Do you have to cut a rabbits teeth?

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raven123

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Me and my friend were just having a discussion about rabbit teeth. My friend has done a lot of research on rabbits and stuff like that But he doesn’t have actual rabbits and I have done a lot of research on rabbits but I do have actual rabbits. He claims that rabbits need their teeth trimmed often, but I was confused because the hay and chew toys are supposed to wear down rabbits teeth. And so we did a little research on it and the answer was unclear to me, but he is still clearly convinced that you should do it. I understand that if rabbits have health problems or aren’t given hay or wood then their teeth can become overgrown but what about a normal pet rabbit?
 

Mac189

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Pet rabbits need unlimited hay, which wears their teeth down. Toys don't actually help wearing teeth down that much, but bunnies love toys. Hay is the real problem solver here.

Only rabbits with some kind of dental issue need to have their teeth filed... While I have heard of trimming, filing is actually typically the preferred method with the least risk of structural damage to the teeth.

Long and the short of it, rabbits do not need their teeth regularly trimmed except in unique situations, hay generally files teeth perfectly and you are right!
 

SableSteel

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No, unless the rabbit has genetic problems they shouldn't need their teeth trimmed. I don't even feed hay and I haven't had to trim teeth in years, not since I had one pet holland lop with genetic malocclusion
 

Toffee and Valentina

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No! The teeth could split up to the gum if you cut, and if you file the vibration causes issues. If you are giving enough hay and safe wood sticks or toys, teeth growth should not be a problem. If it is, let your vet take care of it.
 

FuzzyBunny ph

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I agree with most of the replies before me.

Giving hay will help keep their teeth worn down but there are some bunnies where their teeth will grow faster than usual due to genetic issues even with unlimited hay. The bunny will require regular trimming with the vet. It is not advisable to do it on your own as the teeth could crack wrongly and open the gums, giving way for bacteria to go in.

Once bunny is older, you can request to have a tooth extraction but in some cases, the tooth will grow back thats why it has to be done correctly by an experienced exotic vet

Vets usually have special equipments for this which is why it is highly encourage to bring them to one.

Here's one of our rescues who had a dental issues at a very young age and needed bi monthly trimming:
 

zuppa

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I agree with most of the replies before me.

Giving hay will help keep their teeth worn down but there are some bunnies where their teeth will grow faster than usual due to genetic issues even with unlimited hay. The bunny will require regular trimming with the vet. It is not advisable to do it on your own as the teeth could crack wrongly and open the gums, giving way for bacteria to go in.

Once bunny is older, you can request to have a tooth extraction but in some cases, the tooth will grow back thats why it has to be done correctly by an experienced exotic vet

Vets usually have special equipments for this which is why it is highly encourage to bring them to one.

Here's one of our rescues who had a dental issues at a very young age and needed bi monthly trimming:
Totally agree. I had a rabbit who damaged his teeth rattling his fence when he was a teenager, so his bottom teeth went in front of his top teeth. It was totally my fault I was trying to stop him from that but unsuccessfully, I didn't have much experience then and there was a female housed not too far from him so he was very persistent and nothing worked, toys, abacus placed all over his fence, so poor rabbit stopped eating vegs first, but I only noticed after a week or so since he was hiding them under the mat. I didn't see his teeth are growing wrong way and when I saw the bottom teeth were long enough so he was unable to eat he couldn't pick up the pellets from his bowl as well so I fed him by hand he was able to chew them as normal with his back teeth when put in his mouth from the side. So I did massive research on trimming overgrown teeth and watched all those commercial rabbit teeth trimming with wire cutters etc, they do use them because they only need their rabbit to be able to eat until it is big enough to butcher, but they surely damage the tooth and the gums and you will never get them straight enough so in fact your rabbit won't be able to use them and they won't wear down naturally so only way would be trimming on a permanent basis. And they will grow really fast when not in use, so you will need a rabbit savvy vet who can trim them professionally with professional equipment, and sometimes if you keep them trimmed it can help to get them growing in a proper way, if it's not a severe case of course. Anyway, even if as n your photo they are filed short enough your rabbit has no problem with picking his pellets and can use his back teeth for chewing them. But they are growing really fast when not in use, so it's really a big problem and it's expensive.

I never had experience with a genetic malocclusion so can't tell, but it is not that rare when rabbits just damage their teeth or they have generally good teeth bit not wearing them down so they are getting to long and a rabbit can't eat properly, he can develop gut stasis and die. I check my teeth once a week at least and trying to make them eat lots of hay. I have a rabbit who was on grain diet when I got him, and he had more health problems but we managed to fix them, and then when he was transferred to plain pellets without grain he still ate very little hay since he preferred pellets and he was fed mainly pellets. One day I saw that his bottom front teeth are getting longer and not perfect shape, I thought oh no not again, but I was busy then and had no time to visit vet soon so just left him without pellets for a few days or reduced his pellets to a few a day and so he was very unhappy but I gave him lots of hay and I made lots of toys of hay to interest him, he liked challenges so I made hay braids and hay rings and he liked it, when I checked his teeth after 4-5 days surprisingly his teeth were fine again, so at an early stage it is really fixable. He is all healthy again, excellent teeth.

I can't tell how they wear them down when fed non hay diet, only sharing my own experience here.

IMG_20200728_213523[1].jpg
 

zuppa

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I really need to re read my comments before posting since my fingers are faster than my brain! Hopefully you will be able to understand what I am saying fron==m the context 🙃
 

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