February is Pet Dental Health Month!

February is pet dental health month. It’s time to learn about bunny teeth!

The incisors are used for snipping off pieces of grass, hay and other plants before passing food backwards to the molars for chewing. The teeth need to meet properly and if they don’t this is called malocclusion. Malocclusion will result in regular lifelong dental treatments. Lops and dwarf breeds can be particularly prone to malocclusion due to the shape of their head.

Rabbits’ teeth grow continuously – about 2-3mm per week. It is the act of chewing that keeps the teeth worn down. If the upper and lower teeth do not meet properly, the teeth won’t wear effectively and this will causes problems. Spurs (sharp points) may develop which will dig into the rabbit’s cheeks and tongue causing extreme pain every time your rabbit eats. Other problems that can occur include split or broken teeth, foreign bodies, abscesses, and tooth root and/or bone infection. 

The signs of teeth trouble in rabbits can be subtle so pay careful attention to spot the symptoms. Signs to look out for that may indicate a dental problem include weight loss, loss of appetite, drooling and runny eyes. It is always advisable to seek veterinary advice immediately if you suspect your rabbit has a dental issue. It is highly likely your rabbit will succumb to GI stasis too, as pain will affect their appetite and ability to eat.

Feeding your rabbit the correct diet is important to ensure good dental health. Constant access to hay will help prevent problems with the teeth and should make up 80-85% of their total diet. 10-15% should be green leafy veg and herbs. Pellets account for 5% of their diet and muesli type food is never recommended. Providing your bunny with small, fresh branches from hazel, willow, hawthorn or apple trees, will help wear their teeth down naturally.

 

 

 

 

Useful links:

https://rabbitwelfare.co.uk/rabbit-health/illness/dental-problems

https://www.petplan.co.uk/pet-information/rabbit/advice/4-step-guide-to-rabbit-teeth-care


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