Just because they’re small doesn’t mean they can’t benefit from veterinary attention. Teeth, which grow continuously in gerbils, guinea pigs, and hamsters, often require trimming. (We can also recommend appropriate chew toys, which may help keep the teeth worn down.) Critters such as gerbils and hamsters are prone to diseases of the cheek-pouch such as infection and tumors which can cause them pain and prevent them from eating. The cheek-pouch can also become damaged if your pet chews on sharp objects and may need to be surgically repaired.
Malocclusion refers to over-grown teeth that do not line up properly as a result of uneven wear. When this happens, the over-grown points on the teeth can puncture the cheeks and cause swelling as well as trauma to the tissue. This painful condition can make your pet’s cheeks swell, cause them to drool and even prevent them from eating. It is important to feed your pets the proper diet, provide them with safe toys to chew on and regularly check your pet’s teeth to make sure they are being worn down properly.
Unlike Gerbils and Hamsters, Guinea pigs do not store food in their cheeks. Your Guinea pig’s puffy cheeks may be due to a lump or tumor, abscess, or it may be a result of malocclusion.
Parasites such as lice, mites, and fleas can infest your pet which require treatment, and their nails can cause them discomfort if they become over-grown and curl into the pads of the feet. Our veterinarians can prescribe the appropriate medication to effectively treat your pet’s parasites and our skilled technicians can trim over-grown nails.