A little help please
I'm new to this forum and was wondering if anyone could give a little advice. It's sort of a long story, but i'll try to keep it as short as possible.
I've had my chin for about 10 years now, and up until about 2 years ago he has been relatively healthy. Good diet, plenty of chew toys, and excercise. But about 2 years ago, he began to eat a lot less. He showed signs of discomfort when eating. I promptly took him to a vet (actually, several vets). They took x-rays of his mouth to see if it was malocclusions or any other tooth problems, but found nothing. The vet even said that if any problems develop with the inner molars, there wouldn't be much that they can do since he was a small/exotic animal. Having said that, for the past 2 years, i've been feeding him manually by grinding up Mazuri Chin pellets and Animax pellets to a fine powder and then mixing it with water to create a "slurry" mix. He has also made attempts to eat some fresh hay and oatmeal on his own.
About 2 months ago I decided to try something new by adding Vitamin C into his diet. I purchased 250mg tablets, (no sugar & rose hip based) ground them up into a powder and included a VERY small amount into the slurry. I continued to add the vitamin C into his feed for about 1 month in the hopes that it would improve his condition. Unfortunately since then his condition has worsened and I have discontinued the vitamin C.
He is now not eating anything on his own. The only thing he eats is the slurry in which I feed him. He has begun to drool from his mouth and paws at his mouth frequently, which leads me to believe his incisors are growing too long (he did continue trim his own teeth up until i began to give him the vitamin C). There is no doubt in my mind that he has malocclusions or other teeth problems. My question is, what can I do about? Could the vitamin C have worsened his condition?
I know I am going to get many comments about why I don't put him to sleep and how I could let him suffer like that, but it's very hard considering I've had him for 10 years. Plus, aside from the problems mentioned, he still eats a fair amount and is still pretty active. I REALLY don't want to have to put him down as long as he is eating, and still has a chance.
The thought of taking him to a vet for a professional opinion has crossed my mind many times, but please try to understand that my chin is VERY unique. He does not react very well to vet visits. He gets very stressed and becomes untrusting afterwards. And he's not exactly a "young" chin anymore. I'm afraid that if i take him to the vet, his condition will worsen even more and get so stressed that he'll stop eating entirely.
Does anyone have any advice or has/have any similiar situations with their chin??
Also, can anyone recommend a good, qualified chin vet in the New York City area??
Thanks in advance.