Next Article in Journal / Special Issue
Relationship Between Scarring and Dog Aggression in Pit Bull-Type Dogs Involved in Organized Dogfighting
Previous Article in Journal
Research Tools for the Measurement of Pain and Nociception
Previous Article in Special Issue
The Effect of Pet Remedy on the Behaviour of the Domestic Dog (Canis familiaris)
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Animals 2016, 6(11), 73; doi:10.3390/ani6110073

An Investigation into the Relationship between Owner Knowledge, Diet, and Dental Disease in Guinea Pigs (Cavia porcellus)

Hartpury University Centre, Department of Animal and Land Science, Hartpury College, Hartpury, Gloucester, Gloucestershire GL19 3BE, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Clive J. C. Phillips
Received: 29 September 2016 / Revised: 1 November 2016 / Accepted: 9 November 2016 / Published: 14 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applied Ethology and Welfare of Animals)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [204 KB, uploaded 14 November 2016]

Abstract

Recent studies have highlighted a high prevalence of dental disease in domestic guinea pigs, yet the aetiology of this multi-factorial disease is still unclear. Factors that have been associated with dental disease include feeding a diet that is high in energy but low in fibre, feeding an insufficiently abrasive diet, a lack of dietary calcium, and genetics. As many of these factors relate to the husbandry requirements of guinea pigs, owner awareness of dietary requirements is of the utmost importance. An online questionnaire was created based on previous research into the husbandry and feeding of rabbits. Guinea pig owners were asked to answer questions on the clinical history of their animals and their diet and management. In total, 150 surveys were completed for 344 guinea pigs, where owners of multiple animals could complete the survey for individuals. According to the owners, 6.7% of guinea pigs had been clinically diagnosed with dental disease, but 16.6% had signs consistent with dental disease. The specific clinical signs of having difficulty eating (Exp(B) = 33.927, Nagelkerke R 2 = 0.301, p < 0.05) and producing fewer or smaller faecal droppings (Exp(B) = 13.733, Nagelkerke R 2 = 0.149, p < 0.05) were predictive for the presence of dental disease. Having access to an outside environment, including the use of runs on both concrete and grass, was significantly related to not displaying clinical signs of dental disease (Exp(B) = 1.894, Nagelkerke R 2 = 0.021, p < 0.05). There was no significant relationship between owner knowledge, guinea pig diet, and dental disease in the study population. This study highlights the importance of access to the outdoors for the health and welfare of guinea pigs in addition to the need for owners to be alert to key clinical signs. A relationship between diet and dental disease was not identified in this study; however, the underlying aetiological causes of this condition require further investigation. View Full-Text
Keywords: guinea pigs; diet; dental disease; owner knowledge guinea pigs; diet; dental disease; owner knowledge
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Norman, R.; Wills, A.P. An Investigation into the Relationship between Owner Knowledge, Diet, and Dental Disease in Guinea Pigs (Cavia porcellus). Animals 2016, 6, 73.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Animals EISSN 2076-2615 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top