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Old 03-04-2015, 11:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Fractured Tooth

So I took Layla to the vet today for a multitude of reasons, including that she hadn't eaten much in 3 days and seemed to have trouble chewing. Just like I thought, she has a fractured upper left canine. I feel awful, but am glad it was checked out fairly soon after i noticed her chewing issues. I have absolutely no clue how she could have broken it.

Anyways, because we are focusing on some other serious issues right now (some intestinal and skin infection issues), the vet didnt say much about her tooth other than recommending some ways to make her food softer.

Right now I'm cruching up the kibbles (she's on Blue Buffalo Dry Cat Kibbles) wetting it down, microwaving it a bit till it's mushy, then adding some wet cat food mixed it. So far she doesn't seem to like it. I think from now on i may just grind it up mostly and add some wet cat food but no water (and no microwaving). Thoughts?

Has anyone had any experience with this before? I really really like the vet I'm with, they have lots of experience with hedgehogs, but do you think they should have done more? Is Layla in a ton of pain (besides the kibble chewing obviously)? Is there anything i can do to help out more? And if you have any experience with this, can you give me any advice/what happened to your hedgehog at all?
thanks!
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Old 03-04-2015, 11:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yes, I think they should have done more and that you should ask if you can bring her back in. A fractured tooth should be looked at carefully - I'm pretty sure if the fracture goes deep enough, it's possible for the tooth root to become infected or have an abscess start if the tooth isn't pulled out. I'm surprised they didn't take a closer look at it or even give you some pain meds for her. My guess is if she's not eating well, she's probably in pain. Definitely give the vet a call and ask them to take a second look and let you know how deep it is, if it needs to be pulled, what the likelihood of infection or an abscess is, and whether it will continue to cause her pain, etc.

I would try the grinding up & adding wet cat food & see if she goes for that. You could also give her several different options tonight and see which she goes for - try crushed up dry food on its own, some mixed with wet food, wet food alone, and some dampened kibble (not microwaved or crushed up, just soaked in water to make it soft). Have you ever tried any baby food with her to see if she likes any? If you know of any she likes, you could try mixing that with the kibble or wet food to see if that helps too.

If she continues to not eat on her own, it'd be best for you to (carefully) syringe-feed her to make sure she's getting enough. Make sure you put the syringe in on the side that doesn't have the fractured tooth so you can avoid bumping it as much as possible.
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Old 03-05-2015, 12:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Lilysmommy View Post
Yes, I think they should have done more and that you should ask if you can bring her back in. A fractured tooth should be looked at carefully - I'm pretty sure if the fracture goes deep enough, it's possible for the tooth root to become infected or have an abscess start if the tooth isn't pulled out. I'm surprised they didn't take a closer look at it or even give you some pain meds for her. My guess is if she's not eating well, she's probably in pain. Definitely give the vet a call and ask them to take a second look and let you know how deep it is, if it needs to be pulled, what the likelihood of infection or an abscess is, and whether it will continue to cause her pain, etc.

I would try the grinding up & adding wet cat food & see if she goes for that. You could also give her several different options tonight and see which she goes for - try crushed up dry food on its own, some mixed with wet food, wet food alone, and some dampened kibble (not microwaved or crushed up, just soaked in water to make it soft). Have you ever tried any baby food with her to see if she likes any? If you know of any she likes, you could try mixing that with the kibble or wet food to see if that helps too.

If she continues to not eat on her own, it'd be best for you to (carefully) syringe-feed her to make sure she's getting enough. Make sure you put the syringe in on the side that doesn't have the fractured tooth so you can avoid bumping it as much as possible.
Thank you, i felt the same way, which is a shame because i really liked this vet, and it's hard to find a hedgehog-experienced one where I live. She did say that it was not infected and did not look at serious risk for infection right now, and that her checkup in 2 weeks would be more focused on that with probably dental X-Rays and going off that. She did mention the possibility of pulling it but was pretty vague and fast moving on the topic, and while I should have been more attentive at the checkup, I guess to be honest I was just focusing on her gut problems and skin infection too much and had been there for 2 1/2 hours already.

I will try offering different types/mixes/consistencies of food now, thanks for the suggestion! As for syringe feeding, I am absolutely open to it if needed, but am about to post a new thread on syringes because right now she is on 2 different antibiotics twice a day (for her skin and gut) and I am having serious issues with syringes right now
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Old 03-05-2015, 12:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I work in a dental office and I can tell you that the vet couldn't confirm there was no abcess present here without an xray. All that means is that there's not a visual ''bump'' on her gum. Abcesses start at the root and by the time you can see a bump there's a full blown infection. This kind of infection comprises the surrounding teeth. You should also know that the nerve could possibly be exposed and this can be very painful. In a case like this it should be extracted. If the tooth broke off below the gum line and is stitched closed with resorbable stitches, it may never bother her again. We often leave root tips below the gum to maintain bone levels for people with dentures.

As Lilysmommy said there could be a fracture below the gum line as well. This also can be determined by x-rays. A horizontal fracture is fine and would be treated as I mentioned above, but a vertical fracture requires an extraction.

Hopefully your vet is a little more through this time for the sake of your hedggie and the price your paying to have her treated.
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