When you own a pet rabbit, it's important for you to schedule regular checkups at your local veterinary clinic. These appointments will give the vet a chance to assess your rabbit's health in a number of different ways, which will help to keep the animal as healthy as possible. During this visit, you can expect that the vet will spend some time checking your rabbit's teeth. Gently opening the pet's mouth and inspecting their teeth will allow the vet to identify any issues that require their attention. Here are three things that the vet will specifically look for.
Rabbits' teeth grow in length as they get older. When a rabbit has hard and fibrous foods in its diet, chewing will grind down the teeth to keep them at a healthy length. When these animals don't consume a proper diet, however, their teeth will begin to grow too long. Over time, a rabbit's teeth can get so long that it's unable to eat properly. Ideally, your vet will check the rabbit's teeth and report that they're a suitable length. If the teeth are too long, however, the vet may need to carefully trim them.
Over time, rabbits can develop spurs on their teeth. This term describes a phenomenon in which the teeth develop very sharp edges. Spurs are problematic because of the damage they can cause inside of the animal's mouth. For example, as your rabbit chews its food, its tongue can scrape along the edge of a tooth spur and get cut. This cut may get infected, leading to a number of issues for the animal. If your veterinarian notices tooth spurs, they will file the sharp areas off for safety.
Some rabbits can suffer from tooth malocclusion, which means that their top and bottom teeth do not meet up properly. This is a problem because when the teeth don't meet, the rabbit may have trouble adequately chewing its food. It's difficult for a pet owner to notice whether malocclusion is present, but this is something that your veterinarian will detect quickly upon inspecting the animal's mouth. If a malocclusion is present, your vet will discuss different treatment options with you. In some cases, it may be appropriate to pull one of the teeth. By booking regular checkups for your pet rabbit, you can be confident that the vet will identify any tooth issues before they become too serious.
Contact a local veterinarian service to learn more.