Guinea Pig Dentistry

We just got back from Teddy’s follow-up dentist appointment. Here he is, wanting us to stop gabbing with the dentist so he could go back home to his normal morning routine.

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Teddy at the dentist’s office. No treasure chest for guinea pigs, alas.

Last November, we had to take Teddy to the vet because he was experiencing trouble eating, though his appetite remained the same. It turned out that his back teeth were overgrowing and occasionally trapping his tongue. So he went under sedation and all of his teeth got filed down.

This sounds much more succinct than it was. For one, he had to have a specialist–a guinea pig dentist!–and there is only one in our entire state. There was some bleeding. He took a long time to recover and get back to his normal self.

We saw the X-rays; that was no easy filing.

I am sure that “new” teeth feel weird. Add in pain meds and antibiotics and having to be syringe-fed very essential but very gooey goo, and I wouldn’t be happy either.

Plus, think about it: One day he was more or less doing his usual thing and then the next thing he knows, he’s waking up with all this stuff having happened to him that he has no say in.

So Teddy wasn’t at all convinced that we knew what we were doing, either. If you’ve ever tried syringing in anything to a reluctant animal’s mouth, well, don’t let the compact size of a guinea pig fool you. Teddy managed to get goo on the back of my husband’s head. We still haven’t figured out how.

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Nostril von Pigg

But he’s a tough little guy, and he did get through this traumatic ordeal, but we knew then that it was unlikely this would be the last of it.

 

And that’s proving to be the case. The dentist does suspect that the malocclusion with his back teeth starting to grow over his tongue is happening again. We most likely will have to bring him in next month for sedation & teeth-grinding again, unless things suddenly worsen and we have to bring him in earlier.

Fortunately, for right now, Teddy is a happy, bouncy, affectionate, talkative boy, and he’s happily eating. He plays with us on the floor and acts like a wriggle-pig of less than a year even though he’ll be four in April.

No matter what, we’re going to keep him enjoying himself as much as we can, because quality of life is important.

But it’s hard, being the ones who get to worry.

In the meantime, you can keep track of Teddy and enjoy pictures of him and other guinea pigs at my guinea pig Facebook Page. There’s a warm community of knowledgeable guinea pig lovers, and a whole lot of cute pictures to brighten your day.

 

 

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