Dutchess overgrown molars

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cwebster

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Dutchess just had her third tooth trimming by our vet yesterday. Am wondering what i can do in terms of prevention? It may be genetic. She also requires Rx medicine to move food through her system so it doesnt shut down. Vet has her on meloxicam for pain as well. Am giving her intensive care for herbivores Liquid and baby drops for gas.S he is still refusing almost all foods except for a carrot top. Have given her wicker balls, apple chew sticks, and timothy mats but was worried they might hurt her. Have three types of timothy hay from Rabbit Hole Hay (soft, medium and coarse.) Was trying to switch Dutchess and her mate to coarse hay when she stopped eating this time.
 

John Wick

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Hay is going to contribute most to molar maintenance, rather than toys. Hay is essentially sand paper and rabbits really grind it to-and-fro in their mouths before swallowing it. Some owners have great success in switching their rabbits to orchard hay. Whether it is the texture of orchard hay specifically or the consequential increased consumption because they like it more, it has helped some rabbits go to the vet less for dental maintenance.

Have there been any x-rays done of her teeth to see if there is anything else going on which might be keeping her from eating hay? Ideally, she should not need any medication to keep her GI moving if she eats more hay. Gut stimulants help the GI system get moving when it gets into stasis, but a 'normal healthy' rabbit should not need it long-term to maintain gut movement.

The likelihood of injury from wicker balls, apple chew sticks, and timothy mats is very small -- probably as small as the likelihood of a rabbit injuring itself eating hay. I would not be concerned about this unless you were informed so by a rabbit-experienced exotic vet (in which case I'd be very curious what that reason would be).
 

cwebster

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John, many thanks for your post! Will encourage hay eating. Will see about getting some orchard hay and also try to get Dutchess to eat more medium or coarse timothy hay. Right now, after her molar trimming, she isnt eating hay again yet. Will ask about molar xrays.

The gut stimulant is temporary because last time she had gut stasis.

Will give her back the toys. Right now, she wont even eat wheat grass.
 

simba_dad

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Sorry to hear about your Dutchess. We've had a LOT of tooth issues with our Simba the Lionhead. He currently only has his bottom row of molars because the others were horribly overgrown due to genetic problems.
I think an x-ray is a good idea to see if the teeth are normal.
We had problems with Simba's tooth roots growing up into his skull and down through his jaw. He goes to have his molars trimmed every few weeks, and his incisors also need to be trimmed now as he can't eat solid food.
If Dutchess is in pain it sounds like there may be deeper issues here. A CAT scan would provide a lot more information if warranted, but they're very expensive!
 

cwebster

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simba_dad, am so sorry to hear about your troubles with Simba! I had no idea tooth roots could grow up into a rabbits skull and down through his jaw! Poor bunny.

Our cat had to have all her teeth removed recently so can only eat soft food.

In the past, i had guinea pigs with tooth problems which were genetic and had to be trimmed frequently. Sadly one (Weasel) got infected to the point that he had an abscess which caused his eye to fall apart so i had to have him euthanized.

Like Simba, Dutchess is a lionhead. Am wondering if lionhead inbreeding or their head shapes contribute to tooth problems.

Will ask the vet about getting xrays. I hope all she will need is trimmings a few times per year. There is a local pet emergency clinic that does Cat scans, so if Dutchess will ask about that too if Dutchess still shows pain.

She is still not eating normally yet. Your bunny is lucky to have someone who cares so much for him. I have seen guinea pigs starve to death because their owners didnt care about their dental problems. Dutchess and her mate, Arnold, are our first bunnies.
 

JBun

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About all you can do on your end to help with tooth wear, is promote good hay eating by your rabbit. As mentioned, there's a possibility orchard grass could help. It's high in silica, which is the abrasive part of grass that helps wear down their teeth. I have read of one rabbit owner who's rabbit had to have dental burrs done every 2 months for at least a year or more. She switched her rabbit to a high orchard grass hay diet, and it was a whole year before her rabbit needed another dental burring done. So something to consider at least, if you can get your rabbit eating hay again.
 

cwebster

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Took Dutchess to the vet again today. Vet didnt want to anesthetize her to do dental or abdominal xrays because he thinks she has GI stasis. He doubled her Reglan and started Meloxicam again. Have tried to get her to eat the orchard grass and soft timothythat arrived last night. She doesnt want to eat and is not pooping. Vet told me to encourage hay and give her IC for Herbivores.Am worried because vet is not back for three days. Gave Dutchess infant gas med 1 cc also. She s alert and active but no poop.
 

simba_dad

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Oh no that sounds like a very serious situation. How long since she last ate?
What we do with Simba when he goes into stasis:
If he hasn't eaten for 8-12 hours and he's showing signs of discomfort in his tummy, or if he's looking listless and sick, we start a protocol of medicine and force feeding. Leaving it 24 hours could be too late.
We give him a gut stimulant (I think reglan is more to empty the stomach), and start doing a large syringe of liquid Critical Care every 2-3 hours along with 1ml of liquid gas medicine.
So far this has never failed, often he recovers or else it keeps him going until we can get him to the vet.
I'd recommend getting some Critical Care as soon as you can, if Duchess doesn't eat she won't survive 3 days and the situation will possibly become critical within the first 24-36 hours. Could you find another vet in the area to go to as an emergency?
 

