Rabbit's teeth look awful...

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by southrngardngal, Nov 20, 2005.

  1. southrngardngal

    southrngardngal Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,185
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2005
    Location:
    Philadelphia, Mississippi
    When I feed my rabbits I look them over to make sure they don't have sore haunches, paws, that their eyes aren't infected etc. I don't take them out of their cages everytime I feed them but I give them a once over, Well this morning DH and I were feeding the rabbits and I noticed that one of my doe's mouth looked different.

    I let them eat and went back to check on them in a little while. The doe has teeth that are all the way up to her nose. I fed them Friday (DH fed them yesterday) and her teeth weren't like that.

    What in the world would cause her teeth to grow like they have? And what can I do about it?

    Thank you for any help.

    Jan
     
  2. holleegee

    holleegee Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,040
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2005
    I copied this out of Official Guide Book Raising Better Rabbits & Cavies by the ARBA

    Malocclusion- Buck teeth or Wolf Teeth is an inherited condition in some animals, which may be more complex than originally thought. Breaking of one or more opposing teeth may lead to the opposite tooth elongating due to lack of wear. The incisors of a rabbit grow about 1/2 inch per month, so they must be continually worn off to ensure proper enlignment. Clinical Signs- Elongation of uppper and/or lower incisor teeth. If severe, the animal may be unable to eat. Prognosis- Grave. Affected animals with the inherited conditions should be culled from the heard, if possible. Elongated teeth can be clipped, but this practice is unethical with inherited malocclusion, especially if animals are to be exhibited or sold for breeding stock. Prevention- Selective culling to eliminate the defective gene from the herd, if possible.


    This is the book they send you when you join the American Rabbit Breeders Association.

    I have no experience with this condition but I thought I could look it up for you.
     

  3. Danaus29

    Danaus29 Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    19,569
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2005
    Location:
    Ohio
    I've got one buck that had perfect teeth until he messed them up chewing on his cage. Now I have to trim his teeth every other week. (He is NOT breeding stock, nor do I have plans to breed him but his teeth were not messed up until he was 6 months old.) I have heard of all different tools to trim teeth including nail clippers, wire cutters, Dremel bits, etc. The best thing I found is a pair of small dog nail trimmers, the kind with the scissor type action but have the two semi-circle opposing blades. Takes just a couple seconds and I don't cut anything but the tooth. (I did cut his lip a couple times with the nail clippers) Wrap the bunny in a towel, flip him on his back into the crook of your arm, pull the upper lips back so you can see the tooth, grab with the clippers, and squeeze. It takes me less time to do it than explain because I've done it for this boy for 3 years. He weighs only a couple pounds but he fights me like crazy. I cuddle him after then all is forgiven, until next time.
     
  4. southrngardngal

    southrngardngal Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,185
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2005
    Location:
    Philadelphia, Mississippi
    Thank you for the information. We were going to use her to breed for meat rabbits. No showing her or raising babies to sell other than to a processor. So we probably will clip the teeth so she can eat easier. She is still eating but is having difficulty.

    Again, thank for you for the help.

    Jan
     
  5. southrngardngal

    southrngardngal Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,185
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2005
    Location:
    Philadelphia, Mississippi
    Yes ours try to open the doors to the cage with their teeth. They have some of the strongest teeth I think of any animal I have ever seen. They can snatch that door. We have metal latches on them and sometimes it looks like the rabbit will jerk the door open anyway.

    I appreciate the help.

    Jan
     
  6. rabbitgal

    rabbitgal Ex-homesteader

    Messages:
    1,508
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2005
    Location:
    Virginia
    Quick question, how old is she and have you noticed anything strange about her mouth before this? If she just pulled her teeth out of alignment chewing on something, that's one thing, and it's your choice if you want to breed her. BUT, if she inherited misaligned teeth, please don't! You DO NOT want to pass along crooked teeth to the next generation, even if they are just meat rabbits.
     
