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Normal rabbit teeth are aligned and allow for a natural grinding down of those teeth during eating. A rabbit’s teeth continue to grow throughout its life, and when the teeth become misaligned, overgrowth can occur, causing pain, and in some cases can cause a rabbit to stop eating. While it can be treated if caught early enough, if left to become too overgrown, these molars can dig into and cut the cheek and tongue of the rabbit. This overgrowth can also result in infections, abscesses, abnormal root growth, misalignment of the jaw, severe bone destruction as roots grow into the jaw and nasal cavities, and fractures in the teeth themselves. Dental problems can discourage eating, causing life threatening issues for the rabbit.
Cheek teeth are premolars and molars, and are used for grinding food into a mash to be swallowed and digested. Most tooth problems in rabbits can be attributed to malocclusion, or the overgrowth of teeth, and abscesses in the teeth and mouth tissues.
Symptoms of a dental issue include:
Malocclusion occurs when the teeth are misaligned and therefore cannot be ground down naturally. Overgrown teeth can grow sharp points, or spurs, that can cause pain as they grow in the cheek, tongue, and jaw. Abscesses and infections can occur, and can be secondary conditions resulting from malocclusion. These can be in the tooth itself, in the root, or in the face and cheek.
Causes of teeth issues in rabbits are:
When signs are evident of a dental issue, or eating has become difficult, a veterinary visit needs to be scheduled immediately. A veterinarian will check the rabbit’s oral cavity with an auroscope to determine the cause of the pain, if any abscesses or infections are visible, and the state of the teeth, including overgrowth. An X-ray of the skull may be ordered to accurately diagnose the extent of the issue. Sometimes dental issues can be found in routine exams.
Signs and symptoms of changing eating habits, teeth and dental issues, and face and jaw swelling will all contribute to a prognosis of the kind of dental issue affecting the rabbit, be that of an abscess, overgrown incisors and cheek teeth, or severe root issues that may involve the jaw or nasal cavities. Based on the severity of the dental problems, the veterinarian will then assess how useful any treatments will be in regards to keeping the pain down and allowing the rabbit to continue eating.
If caught early, elongated teeth can be corrected by a diet change and a procedure called sequential coronal reduction. Trimming and filing of overgrown molars and spurs can be performed every 3-12 months on an outpatient basis by a veterinarian, requiring anesthesia. After trimming, rabbits generally return to normal eating habits within 1-2 days. Trimming the cheek teeth is an ongoing, lifelong process, and needs to become a routine. Facial abscesses are difficult to completely eradicate, as they are very difficult to remove, and it is often hard to get enough antibiotics into the abscess to heal it.
Tooth abscesses, overgrown roots, advanced dental disease, and cases wherein the bone has had considerable trauma and destruction, generally require surgery, sometimes with follow-up appointments. Antibiotics are often used, and can be prescribed during the duration of the rabbit’s life to prevent reoccurrence. In very severe cases, especially when the condition prevents the animals from eating or the pain cannot be controlled, euthanasia may be recommended.
After severe dental work, if a rabbit cannot eat, it may be syringe fed until it can. Soft foods can be administered as well until normal eating habits can be resumed.
Ensure your rabbit is fed a proper diet to encourage healthy jaw movements, alignment, and normal teeth wear. This entails an increased amount of fibrous foods with silicates, such as hay and grasses. Avoid soft foods, vegetables and pellets. Providing a straw mat or basket allows extra opportunities for a rabbit to chew enough fibrous material to encourage natural wear on teeth. Monitor the rabbit for signs of reoccurrence, and take quick action if they appear. Do not breed animals with cheek teeth issues to further prevent this debilitating condition.
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Not sure, she is a whte bunny
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Hi there, My three year old Bunny has just about all the dental problem described in your post, I like to know if you have a clinic/office in the Sacramento California area where I can bring my Bunny in to fix her dental problem? Or, if you can recommend experienced Bunny Vets with knowledge in Bunny dental issues in Sacramento area? Greatly appreciate! Thank you very much! Desperate Bunny mum, Connie Tsai email@example.com
Aug. 8, 2018
Ler ler's Owner
I am unable to personally recommend any specific rabbit Veterinarian in your area, but below is a link to the Sacramento House Rabbit Society list of Veterinarians who have indicated to the society that they willingly see rabbits. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.allearssac.org/vetlist.html
Aug. 8, 2018
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3 year old peanut is a hoot roam free bunny. One day I notice she chew and chew but apple looked same .we flipped Her and notice Tooth growth. We do regular checks on her. Vet said you need ct scan so we went to Guelph university of veterinary. Long story short and $2000 Later was told she had a infection and what I touched every day when I gave her head massage was a absence and was growing over teeth.solution is 3 months of 3 antibiotics that was given after blood cultures came back . Then removal of teeth and continued grinding of the teeth renaming. We love her but not sure we will want to do that to her . She is my heart ..... clinic and I exchange words because thi it’s a school I was told I see a dr with experience. I got a dr with 4 month rabbit experience. When I ask to see dr she said I am Dr .... I said yes but can I see dr doing surgery and ask some questions ?.....she got offended and told Me I can go to Buffalo if I don’t agree with her but eventually sends senior dr. If it was me and I needed surgery I would like to Meet surgeon it’s simple . Finding a dental specialist for bunny in Toronto was not hard but one with ct scan I only have 2 options.
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