I love to play with my cardboard tubes
Annabelle's guide to
looking after your bunny's teeth
She's close to perfect, She's neat and clean,
We trust her nature, She's just a dream,
An ideal bunny, she's no gorilla,
It's our Annabelle - our mighty Fluffzilla!
My problem is a bit more serious because I've got malocclusion.
This means that my front & back teeth don't meet properly in my
mouth and they have a tendency to grind down at awkward angles.
If my teeth grind down irregularly in places, there is a tendency for
them to spur (become really sharp) and this may cause them to
pierce my tongue. I went to the bunny dentist (1 March 2006) for
xrays & teeth grinding. Then back again (15 May 2006) to have my
front teeth ground down yet again - I have to go back every month
As members of the Lagomorph family, rabbit's teeth are continuous growers
and have developed this way in order to grind down fibrous diets in the wild
(grass, hay, sticks, etc). As domestic bunnies, we have to grind down our
teeth just as our wild friends do but we need help from our human friends to
keep us healthy and supply us with lots of safe things to chew.
The best thing to supply is lots of hay so your bunny will keep grinding
those teeth down daily. For added help, give some untreated wood
(dethorned rose or unsprayed apple brances), cardboard boxes, pinecones
or empty toilet roll tubes so we can keep chewing our little teeth down
Since I can't talk, my friends at BOING had to observe my behaviour. They knew
that my front teeth did not meet and some time in the future I was going to have
some problems. They noticed that I started to eat more slowly & favour one side of
my mouth. I started to sneeze & my nose was runny. Fortunately, my teeth were
not nearly as bad as they thought. The x-rays came back and the roots of my teeth
were normal. Two of my back molars were spurring but not severely so it was just a
matter of using the dental grinder to make them nice & smooth again.
I've been with my BOING family for two years and this is the first time I've had to
have this kind of dental procedure. I get lots of hay daily (like everybunny else here)
but I get extra things to chew. I especially love my rose & apple sticks and I'm
pretty partial to redecorating cardboard boxes as well. What's great about all the
things that they give me to chew is that I never get bored!!!!
If you have a bunny that has teeth problems, please visit your vet for a checkup. If
your bunny stops eating, has a runny nose, watery eyes or sneezes, this may be
due to dental problems inside the mouth and may need some serious attention.
This is a case of serious
malocclusion. Don't let this
happen to your bunny!
(photo courtesy of www.aaps.org.au)
(diagrams courtesy of
In November 2006, Annabelle ended up having all her front teeth removed as none of them were meeting & were
growing at a rapid rate. She coped with this very well and was back to eating normal food fairly quickly. We still cut
up her greens into tiny pieces so she can get them into her mouth.
Unfortunately, in January 2007 she now has a complicated abscess condition in her lower jaw. After x-rays we
discovered she has around 3 teeth involved. As rabbits cannot have this many teeth removed, surgery is not an
option. We are trying to keep the condition at bay with weekly penicillin injections which we have learnt to administer
ourselves. We only hope that she will be with us for a little longer as we love her very much. She is very brave &
doesn't mind her injections. The abscess also doesn't seem to be affecting her as yet.
I can only recommend giving your bunny a good overall examination on a monthly basis so you can also pick up any
conditions that can be treated before they become too far gone. To tell if your bunny may have a tooth abscess is to
run your fingers gently along the jaw line. If you can feel any lumps or bumps, there may be a problem. Please visit
your vet for an accurate diagnosis & possible xray or surgery. Many tooth abscesses can be surgically removed &
bunnies can remain healthy & happy for many years to come. If surgery is not an option (due to too many teeth
involved), ongoing medication can keep the lumps & bumps at bay for quite a long time and are a good option to try.
Do Your Bit