Happy 2010, everyone!
Sorry I've been MIA but it's been a crazy start to the new year and this is the first weekend I've had to settle down and digest everything.
Let's backtrack to the last week of 2009. Belle had begun showing some discomfort in her mouth, like something was stuck in her teeth. I thought maybe it was a piece of hay or lettuce, and didn't think much of it; she was still eating and behaving normally. But on New Year's Eve after I came back from work, I saw her discomfort had grown to the point of distracting her from eating. Now if you know my little girl, she is a total piggy when it comes to food and precious little can distract her when lettuce is present.
So with this new development, I was sufficiently alarmed. It didn't help that online research showed guinea pigs with mouth tumors that quickly spread to the rest of their body. It also didn't help that I was leaving on a week-long business trip on the following Monday. I had to find a vet fast.
Naturally, everyone was closed on Friday, New Year's Day. So I spent that day fretting over Belle and making a list of vet to call first thing the next morning to get an appointment. I was hoping to get a particular doctor in mind who's been recommended as a good vet for cavies (not all vets specialize in exotic animals, which guinea pigs are). The hospital originally said no because they were fully booked but after some pleading, they squeezed me in for an emergency appointment. Yay!
So Belle was off to her first vet visit at 9am. Dr. Herman was as great as everyone said and explained the best (teeth problems) and worse (tumor) scenarios. Belle would have to be anesthetized for the x-ray so we were told to leave her there and come back towards closing time when she would have recovered from it.
The doctor called around noon to explain the results of the x-ray, which was as she suspected -- malocclusion, which is the overgrowth of teeth. She trimmed it and that was it! Belle may have to undergo trimming every two months (ouch!) but I'm just relieved it's not tumor or something more serious.
Belle was obviously groggy and in discomfort from the teeth trimming (the doc gave pain meds) but it wasn't long before she was eating like her piggy self. Whew!
Come Monday morning, I left the Wheekers with my mom and sister to take care of and I was off to Vegas. More about that in the next post!