Guinea Pig Stopped Eating - Maybe a Dental Issue? Not Sure

Post Reply

Post   » Sat Sep 25, 2021 7:12 am

Hi all, I'm having some issues with my female guinea pig, Coco. She's about 2.5 years old and weighs ~900g.

The last couple of days, Coco seemed to be eating less timothy hay than usual, but we didn't think much of it because she was still eating some and she was still eating all of her veggies and pellets.

However, this morning (Saturday morning), we noticed that she only ate a tiny bit of her overnight veggies and didn't touch the pellets or timothy hay.

We immediately weighed her and she hasn't lost any weight as of this morning. She's still 909 g, which is pretty much normal for her.

However, she's now stopped eating pretty much everything. She does show interest in food but she doesn't really eat it. She has eaten a cherry tomato and some banana. She'll also eat some orchard hay and the timothy hay flower, but she won't eat the rest of the timothy hay. She also tried nibbling on a cucumber but stopped after a bite.

She's also not drinking water and when we leave Coco in the cage, she just sits in her hidey all hunched up. However, when she's on our lap she actually seems decently active,

We started syringe feeding her critical care as soon as we noticed she wasn't eating. We also got her into the vet today, but the vet couldn't find anything specifically wrong. We live in Vietnam so it's hard to find vets with guinea pig experience, but our vet was the best we could find and she does seem to have a decent understanding, though I'm not sure if she's as knowledgeable as a dedicated exotics vet you'd find in other countries.

Our vet did notice a little inflammation on the inside of Coco's mouth on the right side. I also noticed that when we can get Coco to eat the orchard hay she closes her right eye while she's chewing sometimes, almost as if she's in pain. She's also had some of the grooming liquid coming out of her right eye (but not the left).

So right now we're wondering if it's some type of dental issue or abscess on the right side of her mouth. It doesn't seem like bloating because her abdomen seems totally normal.

Our vet has prescribed her .16 ml of Metacam, but only once per day. I thought the normal dosage was twice per day? Could anyone share insights here?

The vet said to give her the Metacam once per day for four days and see if there's any improvement. If not, the vet recommended putting Coco under sedation to be able to look at her back teeth and see if there are any issues with her molars and so on.

Right now we're going to keep syringe feeding her critical care and water with vitamin C, along with the one dose Metacam once per day.

Is there anything else we should be doing or checking? And should we ask to do the Metacam twice per day instead of once per day?

Thank you in advance for any help.

User avatar

Post   » Sat Sep 25, 2021 9:50 am

I am sorry you are having problems with your guinea pig. I don't have a veterinary or medical background but do think adjusting the Metacam may have some effect though limited. It sounds like the vet has not really diagnosed what the issue is and with your observations and her observations of oral inflammation and perhaps tenderness on the right side, she should have at that time done a more thorough exam. She seems to be hoping things will improve but getting to the source of the issue when it concerns teeth is very important.

A proper oral exam would also include xrays. I recommend you read all the associated teeth pages (malocclusion, etc.).

It could be a spur has grown, irritating her mouth and interfering with pain free eating. If it were a spur, it would only get worse and more painful. An abscess could require antibiotics.

I understand you have limited vet care available and am sure your vet will try to do the best she can.

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sat Sep 25, 2021 10:01 am

Ditto Lynx.

That pig needs a good oral exam, and it does sound like a spur. Unfortunately, dental issues will not resolve themselves, and will only rapidly get worse without treatment. If it is a spur, she'll need to be anesthetized and the spur(s) planed off. It would be far better if you can find a vet with guinea pig dental experience to do that. Most vets just aren't capable of it.


Post   » Sat Sep 25, 2021 8:19 pm

Thank you both for the responses. Is the only way to do a full oral exam to put her under sedation?

User avatar

Post   » Sat Sep 25, 2021 10:07 pm

It is the least stressful method and what most veterinary dentists use.

There have been claims it can be done without anesthesia but working in the mouth is awkward and as I said, stressful for the guinea pig. Guinea pigs have small mouths.

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sat Sep 25, 2021 11:10 pm

But it may relieve you somewhat to know that it's not the deep anesthesia they'd use for abdominal surgery, say. They just give them enough to relax them so they're not fighting while they do the exam.

If they have to plane the teeth, then they'll be under longer, but it's still not usually a long process.

Post Reply
6 posts • Page 1 of 1