Chin with Malo

Devynthecatwithsocks

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Southern California
Hi so i rescued my second chinchilla 3 weeks ago and we were told she showed symptoms of teeth issues but they had her checked out mupltipe times and she look fine. Since we got her i suspected it was malo, especially considering the symptoms she was already displaying, hunching, grinding teeth, selective with food/prefered soft food, never chewed on hay or any toys. We planned on taking her in but our other chin had an emergency so we had to put off miphas vet appointment. She started displaying drooling and is having a hard time eating. I definalty suspect maloto be the cause. An appointment for Saturday has been made. Owners who have had chins with malo, what was ur experience and anything i should know? Should I expect surgery or can it be corrected without? Any tips on keeping her teeth healthy in the future and not needing vet intervention further on?
 

Amethyst

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When I'm assuming they had a vet checked the teeth multiple times? Did they just do a visual check and if so did they use a scope to check the molars? Also were x-rays taken? You can't really see the molars without at least a endoscope, ideally a camera one so they can get a better look after, and it's impossible to see the roots at all without an x-ray.

If it is malo, then teeth trimming is really only buying time, there is no cure or way to correct it (short of removing all their teeth, but that is not advised, it risks breaking the jaw and/or killing them), so long as the roots haven't started growing yet you can take the chin in for regular teeth trimming, but that's about it. If the chin recovers quickly and goes back to being a normal chin after the teeth trimming then you can get lucky and not need trimming again for several months. If they don't go back to chewing on things though you may need more frequent trimmings since they wont wear down their teeth if they aren't chewing on things. Once they get to the point of needing trimmings frequently, like every few weeks and aren't recovering to being a normal active chin after trimmings it's time to think about quality of life. Also if the roots start to grow personally I think it's best to just let them go before they are in too much pain. The top teeth roots will grow up into the skull and puncture the eyes and brain, and the bottom ones grow down into the jaw, breaking the jaw.

However there are some other possibilities other then malo. Like a tooth spur or spurs, which can be helped if the teeth to some extent, by providing a variety of hay, different hay is chewed differently so it can help wear the teeth more evenly since spurs are caused by uneven wear. To be clear before a certain someone tells me I'm wrong, I have no scientific proof that it works other then people having chins with tooth spurs switching to a variety of hay after having the spurs trimmed and they haven't come back. Maybe it was the trimming maybe it was switching to a variety of hay. Another possibility is an abscess or sore in the mouth causing pain when they try to eat or chew on things, which can be helped with meds. It could also be over grown molars from lack of chewing, that have curled over the tongue trapping it, sometime simply trimming the teeth so they line up again is enough to correct the issue so they can chew again. It could also be broken or rotten tooth or teeth, removing the problem tooth or teeth can help, but removing teeth does set a chin up for malo eventually. Since their teeth aren't in sockets they will move and become misaligned over time. Also the opposite tooth from the one extracted will need to be trimmed every so often since it wont have the other tooth to wear against anymore.
 

Devynthecatwithsocks

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Messages
151
Location
Southern California
When I'm assuming they had a vet checked the teeth multiple times? Did they just do a visual check and if so did they use a scope to check the molars? Also were x-rays taken? You can't really see the molars without at least a endoscope, ideally a camera one so they can get a better look after, and it's impossible to see the roots at all without an x-ray.

If it is malo, then teeth trimming is really only buying time, there is no cure or way to correct it (short of removing all their teeth, but that is not advised, it risks breaking the jaw and/or killing them), so long as the roots haven't started growing yet you can take the chin in for regular teeth trimming, but that's about it. If the chin recovers quickly and goes back to being a normal chin after the teeth trimming then you can get lucky and not need trimming again for several months. If they don't go back to chewing on things though you may need more frequent trimmings since they wont wear down their teeth if they aren't chewing on things. Once they get to the point of needing trimmings frequently, like every few weeks and aren't recovering to being a normal active chin after trimmings it's time to think about quality of life. Also if the roots start to grow personally I think it's best to just let them go before they are in too much pain. The top teeth roots will grow up into the skull and puncture the eyes and brain, and the bottom ones grow down into the jaw, breaking the jaw.

