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Abnormal Rabbit Teeth Growth

 
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. September 25, 2016
Abnormal Rabbit Teeth Growth

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One of the main diseases that often occurs in domestic rabbits is a condition known as malocclusion which is the overgrowth of their teeth. These animals naturally wear down their teeth through chewing on fibrous plants. Unlike wild rabbits, it is common for household rabbits to have excessive growth of the incisors, molars or premolars if they have inadequate consumption of these plants. The teeth of these animals grow continuously, sometimes as much as 1 mm per day, and if they aren't worn down they can grow longer than they should and cause serious problems for your pet.

Keep reading this AnimalWised.com article to know everything about abnormal rabbit teeth growth and what you should do about it if it occurs.

You may also be interested in: Trichobezoars in Rabbits

Causes

These are the main causes of this condition:

· Lack of hay or fodder in their diet is the most common cause. Many rabbits are only fed on commercial pellet feeds, which are easy to chew and barely wear down the teeth.

· Genetics: some rabbits are born with genetic malformations (mandibular prognathism). These are animals that come with different jaw sizes, causing the malocclusion in their mouth.

· Traumas or blows: blows to the animal's mouth can cause the teeth to grow in the wrong position, making it difficult for the mouth to close properly.

Symptoms

These are the most common symptoms that can be observed in rabbits with this problem:

· Anorexia and loss of appetite: The animal feels pain every time their teeth touch something when they try to eat. It can be physically unable to chew because of the position of its teeth. It can also be unable to take food in its mouth and can look slimmer because of this.

· Misaligned teeth: this can cause damage or injury to its gums, palate or lips. Malocclusion of the incisors is the most common and easiest to detect by the owners, whereas the premolars or molars are more difficult to spot. Owners often seek advice because their pet is thin or hardly eating, without paying attention to the state of its teeth.

· Eye problems: in some cases, molar or premolar abscesses can lead to increased pressure in the eye, causing them to pop out and damaging the optic nerve. There may also be excessive tears.

Abnormal Rabbit Teeth Growth - Symptoms

Treatment

If you notice any of these symptoms, you should first take your animal to your veterinarian so that it can evaluate the health of the animal. After evaluating each individual case, the animal will be sedated and its teeth filed with a Dremel tool.

Malocclusion and its treatment can be very painful for the rabbit, so an analgesic (painkiller) may need to be administered or prescribed.

In some cases they will proceed to extract the affected tooth, especially with older rabbits. Abscesses that have formed will be treated. Removing the incisors can seem drastic, but they will still be able to chew and digest pellets and hay.

Prevention

The main preventive measure to avoid this disease is to provide a complete and balanced diet for your pet.

In addition to this, you should give it fodder to chew (hay, alfalfa, grass from fields, etc.). It is also advisable to occasionally check its teeth to avoid any surprises.

Abnormal Rabbit Teeth Growth - Prevention

If you want to know more about how to care for your rabbit or troubleshoot any health problems, read this articles on My Rabbit Won't Eat Hay and Vaccinations for Rabbits - All its Essential Jabs.

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Abnormal Rabbit Teeth Growth, we recommend you visit our Other health problems category.

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