own (but I think because he receives his liquids during hand feeding).
The x-rays was made only from above, not from either side of his head. I think it is impossible to see a dislocated jaw on an x-rays made from above his head even for an experienced vet.
It is possible to ascertain a dislocated jaw without an x-rays from the side of the head?


Post   » Tue Mar 31, 2015 7:31 am

After the accident, his mouth was tilted left side. Actually, his incisors were clipped because the vet thought that is jaw is tilted because his teeth are overgrown.
So, this tilted mouth syndrome matches with your diagnose of dislocated jaw(though his mouth now seems normal).


Post   » Tue Mar 31, 2015 7:35 am

@SardonicSmile: Thank you for message! I will order the pellets over the internet from zooplus, though I will have to wait for around 5 days.

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Remembering Nemo

Post   » Tue Mar 31, 2015 9:58 am

Rufi, ambele produse recomandate sunt bune.
Trebuie sa le macini cat mai marunt posibil, sa aiba consistenta de pulbere, pe cat posibil.

Le amesteci cu iarba, un pic de banana daca ii place porcusorului, orice care ii stimuleaza apetitul. Trebuie sa citesc din nou, dar cred ca il hranesti cu siringa, nu?

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Post   » Tue Mar 31, 2015 10:15 am

I would also not give banana.


Post   » Tue Mar 31, 2015 12:30 pm

@Bytxlaura, @Lynx: Thank you for your posts!

I was at an another vet for a second opinion. She said that Rufi has a dislocated or fractured jaw (there is a click when he chews), with a much greater chance for dislocation. Rufi received a B vitamin complex injection, and she said that every day I should give her the same injection.
What are the chances that Rufi will survive this ordeal? How can I help him more?
If there is no point, I don't want him to suffer.


Post   » Tue Mar 31, 2015 4:48 pm

@Talishan: Answering to my concerns about B vitamin overdose (he received another injection yesterday), the vet said that it is really important that he receives every day an injection, at least for the following week. I presume, I shouldn't do these injections. Or the vet knows better?

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Post   » Tue Mar 31, 2015 6:20 pm

THANK YOU SS and Bytx for your help!!!! :-)

Rufi -- he can survive if he is not in pain, and if you continue to handfeed him. He may need to be handfed the rest of his life, but that is doable. We have members here who have done it.

That said, it may not be necessary. If his mouth seems normal now, a dislocation of the jaw, if that's what it is, may be resolving on its own.

If the vitamin B injections are subcutaneous (that is, below the skin), you can learn to do them at home. I HATE needles and I learned to do subcutaneous injections. If I can, you can. ;-)

Try putting him back with his cagemates, UNLESS they bully him. Competing with them for food may stimulate him to eat on his own if he can physically do so.

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