Sunday, July 17, 2016

Guinea Pig Broke a Tooth

I've been incredibly excited about Lola (#2) ever since the humans brought her home! I think we could become good friends, but there's just one caveat: she's got to recognize my dominance. I'm the big bad boar; king of the cage, if you will. And I'm certainly not going to give up my crown without a fight. This all would have gone down so much easier if Lola would have just acknowledged my dominance rather than fighting me on this. Instead, she sometimes fights back and often runs away, avoiding the issue. This is something that needs to get resolved, Lola! Running away doesn't solve anything.

Anyway, because we're still having our "disagreements," the humans haven't been comfortable putting us in the same cage yet, and have been taking things slow with our introduction. I'm impatient, though! I've been wanting to meet her so badly that I've been biting the bars of my cage.

As it turned out, this wasn't my best idea. My tooth started hurting from this, which was aggravated when I ate, which made me eat less. (Even though I love eating!) The humans weighed me, and noticed that my weight was down a bit, which is cause for concern. They also noticed that one of my lower incisors seemed to be chipped. They decided it was time to bring me in to the vet.

Give it to me straight. What's going on?
What are you going with that cotton swab thing?
This thing is making my mouth numb.
I had a few minutes of peace and quiet, and then they wiggled off the tooth that was hurting!
Ouch! Thought that would hurt more, though.
Oh no! Now my smile won't look as good in blog pictures!
I've got to say that this was the second most disturbing thing to happen to me at the vet involving losing a body part! Guinea pigs have 20 teeth, but only 4 of them (the upper and lower incisors) are highly-visible. Our incisors are constantly growing, and we need to gnaw on things like hay to wear them down and keep them at a proper length. This means that I shouldn't have to wait too long for that tooth to grow back. In my case, however, the break occurred close to the gums, and there was a little bleeding and a bad smell when the tooth came off. Therefore the vet prescribed me an antibiotic and a painkiller for 10 days. The broken tooth should grow back in about 3 weeks.

In cases where a tooth breaks below the gum line, leaving a hole, your vet may recommend that your human uses a syringe with a mild saline solution to wash out the hole. If multiple teeth break at the same time and you're unable to hold and chew food, your human can use a vegetable peeler and hand-feed you thin slices of food, which you can chew with your back teeth. Neither of these things happened to me, so I guess things could be worse!

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