The signs of dental disease can be subtle. Watch for signs of difficulty in chewing, or in eating hard food. Sometimes pain stops proper eating and they become subdued. Foods that need a lot of chewing (like hay and carrots) are needed in addition to pellets to keep teeth trimmed and short.
Make sure you feed your rabbit and guinea pig large quantities of fresh hay on a daily basis (at least 70% of their total diet). Their teeth are fast growing and need to be worn down by fibrous materials. If neglected teeth can become overgrown and curl, causing pain, difficulty eating and abscesses.
Rabbits are good at hiding pain as in the wild weak animals are hunted by predators. Healthy rabbits and guinea pigs generally need a dental check up twice a year. Our veterinary nurses at Bruton Vets will give you advice on how diet can help rectify overgrown teeth and prevent this condition from continuing, as well as arranging for clipping to take place. There is a small fee for this service. Severe cases will be referred to the vet as a surgical procedure will be required.
Call Petcare to book a dental check.
The bacteria associated with dental disease can also cause other serious health problems as they can gain entrance to the blood system and travel to other organs, most notably the liver, kidney and heart valves. Signs of dental disease in your pet can include
• Bad breath
• Bleeding and inflamed gums
• Build-up of yellow or brown tartar on the teeth
• Difficulty chewing food
• Loss of interest in food
• Clawing at the mouth or drooling
• Tooth loss
• Overgrown teeth
• Subdued behaviour
• Not wanting to be touched on the head