Pet Health

Guinea Pig Teeth

iStock/terry6970; https://www.scitecheuropa.eu/research-on-why-herbivores-have-dental-issues/97471/

Dental disease is a common condition that affects guinea pigs. Guinea pigs teeth continue to grow throughout their life and can become overgrown if not properly maintained. Overgrown teeth can cause root impaction, abscesses and diseased gums leading to a loss of appetite, weight loss and excessive drooling. A guinea pig showing these clinical signs should be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible.

The best way to prevent dental disease in guinea pigs is with an appropriate diet. Their diet should be 70% good quality high fibre this includes grass and hay (oat, timothy or orchard hay). A high fibre diet helps grind their teeth down to a healthy length. The remainder of their diet should include 20% fruit and vegetables and no more than 5-10% guinea pig pellets. A diet too heavy in pellets will lead to overgrown teeth and a painful mouth. It is also important to supplement guinea pigs daily with 25-50mg vitamin C for healthy gums.

Dental disease is a painful condition that can be difficult to treat so prevention is always much better than a cure. If your guinea pig is showing any signs of a painful mouth such as a reduced appetite, weight loss, drooling or matting of fur around their chin then they should see a veterinarian as soon as possible to discuss treatment options.

References:
University of Queensland Small Animal Hospital Dr Bob Donnelly; https://small-animal.hospital.uq.edu.au/guinea-pig
Sydney Birds & Exotics Veterinarian Dr Alex Rosenwax; http://www.birdvet.com.au/frame.htm

Written by Dr Emma Chester BVSc(Hons)  © Northgate Vet Surgery, Queensland  2019

Posted in: Pet Health at 08 October 19