Guinea Pig Dentistry

We just got back from Teddy’s follow-up dentist appointment. Here he is, wanting us to stop gabbing with the dentist so he could go back home to his normal morning routine.


Teddy at the dentist’s office. No treasure chest for guinea pigs, alas.

Last November, we had to take Teddy to the vet because he was experiencing trouble eating, though his appetite remained the same. It turned out that his back teeth were overgrowing and occasionally trapping his tongue. So he went under sedation and all of his teeth got filed down.

This sounds much more succinct than it was. For one, he had to have a specialist–a guinea pig dentist!–and there is only one in our entire state. There was some bleeding. He took a long time to recover and get back to his normal self.

We saw the X-rays; that was no easy filing.

I am sure that “new” teeth feel weird. Add in pain meds and antibiotics and having to be syringe-fed very essential but very gooey goo, and I wouldn’t be happy either.

Plus, think about it: One day he was more or less doing his usual thing and then the next thing he knows, he’s waking up with all this stuff having happened to him that he has no say in.

So Teddy wasn’t at all convinced that we knew what we were doing, either. If you’ve ever tried syringing in anything to a reluctant animal’s mouth, well, don’t let the compact size of a guinea pig fool you. Teddy managed to get goo on the back of my husband’s head. We still haven’t figured out how.


Nostril von Pigg

But he’s a tough little guy, and he did get through this traumatic ordeal, but we knew then that it was unlikely this would be the last of it.


And that’s proving to be the case. The dentist does suspect that the malocclusion with his back teeth starting to grow over his tongue is happening again. We most likely will have to bring him in next month for sedation & teeth-grinding again, unless things suddenly worsen and we have to bring him in earlier.

Fortunately, for right now, Teddy is a happy, bouncy, affectionate, talkative boy, and he’s happily eating. He plays with us on the floor and acts like a wriggle-pig of less than a year even though he’ll be four in April.

No matter what, we’re going to keep him enjoying himself as much as we can, because quality of life is important.

But it’s hard, being the ones who get to worry.

In the meantime, you can keep track of Teddy and enjoy pictures of him and other guinea pigs at my guinea pig Facebook Page. There’s a warm community of knowledgeable guinea pig lovers, and a whole lot of cute pictures to brighten your day.



From 1999 to 2017: My 2nd book was a long time coming

A couple weeks ago, I launched my debut children’s book, “What’s at the End of Your Nose?” starring Sidney Snail.

This week, I launched “Dr. Guinea Pig George,” my second children’s book.


Dr. Guinea Pig George, live on Amazon!

I wrote the Sidney Snail story almost two years ago. The writing part of it was comprised of those rare inspirational moments that took me through the first draft in the space of a couple hours. The doing-everything-else-with-it part, ah, that took more work, time, dedication, and gumption—not all of which I had at any one time.

A lot of life got in the way, too. It was only when I’d set a goal for myself to publish in the first quarter of 2017, one way or another, that being an author finally fit.

But the second book I published was actually written first. George and his peculiar adventure happened in 1999. At least, that’s the year on the manuscript I dug up.

I was always going to do something with my writing. Looking back, I never stopped the actual writing part, be it fully-realized stories such as George, or fragments scribbled on receipts, envelopes, and napkins.

It’s only recently that I’ve actually used official, bound journals and notebooks, with lined paper even, to record all the thunderbolt ideas, titles, first lines, and paragraphs.

I’m not saying that these recent materials I use to write are what have catapulted me into the author realm, but I can’t deny that a more organized process has helped!

So here I’d been carrying George around with me, from house to house and job to job, through personal epoch here and challenge there. I always intended to publish him—somehow.

Yet it took an entirely different creature, that delightful Sidney Snail, to bring George out of solitude and into the world. Sidney owes his legacy to George, too; I’d never forgotten George, and writing about animals just feels natural to me. When Sidney came along, George came with him.

One doubles as a coloring book; the other has full-color illustrations. Both of them will always mean so much to me for making my dream a reality.


With thanks to the lovely for editing and Kelly Cline for illustrating.

Interlude: My Actual Guinea Pig

Today is in honor of Teddy, our incumbent guinea pig who is currently undergoing dental treatment.

Yes, there are guinea pig dentists!

This is not what you would call an inexpensive event, and I hope your guinea pig or other loved pet never has to go through dental work. These can get to be human-sized problems.

But we do what we can with what we have.


Teddy Pigg helping me with my logic puzzle

Mind you, my book launch is still going on this week, which includes the free Kindle promo. While we’re at the vet today, take a look at your very own guinea pig doctor!