Teeth not growing back

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Post   » Sun Jan 27, 2002 1:06 pm

Last summer Toby busted one lower tooth on the haymow (since removed). It rotted away.
In November the second lower tooth came out when we tried to trim it. It was all brown and spongy. It seems to be growing back but it never got taller than the gum line when it turns grey and gets a black spot on it.
In November we began giving him 250mg vitamin C and multipet vitamin supplements, grinding them up and putting them into a bottle of peach baby food, which we feed him with a syringe. The bottle of baby food lasts about 3-4 days.
It´s now the end of January, and his bottom teeth are not growing back. We trim his top teeth, or they´d really give him trouble. We have to julienne all his food, but he does eat by himself.
How can we get his bottom tooth/teeth to grow back? Is there a vet dentist or exotic vet in the Minneapolis area?
Thanks for your help.


Post   » Sun Jan 27, 2002 1:54 pm

First, stay away from the multi-vitamins. It contains a lot of things your pig doesn´t need. And you are really overdosing your pig in C. 250mg as day is almost the dose for an adult human being. The therapeutic dose for pigs is 50-100mg/kg a day.

Also, baby food doesn´t provide enough fibers to a pig. In your post, it´s not really clear if your pig is still able to eat his hay and pellets or if he is just depending on the baby food. If he can´t eat by himself, he will need Critical Care, which is a formula made espacially for handfeeding pigs who can´t/won´t eat by themselves.

In some cases, it´s possible the teeth don´t grow back, but I´m a bit alarmed by what is happening to your pig. Please email Vicki, from the Jack Pine Guinea Pig Rescue. She is extremely competent and experienced and she lives in your area. Her vets are fantastic and I´m sure she can help you get to them. Since she gets a lot of mail, make sure you write something that catches her eye in the title. Please email her ASAP. Her address is jpgpr@aol.com
Last edited by Evangeline on Sun Jan 27, 2002 1:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post   » Sun Jan 27, 2002 2:27 pm

I used to mix Critical Care with mashed pellets and water, and a little baby food, and leave it in a dish for my Luke, in addition to handfeeding him with a syringe. He was able to eat some of it on his own.

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Post   » Sun Jan 27, 2002 3:53 pm

Evangeline is right that much less vitamin C will work fine. Excess fat soluble vitamins can create problems too, so the mutlivitamin should definitely be discontinued (vitamins other than C should only be used under the direction of a knowledgeable vet).

Have you read http://www.guinealynx.info/guinealynx/teeth.html ? There is a link at the top to a listing of animal dentists. A trip to a good cavy vet may show up something else going on. I don´t know what kind of diet you provide your pet but checking out the page on raising a healthy cavy may turn up something. You might also offer fresh clean grass if you can find any this time of year.

Let us know what you find out about your guinea pig and his teeth (I would also imagine an x-ray would show up some types of dental problems). I don´t think this is something that is going to get better all by itself and I do think you need professional advice.

I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Sun Jan 27, 2002 5:28 pm

Well, I think dale said that the baby food lasted 3-4 days, so that would mean the vitamin c would be about 75 mg or so, still a bit high byt not at the 250mg level.
Try and get ahold of JPGPR, she will be able to direct you...


Post   » Mon Jan 28, 2002 2:44 pm

Vicky responded, and here is her note.
>Subj: Re: Guinea pig teeth not growing back; we were referred to by several at >

>Poor Toby!

>Sounds like it´s possible an infection has taken out Toby´s lower teeth. A vitamin C deficiency (scurvy) could certainly have added to the problem by weakening the teeth and their ability to recover and regrow. Are the upper teeth normal - white and strong?

Hi--His upper teeth are growing fine, but one does get sort of gray.

>If the infection rotted the teeth out all the way to the root, there may not be enough tooth left to grow back. Or, if Toby is an elderly guinea pig his teeth may not be able to grow back. An X-ray of the jaw should be able to show if the root is still there, and likely to ever regrow.

>I once had a boar who developed an abscess and infection in his lower teeth bed. I cleaned out the abscess, rinsed it routinely with antiseptic and put the pig on oral antibiotic. The teeth grow out black and shrunken for a while, but good strong white teeth gradually grow out after the infection was cleared up. Was Toby seen by a vet or given medication at the time his tooth problems started?

