Guinea Pig Dental Care

guinea pig and a close up of its teethEver wonder why your guinea pig (or cavy) is always gnawing on something? Guinea pigs’ teeth are continuously growing. In a healthy guinea pig, the biting, chewing, gnawing, and grinding of food, especially hays, grasses, vegetables and herbs will normally keep their teeth at a healthy length. Cavy dental care can be simple.

How do I provide a healthy diet?

It is vital that a guinea pigs receive a nutritious diet to aid in keeping those incisors and check teeth (premolars and molars) strong and healthy. You can help your cavy keep their teeth healthy by providing them with lots of fresh grass hay (Timothy, Oaten, etc), vegetables including celery, broccoli, brussel sprouts, spinach leaves, bok choy and other Asian greens.

Guinea pigs are favourable to herbs, some of which include:

  • parsley
  • coriander
  • mint
  • basil
  • dandelion
  • dill

It is suggested that you offer your guinea pig a variety of the above each day. Guinea pigs require a dietary source of vitamin C. There may not be adequate levels in vegetables/ herbs – thus supplemental vitamin C can be added to their diet.

Signs of overgrown teeth

If your guinea pig does not have gnaw/ chew adequately, their teeth will become overgrown. Teeth may cut into the gums and cause dental abscesses. Signs that your guinea pig is having tooth problems include lowered appetite and hence stools, mouth sensitivity, redness of the gums, and long teeth. Almost always the cheek teeth are also affected.

Greencross Vets recommend that you regularly check your guinea pigs’ teeth. Bring them to your nearest Greencross Vets clinic if you are concerned about the length or appearance of their teeth or gums.

 
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