ISSN 2398-2985      

Ptyalism

6guinea pig
Contributor(s):

Synonym(s): Drooling, Hypersalivation


Introduction

  • Cause: clinical sign which can be seen with heat stress, dental disease, or accompanying tasting something bitter such as a bitter medication.
  • Signs: Wet fur at corners of the mouth and chin (the fur may be stained). Sometimes called 'slobbers'. More acute ptyalism with tasting something bitter may look more like foaming at the mouth. Accompanied with a lot of tongue movements and mastication. May be weight loss and weakness if this is associated with dental diseae.
  • Diagnosis: history, oral/dental examination, radiography, CT.
  • Treatment: depends on cause.
  • Prognosis: poor to good, depending on cause.
Print off the Owner factsheets on Dental disease and Giving your guinea pig a health check to give to your clients.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Noxious stimulation (such as irritation, toxin or oral discomfort) in mouth causing excessive salivation.
  • Heat stress response as body temperature rises.

Predisposing factors

General

  • If heat stress: elevated ambient temperature and humidity.
  • If dental disease Dental disease usually inappropriate diet. May be vitamin C deficiency Vitamin C deficiency.
  • If allowed free-roam of the house/environment, may chew on noxious or toxic substance.

Pathophysiology

  • Hypersalivation may occur with heat stress as excess saliva can be produced to encourage heat loss through deposition on the coat since sweat is not produced.
  • Irritation in the mouth from dental disease or noxious/bitter substance causes hypersalivation.
  • Irritation to the mouth from ingestion of a toxin may be due to direct action of the toxic chemical in the mucosa.

Timecourse

  • For heat stress, toxin, bitter substance: rapid - usually within minutes.
  • For dental disease, may be chronic.

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

Other sources of information

  • Hawkins M G & Bishop C R (2012) Disease Problems of Guinea Pigs. In: Ferrets, Rabbits, and Rodents Clinical Medicine and Surgery. 3rd edn. Eds: Quesenberry K E & Carpenter J W. Elsevier. pp 295-310.
  • Antinoff N (2011) Heatstroke. In: Blackwell's Five-Minute Veterinary Consult: Small Mammal. Ed: Oglesbee B L. Wiley-Blackwell. pp 265-266.
  • Johnson-Delaney C (2010) Guinea Pigs, Chinchillas, Degus and Duprasi. In: BSAVA Manual of Exotic Pets. 5th edn. Eds: Meredith A & Johnson-Delaney C. British Small Animal Veterinary Association. pp 28-62.

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