- Make Good Choices
She of course made a liar out of me. I came home today to find her mid “episode” - her first one in 7 months. I had cut them back to once per day shilintong when the pills I was getting seemed to have a different formula, maybe a month ago? Failed experiment!!
- Make Good Choices
Peppa continues to thrive on her shilintong - as of yesterday I have had her for 4 years, so she is about 5.5/6 years old, has developed a small ovarian cyst on the one ovary she still has (long story) that doesn't seem to be bothering her, and is otherwise literally living her best life - highest weight she's ever been at, still doing her zoomies every now and then, and just being fluffy.
But. BOTH of my pigs have developed weird tooth issues, and I believe hers takes the cake. I noticed about a month ago that she was struggling to eat peppers and carrots and took a look at her incisors, her bottom right incisor had gone sort of diseased looking - yellow, and almost spongey looking. It had a slight bend in the middle - like a chimney in Mary Poppins - but still came back to meet the left bottom incisor in the middle. She was eating everything she didn't have to tear normally, so I decided to keep an eye on it. About a week later I pulled back her lip to look at it and it fell forward.
After being loose like that for about 3 days, it was gone when I got home from work. Fell out, I presume, but I could never find it. She was still eating and maintaining her weight, so I had her added to my boar's regular dental visit which was today. The vet didn't feel any lumps or bumps on her jaw, so we did xrays to see if there was any obvious sign of disease/infection/root issue. Vet sent the xrays off for a radiology consult for a second review, but she said it appeared to her as though there was a slight loosening of the join between the teeth and the jaw. So slight, in fact, that she said she had to compare the xrays to those of a healthy guinea pig just to be sure.
Has anyone heard of this before? Thoughts on the cause? I have upped her vitamin C intake because that always seems like a good idea, but I'm not sure what else I can do. The vet suggested a pre-emptive antibiotic "just in case" - which I'm not totally opposed to - but I will be out of town for a week or so and I don't want her on anything like that when I'm not able to watch her.
For what its worth, the tooth is growing back VERY slowly. When my boar breaks a tooth (which he does often) that sucker is back within the week - so that is all I'm used to. Peppa's tooth fell out about 10 days ago and is currently a tiny nub. Her upper incisor is not growing down to meet it much faster, which makes me feel a little bit better, but I wasn't sure it was even growing back until the vet looked at it (she doesn't love to let me look at her bottom teeth).
Any experiences with this greatly appreciated and as always, thank you all for the community and support! These message boards are an invaluable resource.
So you've been giving shilintong all this time successfully? I would be very reluctant to stop it but wonder if there could be any long term side effects.
The teeth, one thinks of injury, infection (bacterial/fungal), and diet. Age can also be a factor in how the body processes nutrients and may be partially responsible for the slow regrowth of the teeth. That two guinea pigs are having issues perhaps rules out injury unless they both chew on wire.
Was an xray of the body done to evaluate possible bone loss or just an xray of the skull?
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The fact that they have now both developed dental issues makes me think it is dietary, or environmental or SOMETHING that I have done. I've never had two guinea pigs with such persistent issues, let alone two together with such similar issues over time.
Gus has an upper incisor that is split at the root/base of the pallet. It sometimes comes out as a fang like extra tooth, and sometimes just looks cracked. He often breaks it off though and we have periods of normalcy but like I said, his teeth grow so fast. He also has some mild malocclusion of the molars which I think (thought) was related to a several month period where he was unable to eat properly. It turned out that he had spurs, which we missed for too long, digging into his cheeks. At his check up yesterday, for the first time since November, he did not need his molars trimmed. So that was hopeful.
The vet did not do Xrays of Peppa's body, just the skull. Bone loss is something to consider though. She has been showing some hesitancy to go up her ramp, but I have been attributing that to aging. I have been wondering if the low calcium diet has led to the dental issues in both of them - which then just feels like a catch 22.
Would an infection of some kind ever show up in the jaw on an xray? The vet suggested that a CT scan would be more beneficial than an xray, but was more expensive - and the xrays were nearly 500 before all of the extra costs for the anesthesia, so I went the xray route for the time being. Partially, too, because I assume if it was an infection, both lower incisors would be affected, no? The remaining incisor was chipped, but otherwise looked normal in color and shape. She also has no other clinical signs of infection. Her eyes seem clear, her breath doesn't smell any weirder than usual, she's not losing weight, not lethargic. Just starting to resemble a professional hockey player.
It might be worthwhile for your vet to get back on VIN and see if anyone has any ideas. One question I'd like answered is if anyone has had a guinea pig with long-term use of shilintong and if any dental issues have shown up.
Someone needs to come up with a home-made KMS pellet concoction. With no added mineral calcium.
- I dissent.
He was put on Prednisone for a while but, again, that has been a good 14 or 15 years ago and I can't remember if it helped. Sebastian had other health issues going on, including a malignant tumor and bladder stones, so it's hard to say what was really going on with him. I would imagine he was on KMS pellets at some point during his bladder issues. I don't know if there's anything useful in his medical thread, but it is here if you would want to glance through it.
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Autoimmune disease is an interesting idea. Peppa has been all over the place weight, activity level, and personality wise her whole life. For example, every fall, her weight tanks. She drops anywhere from 100-150 grams at least steadily over the course of a week or two. She has been tested for everything from thyroid to diabetes with all normal results. I finally scrolled back through her weight chart and noticed a pattern, and now I don't pay any attention to her fall weight loss. Autoimmune issues are one possibility I have not considered. Something else to google late at night : )
The regrowth (what little there is) of her bottom incisor is very ugly looking. She finally let me get a good look at it yesterday and honestly my first thought was "meth addict." I know that's bad, but it was. The vet trimmed all of her incisors on Tuesday and not 36 hours later the "good" lower tooth was not even at the top and the new one is growing in rather jagged looking. She trimmed back the top incisors as well, so they aren't yet grinding against each other I'm sure, but it was disheartening to see. I'm very worried about leaving them next week.
To your question, Lynx, Peppa had blood work done in February when her cyst was discovered. She was already under for the ultrasound, it had been a while, and as I mentioned they have been on metacam for quite a long time, so I took the opportunity. Everything was normal there. I think I'm going to call and make an appointment for her to be seen again when I'm back the week after next, just so I know we have an appointment if anything goes awry when I'm gone, and also to get her some antibiotics if her lower incisors are still yellow and soft looking when I get back.
I am hesitant to add more calcium to their diet right now. I am giving them each a full Oxbow vitamin C tablet now (which is fairly high in calcium), in addition to veggies and pellets, but Gus was up to his old tricks this morning - acting like he's desperately trying to move but can't, when he actually can move. He plants his back legs wide and stretches as far as he can and flaps his lips and nostrils like someone is holding a banana just out of reach. A vet attributed that behavior to bladder pain when I took him in for that purpose a few years ago. I put him back on his metacam (he'd been off for about 10 days or so) and made sure to give them their shilintong today. It is always so hard to know what to do for the best with these creatures - and that is the most stressful part.
This is so true! Especially when there seems to be a number of potential problems.It is always so hard to know what to do for the best with these creatures - and that is the most stressful part.
I am surprised that it is high in calcium. It's always been my thought that if you want to give vitamin C, that should be the only vitamin. Suspicious of their adding calcium....a full Oxbow vitamin C tablet now (which is fairly high in calcium)...
Sometimes it take a while for the tooth to normalize. I expect the part of the tooth you can't see is not very nice looking and all that has to grow out.