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Dental Disease in Rabbits

By: Dr. Natalie Antinoff

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Optimal treatment for your pet requires a combination of home and professional veterinary care. Follow-up can be critical, especially if your pet does not rapidly improve.

  • Administer all prescribed medication(s) as directed. Alert your veterinarian if you are experiencing problems treating your pet.

  • If your rabbit continues to drool or demonstrate difficulty eating in two to three days after the teeth are trimmed, your veterinarian will want to re-examine the mouth to be sure there are no remaining points and to check to see that any cuts are healing.

  • Force-feeding might be necessary for those first few days, since the mouth may be sore and the gums may be swollen. Follow your veterinarian's recommendation for force-feeding. Vegetable baby food can be used, fresh vegetables can be blended into a gruel, or a slurry can be made from ground up pellets and water. A commercial product is available for this (Oxbow), which can be ordered through a veterinarian.

  • Continue to provide fresh hay and leafy greens to promote proper chewing and grinding by the molar teeth.

  • Your veterinarian should examine your rabbit's teeth on a regular basis.

  • Keep a close watch on your rabbit's eating habits to detect changes while they are minor and more easily addressed.

  • It is a good idea for you to get in the habit of feeling your rabbit's mouth. Daily examinations are too frequent because subtle changes will not be noticed. About every week or two, gently feel around his mouth and the bones of his jaw and face for any bumps or swelling. Compare to the opposite side; if you feel a bump on both sides it is most likely normal.

  • Feel your rabbit's face, mouth and jaw today so that you are familiar with the normal structure.

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