Why is dental care so important?
A rabbit’s teeth grow throughout their lives, at a rate of up to 12cm a year! In the wild, a natural high-fibre diet would wear down these teeth. Pet rabbits, in contrast, may not be eating an appropriate diet and may have restricted access to sunlight in a hutch or cage, resulting in dental disease.
What are the symptoms of dental disease?
- Food may drop from their mouth whilst eating.
- Increased salivation.
- Decreased appetite or only picking out softer foods.
- Overgrown incisors (front teeth).
Having your vet perform a thorough examination of your rabbit’s mouth is the best way to diagnose any forms of dental disease.
How is dental disease treated?
Most dental disorders in rabbits require surgery performed under general anaesthetic. Examining mouths and burring or filing of the front or back teeth are common procedures we perform here at Heathfield Vets. The procedures are generally completed in the morning and after recovery, rabbits are normally ready to go home that same afternoon.
How can I prevent dental disease?
- Provide plenty of fresh grass or hay, making up at least 90% of the diet
- Continue offering small amounts of fresh fruit, vegetables, herbs and well washed dandelion or blackberry leaves to provide variety
- If your rabbit is difficult to persuade back onto a natural diet, please persevere. Supplement with a jam jar lid full of a balanced pelleted ration at the end of the day as a special treat
- Ensure access to fresh air and sunshine throughout the year
Following these simple steps will help your rabbit live a healthy and happy life and reduce the risk of developing dental problems.
Call us on 01435 864422 if you have concerns about your rabbit’s dental health.