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Looking after your rabbit’s teeth

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

A rabbit’s teeth are open rooted, meaning they are constantly growing. If not worn down or treated regularly, this can cause some serious problems for your rabbit.

Diet can affect a rabbit’s teeth

Diets high in fibre, i.e. diets high in grass and hay, high fibre forage items and a pelleted based food are best for keeping your rabbits teeth as healthy as possible.

Diets that have inadequate hay, too much fruit, veg or muesli mixes will allow the overgrowth and eventual malocclusion (when the teeth do not meet properly) of the teeth.

Overgrown and maloccluded rabbit teeth

Over grown teeth can lead to spur formation (spikes on the teeth). These spurs dig in to the soft tissues of the mouth causing pain.

Maloccluded teeth apply abnormal pressures on each other which will often lead to inflamed and sometimes elongated roots. These can be painful and can eventually lead to the formation of dental abscesses.

Symptoms of dental disease in rabbits

There are a number of tell tale signs to look out for that might mean your rabbit has dental disease. These can include subtle symptoms such a change in eating habits, grinding of the teeth (bruxism) or bad breath.

More obvious signs can include:

Dribbling (under chin and inside of front legs)

Runny eyes

Runny nose

Faecal clagging around back end

Lumps on the face (due to dental abscesses)

Overgrown incisors

Dental treatment for rabbits

 Once teeth are maloccluded and have spur formation, the rabbit is unlikely to have normal teeth again. However, they can have a good quality of life if they receive with regular dental treatment and pain relief.

Dental treatment should be performed under general anaesthesia by an experienced rabbit-savvy vet.  Dental disease in rabbits should never be ignored and regular dental check-ups at your vets are recommended to catch problems early.

If you notice these changes or see the above signs you should contact your Rabbit savvy vet as soon as possible.

Rabbit Awareness Week 17th-25th June 2017

Book your rabbit in for a free health check during Rabbit Awareness Week in June. You will also receive 10% off vaccinations, Rearguard, Fenugreek and Hay products.

Find out more here.


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