Dr. Follett discusses Dental Care for Rabbits

Rabbit Dental Care

Dr. Follett:

Dental disease is probably one of the most common problems that we see relating to our rabbits that come into the practice. So a dental exam should be a part of every rabbits exam that we see. Rabbits have teeth that are continuously growing, unlike you and I, as they eat, their teeth are worn down. They do have incisors as well as molar and premolar teeth just as we do. They’re just located a little bit differently. The incisor teeth should meet together and they chop up the food into manageable bite-size pieces for the rabbit. Then the molar teeth are responsible for grinding that into a fine mash that’s then passed down to the rest of the GI tract. The alignment of these molar teeth is very important to rabbits. We can easily see the incisor teeth if there’s a problem with them if they’re having an issue.

Dr. Follett

Just like with people, they can have an overbite where the upper teeth extend out over the lower teeth and that’s a problem that the teeth don’t meet. These become very long, almost tusk-like, where the bottom teeth grow up and they look like skis if they have an underbite going on. Those we can easily manage with trimming those teeth. We don’t have to anesthetize. We can do that. We can also think about extracting those teeth at some point because they do need to be done every four to six weeks. If the back teeth have an issue, they’re not grinding well, you can get spurs or points that form on the edges of the teeth. Those can point into the tongue or into the cheek and be painful and cause problems for the rabbit. But we do often need to have those animals under anesthesia to be able to assess those teeth. A good dental exam is really important because it can cause other issues for rabbits down the line in terms of weight loss, drooling, infections in the mouth. Dental health is important for your rabbit as well as it is for you.

About Brook-FallsBrook-Falls Veterinary Hospital and Exotic Care is dedicated to providing quality care to all companion pets and exotic animals. Brook-Falls is a Menomonee Falls, WI-based full-service veterinary hospital with an extensive range of comprehensive medical, dental, diagnostic, and surgical services to meet the varying needs of all patients. Brook-Falls Veterinary also offers informational and educational media and seminars for pet owners by way of blogs, digital TV series (Expert Veterinary Television), e-books, whitepapers, infographics, and more. For more information, contact Brook-Falls Veterinary Hospital & Exotic Care, Inc.

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