Tooth related problems are probably the most common preventable problem we see in rabbits – it just keeps cropping up…
What exactly are the problems?
The real problem is that rabbits’ teeth just grow and grow – and then still keep on growing! All their lives in fact.
Like many herbivores, rabbits evolved to graze much of the day – and that kept their teeth in good shape. They were worn down regularly.
If rabbits’ teeth grow too long, it causes all sorts of problems…
Painful ulcers … tooth abscesses … the roots become distorted… their crowns can get so sharp they cut into the poor rabbit’s cheeks and tongue.
It can get so bad that their teeth can start poking into the gums – and even come right through their cheeks and mouth.
What else? Well it’s also common for rabbits’ teeth not to meet properly. This causes similar problems.
So what can we do?
Ideally of course, your rabbits will be eating plenty of grass and hay, and not too much concentrated feeds such as pellets, so they won’t have too many problems.
However, your rabbits’ teeth may well need clipping or filing to keep them down, regularly, if they are not grazing enough.
This is really painful for a rabbit – so don’t try it yourself at home! Your rabbit needs an anaesthetic, which of course means we must do this for you.
While if your rabbits’ teeth are badly aligned, they could need a simple operation to remove the incisor teeth. This is much the best long term solution.
Wooden sticks, as well as dog chews, are great ways to help your rabbit keep his or her teeth worn down. (Hazel and apple tree branches are best).
If your rabbit develops dental problems, he or she is likely to have trouble grooming as well as eating. Both are essential to good health.
Regular checks are the key
Checking your rabbit’s teeth is one of the first things we look at during our regular health reviews and examinations.
Luckily, you don’t need to take your pet rabbit to a rabbit only dentist! We can do all this for you.
If you think your rabbit’s teeth may need attention, please do book an appointment or a healthcare review – Call Us on 01 287 4802.
Meanwhile, just make sure your rabbit gets plenty of grass and hay – especially now the winter is coming and the grass isn’t growing much.