Dental and Oral Health
One of the most common health problems in rabbits is overgrown molars. This can lead to sharp spurs that grow from the sides of the teeth. Spurs can tear and irritate the soft tissue inside your rabbit’s mouth, causing painful injuries and ulcers.
Overgrown molars normally develop when rabbits are not eating enough hay and fibre. Rabbit’s teeth grow at 2-3 mm per week and need to be constantly worn down by chewing on abrasive high fibre foods, such as hay and grass. If molar overgrowth and spurs develop, it can stop rabbits from eating. They will require dental treatment to file down the spurs, and diet changes may be necessary to help prevent the problem happening again.
Another problem rabbits may have occurs when their front incisor teeth fail to meet properly. Just like the molars, they can become overgrown and will require regular ‘trimming’ to keep them nice and short. If left untreated it will prevent your rabbit from eating and cause serious health issues.
How to help prevent dental problems in rabbits
There are ways you can help prevent dental problems in rabbits such as:
- Providing large amounts of fresh hay and grass daily
- Providing items to chew on such as safe types of wood
- Regular vet check-ups.
- Avoid museli-type foods.
Dental problem signs in rabbits
- Discharge from eyes
- Not eating or drinking (if your rabbit is not eating or drinking seek immediate veterinary attention)
- Grinding teeth – you may hear your rabbit sit and grind their teeth
- Dribbling, causing a wet chin and chest area
- Weight loss.
These signs may indicate a dental problem in rabbits. If your rabbit is showing any of these signs it is important that you seek immediate veterinary attention.