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Old 09-22-2019, 05:25 AM   #1 (permalink)
Ria
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Default Keep teeth clean

I put in this part as its not really a teeth or mouth issue, more like opinions on the matter. But health is best suited for it.
Anywayyyyy

People always say that the crunch of the biscuit keeps put little hogs teeth clean, but I can't believe that's strictly true! Because if the biscuit keeps teeth clean how come we still have to give other things to our cats/dogs (because we use their biscuit) to help keep their teeth clean and mouths healthy?

So having done some research, I can tell you that the biscuits alone will not keep your hogs mouths healthy and teeth clean. The crunch and chewing helps because they produce the saliva but you still need certain things to keep their teeth clean and mouths healthy!

Treats or foods that have tartar control, foods that contain rosemary, will both help with keeping your hogs teeth and mouths clean. The crunch and chewing that produces the saliva will help too.

We can't really brush our hogs teeth, and not all biscuits are good no matter the quality for keeping the teeth clean. Denture sticks are not good for your hogs they are far to big and hard.
But a treat or food that you can find that has tartar control that you can give a bit every day can be their equivalent to a denture stick that's not a stick. and anything that contain rosemary in anyway will also help with keeping their mouths and teeth clean and healthy!

Anyone who has any opinions on this can add them feel free! And if you totally disagree then you can still say - in a nice way because we should keep it nice
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Old 09-29-2019, 12:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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With some hedgehogs you can brush their teeth, I've done it. I have done it with a few now over the years. It takes a lot of work to get them used to it. I have done it with a defensive hedgehog, it takes a lot of patience, but most things do when dealing with the defensive.

I can say 100% that we saw improvement with 1 hedgehog, the others I don't remember why we were doing it. With the one, she had gum overgrowth. Had a polyp removed from around one tooth, and her back teeth were mostly hidden by her gums. We noticed a dramatic change in her mouth after brushing her teeth for a while as the overgrowth receded and we saw back teeth again.

With her we use a toothpaste designed for cats, chicken flavor worked best. I would put a little on a cotton swap and try to rub it across her teeth. Usually what would happen is she would get a taste of it in her mouth, froth up to anoint, spreading the enzymatic toothpaste everywhere.

I'm not a big fan of hard kibble or treats. And there are plenty out there that do not believe that hard kibble is helpful to keeping their teeth clean. Honestly I worry more that it just prematurely wears their teeth and/or their jaws trying to crunch large hard kibble. Seen too many come here who's teeth are prematurely worn down, or they lose them.
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Old 09-29-2019, 01:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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For hedgehogs I don't mean any harder than their normal biscuit that makes up a small part of the diet.

Normal biscuit in their mix that contains rosemary would help and look after their teeth and mouths. Or a small treat given every few days no harder than normal biscuit that has tartar control or rosemary.

I never knew you could brush their teeth! And now I dont I think it will be easier than fighting their nails! The biscuit gives one less fight though.
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Old 09-29-2019, 03:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Its not the easiest of tasks, and it really depends on the hedgehog and the owner. A really defensive hedgehog isn't going to let it happen. It may take a lot of patience and practice. When my vet recommended it to me the first time he even said he normally wouldn't suggest it, but knowing me and how I can manage to do just about anything with any hedgehog he had no doubt I would find a way, and I did.

I don't brush all hedgehogs' teeth. Usually when we have their teeth inspected they are in good shape. When doc sees an issue then we go down this road.

I start out by offering a little dab of the paste on a cotton swab. Let them get a sniff to see if they will react. Then approach their mouth from the side, never approach from the front. Even when medicating you are more apt to get a negative response if you go straight in vs from the side. Start with a little swipe if you can get it, be gentle of course, never force anything. If you cannot get a swipe, let them bite the swab.

With the one girl we were brushing daily. Started out with just getting her used to the smell and swab coming to her, then moved to a swipe on one side every other day, then later once a day, later a swipe on both sides. Later she would let me do a couple of swipes each side. She was one of my rescues came from a bad environment and was extremely defensive to any movement or noise, and yet we managed to a good enough job to see improvement in her mouth.
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Old 10-10-2019, 08:50 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Guys this is great! I’ve wanted to discuss brushing teeth for ages and most people have not tried or looked into it.

You both probably know Yuki has had mouth issues for well over a year and no vet has ever told me to brush them, or just that I could try with no advice about how to go about it.

I have tried several times using a cotton bud and even used cat/dog chicken flavour toothpaste (enzymatic one which is safe for them to eat). It’s not easy but I think repetition is key as with anything you’re trying to achieve with your hog.

He anoints every time though so I don’t know how much he benefits from it.

Kalandra, is it safe to use this type of toothpaste every day then? I was using it once every 7-10 days so maybe not enough to make any change or for him to get used to it and stop anointing...

I’ll try do it more regularly if you found it helped. Yuki also has gum overgrowth and a previous biopsy confirmed gingivitis. He has something that might be a polyp, I’ve attached some photos below (1st pic was taken back in May and 2nd photo in September of the same area). Please let me know if this is what your girl had / polyp and should I look to have it removed?

Yuki has started seeing a new exotic vet last week about his chronic vomiting and will go under anaesthesia for further tests next Friday but I can ask them to remove this if it could help him.

He’ll only eat wet mushy food and even spits out insects now 😞
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Old 10-11-2019, 11:49 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I'd assume daily is ok since my vet suggested that if I could accomplish such a task I would see the best results. When I asked about once or twice a week, he said that was better than nothing, but it needed to be more frequent to achieve better results. Talk to your vet about it.

The polyp we saw looked like a "bulb" growing from her gums. It grew big enough she was biting it and causing it to bleed. Once removed it didn't grow back.

My girl did have that thickness like your's is showing. We sent the polyp and a sample from that thickness for pathology and the results came back as inflammation and gingivitis causing gum overgrowth and polyps. My girl also lost several teeth and required softer food. She got a lot better at eating mealworms again as the gums got healthier.


Talk to your vet, and keep us posted. So many things go on with these little ones that can look the same.
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Old 10-16-2019, 01:12 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thank you Kalandra!

I’ll talk to the vet on Friday when I go and take the toothpaste I have for him to check if it would be ok for daily use.

Ok that’s useful to know about your girl’s issue, thank you for sharing. The polyp does sounds different. I’ve never seen any blood from yuki’s mouth. His lump is more like a callus, The most I’ve seen him do is rub both sides of his mouth against the floor or his ceramic tile and paw at his mouth occasionally.

Unfortunately the vet wasn’t as concerned about the mouth issue and the vomiting issue is the main focus at this point since it’s becoming more frequent now. He doesn’t think they’re connected but I can’t help but think they are in some way or a gag reflex issue.

Hopefully the tests we are having done on Friday (xrays, ultra sound and blood tests) will give us more of an idea of what’s going on but the vet has already warned they might not show us anything 😕

Sorry to go off topic.
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