Mortimer was a lethal white guinea pig who captured the hearts of many of us. He was born on December 1, 2016 and passed away on May 24, 2018. He was blind, deaf, and only had one front tooth. However, that never stopped him from living life to the fullest. He was an incredibly happy and very loved little guinea pig and I do not think my heart will ever recover from this loss.
The Pipsqueakery is a 501(c)3 rodent rescue and sanctuary located in Bloomington, IN. As a rescue we often do large intakes and as a sanctuary we specialize in medically and behaviorally needy animals. One of our major areas of focus is rodents and rabbits with dental disease.
Dental disease is often a major issue in rodents as they have continuously growing teeth. This means that their teeth are misaligned or they are missing teeth so their teeth can't wear properly. This, of course, causes difficulty eating, but it can also lead to a number of other issues including teeth growing through the face, pain, and so much more.
Many critters with dental disease end up euthanized because dental disease is expensive, difficult, and risky to treat. Plus, there aren't that many veterinarians out there that can manage dental disease. There are generally two options when dealing with dental disease: the first is removing the teeth, and the second is routine dentals. At The Pipsqueakery we work with one of the best vet's in the world and she just happens to specialize in rodent dentistry which means we have many more options than most people.
In some of our cases, particularly in hamsters we find the best option to be extraction of the incisors (this is a good option with hamsters because their molars don't grow continuously). This is a very risky procedure that only an extremely qualified and experienced veterinarian can perform as it is very very difficult to maintain an airway during extraction. An incisor extraction can cost us anywhere from $400 to $600.
When it comes to guinea pigs and chinchillas routine dentals are generally the better option since they have continuously growing molars. Guinea pigs like Mortimer and Finny need dentals every 2 months because their molars are so bad, while guinea pigs like Castiel only need an exam every 2 months and dental work every 4 months. A routine and uncomplicated dental runs at least $300. If they need bloodwork before the procedure that's another $64, and if they need radiographs before that's another $168. That means that a dental for a single guinea pig every 2 months can run anywhere from $300 to $532. That's a lot of money!
So, why are we trying to raise so much money? Well the short answer is that we have already spent over $13,000 on vet care through May 2018 with at least $9,000 of that being specifically for all the animals with dental disease.
The longer answer is that these little critters deserve to have a wonderful life, so here are some of the critters that benefit from this fund:
Murdock and Nelson are lethal white guinea pigs that travelled all the way from Texas to live out their lives at The Pipsqueakery. They are both blind and deaf, and have dental issues. Nelson has two top incisors while Murdock has two top incisors and one bottom incisor.
Finnian gets dentals every two months. He was transferred here from another rescue when we thought he only had incisor malocclusion. Unfortunately, it turned out he had an elodontoma which is incredibly rare in guinea pigs. He had to have extensive surgery to remove that and needs continued dental work to allow him to live a normal life.
Castiel is also a lethal white like Mortimer and has two top incisors and one lower incisor. He is also blind and deaf and needs regular dental work.
We also have a number of hamsters with dental issues including Glitch, Oswald, Bianca, Bernard (potential issues), Floyd, and Steven Universe. Of those, Glitch is probably the only one looking at an incisor extraction at the cost of $500 (let's just average the low and the high end for this).
We have also opened our home to dental rabbits this year and now have 7 rabbits with dental disease including Costello, Marlon, Jayne, Captain Mal, Book, Zuko, and Wash.
We also always do our best to make sure to make space for any animal with dental disease so we are looking at continued large expenses this year and for many years to come.
The Pipsqueakery is a 501(c)3 so donations are tax deductible. If you are looking for other ways to donate (including paypal) please go to www.thepipsqueakery.org/help to see all the ways to donate. We also have an Amazon wishlist at http://a.co/b8BB7c6 and always need more supplies and critical care for the many animals with dental disease.
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