Rabbits Small Pets

What to Do if Your Rabbit Has Overgrown Teeth

rabbit teeth
Written by Arlene S. Lane

One of the most prominent parts of the pet rabbits look after their ears is their teeth. They are also the most important part of their body because they have to chew and cut their food with it. However, the problem with the rabbit teeth is also a major part of keeping the rabbits as pets. After all their big buck teeth are crucial for them to have an ideal diet so they can have a good and balanced diet. Rabbits are known to be having some of the rough food in the wild.

Their teeth started to develop open roots which also means that they will start to grow and keep growing. This is the reason why they need constant chewing. This will prevent the rabbit’s teeth overgrown condition which can be painful for rabbits. Not only just that, that will also cause some serious health conditions as well. 

Why Do Rabbit Teeth Keep Growing?

The teeth on the front are the incisor incisors and they can be noticed very well. However, they have molars in the back of their mouths and they can become problems because they are hard to detect. For a longer time, rabbits have been eating some of the roughest food and they have evolved doing that. This causes their teeth to grow open roots which means that their teeth will continue to grow over time. While some of the minor teeth growing issues can be corrected with a healthy diet.

However, most overgrown teeth conditions require medical attention. Chewing will help them to trim their teeth and prevent overgrowing. However, it has been noticed that some pet rabbits suffer from overgrown bunny teeth problems. However, regular vet visits to get your pet rabbit’s teeth checked for any problems.

Why Do Rabbits Teeth Get Overgrown?

Though many rabbit teeth care guides will point toward the poor diet when it comes to overgrown teeth but there are several other reasons that can cause overgrown teeth among rabbits. Here is what you need to know.

  • Genetics Of Rabbits

If you are wondering about rabbits’ teeth overgrown situation that isn’t being cured then mind the fact that sometimes not every malocclusion among the rabbits can be prevented by all mean possible. Sometimes, that is happening because of bad genetics. If the top and bottom jaws of the rabbits may not be aligned correctly.

Sometimes, that teeth may be growing at a rapid speed than the other teeth. This may be causing the problem.  If there is a problem with rabbits’ genetics then the malocclusion will start to grow when they are less than one year old. When rabbits’ teeth and jaw start to develop, you can observe the overgrown teeth.

  • Not enough hay

on how to trim rabbit teeth, you may start to search for it as soon as you get to know about trimming solutions for overgrown rabbit teeth. However, if you just opt for the right type of hay in enough portions in their diet. Yes, this is a simple yet effective solution. Hay as you may have already known is an essential part of the rabbit’s diet. It is rough and full of fiber.

This is the natural teeth trimming method for rabbits. If you notice your rabbits have stopped easting hay then this could be a sign that rabbits have overgrown teeth. This is because chewing the hay will be tough for them to chew it. This is why they will prefer eating rather softer food. You can also go for chew toys like balls and wooden sticks to avoid malocclusions. They will be helpful in grinding down their teeth when they will get bored. However, you opt for fresh hey in large quantities to be used in dental care.

  • Injury Or Infection to Teeth

Rabbit teeth can also become misaligned if he has got injured or got some sort of infection in their teeth. An injury can sometimes knock the teeth and cause misalignment. This will simply mean that teeth will no longer be grinding against each other when rabbits are chewing the teeth.

This can happen when a rabbit will try to pull too hard on the enclosure bars or bite something that is too hard to chew. On the other hand, there can be an infection that can cause the roots to get soften. This could be the reason why bunny teeth will not be able to chew the food as they used to. Because the teeth will not remain in the position when the rabbit will be eating. They will not be able to grind their food because of this dental issue.

Dental Care For Rabbit Teeth 

Even if you have rabbits with big teeth, it is much easier to manage your rabbit’s teeth by giving them just propper diet and chewing toys. You can trim their incisor by yourself regularly (if you know the methods) or by your vet if required. Keep in mind that there can be some severe cases of overgrown teeth among rabbits that may require surgery or even removal. Talking to your vet would greatly be helpful in this regard.

