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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-17-2010, 12:42 AM Thread Starter
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Exclamation my chin had surgery today for malocclusion...

My almost 3 year old (she will be 3 in July) chinchilla, Joplin, had surgery done today for malocclusion. The vet seemed very positive about the situation and said we got it early. The vet said she was surprised I noticed since Joplin wasn't showing many signs. I told the vet that I spend at least 30 minutes a day out of cage time with her and Zoey (my other chinchilla) so anything even mildly out of the ordinary is noticed. She was acting "normal" and the reason I brought her to the vet was because she had a little drool on her chin and was eating slow.
Now that she is home I have been reading online about malocclusion and I am starting to really freak out; everything I have read (including threads on here) basically boils down to putting the animal to sleep.
The vet didn't even hint at this so I'm not sure what to think. The vet didn't take x-rays so I can't post anything on here for reference.

I just really don't know what to think....Joplin really doesn't seem to be in pain but I know chins hide it well. She is eating, drinking, and pooping so I really don't know.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-17-2010, 09:41 AM
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Two things can go wrong:
The teeth start to grow too fast, and the animals needs some help with it. If it's a bad case, you could end up needing to visit the vet every 3 months or so, to get the teeth trimmed. If it's the front teeth, it's not a big problem, but with the molars, this would not be a good life for the animal.

Then we have the root problem. If this is the problem, there is really nothing else to do than to put the animal to sleep.

---

Some times the teeth will just grow in a wrong way, and you may need to get them trimmed one or a couple of times in the chinchillas lifetime.

From your description, it's really hard to say if it's a "real" problem, or just some small thing with the teeth.

What do you give your animals, to help them keep their teeth healthy?

/Pia

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-17-2010, 02:18 PM
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If it's the front teeth, it's not a big problem, but with the molars, this would not be a good life for the animal.

I would disagree with this significantly. We've had several special needs animals over the years that needed regular molar trims (some as frequently as every 6 weeks), and have lived long and healthy lives.

We are as gods to the beasts of the fields. We order the time o' their birth and the time o' their death. Between times, we ha' a duty. - Terry Pratchett.

"Men have forgotten this truth", said the fox, "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-17-2010, 04:58 PM
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If I had an animal that had to have it's molar trimmed every 6 weeks, I would put it down.
I've seen it, and it was no life for the animal...

/Pia

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-17-2010, 05:39 PM
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Well, the animals which are alive and well in our sanctuary would disagree with you. One day every six weeks they go to the vet, are anesthetized, and are up and eating normally four hours later. They spend the other time eating, playing, living with their friends, and being normal. I'll let my rat with teeth problems who needs trimming every three weeks that she should want to be dead because she's not living any kind of life.

This is strictly for overgrown molars, not elongated roots, which are an entirely different problem and which are a much more painful ailment for which there is little treatment. Simple overgrown molars (malocclusion) are very common in a variety of species, and it's not at all abnormal to maintain them through regular trims, sometimes as often as 4 weeks apart. If you have a competent vet, your animals are on a schedule such that they are trimmed before there are issues eating or with their teeth growing into their tongues or cheeks, and the procedure itself is done under anesthetic. All of our animals are up, eating, and playing by the end of the day.

You've "seen it" and so have I -- we have a plethora of these animals of many species which we maintain with regular tooth trims; many of whom personally stay at my house, are transported to the vet by me, are picked up afterward, by me. I did it this past Wednesday with a rat that requires trims every 3 weeks. She ate a cookie in the carrier before we left and bruxed. They are not "miserable", and they live a life like any other animal -- except for 6 hours every 6 weeks or so when they go to the vet and have their trims under anesthetic. They're up and eating on their own within the end of the day.

We are as gods to the beasts of the fields. We order the time o' their birth and the time o' their death. Between times, we ha' a duty. - Terry Pratchett.

"Men have forgotten this truth", said the fox, "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-19-2010, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the quick response! I give them a lot of different things for chewing; all the levels and houses in their cage are made of wood, they ALWAYS have at least one hanging/chain toy that has wooden blocks, pumice stones, grapevines, etc. on them. Also, they always have hay available.
I have a follow up appt with the vet a week from today (next monday) so I will be asking the vet to fully explain this. I would never let her suffer and the vet really didn't allude to her suffering at all.
She is still pawing at her mouth a little but I figure it's because she had the surgery on friday so she's probably still sore. She gets Metacam once a day and vital care once a day; which she takes both willingly! (I'm super excited about this because I had a chin that I had to "force" feed vital care a few times and that was a nightmare!)

Let me know what you think. Thanks again

My Chinchilla Family; Joplin (RIP my little love) & Zoey

My Sugar Glider Family; Bob, Marley, Belle, Mazzy, Bruce, Nala & Piggerz

My Dog Family; Brisco, Gwenny & Chino

My Cat Family; Rogan & Luna

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-06-2010, 05:18 PM
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my chin had surgery and died very soon after that, i hope yours will have a greater strength
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-06-2010, 07:07 PM
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Okay
Then it works for you
I just wouldn't put an animal trough that - but if it works, as I said, just keep it up

/Pia

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Owned by chinchillas since 1997
Breeding since 2005


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