Did you know that rabbit teeth never stop growing? Unlike wild rabbits, it is common for domestic rabbits to have excessive growth of the incisors, molars or premolars due to lack of hay or forage intake. The teeth of these furry dogs grow continuously throughout their lives (approximately 1 centimeter per month), and if they are not worn they can grow more than they should and cause serious health problems for our pet. In article we explain how to take care of your rabbit’s teeth correctly.
How to take care of your rabbit’s teeth?
It is very important to take care of the health of our rabbit’s teeth. The main preventive measure to avoid the appearance of problems in the teeth of our rabbits is to provide our pet with a complete and balanced diet, which will include:
- Hay (80% of the diet).
- Pellets (10% of the diet).
- Green vegetables and leaves (10% of the diet).
There are different types of toys made with natural materials that our rabbits can chew on. I advise you to buy one in order to keep your rabbit distracted and at the same time wear down his teeth. Remember that you can also make very original toys.
How to know that my rabbit has bad teeth?
- Impossibility of closing the mouth: when the teeth of the rabbits grow too much, they prevent it from being able to close its mouth properly.
- Intense pain: sometimes, when growing, the teeth can dig into the skin of our bunny, causing them a lot of pain.
- Anorexia and loss of appetite: If your rabbit feels pain when rubbing against the tooth every time it tries to eat or if it is physically unable to chew due to the position of the teeth, it will lose weight quickly. You may even be unable to catch food with your mouth.
- Misaligned teeth: Incisor malocclusion is the most common and easiest to detect. Tooth overgrowth causes damage and injury to the gums, palate or lips
- Eye problems: in some cases, abscesses in the molar and premolar teeth can lead to increased pressure in the eye, causing it to come out and can damage the optic nerve.
- Tearing: due to the above reason, sometimes it may seem to generate an excess of tears in our rabbit.
If you detect any of these symptoms, it is important to go to a trusted exotic vet, so that he or she performs the necessary evaluation to find the cause of the problem you present .
Why does my rabbit have long teeth?
Tooth growth is not always due to a lack of hay intake, although this is usually one of the main reasons. Some of the main causes of tooth overgrowth in rabbits are:
- Lack of hay in their diet: Many rabbits are fed exclusively on the basis of commercial granulated feed, easy to chew and that barely erodes the teeth.
- Genetics: some rabbits are born with some malformations of genetic origin. They are animals that have different sizes in the jaw and maxilla, causing a malocclusion of the mouth.
- Traumas or blows: the blows produced in the mouth of a rabbit can cause the tooth to grow in an incorrect position generating poor mouth closure.
Dental problems are considered one of the most common diseases of rabbits.
How to see the teeth of my rabbits?
The mouth opening of rabbits is quite narrow, as their lips are highly developed.
If your rabbit lets you, you can try to separate the lips to see the incisors, “the paddles”, and you will be able to distinguish two large ones on the top and two more on the jaw.
Dental problems can become big problems, so keeping an eye on them will be very important. Observe the incisors of your rabbit and if you suspect a problem, do not hesitate to consult a veterinarian specialized in exotic animals; Examining some of your teeth is impossible, so a regular vet exam will never hurt.
And remember, always have a lot of hay and gnaw toys at your disposal..
Take care of your rabbit’s health and keep his teeth healthy and perfect!