Little boy not eating after teeth filing?
I just wanted to ask your advice on a problem my Degu Diego is having at the moment. He just over a year old; him and his brother Peds have been happy and healthy since we had them. Unfortunately they have been apart for a few months after some nasty fights-but we hope to try again to reintroduce them soon. They are so enchanting -Iím truly in love! The have the best quirky personalities-itís making me very sad to see Diego struggling as heís a real character.
He had a bad back tooth back in May, which eventually after painkillers and antibiotics has seemingly worn down and he started eating ok again. I'm happy to say he made it through that episode, and put on abit of weight( 200g is the biggest he's ever been so I think he was just the runt of the litter bless him!)...he sadly couldn't eat hay however hard I tried...I even got a selection pack of different types but alas no joy. His brother loved all the new varieties-Diego would try and shred but never eat the hay. So I knew that we would have problems with his teeth quickly because he wasn't eating hay.
Last week I noticed he'd lost abit of weight and was taking ages eating:'( He went to the vets on Monday(last week) and had to have a GA so the vet could investigate, he found that 3 teeth we're way too long and filed them down. He got through the GA ok again and I was so relieved, however I'm getting quite worried now.
He's really struggling to eat much still,(in fact he was eating better before as now he won't eat pellets) I've only managed to get down him a few choice bits and bobs each day, Dandelions, fresh Herbs, Oats, Crushed peas, shelled walnuts and puffed rice and dried echinacea over the last week. He's drinking ok and running about on his wheel and doesn't seem in pain and has maintained his weight. He's sleeping alot and digging alot which isn't normal behaviour for him....I feel awful for him as he's do tiny! He's taking 0.05ml of Metacam painkiller everyday which the vet told me yesterday to up to another dose in the evening. He does seem to want to chew on everything in the house thats hard and loves me rubbing his mouth so I wondered if they felt strange after filing and need to 'bed in'?
I'm so sorry for that essay! all I was asking is how long degus normally take to recover from a teeth filing? I guess their mouthes are delicate and must be sore? Unfortunately he HATES critical care, softened pellets and the sweet potato baby food which isn't helping me build him back up:'( As I'm sure you can tell I worry alot, I just want to make sure I'm doing the right thing. I'm not sure at what point we need to force feed him-but I really don't want to get to that if I don't need to!
Thank you SO much for your time and advice-it is so appreciated! I just really want him back to Ďnormalí I canít bear the thought of losing himÖ:(
Hayley, Diego & Peds x x
Diego is probably digging to "hide" his food until he is ready to eat it.
• If Diego is not in pain (as evidenced by his using the wheel and not sitting around puffed up), then perhaps the Metacam should be stopped instead of increased. This may be upsetting his stomach/appetite.
• Maybe he has an infection. Another round of antibiotics may be in order. (This has worked for one of my degus whose tongue had been pinned by spurs on her teeth. I think the wounds might have become infected.)
• He does seem to be having some irritation around his mouth (rubbing it). (It took one of my degus a week or so to recover from her second filing. I think the vet was not as experienced and may have had her jaw open too wide). Time should solve that but the key is making sure he has enough nutrition until that. (see below)
• If you can, find a vet that can file his teeth without GA. Both vets that I've went to used only a bit of gas to calm my degu, Azure, down. I am very wary of GA.
• Keep feeding him as much of whatever he will eat. Perhaps try a degu food like Versele-laga Degu Nature that isn't just pellets but lots of dried veggies and food bits in different shapes (my degu with tooth issues would eat the long pointy ones); it might be less uncomfortable for him to eat. If you are really worried, you can try Critical Care supplement to ensure he gets all the nutrition he needs.
• Keep weighing him too.
If he's eating soft foods like herbs and veggies, give him a nice variety of those, as many as he wants. Also try hay blocks, that might be a way for him to get hay in the future to keep his teeth worn down.
Will he eat fresh grass?
Thank you both so much for your advice:) so appreciated!
I'm wondering if you may be right about the jaw theory or infection...I'm going to ring the vet again today and see what he says I just really don't want Diegs to have to have another GA for them to have a look....but what you are saying about not having to knock them out entirely sounds amazing! I live in the Midlands (Notts, Leics, Derby border) Does anyone know of any recommended vets that you know perform this?
He hasn't got any worse which is a good thing, I just got a nice bag of JR Farm Degu Special in the post...it has lots of variation! He's tried a few bits but gives up after a while.
I'm glad you have both said to continue giving him the foods he will eat.... was just abit worried aout too much walnut?
He will eat dandelions and grass and fresh herbs....again I didn't want to give him too much incase of bloating? Annoyingly he won't eat fresh food like his brother, never has! He's quite a picky eater at the best of times which doesn't help:D
Fingers crossed he'll pick up soon, I'm so dissapointed for him as I hoped after having his teeth filed it might relieve him and he would eat hay again:( to save a future of these problems! oh well keep truckin'
Thanks so much again....will keep you posted!
Some of the dedicated degu forums (the Degu and Chinchilla World Forum for sure, maybe Degutopia as well) have lists of recommended vets and members – many of them from the UK – that can answer your questions regarding how these vets deal with teeth issues (ie; GA vs mild sedation).
Yes, please do keep us posted.
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