Malocclusion Experiences and Links To Gp Illnesses

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Post   » Sat Nov 11, 2006 7:30 am

Since my gp has had 2 malocclusion treatments already and will likely need more in the future, I want to be pro-actice about future problems. I have heard that malocclusion is often related to heart problems. I am wondering what the frequency of this is and if there are any other illnesses malocclusion can be linked to. I am a newbie here so I hope that this is okay but would you mind providing the following info?

1) Name/Guinea pig breed/age

2) How old when first malocclusion treatment and how many treatments since
3) Heart problems/other illnesses experienced by pig (please specify before or after onset of malocclusion)
4) Treatment
5) Did treating the other problems (eg heart prob or others) hinder, delay or stop the malocclusion?

Here is my own:
1) Amadeus/Sheltie/4.3 years
2) 4 years at first treatment (2nd treatment was 2 months after first). He has had 2 treatments total.
3) None that I am aware of but am suspicious. He is sleeping lots and doesn't like hard food any more.
4) Massage with toothbrush to jaw; awaiting chinsling (malocclusion-related treatment)
5) ------

[Feel free to post any malocclusion experiences. Specify if they seem to be linked to an illness. Malocclusion can start because an animal is not eating, allowing the teeth to overgrow and aggravating the problem -- Lynx]

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Post   » Sat Nov 11, 2006 9:16 am

I'll make this a sticky and we'll see if we get anyone posting info for you.

I will broaden it to include experience with malocclusion (hope you don't mind).

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Supporter in '12

Post   » Sat Nov 11, 2006 9:58 am

1) Casper / American / Born in January 2003. Will be 4 years old.

2) First treatment in December 2005. He was 3 years old.
Second treatment in April 2006.
Third treatment in October 2006.

3) Pee eye, since about 2 years old.
Developed muscle knots on left side of jaw. June 2006.
No other medical issues known.

4) Massage to jaw.
Tried Chin-Sling. Casper had a very runny nose and seemed depressed with it on. He also developed a second muscle knot on the left side of his jaw after wearing the Chin-Sling for a couple of days. Stopped using it but will try it again in the future.

5) After treating Casper with massage and pain medication (Metacam) he did not need his teeth trimmed for another 5 months (total time between treatment for malocclusion was 6 months).

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Post   » Sat Nov 11, 2006 10:08 am

Thanks Lynx for the adjustment!:)
Thanks Kristina for the info.

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Supporter in '14

Post   » Sat Nov 11, 2006 8:33 pm

Hershey/American/Age unknown (rescue at least 3-4 years old)

First treatment 9-1-04 ?age
second treatment April 2005
third treatment Aug. 2005
fourth treatment May 13, 2006
fifth treatment May 25, 2006
sixth treatment June 14, 2006
seventh treatment June 26, 2006
eighth treatment July 15, 2006

Has had chronic issues with intermittant soft stool/diarrhea started before tooth issues and continues today; this is treated with Flagyl and/or handfeeding when needed. She also had one UTI in Nov 2004.

Treatment other than frequent trims/filing: I have a chin sling; but she hates it and it caused sores on her ears so I am not using right now; also used the toothbrush massage. However most effective treatment seems to be giving corn husks daily which I'm doing now and its been almost 4 months YEA!!! since last tooth trim. Coincidence, perhaps, but I'm not going to stop corn husks anytime soon. Her stool issues were exacerbated during the frequent tooth trims this summer; don't know if diarrhea contributed to the need for frequent trims or if her teeth issues caused the diarrhea. She lost close to 300 grams during that period; she has gained about 150 of that back, I don't think she will ever get back to her previous weight but as long as she stays in the 900's I'm happy.

Previous history prior to rescue obtaining her-severe scurvy-related to her current issues? Who knows.

Get on your bike.

Post   » Sat Nov 11, 2006 9:19 pm

I'm really not able to confirm or deny Wooly's teeth issues being related to heart problems as no vet was able to do a necropsy (there was a vet conference and my 1 vet plus 4 back ups were all out). I had suspected she might be a heart pig merely because she was always a lap pig, hardly ran from me, and honestly it was just a feeling I had. It's nothing but speculation however.

She began picking up and dropping her vegetables and her incisors were slanted. She could not masticate hay. Oral exams and skull rads showed no molar overgrowth and we were somewhat stumped. She was put on baytril which seemed to cure the problem almost immediately. She also wore a chin sling for a very short time which we struggled to fit her properly. It took some time to get it right which leads me to believe the baytril was curing an abcess in the jaw or under the gums, not seen on xray rather than the chin sling grinding the teeth correctly.

