Our last 2 years in a (very large) nutshell!!!

Pimpinpuji

Post   » Mon Jul 22, 2019 7:40 am


Hi, Sef! Good idea! We're due for a trim next week, I'll grab video and pics at that time. I believe I also owe pics from Sugar's tumor that was removed in 2015.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Mon Jul 22, 2019 7:55 am


Oh yes, sharing details any details (pics, videos, etc.) with us that could be useful for other posters would be super. I am so glad you have come up with a method that works for him.

Pimpinpuji

Post   » Wed Jul 31, 2019 3:22 pm


Sef, of course!! We are due for a trim this week, so I'll make sure to grab a video.

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Sef
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Wed Jul 31, 2019 7:12 pm


Great!

Pimpinpuji

Post   » Thu Aug 15, 2019 11:18 am


Hello, everyone!

I've got a video for you! There are a few comments below before you watch the video:


1. He is usually wrapped in a blanket when we do the trims, but we were so caught up in filming that we initially forgot to wrap him. He didn't appreciate it.
2. You'll see that his paws look a bit swollen. He's developed some bumblefoot in his front paws over the past several months, we're not sure why but think he may have gotten poked by his hay (he eat orchard grass hay). He gets epsom salt foot soaks to keep it under control.
3. You will notice that he has cheilitis. This tends to flare up when he is in need of a trim, and then improve right after the trims. We put coconut oil on it. Occasionally, we sparingly use neosporin depending on the way the lesions look. I've never had it tested for fungal or bacterial elements, but he's been prone to it since we had him as a baby. It would flare whenever he was stressed or not eating well.
4. Dr. Fisher was willing to teach me how to do the trims. I'm working up the courage to learn, I'm just so afraid I'll accidentally clip his lips. I did find a vet about 30-40 minutes away from where I will be living that appears to be comfortable with weekly guinea pig dental trims. That's a long drive for the piggo to do every week, so I'm really leaning towards trying to do them myself. Has anyone here had experience with that?


Some travel updates:

1. As many of you are aware, Sugar was adopted in California. He flew on board with me to Georgia, then back to California, and then to Michigan. Each time he flew, though, he had Peanut with him. This will be Sugar's first solo trip.
2. From what I know, Frontier is still the only airlines that allows guinea pigs on board. I am buying a ticket to fly out from Detroit to Orange county on September 1st. While the total flying time is only about 5 or 6 hours, the whole trip is about 12 hours when including layover time in Denver.
3. For the trip: We have Sugar's basic on-board carrier. I will line it with a pet bed, a puppy training pad, and then fleece (we'll try this method at home, to make sure he's comfortable with it). During the layover, I've bought a small puppy tent online that can pop up, so he's got a little bit more space and a change of environment. Once I receive the tent, we'll let him try it out so he's used to it.
4. In case he doesn't like the pee pads or the tent, I'll just take tons off extra bedding with me to switch out every few hours.
5. I will syringe feed him water throughout the trip, he tolerates this pretty well. He will have hay at all times with a small amount of fresh veggies. I'll give pellets, veggies, and hay during the layover.
6. We will go to my parent's house first, where I am having a small temporary cage set up. It's about 3 grids by 2 grids in size (his current cage is 6 grids by 2 grids). As soon as our house shipment arrives (should be within 2 weeks), we will move into the new house and set up his normal cage.
7. I'll give him a dose of meloxicam before we leave. We believe he has some arthritis in his hind legs, and the last thing I want is for him to be uncomfortable or in pain.


This kid is a fighter. But, he's getting older, so I worry about the stress this will cause him. I hope that whatever happens through this process of moving over the next few weeks, he remembers that he is loved and he remains comfortable.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:09 pm


Great video! Since it appears to be only his incisors that require trimming (molar trimming which is more common, is also more complicated), it looks simpler. I bet you could learn how to do it yourself. I think the main trick is positioning and securing him firmly.

It looks like a simple wire cutters is being used to trim the teeth. It is unfortunate that something is going on with the upper incisors. Perhaps an infection or injury? I expect you will continue to occasionally see them come out.

Pimpinpuji

Post   » Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:32 pm


Lynx, he had an injury more than 18 months ago, at which time he fractured his front incisors up to the root. I'm not sure what the injury was exactly, but I'm thinking he either ran into his ramp or fell off of his ramp. Once I discovered that he had cataracts and arthritis, we got rid of the ramp altogether.

Ever since then, the teeth have grown in gnarly despite frequent trims, and his bite is not strong. Currently, his veggies are all sliced/shredded with a salad shooter. He has difficulty biting into anything thicker than that (about 2-3 mm) unless it's a softer piece of fruit. Lettuce gets torn into smaller pieces, and he uses his feet to help with tearing. He has no problems eating hay.

I believe the clippers actually are wire cutters!

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Sef
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:10 pm


My biggest concern with trying to do this yourself would be potentially causing the tooth to crack and break down the middle. Seems like we had a thread on that around here a few years ago, but I'm drawing a blank on the particulars. Our vet has done occasional tooth trims using a similar cutter, though, and I also purchased a set of small diamond files that our vet has used in the past to file rough edges; they come in various sizes and grits from this seller:
http://www.lopacki.com/lopacki/files/index.html

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:17 am


Diamond files sound like an interesting solution! I do believe metal files will work too. Important to have a rounded tip so no injury is done. I believe MildredM may have posted a video describing filing Fairy's teeth.

Pimpinpuji

Post   » Fri Aug 16, 2019 11:10 pm


Sef, one of his teeth is already cracked down the middle up to the root, which is why his front incisors continue to grow in wonky. I'd personally be more comfortable with filing, given that there is less risk of me causing actual damage. Sugar, however, HATED filing. Because his teeth are cracked up to the root, he has a piece that often will get loose and fall out during trims. I imaging the back and forth filing motion would make that worse. He no longer bites into veggies, probably because there is tenderness associated with the motion.

