Dental disease is the most common reason that rabbits are brought to us for treatment. Adult rabbits have 28 teeth which grow continuously throughout their life. As the teeth grow and erupt at similar rates, any alteration to one tooth in the level of wear will cause things to go wrong.
Early signs of dental problems are:
- Reduced appetite
- Dirty bottom
- Change in food preference or favouring one type of food
- Dropping food or being unable to pick up food properly
- Matted coat as the rabbit is unable to groom properly
Unfortunately, it only takes a spur on the tooth of less than 1mm to cause pain and make the rabbit stop eating.
What can I do to prevent dental problems?
Feed your rabbit a high fibre diet. Provide plenty of hay and grass as well as access to good quality pellet food. The grinding action that happens when eating hay and grass helps to keep the cheek teeth at the correct length.
In extreme cases of teeth can overgrow causing the development of lumps on the lower jaw, abscesses, tear duct and eye infections and unfortunately this often leads to death or euthanasia.