Tampa Animal and Bird Hospital

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Ask a Vet:
I have a 5 year old Guinea Pig. He is wet under his chin and his feet were black about a week ago. Now his feet have black spots and his nails are brown. Is he dying of old age or something else? He has lost a lot a weight over the last week. Not sure what to do?

Whenever an older guinea pig is having wetness under his chin and showing weight loss, I am concerned about dental disease causing discomfort and loss of appetite. Dental disease can be managed through a thorough oral exam, trimming and evaluation of abnormal teeth, dental x-rays to determine the extent of the disease below the gumline, and pain medications. Ensuring that he is eating and supplemental syringe feeding are also important. Dental disease can be quite painful and without aggressive treatment, can seriously affect your pet’s quality of life. Other diseases could also be at work as well and after a thorough exam, other testing may be considered as well.

I would recommend an examination ASAP to see what can be done to keep your pet eating and comfortable. Guinea pigs who don’t eat can decline rapidly and die from malnutrition and GI distress. Please call us to schedule an appointment and to discuss how we can better help you and your pet.

Sincerely,
Pamela Borderieux, DVM
Pebble Creek Animal Hospital

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