Monday, May 9, 2016

35. How to trim the guinea pig's overgrown teeth using the Dremel Cutting Wheel

HOOK (Actual footage of the case during consultation)

Healthy guinea pigs eat a lot. When they eat less, there is usually a medical problem. Many times, the loss of appetite is caused by something happening to their teeth. A person's adult teeth remain the same size. But an adult guinea pig's tooth keeps growing longer daily. The guinea pig chews hay and hard food to wear down the teeth. If he does not eat, his teeth will not be properly worn out. The teeth overgrow as in this 4-year-old, male guinea pig. The guinea pig will die from malnutrition and weight loss over the next few weeks.

The owner consulted Dr Sing Kong Yuen of Toa Payoh Vets on May 8, 2016. This guinea pig has not been eating for the past 4 weeks. The owner was worried.

(Video clip of a guinea pig with overgrown front teeth during consultation). This condition can be serious as the guinea pig will die from hunger if he cannot chew his food.

BKTP (Another image  Marina Bay Sands building --

TITLE: How to......


A normal guinea pig has 4 front teeth. Two are upper and two are lower. But this 4-year-old male guinea pig has 6 front teeth. Over the past 4 weeks, the owner has fed him less hay and carrots. The teeth continued growing as they were not worn out by chewing the hay and carrots. They grow longer and curved inwards towards each other.


 (Video 1.  Consultation, history taking and examination)


There are two ways of trimming the teeth. A cutter or the cutting wheel. The cutter may fracture the length of the tooth. The cutting wheel trims the teeth evenly and smoothly without fracturing the tooth. This video shows how Dr Sing uses the Dremel 300 cutting wheel to trim the teeth.

(Videos 2,3,4,5)

2.  Equipment used. (Include image and list them).

3.  Anaesthetic gas is piped inside the container.  The guinea pig is given the minimal dose of isoflurane gas anaesthesia to prevent stress and pain during tooth trimming. He is placed inside a gas container. When he looks sedated, he is taken out for trimming. When he wakes up, he is placed inside the container again.  This careful short anaesthesia ensures that he will not die from anaesthetic overdosage.

4. The Dremel 300 cutting wheel spins and cuts the teeth layer by layer
It is used with great care. It is important that the guinea pig's tongue and cheeks or the operator's fingers are not cut. Safety is most important for the pet and operator.

5. It takes time and lots of patience to trim the 6 front teeth. A rushed job means giving high anesthetic dose or longer duration and this will kill the guinea pig. The teeth are trimmed. The owner is very happy. Follow up 2 days later - the owner says the guinea pig has eaten more food now

The Dremel 300 cutting wheel works effectively to cut the teeth smoothly, without fracturing the sides of the teeth. An ordinary nail cutter may fracture the teeth.  General anaesthesia calms the guinea pig and prevents traumatic injury to the tongue and lips due to struggling and movements.


1. Separate from the other guinea pig so that he will recover. Feed more hay and carrots.

2. Early Treatment is best to prevent overgrowth of the cheek teeth. In this case, the cheek teeth have not overgrown.  Do not wait four weeks to seek treatment.



  1. Where did you buy the dremel 300 cutting wheel? My vet clinic is looking to buy one and I can’t seem to find anything!

    1. Search online "Dremel 300". I bought it from a distributor in Singapore after searching online