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Guinea pig slobbers

Malocclusion of the premolar teeth, also known as slobbers, is a common problem of guinea pigs, especially those over 3 years old. Slobbers results when the upper and lower premolar teeth (the most forward cheek teeth) meet improperly while chewing.

Your questions answered

How will I know if my guinea pig is suffering from slobbers?

In time, slobbers results in abnormal wear of these teeth. This in turn causes entrapment of, and continual injury to, the tongue. Affected animals try to eat but cannot chew and swallow food. Drooling results in a continually moist mouth and chin. Weight loss is often dramatic.

You must consult your vet as soon as possible if this condition is suspected. The diagnosis is confirmed on direct visual examination of the mouth.

Can my guinea pig be treated?

Correction of the problem involves general anesthesia and aggressive trimming or filing of the overgrown teeth.

This is a difficult procedure because of the guinea pig's extremely small mouth opening. Forced feedings and antibiotics are usually necessary for a number of days before and after this procedure has been performed. There is no permanent solution or correction for this problem.

How can I prevent my guinea pig from getting slobbers?

Periodic trimming or filing is almost always necessary.

Guinea pigs with this problem should never be bred so as to prevent passing on this most undesirable trait to their offspring.

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