Your pet rabbit is a herbivore whose teeth is continuously growing. Nature has equipped them with this ability because of the tough food that wild rabbits eat. However, domestic rabbits depend on us to provide them with the food and care they need to keep their teeth healthy. This often means paying special attention to their teeth to prevent them from becoming overgrown (also known as malocclusion). Here's more about why some rabbit teeth overgrow and what you can do to help your pet keep his or her teeth in good condition.
Besides the obvious visual signs that your rabbit's teeth have grown out of control, there are some other subtle signs. These signs include drooling, not eating, facial swelling, signs of being in pain and a bulging eye.
Common Causes of Overgrown Teeth
There are many things that can cause teeth problems, some of which can be controlled while others can't. Here are four common reasons:
Heredity: Your rabbit has a genetic predisposition to this problem. This means they will need extra special attention and care.
Injury: Bumps and injuries to the face area could cause the teeth to be misaligned or grow in a different direction.
Lack of chewing surfaces: It's important to provide your rabbit with appropriate hard surfaces and food to keep those teeth from growing out of control.
Infection: Like injury, infections can change how your rabbit's teeth grow and fit in his or her mouth.
Other than providing your rabbit with chewing surfaces and appropriate roughage, you can also have them trimmed by a vet on a regular basis. This will need to be done throughout the rabbit's life, especially those with genetic issues. If your rabbit also has abscesses, then he or she will also need antibiotics to keep them from getting out of control.
One of the best things you can do is provide your rabbit with food that is similar to what they eat in the wild. Tough grasses and hay are ideal. Also, make sure your rabbit has access to adequate sunlight as this helps them get vitamin D which will help build strong bones and teeth.
Teeth problems are a very serious problem for rabbits and could cause injury and even death if ignored. The back teeth are often hard to check for problems, so it's important to do regular checks. If you are having constant problems with your pet rabbit's teeth, or you already have a rabbit that is suffering severe problems, then it's time to take him or her to the veterinarian.