We thought she was healed (able to eat properly without sling) until one morning about a month after she was better, she was in severe distress. There was severe laboured breathing as seen in heart failure pigs. We gave her a rescue dose of lasix and lotensin to see if it made a difference but it did not. She died on the way to the vet (going for oxygen).

I regret not being able to do a necropsy as I don't really know what happened. My vet has said she could have thrown a clot. We really don't know if heart failure was related somehow to her death or to her teeth issues. It's all speculation but thought I'd share anyway.

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amy m guinea

Post   » Sat Nov 11, 2006 10:03 pm

1) Nevy/American/3 years when he died
2) 3 yrs when first showed signs of malocclusion. Had molars planed but they really didn't need much planing. This was in Feb 05.
3) No heart problems
4)His jaw was misaligned. Had about 7 chiropractic treatments. The first one was amazing, he was pain-free and for a couple of hours was his old self. His muscles were too weak to hold the jaw in place. Hand-fed CC for three months, on metacam and baytril. Euthanized 5/24/05, because was in pain and couldn't eat anything on his own, was losing weight despite hand-feedling. He went from 3lbs 2oz. to 1 lb 8oz.

I personally feel that if I had known more, and had gotten him to an animal chiro sooner, and tried a chin-sling (I didn't know about them, or GL then), he might have had a better chance. I think he hit himself in the cage somehow and his jaw became misaligned and I was ignorant and didn't notice the warning signs (weight loss, not eating certain foods).

I'm sure I know the day he hit himself in the cage, he was running around squealing like he was crazy, I took him to the vet immediately and while this was a good vet that untimately recommended me to a great cavy-savvy vet, they did not know why he was acting so strangly and thought maybe a bug had bitten him.

If only I had known what had happened and right away had his jaw checked. I had no idea. Malocclusion is so insiduous, it happens slowly until you see your pig is sick.

Sorry for sort of rambling, but I hope you get some good info from this thread.

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Post   » Sun Nov 12, 2006 12:36 am

Just a quick thanks to everyone for the info. Please keep it coming!

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GL is Just Peachy

Post   » Sun Nov 12, 2006 4:24 pm

1) Einstein/Abyssinian lethal white/died at 2.5 years

2) First tooth trim at 3 weeks, more than 30 trims in lifetime

3) Lethal white with blindness, deafness, no incisors, tongue entrapment with frequent molar spurs, elongated lower molar roots. Molar spurs led to frequent ulcers. Ulcers led to cheek abscess. Also had degeneration of intestinal villi leading to malabsorption. His heart was normal at gross necropsy.

4) Molar trim under anesthesia at least once a month, Metacam every day for a while, frequent hand-feeding, soft food.

5) Malocclusion was about the only problem of Einstein's that could be treated (other than the ulcers and abscesses that developed from the malocclusion)

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Post   » Sat Nov 18, 2006 8:12 am

1) Bandit/English male /age-unknow
2) Not sure if he was ever treated for malocclusion, before I adopted him, Also he suffers from anal impaction, lengh of time he had this unknow.
3) none
4) He was treated 10/31/2006 Molar floated under anesthesia, insors trimmed, Metacam evreyday for a week. Hand feed every 3 to 4 hours,Check and jaw massages 3 times a day.Went back to the vets for a check up and observation on 11/10/2006. He started to eat and drink while at the vets office. stitched brand of food to Kaytee Fiesta and to alfalfa hay.That is what he ate when he was at the vets.Curretly he eating alfalfa hay and pellets,prefers to drink water from eye dropper , will drink water from his water bottle only if I hold the bottle. Still can't not rip or tare food yet. Total weigh loss was 8 onces, has gained back 2 onces.
5) none that I am aware of


Post   » Tue Nov 21, 2006 6:57 pm

Poppy tan and white medium / long haired piggy: heart and teeth problems

Poppy was 2 1/2 years old when she developed malocclusion around 3 months after suffering trauma (broken jaw) following an accident when my mother stumbled while trying to catch her.

Although Poppy seemed to recover well with metacam, she started losing weight very quickly around 3 - 4 months later. When I looked ather teeth they were obviously slanted.

After taking her to the vet she had her teeth planed under general anaesthetic. Never, ever do this - the vet did not use gas and she was zonked out for around a week. She was still unable to eat for another 3 weeks and had to be continually hand fed critical care.

Finally she was able to eat - but her teeth needed trimming again one week later and she was unable to eat again. She again underwent a general anaesthetic for the 2nd time in a month for a teeth trim.

This was even worse than before - the vet had almost removed one of her incisors so she was unable to pick food up, and her molars had been filed down too much so she was unable to chew. She had to be hand fed entirely for 8 weeks. I have never seen a more unhappy pig than Poppy. Although she still wanted to eat - she couldn't.

