Dutchess overgrown molars

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cwebster

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Niomi, today i felt a hard bump under Dutchess’ eye, so i hope the vet will believe me. She had molar spurs removed, but i think a root may be causing her a problem. If he wont do an xray, there isanother exotics vet about 40 min away. Will try the pumpkin puree and have ordered Oxbow papaya flavored critical care (she hates the apple-banana flavor). Am also asking the vet about vit D and calcium supplements, after reading “Textbookof Rabbit Medicine” by Frances Harcourt-Brown). The text suggests trimming the tooth crowns is contraindicated, except for removing small spurs growing into the cheek or tongue, because it kills the tooth and is painful for the rabbit, because they can no longer chew fibrous foods.
 

cwebster

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Dutchess is doing better. Eating dandelion greens, kale, and grass trimmed fromoutside. Still wont eat hay. Am goingto askfor xrays and will get pumpkin puree.she isoff the meloxicam and just getting reglan and simethicone.
 

cwebster

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Today Dutchess refused to eat anything. Would not eat handfed greens, just bit them in pieces or tossed them. Repeatedlydug with her feet in the towel and nipped. Vet appt is tomorrow but is a drop off and pick up, all i could get.
 

simba_dad

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So sorry to hear you're still struggling with Dutchess. Do you have any other food apart from hay? Our lion head was never really able to eat hay due to his tooth problems. Only in hindsight we realised he was very underweight and hadn't been able to chew the hay properly for weeks.

Does she have pellets she can eat? If so, what kind? Does she eat them?
 

simba_dad

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We've been trimming down Simba's molars for over a year and it's become a key part of his welfare. We do it every 8 weeks.
I'd highly advise getting an x-ray of Dutchess' skull to see if there's any abnormal tooth growth. If there are genetic problems it's really important to find out asap.
 

cwebster

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Dutchess went to vet today. He lightly anesthetized her and rechecked all her molars then took skull xrays. He wants to find someone expert with rabbits to rule out root problems on the xrays. She has conjunctivitis (has had crusty eyes) so is getting antibiotic eye drops. She is not eating yet but gave her the gi stasis meds (am phasing it out) and simethicone. Hope she will start eating soon. She actually gained weight from being hand fed so many veggies! She wont eat timothy hay or orchard grass or Kaytee timothy hay pellets but will eat kale, wheat grass, parsley, carrot tops, and dandelion greens if hand fed.

Simba_dad, how do you trim Simba’s molars? Have read that just the spurs and not the tooth crown should be trimmed. Hope Simba continues to do well. Will he eat veggies? I bought some oxbow critical care from Amazon, papaya flavored. Havent tried it yet. You might be able to fatten up Simba with something like that.
 

simba_dad

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Dutchess went to vet today. He lightly anesthetized her and rechecked all her molars then took skull xrays. He wants to find someone expert with rabbits to rule out root problems on the xrays. She has conjunctivitis (has had crusty eyes) so is getting antibiotic eye drops. She is not eating yet but gave her the gi stasis meds (am phasing it out) and simethicone. Hope she will start eating soon. She actually gained weight from being hand fed so many veggies! She wont eat timothy hay or orchard grass or Kaytee timothy hay pellets but will eat kale, wheat grass, parsley, carrot tops, and dandelion greens if hand fed.

Simba_dad, how do you trim Simba’s molars? Have read that just the spurs and not the tooth crown should be trimmed. Hope Simba continues to do well. Will he eat veggies? I bought some oxbow critical care from Amazon, papaya flavored. Havent tried it yet. You might be able to fatten up Simba with something like that.
Basically Simba's problem was misaligned teeth due to a genetic abnormality, which is quite common in lionheads due to their breeding for short cute faces.
At first his eye was bulging out which is how we discovered the problem and since then he's had all his upper molars removed, leaving the bottom ones needing trimming down regularly or else they grow up into the palate of the mouth.
In between that he had horrendous abscess problems for a year, which is another story!

Now we take him every 4 weeks for an incisor trim, and 8 weeks for a molar trim. He can't eat hay or hard food because he can't grind his lower teeth against anything so we soak a certain type of high quality pellet for him which works really well. He's usually very healthy and fit these days - around 1.85kg.

I've never been in the room when they do his teeth but I know they anaesthetise him and hold his mouth open and grind them down. He's had it done many times and it's always fine after a couple of days once he's gotten used to it. Never heard that it's bad or painful for them, as long as it's done properly by an expert.

This has been working really well for over a year now and apart from other health issues he's been very happy!
 

simba_dad

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For reference, this is how poor Simba's first x-rays looked. You can see how messed up his teeth are, and how they were growing into his eye socket and down into his jaw.
The prognosis was very negative at first but over 2 years later he's still with us and as bossy as ever!
 

