We have a small Dutch rabbit, and you can see her front lower teeth when she's sitting up. They seem to have grown too long, but my brother says it is natural and is best left alone. What is your opinion?
S.G.L., St. Louis, Mo Aug 07, 2011
Rabbits, like people, can suffer malocclusion, a condition often associated with a congenital deformity and misalignment of the lower jaw. This can lead to uneven wear of the teeth. Unlike human teeth, rabbits' teeth continually grow. When there is uneven wear or a lack of wear, especially of the front lower teeth, the rabbit will have difficulty eating. Neglected teeth can cause injury to the inner lining of the mouth and lead to starvation and death. Have a veterinarian examine your rabbit. Snipping the teeth is a simple and painless procedure, but it is not something you should do by yourself. One preventive is to provide the rabbit a piece of hardwood or boiled marrowbone to gnaw, which will help keep the teeth trim once they have been shortened as needed.
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