However there are some other possibilities other then malo. Like a tooth spur or spurs, which can be helped if the teeth to some extent, by providing a variety of hay, different hay is chewed differently so it can help wear the teeth more evenly since spurs are caused by uneven wear. To be clear before a certain someone tells me I'm wrong, I have no scientific proof that it works other then people having chins with tooth spurs switching to a variety of hay after having the spurs trimmed and they haven't come back. Maybe it was the trimming maybe it was switching to a variety of hay. Another possibility is an abscess or sore in the mouth causing pain when they try to eat or chew on things, which can be helped with meds. It could also be over grown molars from lack of chewing, that have curled over the tongue trapping it, sometime simply trimming the teeth so they line up again is enough to correct the issue so they can chew again. It could also be broken or rotten tooth or teeth, removing the problem tooth or teeth can help, but removing teeth does set a chin up for malo eventually. Since their teeth aren't in sockets they will move and become misaligned over time. Also the opposite tooth from the one extracted will need to be trimmed every so often since it wont have the other tooth to wear against anymore.
I don't believe they looked at the back molars with a scope. They definitely didn't do x-rays. They said her front teeth looked fine so they figured she was ok. Since I've had her she hasn't chewed on anything at all. She's still eating tho. Despite the pain she is continuing to try to eat as much as she can. We'll get more info tomorrow. I hope it's not too serious. Before the rescue she was in a hoarding situation and was kept in a tiny cage with a bunch of other chins and was bred multiple times. Then she was taken in by a family who again continued to breed her over and over. She hasn't had a quality life before the rescue got her. She seems so much happier here and I just hope she'll be able to continue as happy
 

Devynthecatwithsocks

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Messages
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Some pekp
When I'm assuming they had a vet checked the teeth multiple times? Did they just do a visual check and if so did they use a scope to check the molars? Also were x-rays taken? You can't really see the molars without at least a endoscope, ideally a camera one so they can get a better look after, and it's impossible to see the roots at all without an x-ray.

If it is malo, then teeth trimming is really only buying time, there is no cure or way to correct it (short of removing all their teeth, but that is not advised, it risks breaking the jaw and/or killing them), so long as the roots haven't started growing yet you can take the chin in for regular teeth trimming, but that's about it. If the chin recovers quickly and goes back to being a normal chin after the teeth trimming then you can get lucky and not need trimming again for several months. If they don't go back to chewing on things though you may need more frequent trimmings since they wont wear down their teeth if they aren't chewing on things. Once they get to the point of needing trimmings frequently, like every few weeks and aren't recovering to being a normal active chin after trimmings it's time to think about quality of life. Also if the roots start to grow personally I think it's best to just let them go before they are in too much pain. The top teeth roots will grow up into the skull and puncture the eyes and brain, and the bottom ones grow down into the jaw, breaking the jaw.

However there are some other possibilities other then malo. Like a tooth spur or spurs, which can be helped if the teeth to some extent, by providing a variety of hay, different hay is chewed differently so it can help wear the teeth more evenly since spurs are caused by uneven wear. To be clear before a certain someone tells me I'm wrong, I have no scientific proof that it works other then people having chins with tooth spurs switching to a variety of hay after having the spurs trimmed and they haven't come back. Maybe it was the trimming maybe it was switching to a variety of hay. Another possibility is an abscess or sore in the mouth causing pain when they try to eat or chew on things, which can be helped with meds. It could also be over grown molars from lack of chewing, that have curled over the tongue trapping it, sometime simply trimming the teeth so they line up again is enough to correct the issue so they can chew again. It could also be broken or rotten tooth or teeth, removing the problem tooth or teeth can help, but removing teeth does set a chin up for malo eventually. Since their teeth aren't in sockets they will move and become misaligned over time. Also the opposite tooth from the one extracted will need to be trimmed every so often since it wont have the other tooth to wear against anymore.
pekple are telling me it's completely treatble and she'll be ok but others are saying it's not worth trying to fix cuz she'll be in pain forever and to just put her down. Hase anyone had success in treating malo in their chins??
 

