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Milk Maid
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2,873 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I know how a rabbit's front teeth *should* look, with the top teeth slightly overlapping the bottom teeth.

I have a young buck that I wanted to keep for our breeding program, and instead of overlapping, they meet dead on with the bottom teeth. Will this cause malocclusion later on?

I've spent time trying to research it on the 'net, but so far only seen problems where the bottom teeth overlap the top teeth instead of vice versa, no discussion on when the teeth meet dead on like this.
 

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Duchess of Cynicism
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3,230 Posts
with rapid growth, sometimes this could happen-- in any species, the 'bite' may change as the animal grows-- the different bones do not grow at the same rate. As long as you are not getting a gross malloclussion at this point, just watch carefully, take notes for your records. It will be the end result that matters-- don't cull based on a single observation during a growth period if you do not have records that indicate the result will be negative.
 

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Ex-homesteader
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1,508 Posts
Wilderness, what you're describing sounds a lot like "butting teeth" or "peg teeth". I haven't seen it myself, but I've heard it described as a simple form of malocclusion where the teeth meet dead-on instead of overlapping properly. I wish I had a pic so you could compare it to your guy's teeth...
 

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Premium Member
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11,103 Posts
I'd say wait and see. You can always eat him as a roaster later on if the teeth don't correct themselves. But I agree with Linda that including a rabbit with misaligned teeth in a breeding program would be something you are bound to regret later.
 

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Ex-homesteader
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1,508 Posts
Ditto, ladies. Some folks say that it's not hereditary, but how can you really be sure without creating a litter?? :shrug:
 

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Suburban Homesteader
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2,558 Posts
I'm with Linda. Personally, I would cull the buck especially if he's already weaned. Perhaps he will outgrow it, but it might also be possible that he will pass this uneven growth to future generations and cause bigger problems later down the line. As rabbitgal mentioned, the only way to tell if it's hereditary is to integrate it into your breeding program. If it IS a genetic problem, it might not show up for a few generations and by then the buck can be in an awful lot of pedigrees.

I might consider holding on to a rabbit with butting teeth to see if it grows out of it if the bunny were still quite young when the situation was noticed and there was something super-sensational about the animal otherwise, but I never ran into that situation when we raised rabbits. Teeth were one thing we culled pretty severly on.
 

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Milk Maid
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2,873 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thank you everyone for your answers. The rabbit in question is around 14 weeks old now. The reason I wanted to keep him was because he's a really large rabbit, good meat form. My current buck is quite small - only 7 lbs.

Since it looks like this would be a bad problem to breed into our herd, I think we'll take care of him this weekend.

Oh, I took a pic of his teeth, for those of you who are curious as to what they look like :) You can't quite see it in the pic, but the left tooth also closes down on the bottom tooth.

 
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