Steps To Ensure Healthy Teeth For Rabbits

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Well, if you thought animals do not have tooth decay issues, then you have been kept in dark. Just as us, they too love sugary delicacies and can have dental issues due to over indulgence. Most often, there are cases of rabbit oral health issues due to lack of proper care and dental health practices. Even, the Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund remarks on the importance of their health and wellbeing which cannot be achieved if your rabbit constantly fights against tooth issues. Maintenance of their dental health is a must and can be done by looking for symptoms of any decay or changes that leads to serious tooth issues. And with a little care, anyone can ensure they have a good dental health and prevent any issues.

Steps To Follow For Teeth Health

Follow these below steps to help you attain teeth care for your rabbits and prevent teeth decay and gum diseases:

1. Identify And Understand The Causes

Rabbits have sensitive teeth and a love for everything sugary. Controlling their sugar intake is like a fight against the rushing ride. One way of controlling their intake is by setting their daily meal plans which includes a major portion of hay and pellets. And only a small portion of vegetables and fruits should be included in their menus. Despite taking care of their meals, you cannot control what they end up eating on their outdoor excursion. Unlike other domestic pets like cats and dogs, rabbits are prone to catching gum diseases and teeth decay. Moreover, it is their rapidly growing natural teeth and wrong diet that chalks up to be the root cause of their teeth problems. They have open-rooted teeth and grows about 2mm every week. Through the natural process of grinding away at their food, they worn down their teeth to the right length. But this would be their diet needs to be filled with fibre and requires coarse foods.

When their front teeth, also called as incisors, outgrow, they won’t meet the bottom teeth right causing a condition called malocclusion. And the outgrown back teeth, also called as molars, can become sharp and pointed enough to rub their tongue causing cuts on it. These can put a lot of pressure on their other teeth which may cause all to inflame leading to a life-threatening blister. Moreover, malocclusion and cuts on the tongue are painful. Vets recommend to trim their tooth and on certain occasions, extract the concern front and back teeth.

Here’s a visual guide from PDSA Vet Fran which demonstrates how to check your rabbits’ teeth in three simple steps.

Source: PDSA

2. Prevent The Issues

Make sure your pet’s diet plan includes solid foods with more of hay and pellets and less of vegetables and fruits. Leafy vegetables are a good source of vitamins and minerals for them and also help in keeping their teeth in good condition. We don’t recommend nuts and any sort of dry fruits for your rabbit as they are hazardous to their health. Plan a balanced diet which provides them with nutrients as even the lack of calcium and phosphorous in their bodies can contribute to their poor dental health. So, don’t restrict their diet to only hay and pellets.

Here’s a visual guide to healthy eating that can help your rabbit:

Consult a vet to help clean and trim their teeth on regular basis. Any signs of infection can also be cured when diagnosis is done at the right time.

3. Spot The Changes

When oral problems rear their head, there are some tell-tale signs that can help us know when the vet intervention is needed, and stat!

– Look for weight loss and unfinished meals. They tend to avoid eating as it hurts their teeth and gum. Especially, hay and grass as they are too painful to chew.

– Look for lumps on the face. They usually appear on both the sides of the cheeks but they can be on a single side too.

– Look for ungroomed days where they do not do anything to clean themselves.

– Look for number of times they drool all over the place.

– Look for a change in behavior as they tend to be more aggressive and short-tempered.

A quick look at what you should ask the pet expert:

Bottom Line

Check your rabbits’ front and back teeth every week. Rabbits have the most sensitive teeth in the animal kingdom, no pun intended. Make sure their teeth are creamy white, smooth except for the vertical line down the center of the top ones, and they end in a neat chisel-shape. Keep an eye out on how healthy they are eating, especially, hay and pellets. With start of any above-mentioned signs, reach out to the vet for consultation and treatment. Although, a frequent visit would be advised to prevent sudden visits.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • How many teeth rabbits have?

Rabbits have 28 teeth, 4 less than humans. They only have incisors, premolars and molars (also known as cheek teeth). They have 6 incisors total, with 2 large ones on the upper jaw, 2 large ones on the lower jaw and a smaller pair on each side of the front upper incisors.

  • Do rabbit teeth continually grow naturally?

Yes. Rabbit teeth are aradicular hypsodont teeth which would mean the teeth grow continuously throughout their lifetime.

  • Do rabbits have baby teeth & permanent teeth?

Yes. Just like humans, rabbits are diphyodonts, which would mean they have two sets of successive teeth. Rabbit babies lose their primary teeth when they are just a few months old.

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