Common dental problems in flat faced rabbits?

Rabbits Online Forum

Help Support Rabbits Online Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Active Member
Dec 1, 2013
Reaction score
Hi All,

My bun was just neutered on Monday at a local vet (all went well), and I had asked that she look in his mouth while he was under because I can't look at his teeth myself. Found out at pickup that his top incisors and right cheek teeth are a little overgrown, but she did not have the tools to file them, which I was quite disappointed about.

So, I called a few rabbit vets about an hour away, and one particular vet spent 30 minutes talking to me, asking thorough questions, and was very informed not only on dental procedures and problems, but on rabbits in general (good enough for me, I've chosen my new vet!)

My bun is a 2 year old Lionhead/Lop mix, and the vet said that it is not uncommon to see a lot of dental issues in flat-faced rabbit breeds like Lionheads or Lops that go further than simply being overgrown. He does routine filing for some buns as often as every 6 months...the price quote he gave me was about $200-300, and I definitely can't afford that all the time.

I guess I am looking for other people's experiences with flat-faced rabbits. Mine is not a big chewer. He does not eat a lot of hay (vet gave some suggestions to correct that) although he is offered fresh hay daily, and does not chew much on sticks, willow balls, cardboard or any other toy offered...but I offer them.
Although he eats pellets and fresh foods just fine.

Has this kind of expense been your experience with these breeds? I am getting his teeth filed ASAP, and only want him to be happy and healthy, without needing anaesthetic and a couple hundred dollar dental bill so often. Other advice is welcome too.

I have 7 Hollands lops. When I got them I did hear that I needed to watch their teeth. So I picked up some stuff to help keep their teeth down and my bunnies happy!
I went to out pet store and found there alfalfa cubs. They can be found for horses or rabbits. They are cubs with crushed alfalfa. They rabbits love them! They are hard and held keep their teeth down.
Also get some toys. Some toys say "helps teeth". So get a couple toys and see how he does with them.
Whenever I see people have rabbit problems and can afford to take them to the vet, ask a rabbit breeder. I've done this many times and has helped me alot! Just Call a large rabbit breeder or a 4-h rabbit leaders.
Hope this helps!

~Breeding Quality Holland Lops Since 2012~
I had a Holland lop with just terrible dental issues and malocclusion. I went to an exotic animal dentist who told me that these problems are more common in bunnies bred to look cute with flat faces
I spent a lot of money on him and kept him going for many years. It is really important that you try to keep on top of the dental issues because neglecting the problems cause a lot of pain for the bunny.
I understand the $$$ issue. What it came down t for me was a lot of sacrifice to pay his bills.
Then again I had a chinchilla rabbit with overgrown molars who needed continual filing.
If a rabbit has malocclusion his bite is not other words the upper teeth and lower teeth do not meet in a way that makes it possible for the bunny to grind food. That is why dental work is needed.
My favorite breed is Holland lops and yet I fear getting them because of teeth issues. My healthiest rabbits are mixed breed erect ear buns adopted from my shelter.
I would see the new vet ( who sounds great ) and just take a day at a time. Let us know~
Thank you both for your replies.

This is my first rabbit, so I definitely had no idea about things like this when I got him.
I will try some of your suggestions, lopsofloverabbitry. Thank you for them.
And Maureen Las, thank you for your insight...I try to take the best care of all my pets, and have made many sacrifices to get them what they need, to include needs for foster animals as well. I can assure you that my little bun will never go without necessary medical care or anything jeopardizing his well being.

The vet recommended I wait two weeks after his neuter to come in, so we are waiting. He told me of many buns he has seen, and all the dental problems (though I can't remember them all) including malocclusion. He told me about genetics and breeding, along with certain breed traits. He also said that his own son is always asking for the bunnies in the pet stores, but because of his extensive experience, he never gets them because they are all Lionheads, Lops, or mixes of those breeds...he said if he were to ever get a rabbit, it would have the longest face possible, as their dental health seems to be the best.

The money, if filing or other surgeries are needed often, is an issue...but I am also concerned about so much anesthesia. I know it cannot be helped if the procedures are needed, however. We will see how it goes and what things look like once the vet gets inside his poor little mouth.

Thank you both again.