ISSN 2398-2985      

Dental disease

6guinea pig

Introduction

  • Cause: improper wear of elodont cheek teeth (premolars, molars).
  • Signs: anorexia, problems masticating, excessive salivation with wetting of fur around mouth/chin, appearance of overgrown and/or fractured incisors.
  • Diagnosis: oral examination, radiographs, CT scan.
  • Treatment: reduction of crowns.
  • Prognosis: guarded for recurrence particularly if diet not corrected.
Print off the Owner factsheets on Abscesses, Dental disease, Fly strike, Giving your guinea pig a health check, Routine health care, Overgrown teeth and Sinusitis to give to your clients.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Lack of proper roughage in diet Nutrition: overview to wear the cheek teeth.
  • All teeth in the guinea pig grow continuously and must be worn down on a daily basis.
  • Vitamin C deficiency Vitamin C deficiency may play a role in the development of improper wear/growth.

Predisposing factors

General

  • Improper diet (lacking in proper rough fiber such as hay).

Specific

Pathophysiology

  • Elodont teeth must be worn down daily.
  • Cheek teeth (premolars, molars) crowns elongate lingually.
  • Because of cheek teeth elongation, incisors also begin to elongate, and there is interference of the tongue movement, resulting in problems with swallowing.

Timecourse

  • Usually gradual, but clinical signs may appear to the owner as a sudden problem with eating.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Lennox A (2008) Clinical technique: small exotic companion mammal dentistry - anesthetic considerations. J Exot Pet Med 17 (2), 102-106 ExotPetMed.
  • Capello V (2008) Diagnosis and treatment of dental disease in pet rodents. J Exot Pet Med 17 (2), 114-123 ExotPetMed.

Other sources of information

  • Capello V & Lennox A M  (2012) Small Mammal Dentistry. In: Ferrets, Rabbits, and Rodents Clinical Medicine and Surgery. 3rd edn. Eds: Quesenberry K E & Carpenter J W. Elsevier. pp 452-471.
  • Capello V & Oglesbee B (2011) Dental Malocclusion. In: Blackwell's Five-Minute Veterinary Consult: Small Mammal. 2nd edn. Ed: Oglesbee B L. Wiley-Blackwell. pp 255-257.
  • Capello V, Gracis M & Lennox A (2005) Rabbit and Rodent Dentistry Handbook. Wiley-Blackwell.

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