Pet Dental Health Month dental advice for Rabbit owners.
February 21, 2021
Did you know that dental issues in rabbits can become life-threatening very quickly?
Rabbits tend to graze almost continuously so when dental health problems affect their ability to eat, some rabbits can develop severe gastro-intestinal (GI) stasis within 12 hours of not eating, which can be fatal.
As February is Pet Dental Health Month, we thought we would include some dental health advice for our rabbit owners.
Spotting pain and dental health problems in rabbits can be very tricky to the untrained eye. A rabbit’s instinct is to hide pain and discomfort along with any other signs of weakness, to avoid becoming a target for predators.
Dental health problems may be obvious within the mouth, but may also have wider health consequences, so it is important you take note of your rabbit’s general health, and get in touch if you spot any of the following symptoms:
- Loss of weight
- A reduced appetite
- A dirty bottom (grooming becomes difficult & painful)
- Diarrhoea or unusually soft faeces
- Weepy eyes
- Grinding teeth
- Bumpy jawline
- Runny nose
- Reduced activity
- Long, deformed, misaligned, or broken teeth
Rabbits can go 3-4 days without food in extreme situations, however, with the risk of developing severe GI Stasis within just 12 hours of not eating, you should get in touch as soon as you have any concerns.
Diet plays a big part in oral health and a poor diet lacking fibre is the biggest cause of dental disease in rabbits.
The best foods for your rabbit are grass and hay! This resembles their natural diet, which would be high in fibre and low in nutrients, and require lots of chewing, preventing teeth overgrowing and causing problems. A high fibre, low nutrient diet also keeps your rabbit busy and happy, as rabbits are designed to spend most of their waking hours grazing.
Try and make sure your rabbit is checked over every 6-12 months so your vet can monitor their general and oral health, including checking the teeth at the back of your rabbit’s mouth.
Contact us if you’re concerned about your rabbit’s teeth or mouth.