Dental disease is the most common reason rabbits are brought to us for treatment.
Early symptoms of dental disease include:
Unlike dogs and cats, rabbits’ teeth grow continually throughout their life. Chewing grass and fibrous foods for many hours of the day keeps their teeth from overgrowing and maintains a strong healthy jaw. Commercial concentrate mixes or pellets require little chewing and, when fed exclusively, lead to tooth overgrowth and mouth pain. Provide fresh grass and excellent hay at all times. Do not overfeed commercial rabbit food and check your rabbit’s front teeth regularly for signs of problems i.e. discolouration, malformation, roughening of the normally smooth enamel and overgrowth.
Often rabbits with sore mouths become scruffy in appearance as they are reluctant to groom themselves. Their droppings can become clogged around their bottom as they become less inclined to indulge in caecotrophy (eating the first pass of soft green droppings – caecotrophs – directly from the bottom)
In extreme cases of dental disease 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.