Viewing of chinchilla molars.

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schmittre

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Nov 30, 2018
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Hi all,
I was just wondering what you guys may have all heard from vets regarding the viewing of chinchilla molars. Most vets I’ve been to have been able to use a mouth speculum to view the molars and determine if they need to be trimmed. Then they use isoflurane and take care of any of the sharp points and when they’ve done this, my boys have been good as new. I have recently moved and the exotic vets are very limited. One of my boys typically gets a year or year and a half trim of a single tooth or two in the back. Right now he seems to be having some slight pain (no weight loss or drooling or anything), so I wanted to be safe especially as it’s about that time when he needs a small trim. The new vet recommended sedation/X-rays/oral exam followed by iso/teeth trimming. I asked if we could try the trimming first (in the initial assessment he did not tell me he could not assess the back teeth) as sedation is scary for chins and I’d rather do it only if absolutely necessary. He replied with: we have no way to do any kind of evaluation or treatment of the 16 teeth in the back of the mouth without doing sedation and X-rays. I believe there is a time and place for that when you’re worried about roots, etc. But for my boy it’s usually just a small sharp point on a tooth and he doesn’t like it. For this type of thing, I don’t want him to go through sedation and then immediately follow up with going under isoflurane. (Of course if the trim didn’t work, we would do X-rays but I’d prefer that to be a later step if the trim failed.) Would this veterinarians plan and inability to see any teeth besides incisors cause alarm to anyone else that the vet maybe isn’t as knowledgeable about chinchillas as he should be? Or am I just over analyzing it and going crazy? 🥹
Thanks! P
 

schmittre

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Nov 30, 2018
Messages
20
For clarification, the vet still does not allow pet parents into the office due to covid. It is curbside drop off so I was not able to be present at the initial exam.
 

Amethyst

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It's pretty common to do x-rays when tooth issues are suspected to make sure no root growth or anything is happening below the gum line. They should be able to see the crowns of the molars with a scope though, but some chins fight it making sedating them needed. Just because the chin was good with other vets in the past doesn't mean he is being good with this one. If you were able to be with him in the past that could have also helped keep him calmer and more able to be examined vs being handed to a stranger this time.

Were x-rays ever taken? If not it seems like a good idea since even though they don't appear to be an issue they might be since it's a reoccurring issue. For example is it just a misaligned tooth or is something causing him to chew differently which causes the tooth spur if the first place. If x-rays were done in the past though and any below the gums issues (roots, tumors, abscesses, or anything) have all been ruled out I wouldn't bother unless it seems to have gotten worse. At the end of the day though it is your chin, so if you don't want to do x-rays then they should respect that and just do the trim.
 

schmittre

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Nov 30, 2018
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You make very good points and I really appreciate it! I was with him in the past so that definitely may contribute to his ability to be examined. I also don’t think I was looking at the entire picture out of my scared/panic thinking. He has not had X-rays before so I think you’re definitely right and it would be good to check what may be going on.
Do you think the sedation followed by doing anesthesia is okay?
 

Amethyst

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I guess it would depend on how they are doing everything. If the plan is sedating him to get a clear look and then going right to tooth filing it should be ok since it's common to use light sedation before anesthesia so they don't fight the gas mask. If they are going to do sedation and x-rays one day to see what needs to be done and schedule the anesthesia and trimming for another day that should also be fine. However if they plan to sedate the chin, wake it up then do the anesthesia and trim later in the day that is not a good idea.

Just to be clear, once x-rays have been taken I wouldn't do it during every trimming unless something is noticed on the x-rays that needs to be kept an eye on or the chin's gotten worse. They should be able to see the crowns of the molars to see if they need spurs trimmed with just a camera scope, it does take two people though, one to hold the chin and the other to do the exam.
 

schmittre

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Joined
Nov 30, 2018
Messages
20
Yes, they plan to do the sedation/X-rays, wake him up, and then shortly after do the anesthesia to trim. That's one of the key things I thought was weird because one alone is not great let alone both in the span of 2-3 hours. I think I will try to find a better place. It just seems weird to me that they would suggest this route...
 
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