Why Is My Guinea Pig Wet Under His Chin? (Guinea Pig Drooling)

Why Is My Guinea Pig Wet Under His Chin? (Guinea Pig Drooling)

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If your guinea pig is wet under his chin, then probably they are drooling. But the question is, why is your guinea pig drooling? Is it a health issue? Is it damp because they had a juicy snack? Many guinea pig owners, including me, had this question in mind. Thus, I decided to do some study, and here is what I have learnt. Drooling in guinea pigs can be caused by several factors, including misplaced teeth and hyperthermia. However, continuous salivation is an indication of pain. This can occur if your guinea pig has been suffering from oral problems including enlarged teeth, stomatitis, etc. Ingestion of hazardous chemicals can also lead to ptyalism in guinea pigs.Often time guinea pig owner worries what should they do if their guinea pigs fur is moist under their chin.

So many factors can cause drooling, although sometimes drooling is natural; other times, it may suggest a significant health concern.

Please remember that if you are unsure about your guinea pig’s health, it is always advisable to visit a professional.

You can learn more about drooling and its causes from this article. You can also check out our thorough vet list to discover a qualified and reputable guinea pig vet near your location.

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What are the causes of drooling in guinea pigs?

CausesSigns and Symptoms
Overgrown Teeth-Weight loss
-Loss of appetite
-Discharge from nose and eyes
-Drooling
Heatstroke-Breathing fast
-Lethargy
-Shaking
-Confusion
-Drooling
Misaligned teeth-Loss of appetite
-Signs of pain
-Lethargy
-Loss of weight
-Excessive drooling
Respiratory problems-Excessive salivation
-Sneezing and coughing
-Watery eyes
-Nasal discharge
-Fever
Food Poisoning-Hypersalivation
-Restlessness
-Digestive disorder
-Lethargy
-Seizures

Dental problems in guinea pigs

Guinea pigs are prone to dental disorders, which are a prevalent health issue in the species.

Guinea pigs have an ever-growing tooth that needs to be constantly trimmed and maintained in proper shape to keep them healthy.

They must chew on hay in order to keep their teeth in good repair. Providing your guinea pigs with adequate hay in their diet can help prevent them from developing dental disease.

Excessive salivation is a typical indication of dental disorders in guinea pigs, and it can be difficult to diagnose. Sometimes we are unable to notice dental problems on our own, and in such a case, we will need to take our guinea pigs to the veterinarian for treatment.

Knowing the dental history of your guinea pigs is also vital for successful experimentation. If your guinea pig has a medical history of dental difficulties, there is a good chance that they are drooling as a result of one of those problems.

For your guinea pigs, most dental disorders, whether they are caused by natural decay or by an injury or trauma, will be excruciatingly unpleasant.

Guinea pigs frequently drool as a result of the intense agony they are experiencing as a result of this.

If your guinea pigs show signs of pain or discomfort, followed by a loss of food and weight, you may virtually be certain that they are suffering from a dental problem.

Malocclusion of teeth in guinea pigs

The teeth of your guinea pig are constantly expanding in size. However, it is not referred to as “growing teeth.”

As a result, your guinea pigs will always have an extra set of teeth that are ready to erupt when the time comes. Consequently, it is a constant process of teeth grinding and the eruption of new teeth from the gum line that takes place.

Guinea pigs also have a few pairs of premolars and molars in addition to the front pair of incisors on their upper jaw. These teeth are useful in the grinding of foods such as hay and vegetables.

In order to be considered well-balanced, your guinea pigs’ diet must comprise at least 80 percent hay. Fresh hay is high in fiber, which necessitates extensive side-to-side jaw movement during the grinding process.

This aids in the grinding down of your guinea pigs’ teeth and the overall health of the animals.

Unfortunately, some guinea pig owners do not supply their animals with high-quality hay or a large amount of other food, such as treats and pellets, which makes it difficult for them to grind their teeth effectively.

The effect of this is that dental disorders in home guinea pigs have become a typical occurrence.

Some guinea pigs are born with misaligned teeth or poor jaw alignment, which is referred to as congenital malocclusion of teeth in guinea pigs. This is a condition that affects the alignment of the teeth and the alignment of the jaw.

The gums and other soft tissues in your guinea pig’s mouth can be damaged as a result of the enlarged or misplaced teeth.

All of these factors can cause severe discomfort in guinea pigs, as well as inflammation of the gums.

The condition makes consuming food extremely difficult for them, and it also causes hypersalivation, or excessive drooling, in them.

Other dental problems in guinea pigs

Some other dental problems that are rare but can lead to excessive salivation in guinea pigs includes:

  • Gum infection
  • Fractured or broken teeth
  • Molar spurs
  • Inflammation of the gums
  • Misaligned teeth, etc.

Guinea pigs can be affected by ptyalism, which occurs when the central nervous system sends a signal to the salivary gland that causes the gland to overproduce saliva, resulting in drooling on the part of the animal.

Heatstroke in guinea pigs

Guinea pigs who are suffering from heatstroke or overheating may frequently salivate excessively as well.

The inability of guinea pigs to regulate their body temperature means that they require a consistently maintained and stable living environment.

Whenever the temperature rises above 25°C (77°F), your guinea pigs may find it difficult to maintain their body temperature.

