Article Text

A review of clinical conditions in pet rabbits associated with their teeth
  1. FM Harcourt-Brown

Abstract

Pet rabbits are frequently treated by veterinary surgeons but most of the literature is based on diseases encountered in laboratory or commercial rabbits. Many pet rabbits suffer from dental abnormalities and 40 clinical cases of diseases associated with teeth problems are reviewed. The clinical and radiological examination of the oral cavity of conscious and anaesthetised rabbits is described and the treatment of dental disorders is discussed. Post mortem studies of 20 of the skulls revealed bone of poor quality. Deformed teeth with little or no enamel were found during clinical examination and post mortem. The poor quality of the teeth and bone was not related to malocclusion. Distorted growth of the crowns led to lacerations to the tongue or inside the cheek, causing anorexia, weight loss and problems with grooming. Distorted growth of the roots resulted in penetration of the weakened bones of the maxillae, mandibles and orbits. Osteomyelitis, abscess formation or infections of the lacrimal duct or nasal cavity were a result of this disease process. The cause of the defective teeth and poor bone quality was not determined but preventative measures are proposed.

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