Sunday, January 14, 2018

Guinea Pig Tooth, Jaw and Ear Issues

Hi there, Cavy Savvy folks. Before getting into the topic I'd like to discuss today, I'd just like to say again how saddened we are to hear about the passing of Arwen, one of our loyal piggy readers, a few weeks back.  Big hugs to Eowyn and their human.

With that sad news out of the way, I'd like to give everyone a health update on Broccoli. As you may recall, Broccoli broke a tooth in July 2016 from biting the bars of his cage, and then he needed a molar trim in January of this year due to malocclusion. Last month, the humans noticed that he would stop eating food after attempting to chew it a couple times, and the humans noticed his weight was down. This meant another immediate vet visit (you don't want to wait when you've got significant weight loss and/or other notable symptoms). This resulted in another molar trim, a prescription for Meloxicam, and some Oxbow Critical Care to get his weight back up. This time, they scheduled a follow-up in a month, which happened earlier this week. At that visit, they did another molar trim, but they also observed a thickening of the jaw.

The vet isn't exactly sure what's causing the tooth issues, but she noted that these kind of problems can be common in older pigs. Broccoli is over six years old now, so this seems to fit. The good news is that monthly molar trims do seem to be helping. The vet puts him under anesthesia and gently trims the back molars so that they don't grow over his tongue, which would make it hard for him to eat. After each visit, Broccoli is noticeably happier and hungrier, so he will continue on this path unless something changes.

In addition, Broccoli is currently on antibiotics after the humans recently noticed a head tilt, and the vet diagnosed him with an ear infection. It turns out ear infections are especially hard to treat (something to do with less blood flow to the ears than other body parts), so a very strong antibiotic was prescribed (Zithromax/Azithromycin) to do the job. His appetite has been reduced, so the humans started supplementing his diet with Critical Care again. It's hard to determine how much of the reduced appetite is due to the antibiotic and how much is due to his ongoing teeth and jaw issues. In addition, he's been more antisocial since going on it; he just wants to sit in the little cage and be left alone for most of the day. Fortunately, the 14 days he's supposed to take the antibiotic are almost up, which means hopefully he'll go back to normal soon!

It's been a rough time!
By the way, just a reminder, you can still enter our latest giveaway until January 20th, 2018.


  1. Poor Broccoli. We feel for you and hope you are better soon. It is a shame that you have to be anaesthetised every time you need your teeth trimmed. Keep munching little friend.

  2. Lots of well wishes, Broccoli! We hope that you get better quickly. And thank you for the sympathy! We have a new pig now, Frodo; he's just a baby and scared of everything, but hopefully soon he will make a good buddy for Eowyn (who is also technically a boy).

  3. Hey guys. Broccoli is still eating plenty of hay right? That's what helps to keep those teeth under control. Oxbow Critical care and Sherwood SArX Emergency supplement really helps. Keep us all posted.

  4. Hope little Frodo is settling in well. It'll be no time before he is ruling the roost. Sorry about Arwen, I may be a grown human but I really take it hard losing any of my little friends.