I was told by the vet that euthanasia would be the only option and I was around a day from choosing this option when I did a google search and found the Cambridge Cavy Trust. They referred me to a rodentologist over 100 miles away but it was well worth it. They were able to trim her molars without anaesthetic painlessly and without fuss in less than 5 minutes.

At first she had to have her teeth trimmed every 3 weeks, then longer each time. Finally we went over 8 weeks with no sign of the malocclusion returning.

Then around 3 weeks after we last went, heartbreakingly Poppy suddenly developed heart failure. It was in the middle of a heatwave and she had very laboured breathing. We rushed her back to the rodentologist and she responded to Lasex. This worked for about a week when it returned and we left her at the rodentologist for hospital treatment.

Although Poppy had heart failure and severe fluid retention (but not in lungs), she unfortunately pretended she was less ill than she really was and as a food loving piggy tucked into her food with as much gusto as before. After keeping her under observation without meds, she suddenly took a downturn after five days and did not respond to lasex.

She passed away at the rodentologists

Before she died the rodentologist pointed out stryations on her incisors caused by severe stress to the body as a result of illness or malnutrition. Although there is no way to prove this I believe that her malocclusion damaged her heart in the same way that it can in humans who have suffered prolonged malnnutrition and anorexia.

She was predisposed to heart problems - in retrospect she always used to have laboured breathing usually in hot weather sometimes, but would always recover on her own - and the heatwave must have put too much strain on her damaged heart.

If she had received meds sooner and her condition made stable, she may have been able to live out her natural lifespan with diuretics, as the rodentolgist was able to show us several long term heart survivors.

Hope this helps x

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Supporter in '14

Post   » Tue Nov 28, 2006 1:38 pm

Update: Hershey is going tomorrow for molar planing. July 15 to Nov. 29, guess I can't complain. Still sticking with the corn husks though 4 1/2 months is way better than every 2-3 weeks.

I don't think there is ever a pig more appreciative of handfeeding than my Hershey. She sits there and takes as much as I can give her and seems to enjoy the whole process.

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Thanks for the Memories

Post   » Fri Dec 01, 2006 12:18 pm

Steve's Teeth

He was 6 years old, an American Crested.

He also developed kidney problems. The kidney problems became primary. It caused difficulty with pain management because meloxicam is not reccomended with kidney disease. I learned how to do subqs to keep him hydrated.

Sigh. I miss that pig.


Post   » Thu Dec 28, 2006 12:47 am

Personally, I believe the heart condition causes the maloccluson and in most cases of seniors it is related to weakening muscle strength. If it takes too much effort to eat due to a bad heart and they are too weak to grind their teeth properly, their teeth will overgrow.

Willie, for whom the Chin-Sling was designed was a heart pig. He had a heart condition since the age of 2 months. I believe he was about 3 years old when he had his first teeth filing. he required filing every 5 weeks and still lost weight. His vet and I figured out his jaw muscles were too weak to grind his molars and I developed the Chin-Sling to force his molars together. He never had to have his teeth filed again( lived to 5 years) and most likely couldn't take further sedation anyway since he turned blue if Dr. Legendre did an oral examination of his mouth.

Apatche's heart condition was discovered when he underwent sedation for his first teeth filing. He took twice as long as he should have to come out of the sedation. I can't remember the sequence of his first heart failure session that required emergency triage(he had two in his lifetime) and when he started to wear his Chin-Sling but I know Dr. legendre thought he'd be fine without one after the first teeth filing. A month later his teeth were overgrowing and by this time we knew he couldn't take sedation. We tried the Chin-Sling brain squishingly tight(Dr. Legendre's description) and Apatche was checked once a week. Withing three weeks he had self-ground down his molars and he never had to get his teeth filed again with continued Chin-Sling wearing.

Ferdinand(senior) was found to have teeth issues about 3 weeks before his death from heart failure. he never really recovered from the styress of the dental surgery 2 weeks before he died.

Quinn, the mother of Apatche and 2 other pigs who died from heart failure was on heart meds as soon as we realised there was an heart issue in the family. She developed TMJ on one side of her jaw after being on heart meds for some time.

Bo had an infected incisor that had to be extracted(his second one). He also had the start of elongated roots. He bore up excellently under sedation and recovered very well. He actually came out to ask for his Chin-Sling to be put on at the end of the day(this was a pig who informed us when the hay rack was empty) . I think it made his head feel better much as it had Willie who acted like a youngster as soon as he started wearing his - his PT said he'd probably had a chronic headache from the TMJ). he was acting like a younger pig, much more active until he suddenly died a a couple of weeks after his dental work. Necropsy showed lymphosarcoma affecting every organ incluing the heart. he died from the collapsed lungs and heart failure.

