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Rabbit Health:

Dental Problems

Teeth issues are wide spread in rabbits. They can develop malocclusions (misalignments), elongated crowns, molar spurs, and problems secondary to metabolic bone disease. These may be caused by congenital defects, trauma, foreign bodies, tumors, and incorrect diet. Malformed teeth can also be caused by cage biting, usually a symptom of boredom and/or an obsessive compulsive disorder.

Learn more about rabbit dental problems. Read ⇒ "Dental Problems in Rabbits" by Dr. Sari Kanfer, DVM.

Find a rabbit dentist. ⇒ American Veterinary Dental College list of Veterinary Dentists (USA and international)

One of the first symptoms of molar malocclusion may be the rabbit's reluctance to drink from a water bottle and preference to drink from a bowl. Excess salivating or drooling, causing wetness or hair loss under the chin, and difficulty swallowing can also be observed. Lack of or reduced appetite, sudden avoidance of hard foods such as carrots or pellets, shift in preferred foods, or food build up on the front paws or under the chin is characteristic of rabbits with dental disease.

Treatment usually involves periodic grinding down or trimming of the offending teeth. If dental problems are untreated, secondary gastrointestinal (GI) stasis develops leading to liver damage and death. You must take your rabbit to the vet as soon as you spot symptoms. Since a dental exam is part of the routine exam that your vet does, you will know if there were previous underlying problems or new ones developing.

Feeding second cut hay (it's less stalky) to rabbits with chronic dental disease is a good care tip.

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