Some of the most typical indicators of overheating are as follows:

  • Restlessness: If your guinea pig is overheated, then it may behave differently. They will be looking here and there, and even show signs of distress.
  • Breathing fast: Monitor your guinea pig’s breathing pattern. If you notice that they are breathing fast or panting, then it means something is wrong. Your guinea pig may take fast shallow breaths with its mouth open.
  • Unable to move: If your guinea pig is overheated, then you will notice they will not move at all. Even if they do, their move will be disoriented and unbalanced.
  • Drooling: Drooling is another common sign of overheat. Your guinea pig is struggling to breathe and will forget they need to swallow as well. Thus, saliva starts dripping from their mouth.

Additionally, if their body temperature rises to dangerous levels, it might be fatal for your guinea pigs to remain unresponsive.

When not given sufficient care and First Aid, the body organs of your guinea pig may shut down, and they may potentially lose their lives if not treated immediately.

Some pet owners believe that guinea pigs cannot overheat unless they are exposed to direct sunlight. This is not true.

However, the reality is that even a warm living environment can cause your guinea pigs to overheat, which can result in a deadly situation for them.

If you follow a few easy instructions, you can avoid suffering from heatstroke. These are some examples:

  • Housing your guinea pig at the central part of the house, as this part usually remains cool.
  • Ensuring they have plenty of water.
  • Avoid any direct sunlight.
  • You can use an exhaust fan or small fan with a sheet in front that blows some air but not directly.
  • Misting your guinea pigs with cool water.
  • Providing an ice compress in hotter days.

Also read: How to keep guinea pigs cool in summer?

Other medical conditions leading to drooling in guinea pigs

Drooling can be caused by various other health problems as well. Some of the health problems which can lead to excessive salivation include:

  • Respiratory problems including Upper Respiratory Infection
  • Pneumonia
  • Nervous disorder
  • Food poisoning or ingesting harmful substances

Please keep in mind that guinea pigs are unable to throw up. In this case, the abundant saliva that they are producing is not coming from their gut.

Drooling in guinea pigs can also be caused by paralysis of the larynx, which is a very unusual occurrence.

In guinea pigs, hypersalivation is only sometimes related with pneumonia.

In contrast, if the food and saliva enter the air pipe, it can result in a situation similar to this.

Excessive drooling in guinea pigs can be caused by a fungal infection under the chin, which occurs only rarely.

What are the signs of excessive drooling in guinea pigs?

In addition to excessive drooling, your guinea pigs may also show some other symptoms.

Although the signs may vary depending upon the cause but you will surely notice some of these among your guinea pigs:

  • Nasal discharge
  • Discharge from eyes
  • Teeth chattering
  • Sign of pain
  • Lethargy
  • Unwilling to move
  • Weight loss
  • Decreased in appetite
  • Irritated skin
  • Wet fur under chin
  • Lack of grooming
  • Hair loss or patches of hair missing

Some guinea pigs also have a bulge around their jawline. It feels like a tumor; however, it is the sign of an infection at the root of the teeth. Gum inflammation may also follow excessive drooling in some cases.

Diagnosis of drooling in guinea pigs

It can be challenging for us to diagnose a guinea pig in order to determine the correct cause. For the same, you’ll need to see a veterinarian. Your veterinarian will begin by assessing their tooth health in order to rule out any evident reasons for their behavior.

Overgrown teeth, broken teeth, gum inflammation, injury to the mouth, and so on are examples of dental problems.

If the condition is not immediately obvious, your guinea pig may be put under anesthesia to check them.

In some cases, your veterinarian will also utilize radiation and other diagnostic procedures to determine the possible source of the problem.

You may assist them by providing as many facts as possible regarding the behavior of your guinea pigs in order to make the diagnosis as simple and accurate as possible.

Some typical concerns that you can discuss with your veterinarian are as follows:

Change in diet

  • Loss of appetite
  • Water consumption
  • The behavior of your guinea pigs
  • Change in poop consistency
  • Grooming behavior
  • Lethargy
  • Any injury or trauma, etc.

In some rare cases, your veterinarian may require additional tests to be performed. A CT scan and a blood test are among the procedures available.

If your guinea pig is suffering from a bacterial infection, tumor, abscesses, or other similar conditions that are associated with excessive drooling, these tests will allow your veterinarian to determine the cause of the problem and treat it.

Treatment of drooling in guinea pigs

The treatment for excessive drooling is frequently determined by the underlying cause. The following are some of the most common reasons and their corresponding treatments:

CausesTreatment
Infection-Prescribed antibiotics
-Oral or injected medication
-Critical care for a few days
Dental problems-Extraction of infected teeth
-Trimming of overgrown teeth
-Medication for pain
-Syringe feeding of critical care
Overheating-Immediate vet checkup
-Keep them cool
-Provide some ice compress
-Moving them into a well-ventilated area
-Misting cold water
Other problems-Vet treatment
-Antibiotics if needed
-Critical care for a few days

Recovery stage

Once a likely cause has been determined and the necessary therapy has been recommended by your veterinarian, he or she may propose that you make some dietary modifications.

A change in the diet could include offering high-quality hay first, followed by a limited amount of vegetables and a rare treat later on in the day.

They may also advise you to refrain from using pellets because they do not aid in the management of tooth growth.

Provide your guinea pig with a sufficient number of chew toys and wood sticks for chewing.

Encourage your guinea pig to gnaw on things to help wear down his or her teeth. You should also check the oral health of your guinea pigs on a regular basis.

This aids in the early diagnosis of any potential health concerns, which makes treatment a lot more straightforward and convenient.

If your guinea pig has a medical history of dental problems, you should take him to the veterinarian as soon as possible.

An early visit can sometimes avoid serious health problems and save you and your guinea pigs a great deal of time and frustration.