Currently we have 8 pigs on heart meds including the 3 skinnies and no one has teeth issues at the moment.

Perhaps heart problems are connected to muscle falure(TMJ) causing maloccluson.


Post   » Thu Dec 28, 2006 1:57 am

It is important to note that if a pig is uncomfortable wearing a Chin-Sling it indicates there could be further dentalwork to be done. Elongated roots will be painful while wearing a Chin-Sling if not planed down enough, The pressure on an untreated abscess would be painful. Undiscovered spurs would be dig into the cheeks during the chewing while the chin-sling is on.

Once the Chin-Sling is on correctly the pig should be able to forget he/she is even wearing it. They'll be annoyed for the first few minutes and then should go on with their day or night.

We discovered Ferdinand had elongated roots when he couldn't handle wearing the Chin-Sling. Once the dentalwork was done, he could wear it(although his heart did him in soon after the dentalwork)

Sorry, didn't intend to hijack but thought it was important to make this point. If the Chin-Sling is uncomfortable, something is wrong and needs further investigation.

Get on your bike.

Post   » Thu Dec 28, 2006 11:21 am

pinta was also more than helpful when it came to communication re. the chin sling and got back to me multiple times per day when necessary.

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Post   » Fri Dec 29, 2006 12:41 pm

Here is an update on Amadeus's malocclusion experiences:

1)Amadeus/Sheltie/4.6 years
2) 4 years at first treatment (2nd treatment was 2 months after first; 3rd treatment was 2 months and 1 week after 2nd treatment)
3) He is on heart medication. Does not eat cucumber or carrots very much any more. He is still being treated for parasites- his poop is still soft :(
4) I have been hoping to impede the malocclusion with toothbrush massages and by using the heart medicine. I have not yet used the chin-sling (he was being treat for parasite infection and I didn't want to further stress him by its use; also was hoping that the toothbrush massage and heart meds would work).

5) I recently had to get his teeth filed again but there was good news. First, I got them filed one week later than the last time (the time interval between treatments was longer). Next, the malocclusion was not as severe. Last time, I needed to get both teeth trimed and- worse -they were visably overgrowing onto his tongue. This time, I only had to get one side filed- and the overgrowth was minor.

Since the heart med. and toothbrush massages impeded the problem but didn't stop it I plan to:
1) Do longer toothbrush massages
2) Begin using the chin-sling.

ps thanks everyone for your posts! I appreciate the info.

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Post   » Tue Jan 09, 2007 10:37 pm

1) Cupcake/American/almost 2 years old (deceased 2/1/05) due to post-anesthesia stress from surgery (according to vet)

2) 1 1/2 yrs at first treatment.
3) No other illnesses before or after that I am aware of
4) All teeth trimmed, filed and planed. Hand-syringed him for almost 4 weeks until he passed away in my arms. I constantly took him to the vet, bi-weekly for sub-q's and anything else that I could do to save him.

5) No other problems detected.

I miss my Cupcakers so much.

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I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Tue Mar 06, 2007 1:40 pm

1) Name/Guinea pig breed/age
2) How old when first malocclusion treatment and how many treatments since
3) Heart problems/other illnesses experienced by pig (please specify before or after onset of malocclusion)
4) Treatment
5) Did treating the other problems (eg heart prob or others) hinder, delay or stop the malocclusion?
1) Roo/American Cross/16 mos
2) 16 mos - First (and only treatment, thus far) 02/28/07
3) Chronic inner ear infection (since at least 12/06) - unresponsive to a/bs (Baytril, Chloramphenicol) - Resulting in left side facial paralysis - Malocclusion believed to be secondary - Suspected heart condition - observed 'hooting' after tooth trim - Responsive to Lasix.
4) Lasix - .10 cc q24h/Baytril - .5 cc q12h/Metacam (five days following tooth trim) - .15 cc q12h/Critical Care - 120 cc/day/Nebulized w/ .4-.5 cc Sterile Saline PRN
5) Because the tooth trim was so recent, I've yet to see any improvement - but will update.

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Post   » Mon Mar 26, 2007 11:53 pm

My sister's piggy is suffering with tooth issues. She's a gorgeous cream colored Sheltie with dark skin and dark eyes. Age unknown, but probably between 2 and 4 years.

She had her molars trimmed last week. Vet said they were growing in various directions. She is currently being syringe fed regulary, is on TMS and Metacam. Brought her in to vet a couple of days after trimming and received subques and a shot of a pain killer with a name I can't remember.

She was previously a heavy water drinker. Not wanting to drink so much. Sometimes nibbles grass. Obviously not feeling good in the mouth. Sister trying to figure out what her dear girl's future is going to look like.

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