We use cookies to help us improve website user experience. By continuing to use this site or closing this panel, you agree to our use of cookies. See our cookie policy

Our blog

What to Do If Your Rabbit Has Overgrown Teeth


What to Do If Your Rabbit Has Overgrown Teeth
This article contains: Rabbit

What to Do If Your Rabbit Has Overgrown Teeth

As a rabbit’s teeth grow continuously throughout their life, it takes a lot of daily chewing and gnawing to keep them worn down to usable lengths. If they are not kept at an appropriate length by means of normal chewing, they’ll almost certainly become overgrown.

Problems with your rabbit’s teeth are often part and parcel of having a bunny as a family pet. However, with the right knowhow, dental health issues like overgrown teeth will no longer seem difficult to manage.

Petplan looks at overgrown teeth in rabbits and explains how you can help your pet face this potentially serious condition...

What to Know About Rabbit Teeth

Firstly, rabbits have 28 permanent teeth. Their incisors (front teeth) are typically the most noticeable, but rabbits also have molars that are susceptible to overgrowing.

Overgrown incisors are usually the easiest type of tooth to identify; they’re capable of getting so long that they can begin to curve and stick out between your rabbit’s lips. This often leads to them getting stuck on things (such as cage bars), or worse yet, growing into your rabbit’s gums or the roof of their mouth.

Likewise, molars (the teeth in the back of your rabbit’s mouth) can also reach excessive lengths. Rabbits with overgrown molars tend to hypersalivate (drool excessively) and have difficulty chewing and swallowing. You should watch your rabbit carefully for drooling and eating problems, which indicate their molars are overgrown, as well as any behavioural changes that may signal a problem.

Rabbit owners must be aware of the possible complications regarding their pets’ teeth. Without the proper attention, overgrown teeth can cause serious trauma, anorexia (lack of appetite), and even death from the inability to chew and swallow.

Treatment

The good news is that you can easily manage your rabbit’s teeth by giving them appropriate food and toys to chew, as well as having their incisors trimmed regularly by a professional vet.

Although, keep in mind that more severe cases may require surgery to correct or even completely remove the overgrown teeth. Speak with your vet so you can fully understand the risks and options.

How to Prevent Overgrown Teeth

The teeth of your rabbit are always growing; it’s just a fact of their life. Thankfully, there are some simple steps you can take to prevent them from becoming overgrown:
  • Check your rabbit’s teeth regularly for signs of overgrowth – at least once a week
  • Feed your rabbit a diet that’s rich in fibre to help them wear down their teeth and mimic what they would eat in the wild – grass, leafy vegetables like kale, hay, etc.
  • If you use a kibble feed alongside long fibre discussed above, ensure that you use a complete kibble to prevent your rabbit avoiding the low calcium pellets
  • Provide plenty of safe objects for them to chew – plain blocks of smooth woods and specialised rabbit toys are good options

Rabbit Molar Trims

If your rabbit’s overgrown teeth are molars, the problem can be more serious. The molar teeth tend to have points that lead to pain when chewing; thus, a rabbit will stop eating.

Trimming rabbit molars is more difficult than trimming their incisors. Because molars are not as easily identified as being overgrown, this issue is usually only detected during a visit to the vet – so be sure to consult a professional if you have your suspicions.

Upon confirmation that the molars are too long, your rabbit will need to be sedated to have their teeth trimmed. X-rays may also be recommended to see if the overgrown teeth are diseased and require total extraction.

If your rabbit’s teeth are overgrown, you should get in touch with a vet as soon as possible. No matter how mild the case may appear, it’s always wise to have your pet checked out by an expert.

As with all pets, the right insurance can help ensure your rabbit has access to the best care possible. Remember to get your bunny’s teeth checked by a vet every year and to undertake any treatment your vet recommends. Visit Petplan’s rabbit insurance page to find out more about how we can help you cover rabbit veterinary treatment costs.

Do you have any other advice for helping rabbits with overgrown teeth? Let us know in the comments below...

Related Articles


Back to top
Lightbulb

Look no further

We are pet specialists and have an unrivaled knowledge of pet health and unlike many other insurers. That's why we've designed our policies to cover as many conditions as possible, and are able to pay 97% of all the claims we receive.