Amethyst

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If it is in fact malocclusion (malo), and not just a more minor like a tooth spur, cracked tooth, or abscess that can be corrected, as I said the only "treatment" is regular teeth trimming and pain meds. Malocclusion literally means "misalignment of the teeth", they don't line up properly so for a chin that means they can't properly wear down their teeth, even if they are chewing on things. They don't have braces for chinchilla teeth like they do humans, so misaligned teeth can not be fixed, only trimmed and filed down as they overgrow. If only the crowns of the teeth are growing so far it is treatable with regular trimming, for awhile, but eventually the chin just wont recover or the roots will start to grow too. Since you can't trim the roots though once they start growing it's best to put the chin down since it will only lead to a horrible painful death.

Depending on how bad it is it is you may be able to do regular trimming and if very mild you may get very lucky and have a few years more with the chin before it needs to be put down, but if bad, you may have as little as weeks. I've had a few malo chins, one lasted about 2 years with regular trimming every few months, another only lasted less then a couple months after starting to drool before she died, we tried with another to have the effected teeth removed, but that ended badly with a jaw infection, hand feeding, meds, and a couple weeks of suffering before being put down. The forth one my mom and sister just had put down as soon as he showed signs again after the first trimming rather then putting him through the suffering. Another member ticklechin on here (they haven't been on in a long time) even tried spending thousands trying every treatment in hopes of a cure, and never found anything, short of removing all their teeth (again not advised), that works. Here is one post she commented on Questions about malocclusion

I've very sad to hear she was bred so much, the primary cause of malo is genetic, so if she does have it she likely produced several other chins what will also suffer from it, and possibly they too were bred to add more with it. :cry:
 

Pepperpot

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My advice is to insist on x-rays. If maloclusion/root elongation is diagnosed, I would advise letting your chin go. This disease is a death sentence and there is no cure. To trim teeth regularly only prolongs the suffering and your chin would suffer stress, pain and distress at every trip to the vet. I speak from experience of several instances.
 

Devynthecatwithsocks

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So we took her to our vet and they did an examination and noticed her top left molar are slightly slanted but that caused an ulcer on the bottom gum which is why she was drooling. They weren't able to do x-rays that's day but from what we can tell it's not bad. The rescue is helping us with her medical expenses and we are going thru their vet to do x-rays and teeth trimming. They have shared that many of their chins that come in have extreme malo and are now living happy lives and some don't need regular teeth trimming. Rn we are treating her ulcer and getting her weight up because she is severely underweight.
 

Amethyst

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So we took her to our vet and they did an examination and noticed her top left molar are slightly slanted but that caused an ulcer on the bottom gum which is why she was drooling. They weren't able to do x-rays that's day but from what we can tell it's not bad. The rescue is helping us with her medical expenses and we are going thru their vet to do x-rays and teeth trimming. They have shared that many of their chins that come in have extreme malo and are now living happy lives and some don't need regular teeth trimming. Rn we are treating her ulcer and getting her weight up because she is severely underweight.
Glad to hear that it's likely not malo causing the issue. Hopefully the x-rays come back good and with a tooth trim she will be able to get back to being a normal chin.

I highly doubt chins with extreme malo are living happy lives without needing tooth trimming, but I also have notice lately people improperly call all tooth issues (overgrown teeth from lack of chewing, cracked or chipped teeth, tooth spurs, etc) as being "malo". If it is true though I would like to know how the rescue is able to correct extremely misaligned teeth in chinchillas, it's something no one else in the world has been able to do.
 

Devynthecatwithsocks

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Messages
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Glad to hear that it's likely not malo causing the issue. Hopefully the x-rays come back good and with a tooth trim she will be able to get back to being a normal chin.

I highly doubt chins with extreme malo are living happy lives without needing tooth trimming, but I also have notice lately people improperly call all tooth issues (overgrown teeth from lack of chewing, cracked or chipped teeth, tooth spurs, etc) as being "malo". If it is true though I would like to know how the rescue is able to correct extremely misaligned teeth in chinchillas, it's something no one else in the world has been able to do.
idk what their treatment plan looks like but they are getting us into their vet on thuresday and helping us with her care. She seems to be doing better already. Shes no longer drooling and her energy level is higher. Shes gained so much weight now that she can actually eat. hopefully it isn't malo and she can live a long happy life
 

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