One of the most common ailments in rabbits is dental disease. What can owners do to reduce this risk and what signs should they look out for?
Rabbits are strict herbivores with "ever-growing" teeth. If a rabbit does not have enough natural food to help wear their teeth down. They develop a high risk of developing spikes on their teeth. This can injure the cheeks and tongue. Chewing exercise is also beneficial as it stimulate natural tooth cleaning and protection mechanisms. In general, hard and artificial chewing objects are not a good idea as many animals damage their teeth and gums on them. Swallowed pieces can also be dangerous. Avoid feeding soft / sticky foods and never give items containing sugar / fat / oil.
Provide the bulk of diet with hay or growing grass (never mowed / not contaminated with pesticides).
Postulation: 100% pet rabbits develop some degree of acquired dental disease.
Common Clinical Signs in Dental Disease
- Reduced appetite
- Weight loss
- Change in diet preferences
- Reduce / stop grooming (dirty bum / unkempt coat, etc)
- Chin wetness / salivation (matts in front paws)
- Eye or nasal discharge
- Lumps around the face
When one or more of these signs are observed in your pet rabbit, please see your vet.
To perform a detailed examination of the mouth in a rabbit. Sedation / anasthesia is required.
- Dietary management
- Sunlight for healthy bones
- Lots of tender loving care