Rabbit Oral Problems
Rabbits' teeth continually grow and need lots of chewing to make sure they do not overgrow. Their mouths are also quite small - so it makes routine examination quite difficult.
Overgrowth of the teeth ends up with the development of sharp points. These can cut into the cheeks, or the tongue, which makes swallowing uncomfortable. Therefore unswallowed saliva tends to pool in the mouth and dribble out. This is called "slobbers" and leads to matting of the fur to the chin.
Whilst this doesn't look terribly bad - when the skin is clipped up the full extent of the skin inflammation can be seen.
Any signs of rabbits having difficulty in eating, dropping food, or drooling saliva should result in a full veterinary examination. This may also require radiographs of the skull to assess the state of the tooth roots. Treatment of any overgrowth should be done with proper dental equipment. Simply "clipping" the incisor teeth can result in tooth fractures, root abscesses and pain. High speed dental burs should be used. Full examination and treatment of the cheek teeth will usually require general anaesthesia.
Rabbits should have regular dental check-ups.
Chewing is essential to avoid dental overgrowth.
Did You Know?
The rough surface provides increased surface area which encourages further plaque accumulation - in turn this produces more calculus.