I have a 2.5 year old male Gpig, Theodore, diagnosed recently with TMJ by CT scan. He has had his front incisors trimmed and his molars are healthy with no need for trimming. He is unable, not unwilling, to eat and has had some weight loss. He was prescribed pain management meds and antibiotics. Currently, Theodore is being fed with Critical Care brand supplemental. He is tolerating feeding well at 60 - 80 mls (Amount recommended by vet) over 3 feeding times per day. Right now we are on the "finish meds and see" treatment plan as I wanted to research TMJ in g-pigs prior to making any long term medical decisions.
I read an article regarding the use of a Chin Sling to provide stabilization/support for the jaw joint in guinea pigs. I am very interested in trying this non invasive treatment and would like to know where one or a pattern for one could be purchased. I would like to have this to discuss with my vet as a possible alternative to the surgical treatment option presented at time of diagnosis - to surgically insert a feeding tube into Theodore's esophagus through his neck and immobilize the jaw for 4 - 6 weeks.
Theodore is very bonded to his brother, Brian. I believe he is doing as well as he is due to the support and encouragement he gets from Brian. If he undergoes surgery he will have to be isolated. I have had guinea pigs for many years (50 +) and I know that isolation of one of a bonded pair is very stressful. These two become stressed if they cannot see each other when they are out and about for floor and explore time.
If anyone knows how I can get more information or purchase a chin sling or pattern please contact me. I live in the greater Cleveland Ohio area.
Thank you in advance
You will have noticed at the top is contact info for purchasing the product or a pattern. The advice provided by the person who designed/developed the chin sling is invaluable and I encourage your contacting her.
Be sure to weigh a couple times a day to ensure that the amount you are feeding is adequate to maintain weight. You might need to be feeding more:
I have never ever heard of a solution to TMJ that involves insertion of a feeding tube and wiring the jaw. This sounds very risky.
If the jaw is out of alignment, sometimes a skilled veterinary physiotherapist can rock the jaw back into place (the developer of the chin sling had access to a skilled veterinary physiotherapist that was able to do this). The chin sling would be used to help the teeth wear properly so overgrowth of the molars does not contribute to any dislocation.
p.s. the only change I made to your post was inserting a line of space between your paragraphs to improve readability. It helps those of us who are responding to you.
Yesterday morning Theodore woke up and began eating on his own! He also had a follow up appt with his vet (same day) that recommended to continue pain meds for a few additional days. He has also gained 1 ounce! He is not 100 percent yet but he is improving. He is able to eat timothy hay, spring mix baby lettuce, parsley, and kale on his own. He is not at pellets just yet, although he does try. I am continuing some supplement feeding until he can manage pellets as well. We are going to monitor his weight and teeth as they were trimmed very short. He may be able to eat better once they have grown just a tad bit. He is also able to drink water on his own.
We do have another follow up visit scheduled with his regular vet again next week to make sure he is on the right track - teeth wise
Thank you for your concern and support in responding so quickly!
I am glad I had good news!