Tooth/Gum Injury

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einstein

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I have a 14 year old chinchilla who has been lucky enough to have avoided teeth problems so far.

Two nights ago he was eating hay and immediately started to act like something had irritated his mouth. He was pawing at it and a lot of other behavior to let me know there was a problem.

He wouldn't eat or drink that night so I gave him critical care via a bowl and offered him supervised water via bowl a few times. He drank quite a bit on that first night.

We went to the vet the next day and they looked at his mouth but no x-ray and he was not put under. She could see a red mark where something might have poked his gums. Teeth are straight and flat. We're on meloxicam now.

He isn't accepting any of the water via bowl anymore but is eating critical care on his own. It's hard to tell how much because we're not doing it via syringe since force feeding him creates other problems, including potentially irritating his mouth. He is still peeing and pooping, albeit far less than normal.

Does anyone know how long this type of injury takes to heal? He's still occasionally grinding his teeth and is definitely not himself. He begs for treats (shredded wheat) but ultimately doesn't eat it.

I put a cam on him 24x7 so I can play back what's he's doing when I am not there. He's not attempting to eat pellets, hay, and he only tried his water bottle once for a second. Last night, I woke up at 3AM and he was hungry enough to eat critical care. He hopped out of his cage to come get it.

We're about 30 hours in... and very concerned. I am regretting not doing an x-ray to be sure whatever caused this isn't there for sure.
 

einstein

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2 and a half days in. He's still in pain and won't eat/drink normally.

One thing I learned that might be helpful to others: he will eat critical care and drink water via the syringe freely. I filled a 10ML syringe last night, he ate it, and refilled it at least one more time.

12 hours later he won't eat again but he's still using the bathroom and did allow me to feed him water this morning. Last night might have been a little more than 20ML but I can't remember. Not a lot of sleep and I need to start writing it down.
 

Amethyst

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Since he is still in pain I would give the vet a call or take him back to the vet for a better look at his mouth. The pain meds should have helped him feel better by now. It can happen where a piece of hay or wood gets caught in the teeth, making biting down painful. They can also end up getting tooth spurs, if he accidentally bit his check and has a spur digging in that could also be the problem. You also can't really rule out teeth issues without an x-ray, you can't see the molars that well otherwise, and can't see the roots at all.

Also, depending on his weight, if he is not eating you need to be feeding about 50-60ml or more critical care a day to maintain weight, split up into multiple meals.
 

einstein

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Thanks. I am going back tomorrow for sure.

I think he was about 500mg on Friday. Looks like I am going to have to force feed him if he doesn't accept his critical care tonight. He was great about it last night but not very good this morning.
 

einstein

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He started to perk up on day 4 but still not eating properly. He was hungry and gladly accepted the critical care for the past 2 days. He hasn't lost any weight.

My vet is going to put him under and examine his mouth and take x-rays today. Had to drop him off but will get him in a few hours. The anesthesia disclaimer is kind of jolting. I hate to think of it being the thing that actually kills him.
 

einstein

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He was put under with isoflurane and has been running around in circles since I got him back 2 1/2 hours ago. He's acting like he is on drugs or has lost his mind. Has anyone else seen this?

Calling the vet was no help. They said just wait 24 hours.
 

einstein

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Just another update in case someone else has a similar reaction. He was given Midazolam to relax him but is having an adverse reaction apparently. Nothing we can do except wait.
 

einstein

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I estimate the extreme hyperactive behavior lasted between 6-8 hours. During the last hour or two of that he seemed to pause a bit longer between repeating his aimless running in circles. This was followed by several hours of sitting very still and not moving much at all, like he was hung over. He's not quite perfect this morning but noticeably better. It looks like it will be a full 24 hours before he's back to acting like he was when he was sick.

The Midazolam really set us back quite a bit. Wish I knew in advance.
 

einstein

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Oh yeah, with all of the other issues I forgot about that.