At this point, we are in super comfort care mode, so I want to do whatever will keep him most comfortable and happy. I'm not sure how stressful it is for a guinea pig to drive an hour a week for a dental trim vs having it done at home?

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sat Aug 17, 2019 7:21 am


How about filing the lower teeth and clipping the upper ones until they (hopefully, hopefully!) become more normal?

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Sef
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Sat Aug 17, 2019 8:21 am


I should have clarified...the files were mainly for smoothing out the sharp edges after our vet trimmed Sebastian's incisors with the cutter. He had a problem with loose teeth, too, so filing alone was too abrasive (as we learned the hard way). They are very small, narrow files and she thought they were perfect for piggy dental work.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sat Aug 17, 2019 2:42 pm


Pinta has used a "glass file" for teeth. I think if filing is done more frequently, there is not much to remove and it can be done quickly.

Pimpinpuji

Post   » Thu Aug 29, 2019 12:41 pm


Okay, so I learned how to trim teeth, and it really is as straight forward as the video makes it look. It felt similar to cutting nails, except there was a little tongue that kept getting in my way! It wasn't too bad, except for one of his lower incisors that is incredibly thick. I think that I will look into the filing.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Thu Aug 29, 2019 9:56 pm


Good for you! I wish you continued success!

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WindeSpirit
Sewing for a Cause

Post   » Fri Aug 30, 2019 9:23 am


I had a lot of success with a regular emery board for filing teeth. I did it daily for a few minutes each day so it didn't stress either of us out. This is the easiest way I've found that works for us. Plus, I could leave it in the cage for them to nibble on, though I did cut them in half. After a few times of use, some of the pigs did nibble on them more if I wasn't filing enough for their liking. They come in packs of 10 for only a buck or two at most stores. Just be sure to toss any out before they get to small to cause choking concern, although they usually get wet and need tossed before that happens.

Tip - if leaving in the cage, squeeze some cucumber or other fresh food juice over them prior and let dry, for carrot I'd shred some a day ahead and let the emery boards sit in the shredded carrots. Pepper juice was another favorite of theirs, a garlic press works pretty well as a tiny juicer.

Also for clipping teeth & nails, the larger size human (toe) clippers work great when the nail isn't to thick to fit in between. When that happens, I cut the ones that fits and then get the regular animal nail clippers and use them for the thicker teeth.

Glad you enjoyed Ann Arbor! And found the best vets of that area. To bad I didn't know you were at UofM, we could of did lunch or something. I spend several weeks at Thanksgiving up there in the Motts section.

Pimpinpuji

Post   » Sat Sep 07, 2019 3:22 am


WindeSpirit, thank you for the information about the emery boards!! I've tried to camouflage all sorts of treats to help wear down his teeth, with almost no interest from his end. So far, Sugar has hated having his teeth filed, but so many of you have suggested it, that I do think it's worth another try.
I did my first independent trim today. It was smooth and without complications, though I don't believe the piggo was happy with the end result. I think I was too conservative, and may consider trimming off a bit more tomorrow, depending on his mood.

About Ann Arbor, I miss it so much!! I miss our vet, the downtown area, the culture, the lifestyle, the medical campus....Sigh. Well, if you're ever in Southern California, I will be here! I'm sorry to know that you spent so much time in Mott. I hope your experience there was a positive one. It's so odd working in inpatient medicine, I hope to never see someone that I know, and I hope to never see my patients again (unless I run into them at the grocery store)!

Pimpinpuji

Post   » Wed Oct 23, 2019 1:26 pm


We lost our sweet potato, Sugar, a few days ago. Over the past 2-3 weeks, he had increasing difficulty walking, to the point where he wasn't moving at all in his last days, and we had to position him right next to food and water. We knew Sugar had arthritis, because his gait has been altered for about a year now, but we didn't realize how bad it was. Xrays showed diffuse arthritis down his entire spine and his knees, possibly with some spinal nerve compression, the vet wasn't even sure how Sugar had been moving in the first place. At the same visit, a UTI was diagnosed.

So, we got him on abx and stronger pain meds, knowing that there wasn't much time left, and hoping that his last few days might be comfortable and surrounded in love.
Deepak and I had already been talking about putting him to sleep so that he would not suffer. We figured we'd give these meds a try and then go the euthanasia route if it wasn't giving him the quality of life that he deserved... it was a painful conversation. Anyway, while I was at work, Deepak called me to see if I could come home early, telling me that Sugar was getting worse, and that he was absolutely miserable. He kept wheeking, but didn't want any of the food or water offered to him... he only calmed when Deepak was nearby and touching him. Sugar passed before I could make it home. He didn't want us to make the hard decisions of putting him down, so he made it for us. He had been fighting his physical battles for so long, and saw me through all of mine..he moved on to the next phase of his soul's journey only after making sure I was settled. He was so very loved, and I'm sorry that he had to suffer in his last days, I never wanted that for him. In about a month, he would have been 8 years old. Our little Potato was the sweetest and gentlest of all our pigs, and gave us so much joy.

I'ts been almost 12 years as a pig mum... and I'm not sure where to go from here. I knew that we wouldn't get more guinea pigs after Sugar, the pain of losing them is so hard... but I'm also feeling a void of sorts. I want to donate my cage and fleece, but I can't bear to even pack it into a box, because seeing those items (they are in my living room) gives me such bittersweet feelings.

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Wed Oct 23, 2019 6:17 pm


I'm so sorry, Pimpinpuji. You and Sugar had been through so much together. You gave him a wonderful life.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Wed Oct 23, 2019 8:45 pm


I am so sorry for your loss. You have all our sympathy.

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