Since rabbits’ teeth continue to grow throughout their lives, it is important that they have a way to wear them down. This is not a problem for rabbits living in the wild, where they can find plenty of branches and twigs to keep their teeth “in shape”. With every gnawing, both the incisors and the molars are worn down a little bit.
Tooth wear is provided by
Fiber-rich foods such as hay, twigs and branches help prevent dental problems. In addition, plenty of natural food such as carrots or other fresh vegetables.
Consequences of too long teeth
In rabbits that do not live in the wild, this can sometimes be a problem. Either because the rabbit has a congenital malocclusion of the teeth, or because it is simply not offered enough fiber-rich food. This results in several effects: the chewing process no longer works properly, this leads to pain when eating, which in turn leads to less food intake, and this in turn results in reduced wear of the teeth – so it’s a cycle that needs to be broken to keep the rabbit healthy.
In addition, if the rabbit is no longer able to grind its food sufficiently, this will result in diarrhea or flatulence. Keeping an eye on the correct length of the teeth is never wrong.
Signs – Recognizing teeth that are too long
The first signs that something may be wrong with the rabbit’s teeth are slow eating, heavy salivation, a swollen jaw, an unpleasant mouth odor or visibly incorrect tooth positions. Even eye inflammation or sticky fur could be a hidden sign that there is a dental problem.
When visiting the vet, however, the doctor will look the animal in the mouth every time anyway. Rabbits that are known to have dental problems should be seen regularly by the veterinarian for checkups.
Weight loss can also be a warning sign and a sign of misaligned teeth.
Remedy for too long teeth
If the rabbit does suffer from misaligned teeth, the veterinarian will decide whether to shorten them, for example, using pliers or a grinder, and probably under anesthesia. Both the cheek and incisor teeth of rabbits are prone to malocclusion and maldevelopment.
Sometimes rabbits also suffer from inflamed tooth roots or pus abscesses. However, this can only be determined if the animal is x-rayed and this is easiest if the rabbit is anesthetized, because such treatments are immense stress for the animals.
Prevention – Promote tooth wear
To prevent the teeth from growing and causing dental problems, it is important to counteract this with the appropriate nibbling material. This means that the rabbits should permanently have enough branches and twigs available on which they can really “let off steam”.
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