  • Providing Good diet

If you don’t know how to trim rabbit teeth then you shouldn’t let the overgrowing of teeth happen. Take extra care while feeding your pet rabbit. They should have a large amount of hay in their feed as this will greatly be helpful in keeping the teeth trimmed naturally.

As mentioned earlier that their teeth grow constantly and this is why they need to chew most of the time. Hay is rough and fibrous diet. Not only it will keep your fluffy fella’s digestion in good condition but it will also keep the teeth in good condition as they will keep grinding. Don’t give them any hard-to-chew diet which may ruin their teeth. 

  • Stuffed and Chew Toys

If you have read our guide about why rabbits chew then you will have an idea regarding how helpful these stuffed and chew toys for rabbits can be. To prevent the rabbit’s teeth from being an overgrown problem, you should be providing them with some good quality chew toys so they can chew on them to keep their teeth trimmed naturally. Not only just that a box stiffed with hay and paper shreds will also be helpful in keeping them chewing in the most constructive and healthy way possible.

How To Trim Rabbit Teeth?

Whenever you start to notice any unusual behavior regarding your pet rabbit that they are unable to eat and drink properly or it looks like they are having problems with their mouth closing then this could be the sign of some oral health issues. Not only just that, but this could also be an indicator that your rabbits may be having some bad tooth problems.

With bad teeth you will either have to remove or trim down. When it comes to teeth trimming rabbits then you should take them to the rabbit-savvy vet as soon as possible. This is the best way possible to get rid of a bad teeth problem. However, if you want to do it on your own then make sure you have enough experience to handle your fluffy fellow. This may not be a welcoming activity for them. But if you are thinking about how to keep rabbits’ teeth short then this is the proven way to do it. 

  • Collect Supplies

First, you will need to collect the supplies for the process. These include a very sharp wire cutter, a towel, and the third one that is optional but can be very handy as a sit-tight paste. It is a cream that will be useful in keeping the rabbit  calm and you should use it with the chamomile. You should read and follow the instruction on the tube for better care.

Clipping the rabbit teeth is one of the most stressful things for the rabbits and one should always stay cautious while doing it by itself. You should get redy for everything from clipping teeth in half, injuring the lips and nose, or very little clipping. These can be serious problems so make sure you know what you are doing. Now head towards the process.

  • The Process

Once you are ready, you should prepare the rabbit by holding it in your hands. Wrap a towel around its body and cover the feet. Lay it on its back and put your finger on either side of the rabbit’s mouth. There should be enough space to insert the wire cutter inside the mouth. You will need to separate the teeth which also means that you should be opening the mouth forcefully. Take extra care if you have rabbits with big teeth. Also, save the lips and tongue especially. Now lip one tooth at a time. Keep it gentle and slow. Make sure the teeth you don’t trim down too much and clip them before trimming them. This will prevent any injury to the cheeks and tongues of the rabbit.

Bottom Line

Rabbit teeth are one of the most important parts of their body just like any pet. They have to chew and grind their food to properly digest and consume it to stay healthy. This is why you should keep observing their feeding habits so that you know if there is any problem with their oral health. Keep an eye on rabbit teeth.

Don’t trim their teeth by yourself unless it becomes a necessity. Regular vet visits are crucial for your vets. They will guide you better about your pet’s health. Don’t forget to check our other pet care guides including rabbits as well. Mind the fact that they are your responsibility and you will never want to present yourself as a bad pet owner.

About the author

Arlene S. Lane

Arlene S. Lane is a veterinary technician and hospital manager with over 12 years of experience. Arlene has been contributed expert content to The Pet's Rise for over 10 years.
Arlene has worked in veterinary medicine since 2017. Arlene's veterinary experience ranges from routine wellness care and preventive medicine to emergency and specialty care, where she has performed duties ranging from specialized nursing to clinical administration.

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