To let everyone share in our excitement in their improvement, we thought we would
highlight the great progress some animals
Sophie worried about her guinea-
Mabel wouldn't eat -
“This caused horrible problems because this meant she couldn’t pick up food with
these front teeth. Also, a splinter of tooth actually emerged some days later from
underneath her gums -
Mabel never seemed to get back to her old self. She seemed quiet, still, and just
lost interest in the world. She wasn’t interacting with Sophie’s other guinea-
Sophie said, “Sometimes she did eat by herself, but mostly not, and the frustration I endured as a result was ongoing. I started to feed Mabel by syringe, up to five times a day. As the months passed, she seemed to be getting worse.”
“I then took her to a Cavey Trust who discovered that her other molar teeth were
growing right into her gums. Unfortunately, the rest of her teeth had gone un-
The dental expert had several concerns with Mabel’s mouth, which he explained to Sophie. He showed her that the jaws were out of alignment – they didn’t meet as they should. He manually clipped Mabel’s teeth down to normal size, without the use of anaesthetic. However, she still did not eat on her own so her teeth now had to be regularly clipped every two weeks because they were not wearing down naturally when chewing.
“I noticed her jaws tended to favour one side and her lower jaw did not move as it should in a side to side action, and so feeding her became increasingly difficult. She dribbled regularly and tilted her head to one side most of the time. Her mood was gradually depleting and she had no enthusiasm for anything, keeping quite still inside her nesting area.”
Sophie changed jobs and started work in a chiropractic practice. When she had settled in, she talked over Mabel’s problems with her boss, who said “Why don’t you find a chiropractor who works with animals?” There wasn’t one locally – there are only a few in the country. An internet search led to Vav’s website, and Sophie phoned to make an appointment.
Vav adjusting Mabel's neck and jawVav met Mabel on the floor, as she usually does with small animals. She found Mabel’s jaw was actually dislocated, and adjusted it. She also found many other misalignments.
“Mabel's condition, it seemed, may have been caused initially by the trauma of the surgery many months ago. An initial displacement of the jaw could have snowballed into the effects that she was now suffering from. Vav found that her whole body was out of alignment, which came from her head and travelled down her spine all the way to her pelvic bones!”
After the treatment, Vav put Mabel down on the mat. We watched as Mabel slowly started to move around. After a while she started sniffing. Then Sophie offered her some grass and Mable started to chew. Next, a piece of cucumber went in, and Mabel held on to it tight!
Sophie burst into tears – all that worry for seven months suddenly sorted out so quickly. She was so happy for Mabel, but still felt a bit guilty.
“After two treatments, Mabel's condition has much improved. Her personality has returned in leaps and bounds. Her head has straightened and does not lean anymore, her jaws are returning to a much more normal eating action, and she had now lots of enthusiasm to try to eat."
After so many months of misalignment, it was not surprising that Mabel needed time for rehabilitation. Sophie continued: "Her jaw muscles need to regain their strength and so this will probably be a gradual process of recovery. She is now eating much thicker consistency syringe feed.”
Mabel takes some cucumber -
Discussing what had happened, Vav and Sophie ended up with a theory Mabel’s neck and jaw had been wrenched while her teeth were seen to, perhaps by using equipment designed for rabbits. Because Mabel had then stopped eating, and her teeth had grown unevenly, which made it even more difficult to chew. This became a vicious circle!
Vav said the technical term for Mabel's symptoms is 'Horner’s syndrome', which affects many species including humans. If a nerve bundle in the neck is disrupted by a blow, various muscles on that side of the head can be paralysed. Vets consider it a permanent problem because surgery and drugs won’t help, but chiropractic can reverse it, sometimes quite dramatically.
In Vav’s opinion, the problems in Mabel’s neck were equivalent to ‘serious’ misalignments
in a horse, and would be called ‘gross’ misalignments in a human. We can only say
that in a guinea-
And in turn this gives testimony to Sophie’s patience and determination in continuing
to work for rehabilitation. Clearly, without her determination to feed her by hand,
and then a stroke of luck through her new job that allowed her to contact Vav, Mabel
would have slowly deteriorated, probably with fatal results. As it is, there seems
no reason now why Mabel shouldn’t live to a ripe old guinea-