  7. Xandras_Zoo

    Xandras_Zoo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    815
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    Location:
    Richmond, BC, Canada
    She should still be ok for breeding, since her teeth probably aren't genetic. If your rabbits are chewing on their cage doors, they're probably quite bored (understandable- nothing was meant to live in a cage). You might think of giving them lots of hay to chew on, if you aren't already, and maybe some toys.
     
  8. Xandras_Zoo

    Xandras_Zoo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    815
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    Location:
    Richmond, BC, Canada
    Too true. You couldn't sell the babies as pets or breeding animals, that is unethical, and if you wanted to replace one of your does with a baby from one of her litters, then you will have a whole strain of maloclusion-rabbits.
     
  9. Rosarybeads

    Rosarybeads Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    544
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2004
    Location:
    Kansas
    Actually, all my rabbits used to chew on the cage (had over 200), it WILL NOT cause bad teeth. Bad teeth are pretty much always genetic, and if you are still unsure: Clip them, and if they don't fix themselves after a clipping or two, it is a genetic problem, otherwise they will go back how they should be if you clip them! It is VERY easy to pass on, I have tried to breed it out of certain genetics I wanted, and it was really, really hard, if not impossible. And then they seemed okay, but then the offspring would get it when they were a few years old. Also, normally it does show up when they are about 6 months old, and when it shows up in a younger animal, they have a really bad case of it!
     
  10. southrngardngal

    southrngardngal Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,185
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2005
    Location:
    Philadelphia, Mississippi
    This doe is not quite six months old. And she does have a bad case of it. Her tooth or teeth have grown up almost into her nostrils. I will take care of the clipping tomorrow and won't breed her. I really don't intend to do breed her for anything except meat rabbits but wouldn't want someone to buy one for a pet and have this happen to their pet rabbit.

    I bought her from a reputable breeder but I guess things happen even to the best.
    Thank you all for your info.

    Jan
     
  11. dlwelch

    dlwelch Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    831
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2002
    Location:
    Central Texas
  12. Danaus29

    Danaus29 Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    19,569
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2005
    Location:
    Ohio
    I know my rabbit did have perfect teeth until he was 6 months old. None of his littermates have crooked teeth. (all are almost 4 years old now) He did have a bad habit of trying to chew his way out of the cage and got stuck once or twice. He won't chew on sticks or anything now.
     
  13. birdie_poo

    birdie_poo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,308
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    My daughter's pet has malcolusion of the teeth and she clips his teeth faithfully every few weeks. This weekend, he whipped his head around and out popped his bottom teeth! That will save her from clipping them as often, now, but they will grow back in.

    Either cull that rabbit because it is genetic, or make it a pet for a very dedicated person to take care of.
     
  14. Rosarybeads

    Rosarybeads Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    544
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2004
    Location:
    Kansas
    As long as she breeds well, and can eat well, then go for it! :) Just don't keep stock from her. I've kept rabbits around for different reasons as well, that had bad teeth (one was my first pet when I was a little girl, and I obviously still kept him around until he died of old age, even after I had a couple hundred other rabbits!).

    And I also had rabbits that did the wire pulling as well, some of them were really fanatic about it. LOL I know it's nice to think it happened because of that, which COULD happen, but if you clip the teeth so they are straight and short, they should grow back normally again, otherwise it's not from the wire. :)
     
  15. Nature_Lover

    Nature_Lover Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    596
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2005
    Location:
    Missouri
    birdiepoo
    If your bunny lost his bottom teeth, then his top teeth will need to be trimmed so they don't interfere with the new bottom teeth as they grow in.
    Since his bottom teeth are gone, his top teeth can't grind against them, and will not wear down as rapidly as necessary for maintaining a healthy shape and length.
     
  16. birdie_poo

    birdie_poo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,308
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    I stand corrected...his bottom teeth wont need to be trimmed, but my daughter knows full well that she still needs to trim the top. It was conditional to our letting her keep him.