When Jax came to the shelter it was very clear that he had tooth problems. His front teeth, called incisors, were growing out of his mouth! The scientific term for crooked teeth is malocclusion. Malocclusion can also happen to the molars, but it takes a vet with special tools to see those. Rabbits aren’t the only ones; guinea pigs can get malocclusion too.
Jax was an unusual case. Often the symptoms of malocclusion are more subtle. Changes in eating habits, drooling, excessive drinking, bumps on the jawline, and weight loss can all be clues. If you suspect your bunny has tooth problems, get it checked! All rabbit and guinea pig teeth grow constantly. The teeth normally grind against other teeth and stay worn down. If the tooth is crooked, it won’t grind properly on the other teeth. No grinding plus constant growth means some pretty long and troublesome teeth.
The first step for Jax was a tooth trim, to get his incisors to line up correctly. Sometimes this will correct the front teeth, but not for Jax. When it became clear he would need constant trims, another treatment was recommended. Trims are done under anesthesia and are stressful. For Jax, the cure will be to have his front teeth removed entirely. He will still be able to eat hay, pellets, and long skinny veggies like cilantro stems. Broad leafy veggies will need to be minced, but that is the only special treatment he will need. And the best part, no need for routine anesthesia procedures!
BUNS always strives to provide the best medical care for our bunnies, but with over 80 rabbits to care for our vet budget is spread really thin. Jax’s dental needs will run hundreds of dollars. If you want to help contribute to care and procedures for bunnies like Jax, click the donate button below. Your contribution goes directly to the bunnies and piggies, and is very much appreciated.