simba_dad

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Sorry I just reread your post - you have some Critical Care powder already? Have you been feeding her with it? Force feeding can be very stressful, we find it's a 2 person job, but it sounds like it's necessary!
The only situation where you wouldn't want to force feed is if there's an internal blockage, but in my experience that's less common. If you do some intensive feeding then you can expect to see some improvement and poos within 8-12 hours usually. Sometimes we have to keep up the feeding for over 24 hours though! Keep us updated, sending our love to Duchess.
 

juliam

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Oh no that sounds like a very serious situation. How long since she last ate?
What we do with Simba when he goes into stasis:
If he hasn't eaten for 8-12 hours and he's showing signs of discomfort in his tummy, or if he's looking listless and sick, we start a protocol of medicine and force feeding. Leaving it 24 hours could be too late.
We give him a gut stimulant (I think reglan is more to empty the stomach), and start doing a large syringe of liquid Critical Care every 2-3 hours along with 1ml of liquid gas medicine.
So far this has never failed, often he recovers or else it keeps him going until we can get him to the vet.
I'd recommend getting some Critical Care as soon as you can, if Duchess doesn't eat she won't survive 3 days and the situation will possibly become critical within the first 24-36 hours. Could you find another vet in the area to go to as an emergency?
I agree entirely. I could not get critical care feed, the vet advised me to soften pellets and feed with a syringe, much patience, very small amounts, she will start licking her lips and it becomes easier. I’m not sure what position but I had to cuddle her in a blanket on her back yet I lifted her upright for the food. She was eating independently the next day. This sounds a very sensitive and urgent situation
 

cwebster

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simbadad and juliam, am happy to report Dutchess pooped last night! Am giving her meloxicam 1x per day, reglan 3x per day, and baby simethicone drops 3x per day. Am force feeding her critical care but usually can only get 3 cc in her. She is not eating independently yet. Am having to keep her isolated to watch her poop so she is angry (her mate is downstaira and she is upstairs in the hutch). Am givingher orchard grass andsoft timothy hay. Sherefused kale, green leaf, and carrot tops.
 

juliam

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She’ll be cross with you for a while too! So glad she’s pooped. Patience and cate and I’m sure she’ll be ok. My Sorrel has get front teeth removed completely rather than monthly burring, while 1 vet did this minus anaesthetic she caught her mouth slightly and she hated me for that too, another vet wouldn’t do it without anaesthetic. Her molars seem ok since she eats more hay, good luck
 

cwebster

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Dutchess again stopped eating yesterday. Vet put her on reglan, meloxicam, and sulfa antibiotic and told me to feed her critical care. Xrays showed no gut obstruction. Vet didnt see any obvious tooth problems. Blood work was normal, except for mild anemia due to fleas. She pooped a little but is still refusing to eat independently. Vets here are just swamped. I still think it is a sharp tooth spike.
 

cwebster

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Next appt i can get for sedation and tooth trimming if needed is in six days. Am syringe feeding Dutchess and giving her the meds. She acts hungry but doesnt want to eat. I dont know ifi can syringe feed her for six days because she hates itso much.
 

cwebster

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Dutchess had her back molars trimmed with anesthesia a week ago. Has taken several days of meds and pampering to start eating but still will only eat veggies and is not eating hay. Vet said he knows he trimmed her teeth perfectly so it isnt her teeth. Have stopped the critical care and all but another 24 hrs of GI stasis meds and one more day of meloxicam. Does anyone have any suggestions? When i have gotten her out on a towel on my lap, she digs rapidly with her feet and nips me through the towel. Am not sure whether she still has something wrong (root abscess?). She has three kinds of hay including timothy, orchard grass, and soft timothy. Is she in pain or just spoiled?
 

cwebster

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Dutchess is refusing to eatanything and notdrinking or pooping. Could not get a vet appt or even a promised call back. Think she may have a tooth root problem. Am at a loss because of the inability to get her into a vet. The appts are all always booked for several days. Vet told me yesterday on the phone to get her in for iv fluids but i couldnt get an appt, after three days. Will try to get critical care in her. Gave her simethicone. Am out of prescribed meds today.
 

JBun

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Could you phone the vet to pick up some pain meds to hold her over? That might be enough to keep her eating until you can get her back into the vet.
 

cwebster

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JBun, i called and picked up meloxicam and Reglan until the vet can see Dutchess next week. She is still not eating except for syringed critical care and a few long stringy veggies (dandelion greens and green grass from the yard). Am fearful that the meloxicam (which she has been on for weeks now) may be decreasing her appetite or hurting her stomach because it is an NSAID? Have ordered another flavor of critical care (papaya) because she hates the apple-banana flavor but it is in transit. She is a sweet bunny but has been nipping lately which is new for her. It takes so long to get in to see exotics vets right now, which makes it hard, watching her unhappy while we wait another week. If she has gastric irritation from the meloxicam, what might help? You cant give a bunny milk of magnesia or things like that. I dashed to the grocery to get dandelion greens (lately never there) but she would only eat three pieces. Poor bunny. I wish the vets would take into account that bunny symptoms like not eating are an emergency.
 

cwebster

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Dutchess is pretty reliably eating choice greens but will not eat hay. Have a vet appt in three days. I still think she has a dental issue but dont think the vet believes me.
 
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I had a rabbit that I believed had dental problems, but the vet wouldn't believe me. I finally took my rabbit to another vet, and my rabbit did have spurs on his molars. If I want to feed softened pellet through a syringe, I have found pellets are too rough to go through a syringe. Softened pellets will go through a syringe if mixed with pumpkin puree. If I have a rabbit that fights being syringe fed, I will feed the rabbit less food in a feeding, but more often. Sometimes that helps. Good luck.
 
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