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Degu eating trouble

2329 Views 6 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  degus2012
So, I have 2 female degu´s, almost 4 years old.
The other one, Hulda, has always been healthy, but the other one, Hertta, started having tooth-related problems last December.
She lost weight, she used to be bigger of the two.
Her lower front incisors grew too long, and it made it hard for her to eat anymore.
I fed her some crushed pellets at that time.
She weighed about 140 grams when we took her to see the vet.

So, we took her to a vet back then, and the vet clipped her teeth, and removed one of her molar tooth.

They gave me a 3-day prescription of Baytril, and some Critical Care to syringe feed her, and she got better pretty quickly.
She gained most of her weight back, and started eating hay and pellets normally.

Everything went well for a few months.
But just a week ago, I noticed, that one of her lower front incisors was missing.
She still ate normally, though.
I monitored the situation, to see if it got worse, or anything.
Well, after few days from that, the place, where the tooth were missing, started to get a bit swollen and sore around the lip.
I called the vet immediately, and got an appointment (It was this monday)

They looked Hertta, and clipped her upper incisors a bit.
Her molar tooth were good.

They also cleaned her rash in her lip a bit.
And they gave me another 3-day prescription for Baytril.
And some cleaning stuff for her rash.

Now, it´s Wednesday, so 2 days after the vet appointment.
Hertta has gotten better, she eats some crushed pellets, and I have fed her some dried carrot pieces and little pieces of wood.
The problem is:

How do I make her eat more hay?
(Or at least more hard food, to keep teeth for growing too long?)

Could it be, that the mouth is too sore, that I just have to wait?

She hasn´t touched hay since the pet visit.
It would be important for her to get eating hay, to keep her teeth short. (Her teeth are orange, as should be :))

And, when I try to feed her pellets, she just puts it between paws, and drops it.
(But, he eats crushed pellets, as mentioned before)
And I have been syringe-feeding her Critical Care, she likes it.

I have been said, that it´s a good sign, that she eats something, so she has appetite. and she is energetic, she likes to "chirp" with her friend, and acts normally.

I gave her a whole hazelnut today, and she eated it, I saw, that she used her all 4 incisor teeth, so I quess that´s a good sign.
It took her a while to eat it, but I had to get her chew something.

Any tips for our situation, would be greatly appreciated.

-As for the rash around mouth, it is gotten better, no swelling, and I have been cleaning it everyday :)

And the vet said, that it should heal in 2-3 weeks, it´s normal rash. And the fur around the chin should grow back, too.

Any help would be appreciated, I love Hertta so much <3
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Try hay blocks. They're not ideal long-term but are much better than no hay :). Another idea would be to offer fresh grasses and weeds from outside, they'll be softer and possibly easier to eat.

If you think it's due to pain, ask for painkillers and see if there's any improvement. I honestly can't remember what they prescribed but I was once able to get a painkiller for a degu (she had to be stitched up after a fight).

Good luck!
Thanks for the info, I will try it :)

I am just about to give her the last antibiotic with syringe this morning.

It´s weird, that she eats hard food like dried carrot and such, but no hay o_O

Well, just gotta keep trying.
I will ask those painkillers if any improvement isn´t seen today.
Phew ^^
Just thought to inform, that Hertta is doing fine now :)

She started eating hay this morning.

Could it be, that the antibiotics made her sleepy and dizzy these past few days? (And maybe lost interest in drinking water..?)

´Cause, yesterday, I gave her her last antibiotic doze, and she was sleeping a lot, and was acting lazy, even when eating, and it took long time for her to eat.

But this morning, she was just like the Hertta I know :)
Acting totally normal, thank God..
She drank water normally, and eats hay.
(But still not touching pellets, well, with time, I quess)

Her rash on her lower lip and chin is getting better.
The fur in his chin is growing back. :jump:
But maybe another week or so for it to completely heal, according to our vet.

So, I keep using Betadine with water, to clean it daily, until it´s fully healed.

So glad to have the good old Hertta back :yes:
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Yay, that's great to hear!! :D Yeah, don't worry about the pellets. Hay is the most important part of the diet, the pellets aren't even necessary technically.
Yeah :)

I always feed them good-quality hay, and 50/50 % Chinchilla/Guinea-pig pellets, just about 20 grams pellets per day, so they eat more hay :) (In Finland, we don´t have pellets designed for degu only, so..)

And they get whole hazelnut as a treat once a month :D

This whole hand-feeding process has helped Hertta get "closer" to me.

She always was the shyer one of the two, but now I just need to go to the cage, and she want´s to come out :D

WHY was the molar removed? The opposite molar may grow long points that will grow into the opposing area into the gum. VERY painful. Get her teeth checked every month. Most malocclusions are genetic. Went through it with a Chin - trims every 6 weeks!
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