Do you check your Rabbits teeth regularly?

@rainbow (6763)
January 16, 2007 9:36am CST
I gave my step-mum Alfie a white lion maned rabbit when he was a baby. After a while his bottom teeth started to overgrow, and the vet showed dad how to trim them. They were growing quite fast but it was worse than we thought. His top teeth were also curling outwards, following the line of his gums. He has been today and had all of his front teeth out, they were very long and misshapen, it must have been so uncomfortable for him. The vet said it was down to the way he had been bred to look cute, isn't that awful?
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4 responses
@Pigglies (9339)
• United States
16 Jan 07
The thing to be careful on trimming rabbit teeth yourself is, aside from the obvious danger of fractures, the danger that you won't get the molars checked. It sounds like you've been having the molars checked as well, but just something to point out for others reading. If you see overgrown incisors, it can be an indicator that there are also problems with the molars. If you have a rabbit with such problems, you can also check molars yourself. Look into buying some buccal pad separators, those do the job nicely. Looking for signs like drooling can also help catch things. I have assisted with a couple incisor extraction surgeries. It's somewhat rare to be needed, and probably has genetic roots. But the rabbits who had such surgeries seemed to live successful lives afterwards, as long as they had some molars to use or could be given softer foods. I've seen molar issues though that were almost definitely not genetic. Where the molars met over the top of the tongue because the animals weren't given hay to wear down their teeth. So it's very important to give hay. Also, injuries to the mouth/jaw can contribute to misalignment. Doesn't sound like you had any injury here and not sure on diet, but sounds more like something genetic. That is horrible that people breed for looks and not for health.
@rainbow (6763)
16 Jan 07
That was very informative - thank-you I hope everyone who has a rabbit is aware of this, I know more now so thank-you. Alfie has mixed dried rabbit food with all sorts of coloured flakey bits in, and straw bedding and all the patio plants if he can get them and a little treat when the veg is done at teatime. The vet says he cannot have pellets now as he won't be able to eat them anymore. Apparently it is genetic as he was bred to look cute, the vet also advised not to let him become a daddy bunny because of the problems this causes. He was just a cute baby and he's nearly 2 now, he still looked a bit dopey this afternoon when he came to visit me on his way home, bless him. Thank-you for your advice I'm sure everyone will appreciate knowing more about their little mouths
@Pigglies (9339)
• United States
17 Jan 07
You're very welcome, and thanks for best response! There is a lot of information on teeth at www.guinealynx.info, and even though it pertains mostly to guinea pig teeth, a lot of the teeth issues with rabbits are so similar that you might find it worth looking at. A lot of the mixed rabbit foods are easy for animals to choke on if they aren't able to properly chew their food especially. Watch out for things like seeds and nuts in it (not really good for healthy rabbits either). I have a 10 year old rabbit that has good teeth so far, but he's been on a pellet free diet for the last few years due to some previous urinary tract problems. He eats orchard grass hay, oat hay, and a variety of veggies (cilantro, parsley, various lettuces, etc.). So a pellet free diet isn't impossible to do, just vary the veggies so that proper nutrition is available. And if you can get hay instead of straw, it's much more nutritious (oat hay, timothy, or orchard grass are good choices). Your rabbit still has his molars, correct? Probably the reason he won't be able to eat pellets anymore, is because the incisors are used to pick things up. This will make it hard to eat certain veggies too. Weigh your rabbit to make sure he's getting enough food. One excellent food source after surgeries like this, is "Critical Care". It's made by Oxbow and can be found at www.oxbowhay.com or www.bunnybunchboutique.com and many vets carry it in their office as well. There are also similar products out there. Or you can mash pellets and then add water and baby food and feed that as well, using an oral syringe if possible. I use this after anything that makes them not want to eat. It's very handy stuff to have around. Most rabbits seem to prefer the banana flavor to the anise (guinea pigs on the other hand, tend to prefer anise). Best of luck to you and your rabbit!
@rainbow (6763)
17 Jan 07
Thank-you so much for your help, I will pass all this onto my step-mum. Alfie was looking a bit bedraggled this morning but definately better than he did last night, he was even trying to eat bless him. thanks again, you've been brilliant!
@speakeasy (4215)
• United States
20 Jan 07
I had rabbits a couple of times but never had a problem with their teeth, even though I did get them from a pet shop. I have heard of breeders who inbreed to get specific characteristics and sometimes they end up with bad defects instead. Sorry about your rabbit.
@rainbow (6763)
20 Jan 07
He had to have all of his front teeth out, they were very long and deformed bless him but he seems to be happier now, he looked poorly for a couple of days, it is sad that we value cute over healthy. Alfie is so cute and spoilt, bless him, thanks for your concern.
@hopeful28 (1439)
• Singapore
19 Jan 07
I used to keep rabbits when I was young. Later when I moved to stay with my aunt, she had about 30 rabbits running all over the place. I never thought to even check their teeth. I just played with my favourites and laughed at their antics and peculiar behaviour of some of them. Just made sure they were happy and eating well.
@rainbow (6763)
19 Jan 07
That sounds wonderful, if my garden was more enclosed I'd have some hopping around free too. I think when we were younger people hadn't messed about with rabbits so much to make them look cute so their teeth probably were not such a problem. I bet your aunt took any bunny that seemed poorly to see the vet.
@suedarr (2382)
• Canada
16 Jan 07
I wish humans would stop interfering with animals for their own selfish reasons such as making them appear more cute. Sigh... We have a dwarf rabbit named Baby, but do not have to trim her teeth. She seems to keep them filed with her chew sticks and toys and to date we've experienced no problems. We do however have to trim her nails regularly. Cheers!
@rainbow (6763)
16 Jan 07
Poor Alfie, they brough him round on the way back from the vets as I had to ring halfway through the morning to check on him, he's still a bit dopey. If I had known what harm had been done genetically I would not have let my step-mum choose to get a rabbit from the pet-shop, I would have taken her to Rabbit Rescue instead. The vet has told them not to allow Alfie to become a daddy because his problems have been so bad, bless him, his teeth never met. I'm glad you don't have these problems with Baby and hope she continues to be a happy bunny!
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