Toby was seen by a vet in Mpls, but the first time she did nothing. The second time she gave him antibiotics.

>One or two of my older guinea pigs have broken teeth out, and they have not grown back as you´d normally expect them to.

>Guinea pigs use their front teeth for picking up and biting off pieces of food. The molars do the majority of the chewing. As long as Toby can pick up food, and you cut fresh food into guinea pig bite size pieces, he should be able to eat well enough to survive. However, you will need to routinely trim his upper incisors as they overgrow - and you will need to have routine exams done on his molars to ensure that they don´t overgrow as well. It is not uncommon for the incisors and molars to throw each other off if a tooth in one area is broken/missing/misaligned.

>A daily vitamin C supplement is a very good idea. For owners of one or two or a few pigs, I often recommend a human product called Liquid C, made by TwinLab. This is very easy and accurate to give orally with a syringe, and it has a pleasant citrus flavor that many guinea pigs like.
There are 30 mg. vitamin C in .50 cc (or 1/2 cc) of Liquid C. Some GNC stores sell this, or you can visit Twin Labs web site (www.twinlab.com) for a list of suppliers.

>As I recall, KayTee Fiesta contains seeds/nuts/dried fruits - which are not good for guinea pigs. Some of these things are difficult for them to chew and/or digest. A good quality plain pellet food is generally more healthy for guinea pigs than the stuff that looks like trail mix. Oxbow Hay Company (www.oxbowhay.com) makes good quality pellets, so does Nutritional Research Associates in Indiana (800-456-4931). If Toby is having trouble maintaining weight because of his teeth problems, he will do best with an alfalfa based pellet rather than a timothy based pellet (Oxbow Hay Company makes both).
Be sure to make food changes gradually.

>Can Toby eat hay? If he is having trouble with it, you might try cutting the hay into 1"-2" lengths. Hay is not only important for a guinea pig´s nutrition and digestion, it also helps keep molars worn properly. I would recommend buying Toby the very best quality timothy hay you can if he is able to eat it. American Pet Diner´s (www.americanpetdiner.com) hay is very hard to beat, usually soft and green. Oxbow also usually has very nice timothy hay, though sometimes the quality is inconsistent.

Yes he can eat hay, using his back teeth. We have been cutting it into that 1" length. Where might we find these particular brands? We´ll check Petsmart.

>Toby will have a harder time picking food up, it will help him if food is served in shallow containers so he can easily lean down to eat. Walmart sells small shallow glass ashtrays for about a buck, this would probably work well for Toby. Sometimes softened pellets are easier for a guinea pig with tooth problems to eat. Put pellets in a shallow container, cover with warm water - then almost immediately drain the water out. Stir the pellets to separate, they will quickly start to swell up and soften.

>I do not feed cabbage to my guinea pigs, and very little broccoli, as it can cause gas - which can in turn cause serious digestion problems such as bloat.

The vet told us to feed him cabbage because it was high in vitamin C.

>Since you are already syringe feeding Toby, you might want to consider giving him Critical Care instead of baby food. Critical Care, made by Oxbow Hay Company, is formulated specifically for sick and malnourished herbivores like guinea pigs. It has vitamins, minerals, probiotics and enzymes to help perk up an underconditon guinea pig.
>My own problem child, Theadora, has been getting a daily meal of Critical Care (as much as she wants in one sitting) since the product came out. Theadora has chronic teeth problems, and requires exams/trimming every 3 or 4 weeks to keep her teeth in working order. The daily meal of Critical Care helps keep her weight up and improves her overall condition. Most guinea pigs love Critical Care.

>I hope some of this information helps you and Toby. If you have any further questions or there is something else I can do to help, please let me know. You might want to check out some of the articles at my web site for more guinea pig information (www.JPGPR.com).

It´s very helpful. I´m going to cc it over to our note on Guinea Lynx´s board. Thanks very much. I´ll keep you posted.

>Good luck, please let me know how Toby does!

Vicki - Jack Pine Guinea Pig Rescue, MN

Note: please make sure you have received permission to reprint private emails from the author before you print them here. This has been edited. Lynx

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Post   » Mon Jan 28, 2002 4:17 pm

Very good information! I hope Toby does well, keep us informed.

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