Dental surgery… long term care advice (RIP)

Rabbits Online Forum

Help Support Rabbits Online Forum:

NotaCocoaPuff

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2019
Messages
46
Reaction score
21
Location
florida
Long story short… My sweet Fiona needs surgery for a dental abscess that is pushing up her eye. My question is for those of you who have gone through dental surgery with a rabbit. What are the long-term effects? My vet said that often times they develop issues due to the pocket that is left after tooth extraction. She said they often times have to come back for routine care because they get food stuck up there and or may develop a fistula. I’m curious what experiences you have had post surgery and the ongoing care needed after they heal, long term effects, how often you are having to bring them to the vet for more procedures etc.
 

JBun

Jenny - Health & Wellness Mod
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Sep 10, 2012
Messages
11,945
Reaction score
7,834
Location
Utah, , USA
I haven't had to deal with a hole left from a tooth extraction, just a hole from an eye abscess, after eye removal surgery. And it was repeated cleaning of the cavity each day, along with giving her meds. Azithromycin is what finally cleared it up.

There's some info in these links on dental extraction, if you want to read through them.

(WARNING: LINKS CONTAIN GRAPHIC MEDICAL RELATED PHOTOS)

Medirabbit: case report, dental surgery


Medirabbit: dentistry in pet rabbits

 

NotaCocoaPuff

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2019
Messages
46
Reaction score
21
Location
florida
I haven't had to deal with a hole left from a tooth extraction, just a hole from an eye abscess, after eye removal surgery. And it was repeated cleaning of the cavity each day, along with giving her meds. Azithromycin is what finally cleared it up.

There's some info in these links on dental extraction, if you want to read through them.

(WARNING: LINKS CONTAIN GRAPHIC MEDICAL RELATED PHOTOS)

Medirabbit: case report, dental surgery


Medirabbit: dentistry in pet rabbits

Thanks JBun, I appreciate the information.
Unfortunately Fiona did not make it to surgery. Her disease was worse then the vets thought. Not just the abscess we already knew about but also her teeth were growing upwards beyond her jaw bone which meant also removing her entire bottom jaw on top on her upper abscessed teeth and eye. Apparently X-rays were the only way to see this, nothing you could see on visual exam. Vet said this was going on for a very long time, months if not years. I check my buns teeth with every nail trim and never saw anything of concern. She never had any symptoms at all until her eye started swelling. My biggest question is how can I prevent this from happening again to my other buns?! If there's no external signs and the bun is acting fine, how would I know that inside her jaw her teeth are all messed up?! SMH, really frustrated and sad.
 

JBun

Jenny - Health & Wellness Mod
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Sep 10, 2012
Messages
11,945
Reaction score
7,834
Location
Utah, , USA
I'm so sorry 😢 I think the only way to know if anything was developing under the surface, would be to have once yearly xrays. Kind of like how us people do with our dentist(should do, anyways). That way it can hopefully be caught before anything becomes too severe, beyond turning around.

Is your vet going to try non surgical antibiotic treatment for the abscess? Or are the roots so overgrown and infection so bad at this point, that it's affecting her quality of life?
 

simba_dad

Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2020
Messages
23
Reaction score
16
Location
Spain
Long story short… My sweet Fiona needs surgery for a dental abscess that is pushing up her eye. My question is for those of you who have gone through dental surgery with a rabbit. What are the long-term effects? My vet said that often times they develop issues due to the pocket that is left after tooth extraction. She said they often times have to come back for routine care because they get food stuck up there and or may develop a fistula. I’m curious what experiences you have had post surgery and the ongoing care needed after they heal, long term effects, how often you are having to bring them to the vet for more procedures etc.
I’m really sad to hear Fiona didn’t make it - or at least that’s how it sounded in your post.

I just saw this and was going to reply because we have been dealing with this exact situation for a couple of years now with a young Lionhead of about 3.5 years.

He had major genetic dental disease and has had almost all his molars removed, and he has developed multiple abscesses.
Originally we discovered the problem when one of his eyes was bulging out, and X-rays revealed his teeth were growing back up into his eye socket, and down into his jaw bone.

He’s currently on 2x daily penicillin injections and we’re constantly vigilant on his weight, eating and he has regular tooth trims and X-rays, as well as CAT scans.
Keeping him alive has been very expensive but very rewarding!

When I think back to what we could have done, and what the vets could have done differently - we could have made sure he ate more hay for a start. He never really ate it, probably partly due to his existing problems, and we didn’t think much of it. He used to eat pellets twice a day and veggies, and we thought that was normal.
We probably could have noticed something unusual about it earlier, it we just didn’t know.

The other thing is - when we realised the problem we were kind of slow to act decisively because we didn’t know what was happening, and different vets have different opinions, including being told a couple of times that there was not much to be done.
I wish we had moved faster to remove or trim the problem teeth, then when any abscess or infection was detected we should have started his penicillin injections immediately, and kept them going for the long term instead of stopping and starting every few weeks.

The penicillin was eventually what helped bring his abscess under control, and now he has two more, we are back on the injections attempting to be aggressive and thorough.

We’ve been on a long road of many stasis episodes from pain, trying different treatments and medicines, and horrible days of forcibly cleaning his open wounds from the abscess, and we’re still learning.

To answer your original questions, at first we went to the vet weekly for abscess cleaning and check ups, then every two weeks for tooth trims - incisors and molars, and now we are down to every three weeks for tooth trims and check ups.

All in all we’ve been almost 80 times in three years. We counted the entries in his log book.

Let me know if you have any other questions, and again, sorry to hear of your loss.
 

simba_dad

Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2020
Messages
23
Reaction score
16
Location
Spain
One more thing, I re-read your post and off Fiona is still alive and strong enough to fight on then I would highly recommend getting on an urgent course of injected antibiotics immediately, as JBun suggests. We use penicillin twice a day but I know in the states they use bicillin with less frequency.
That has been the decisive factor in Simba’s treatment.

