Rabbit Dental Issues - Malocclusion
Dental issues are pretty common in small animals. so maybe you have probably heard from somewhere that rabbits need to chew on wooden blocks or mineral stone to grind their teeth so they don't overgrow? There is some truth in that but let's get to basics.
Lagomorphs (Rabbits) and Rodents (Guinea Pigs & Hamsters) have open-root teeth, meaning they just keep growing. Their teeth grows an average of 10mm in 1month and can grow faster in rabbits with teeth issues. To maintain the length of their teeth, they need to be constantly chewing/grinding their teeth. Which explains why eating a diet high in fibre is ideal for them- fibrous stuffs need more chewing action to break down in the mouth before it can be small enough for swallowing. Which also explains why your rabbit and guinea pig's diet should be 70-90% of hay.
Care to make a guess how many teeth a rabbit has?
The answer is.... E. 28 tooth. Bugs bunny only had 2 teeth, and that, is purely cartoon for entertainment. And, rabbits do not only live on carrots, in fact they should avoid too much carrots as it is high in sugar!
Dental issue is a lifelong issue to deal with... some choose to go for regular teeth trimming, as soon as once in 2 weeks to once in 2 months. Some needed their teeth removed, or even whole jaw removed.. The rabbits can still survive oh! Just that, they probably need a special diet such as chopped up hay or pureed greens/hay/pellets.
Adult bunny's overgrown incisors. She eventually went for surgery to remove the front teeth. But that's not the end of the dental issue.. Rabbits do drool from time to time after surgery, so upkeeping the fur and skin with checks, cleaning and brushing is a must. If the front teeth has issues, there is a good chance the back teeth may have problems in future too, especially if your rabbit is a picky hay eater.
- article in progress-