So, nothing was found. The vet says the x-rays look normal and she did not find anything notable in his mouth. I think he was already starting to improve the night before the exam but we're worse off now because of the drug reaction. His mouth could be sore simply from the procedure, I assume.

I won't really know until he fully recovers from the isoflurane and this sedative.

Alternatively, the vet could have missed something. When she discharged us she said we might have to go see another vet with even more chinchilla experience. I am very concerned about this possibility especially if we have to put him under again.
 

mercynursie

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If you have time to post the xrays here there are several members with extensive experience with malo that might look at them for you too!
 

einstein

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If you have time to post the xrays here there are several members with extensive experience with malo that might look at them for you too!

I need to ask for copies. Great idea. Thanks.

Is malo really hard to see on an x-ray?

There's no drooling, teeth grinding, or pawing at the mouth in many days now. That went away in 2-3 days I think. (Never had drooling). But, he still won't eat or drink on his own. He's still recoiling a bit when I put the syringe near his face. Can't tell if it's pain or just the fact he's tired of critical care.
 

einstein

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So, we're one week in this morning. Very concerning mixed behavior.

The bad: we've had two days in a row of him not wanting to eat critical care. Had to force feed this morning and spit a lot of it out. Maybe got 5-7cc. He might have picked at pellets but ate none (I weighed them). Won't take a shredded wheat. He'll only take small amounts of water.

The good: he is nibbling on hay. He chewed on an apple stick. He even chewed on a hard treat he really likes. I can't find any specific symptoms of mouth pain. Of course the vet cleared his tooth/mouth health 3 days ago. His behavior is closer to normal other than his routines being off. His weight is pretty much the same since after the x-ray and only down ~20g from day 1. Still pooping and peeing.

I don't know what to make of this. Any thoughts?
 

einstein

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I would appreciate anyone who could offer an opinion on the x-rays.

The last 24 hours his appetite has been stronger. He was clearly eager to eat about 15cc of CC this morning. His weight is also up 10g since the low earlier this week and only down 10g from 8 days ago. However, he still won't eat anything hard or use his water bottle.

I also have an appointment with a more experienced vet on Monday although I don't want to put under again so soon after such a bad experience. Hopefully a physical exam and analysis of the existing x-rays is enough.
 

einstein

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My normal vet examined the x-rays and agreed they are fine. No issues that would cause him not to eat. Nothing serious for the long term.

She put him under and examined his mouth. She filed some points down on a molar or two but said this would not normally cause a problem eating. There's no lacerations on his inner cheeks or tongue. Everything she can see looks healthy.

So, still no idea why he won't eat hard foods.

Waiting on a chem panel, cbc, urinalysis, and fecal gram stain.

FWIW - Sevoflurane with no sedative was fine. No reaction and he was back to normal by the time I got him home. The doctor also explained her process with chinchillas for the Sevoflurane induction, which is rather slow, to be safe.
 

mercynursie

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If I remember correctly both of my chins who had to be anesthetized for dental exams or treatment the vet only used gas-nothing at all injectable. Peggy aka Tunes, ticklechin what do ya'll think of xrays? I've been blessed not to have any experience with malo but I'm pretty sure these ladies have!
 

einstein

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If I remember correctly both of my chins who had to be anesthetized for dental exams or treatment the vet only used gas-nothing at all injectable. Peggy aka Tunes, ticklechin what do ya'll think of xrays? I've been blessed not to have any experience with malo but I'm pretty sure these ladies have!

I'd love to get another opinion on x-rays. I was shocked when the 2nd vet (the more experienced one) said the x-rays are fine. I was expecting a missed diagnosis. We're at day 14 and still not eating hard foods. His appetite is still weak although he almost as energetic as normal while on CC/EFL.
 

ticklechin

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I have 18 years of experience with malo chins, I agree with the vets, the x-rays do not look bad. I do not see any reference to a chest x-ray? Reason I ask is in the earlier posts you state he was agitated and acting out of his mind, stasis of the gut produces that symptom along with not eating/no appetite. You also do not mention drool, is he drooling?
 
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