It’s not easy to do them at home at first, but you get used to it.
 

NotaCocoaPuff

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2019
Messages
46
Reaction score
21
Location
florida
I’m really sad to hear Fiona didn’t make it - or at least that’s how it sounded in your post.

I just saw this and was going to reply because we have been dealing with this exact situation for a couple of years now with a young Lionhead of about 3.5 years.

He had major genetic dental disease and has had almost all his molars removed, and he has developed multiple abscesses.
Originally we discovered the problem when one of his eyes was bulging out, and X-rays revealed his teeth were growing back up into his eye socket, and down into his jaw bone.

He’s currently on 2x daily penicillin injections and we’re constantly vigilant on his weight, eating and he has regular tooth trims and X-rays, as well as CAT scans.
Keeping him alive has been very expensive but very rewarding!

When I think back to what we could have done, and what the vets could have done differently - we could have made sure he ate more hay for a start. He never really ate it, probably partly due to his existing problems, and we didn’t think much of it. He used to eat pellets twice a day and veggies, and we thought that was normal.
We probably could have noticed something unusual about it earlier, it we just didn’t know.

The other thing is - when we realised the problem we were kind of slow to act decisively because we didn’t know what was happening, and different vets have different opinions, including being told a couple of times that there was not much to be done.
I wish we had moved faster to remove or trim the problem teeth, then when any abscess or infection was detected we should have started his penicillin injections immediately, and kept them going for the long term instead of stopping and starting every few weeks.

The penicillin was eventually what helped bring his abscess under control, and now he has two more, we are back on the injections attempting to be aggressive and thorough.

We’ve been on a long road of many stasis episodes from pain, trying different treatments and medicines, and horrible days of forcibly cleaning his open wounds from the abscess, and we’re still learning.

To answer your original questions, at first we went to the vet weekly for abscess cleaning and check ups, then every two weeks for tooth trims - incisors and molars, and now we are down to every three weeks for tooth trims and check ups.

All in all we’ve been almost 80 times in three years. We counted the entries in his log book.

Let me know if you have any other questions, and again, sorry to hear of your loss.
I’m really sad to hear Fiona didn’t make it - or at least that’s how it sounded in your post.

I just saw this and was going to reply because we have been dealing with this exact situation for a couple of years now with a young Lionhead of about 3.5 years.

He had major genetic dental disease and has had almost all his molars removed, and he has developed multiple abscesses.
Originally we discovered the problem when one of his eyes was bulging out, and X-rays revealed his teeth were growing back up into his eye socket, and down into his jaw bone.

He’s currently on 2x daily penicillin injections and we’re constantly vigilant on his weight, eating and he has regular tooth trims and X-rays, as well as CAT scans.
Keeping him alive has been very expensive but very rewarding!

When I think back to what we could have done, and what the vets could have done differently - we could have made sure he ate more hay for a start. He never really ate it, probably partly due to his existing problems, and we didn’t think much of it. He used to eat pellets twice a day and veggies, and we thought that was normal.
We probably could have noticed something unusual about it earlier, it we just didn’t know.

The other thing is - when we realised the problem we were kind of slow to act decisively because we didn’t know what was happening, and different vets have different opinions, including being told a couple of times that there was not much to be done.
I wish we had moved faster to remove or trim the problem teeth, then when any abscess or infection was detected we should have started his penicillin injections immediately, and kept them going for the long term instead of stopping and starting every few weeks.

The penicillin was eventually what helped bring his abscess under control, and now he has two more, we are back on the injections attempting to be aggressive and thorough.

We’ve been on a long road of many stasis episodes from pain, trying different treatments and medicines, and horrible days of forcibly cleaning his open wounds from the abscess, and we’re still learning.

To answer your original questions, at first we went to the vet weekly for abscess cleaning and check ups, then every two weeks for tooth trims - incisors and molars, and now we are down to every three weeks for tooth trims and check ups.

All in all we’ve been almost 80 times in three years. We counted the entries in his log book.

Let me know if you have any other questions, and again, sorry to hear of your loss.
Interesting... Fiona similar to yours, did not like to eat hay. I had her for over 2 years and she never really ate hay. I just assumed that was just her personal preference since she did happily eat salad, veggies and pellets. Now I'm wondering if there was more to it. She never had any symptoms until the eye started bulging. I also noticed that she had clear tears on one side from time to time but my hometown vet thought she just might have scratched it or something. I'll be down south at the exotic vet for a foster opportunity so I'm going to be asking a lot of questions to prevent this from happening again
 

NotaCocoaPuff

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2019
Messages
46
Reaction score
21
Location
florida
One more thing, I re-read your post and off Fiona is still alive and strong enough to fight on then I would highly recommend getting on an urgent course of injected antibiotics immediately, as JBun suggests. We use penicillin twice a day but I know in the states they use bicillin with less frequency.
That has been the decisive factor in Simba’s treatment.

It’s not easy to do them at home at first, but you get used to it.
Simba_dad unfortunately she did pass. Her condition was just more severe than the even the vet thgouht. We felt it was not humane to put her through what would have been 3-5 surgeries then living with ongoing frequent vet visits, chronic medications, and pureed diet. This vet is nationally renowned so I trust her opinion.
 

JBun

Jenny - Health & Wellness Mod
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Sep 10, 2012
Messages
11,945
Reaction score
7,834
Location
Utah, , USA
I guess I misunderstood what you were saying. I'm so sorry you had to make that difficult decision, but it sounds like it was the most humane choice for her given her complicated health condition.
 
Top