All rabbit owners want their little bunny to be in its best health and shape. They go to lengths to ensure that their rabbit’s well-being is taken care of properly. One common issue that many rabbit owners raise is about their rabbit’s teeth. Rabbit teeth are prone to breaking or falling out. Therefore, owners try to take all the measures to prevent it from happening.
Rabbit teeth might be susceptible to falling out, but they are capable of growing back too. Rabbits have an open-rooted teeth type. This means that their teeth continue to grow all through their lives. So, if a tooth is lost, rabbits can grow them back at any time in their lifespan.
Paying attention to your rabbit’s dental health can feel like a lot sometimes. But you have nothing to worry about because we have encompassed all the crucial components of tooth care. Find out what you need to keep in mind to ensure your rabbit’s safety and health!
Causes for Tooth Breaks
There are various reasons as to why a rabbit’s teeth have fallen out or broken. These can be due to natural or circumstantial factors. It is not that alarming if your rabbit’s teeth break or fall out because it is commonly seen among healthy rabbits. So, it is not an indication of your bunny’s overall health and well-being.
One of the most known reasons for this is an improper diet. Although, it is not the most likely cause among rabbit parents because it is not something you can typically go wrong with.
Rabbit’s teeth grow at the rate of 2mm/ week. At this rate of continuous growth, you must remember to cut or trim them regularly. Ideally, coarse foods facilitate grinding, which keeps the growth of their teeth in check. You can purchase this rabbit food to enable grinding and maintaining healthy teeth. Even a tiny tree branch would do this job. And rabbits can indeed take the advantages of eating fruits and vegetables as well. These can include carrots, broccoli, apples, etc.
The topmost food that is always highly recommended for rabbits, especially during dental problems, is hay. Hay offers the abrasiveness that rabbits need to improve the condition of their teeth. It keeps the length of a rabbit’s teeth in check. And the best part? Rabbits love hay!
It is essential to acknowledge how vital trimming teeth is for your rabbit. If you neglect doing so, they will grow out long and be prone to tooth breaks or cracks. Rabbits can also break their teeth by biting into rigid materials, for instance, biting into their strong cage. In this case, you must trim the unbroken teeth and make sure they all grow back uniformly in length.
While you can get a local vet to do the trimming, it will save you time and money if you do it yourself. You can use the nail clippers that they generally operate on dogs. However, we wouldn’t call it the safest option because you may sometimes end up hurting your rabbit if you mess up.
Another option is to use a technique that they employ at the vet’s clinic. This technique involves a sort of small, hand-held sander that spins or a kind of rotary Dremel. This is used to trim off the teeth that have grown excessively. Giving your bunny anesthesia might be an additional step to perform if you do it yourself. However, your rabbit won’t put up much of a fight if it knows you want to help.
Gently position the shaver on the tooth at the point you want it trimmed till. It would help if you lifted it off after a couple of seconds to avoid additional damage to the tooth and possible discomfort. Continue to do this until the unsought part is shaved off and you’re content with the length of your rabbit’s tooth
How to Avoid Tooth Problems?
As mentioned earlier, tooth problems are primarily due to the diet or biting into tough, inedible materials. Lucky for you, there are some things you can try to not only keep your rabbit’s teeth the same but also encourage a better diet.
Remember to check your rabbit’s teeth weekly for any damage or if they’ve overly grown. These problems can lead to something more severe if you neglect to check them every week. Rapid weight loss is another indication of a tooth problem. More signs such as disinterest in hay or drooling also indicate dental distress.
Which Teeth Show Continuous Growth?
Ideally, you will only be able to notice a rabbit’s front teeth. Interestingly, these furry little creatures have back teeth too. These back teeth or molars are responsible for the majority of the chewing. The front teeth are what cut the food before sending it to the molars behind. Therefore, a rabbit’s front teeth show continuous growth and must be reduced accordingly.
While front teeth have several associated problems, there are still some related to the back teeth. However, they don’t occur that commonly and the rabbit must be taken to a vet immediately.
What If They Don’t Grow Again?
If your rabbit’s teeth aren’t growing back after being broken, it could indicate a nerve injury or gum-associated problems. If you observe that your rabbit’s teeth are not growing again, it is best to see your vet immediately to avoid making the situation worse.
Malocclusion is a dental disorder in which rabbit teeth don’t grow uniformly. This is widely seen in young rabbits that are about six months old. If a rabbit experiences malocclusion after this age, it is most likely due to malnutrition, an accident, or past trauma. Generally, if you notice signs of malocclusion in a rabbit before the age of six months, it is best to avoid using them for breeding.
The more official definition of malocclusion states that it is the imperfect alignment or positioning of teeth seen with closed jaws. While this imperfection also noticeable when the jaws are open, it is most observed with closed jaws.