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Dental Diseases in Guinea Pigs

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Malocclusion and Other Dental Diseases

 

Guinea pigs suffer from various kinds of dental diseases, the most common being improper alignment of teeth, otherwise known as malocclusion. Another dental disease is slobbers. This occurs when a guinea pig's teeth become overgrown, making it difficult to swallow or chew, and causing the animal to salivate more than necessary. These and other dental diseases require immediate veterinary care, as they can lead to secondary complications, if left untreated.

 

Symptoms

 

  • Improper alignment of the teeth
  • Weight loss
  • Bleeding from the mouth
  • Oral abscesses
  • Sinus infections
  • Difficulty eating (e.g., bits of food can be seen coming out the side of the mouth)

 

Causes

 

A guinea pig's teeth continuously grows throughout its life. And when its teeth or jaws are misaligned, the teeth can become overgrown, causing chewing or swallowing difficulties and producing excess saliva. This condition is sometimes referred to as slobbers. Meanwhile, reasons for malocclusion include heredity, injury, or dietary imbalances, such as a lack of vitamin C or of certain minerals.

 

Diagnosis

 

Your veterinarian will conduct a thorough physical examination and check your guinea pig’s mouth for any kind of dental diseases or abnormalities. In the case of malocclusion, the diagnosis is made when the animal's teeth are not properly aligned. You veterinarian may also ask for the guinea pig's dietary history.

 

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