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cwebster

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cwebster

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cwebster

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Dutchess ate some hay today! Vet said her skull xrays show elongated molar roots. Am studying rabbit dental disease so dont want to rush into tooth crown burring when she is doing ok.
 

cwebster

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Dutchess has a vet appt (drop off, all vet will do) in three days. She has had spurs removed four times and has overly long tooth roots on xray. She is eating well (even ate a little hay today,). However after 9 days on otofloxacin eye drops she still has crusty eyes. I warm her eye drops a little which seems to make them hurt her less. Am worried about dacrocystitis from her tooth roots. I do not want to just have the vet grind down her molars as it s my understand ing that front tooth roots or premolar roots can block her tear ducts, not the back molars. Have ordered a book on rabbit surgery and dentistry but it wont arrive for three more weeks. Have read all the horror stories about rabbit dental problems and abscesses. As long as Dutchess is eating, am not going to mess with herteeth and just ask for symptomatic eye treatment. Plus i want to get her more sunshine , vitamin D, and calcium. Am giving her lots of freshly hand trimmed yard grass and kale.
 

JBun

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I'm kind of at that stage now too with an old rabbit. The problems he has aren't clearing up with any of the treatments, so now it's just a matter of managing things the best I can so he has a decent quality of life, for this last bit of his life.
 

simba_dad

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Sounds like you're on top of things!
Two things I'd be concerned about are making sure the tooth roots don't get too long and grow backwards I to the skull, that can be achieved by keeping the teeth short either by having the vet grind them down, or by Dutchess' eating a good quantity of hay.
The other thing is abscesses forming in the roots due to their abnormal growth
In our case that happened and the vet chose to remove some of his teeth, which led to an awful and long abscess battle in the empty holes and now he needs special food and care for the rest of his life.
If abscesses become an issue at all I'd highly recommend getting on an immediate bicillin course of antibiotics for at least a few weeks or months to stop it spreading.
I wish we'd progressed to this option much quicker with Simba. It was very hard to accept him needing the constant injections, but in the long run it would have saved us all a lot of suffering.
You'll have to keep a close eye on the tooth situation for now, and that's hard to do without regular x-rays.
 

cwebster

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Spent hours today cleaning out Dutchess’ two old outdoor cages. Then let her go in one cage for an hour. She recognized it instantly, sniffed it everywhere, then did a lot if grooming. Planning to take her out for a few hours every day, so she can get some sun/vit D. Still at a loss on how to make sure she is getting enough calcium and vit D. She seems pretty happy right now. Vet appt in two days.
 

cwebster

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Dutchess is at the vet for a recheck of her eyes. Am nervous because they said “we’re just getting ready to start the procedure.” I asked what procedure? They have anesthetizedher and are rechecking her teeth. I begged them NOT to burr down any healthy teeth and to only burr any spurs. I asked about flushing her eyes and nasolacrimal sinus or tear ducts because i have read that dacrocystitis can causerunny eyes. I specificallysaidi think she has metabolicbone disease but have not heard anything about that yet. Generally i trust our vet implicitly but told them i will be really upset if he just burrs her molars down. She is eating and pooping fine and seems happy. I was expecting different eye drops maybe. I hope we are on the same page—do no harm.
 

JBun

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I hope all went well at the vet 🙏
 

cwebster

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JBun, just got home with Dutchess. Dont know if she will eat, yet. He trimmed her incisors (dont know why, 1/8 to 1/4 inch). I had asked him NOT to trim teeth. she had no spurs which is good. He said he flushed her nasolacrimal duct which seemed clear. He put her on different antibiotic drops. He said he ordereda copy of the Rabbit Medicine book by Harcourt-Brown, which was great of him. I hope she will eat without Meloxicam. I have read that the dentin is right below the tooth surface so trimming is painful, and having had a lot of dental work myself, i know about tooth pain. I am trying to convince him to treat her for metabolic bone disease but he said her long bones look ok. I gave him a copy of the article by Harcourt-Brown about MBD being a precursor to dental disease in indoor rabbits. Am going to try to find a UVB light i can put next to her hutch andtake her outside every day, for Vit D. May give her a tiny amount if the Calciboost which i use forthe pigeons or reptile calcium and mineral powder for a week, at a tiny dose. I know it is toxic at the wrong levels. She has fleas again, so he wants me to give her and our other five month old bunny topical Bravecto, which lasts for three months in dogs butis offlabel in rabbits. Will research Bravecto. Maybe i am being too cautious but i want to first do no harm, having read that just burring teeth leads to pain, abscrsses,etc for so many indoor pet rabbits. I want to do the best for Dutchess and Abigail. Am wondering if the spinal problem whichlead to hind limb paralysis and killed Arnold was due to MBD. Dental issues are so commin in indoor bunnies that i think it is time to ask for preventive strategies...it cant all be genetics when so many pet bunnies develop dental disease and wild rabbits do not.
 

cwebster

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Have been taking Dutchess and Abbie outside for the past three days, putting them in strong side by side outdoor cages. They loved it! Dutchess has been eating by herself again, no meds, but still prefers veggies to hay. Have Rabbit Hole soft timothy and Rabbit Hole orchard grass. Have been decreasing her veggies a bit to tryto get her to eat more hay. Am looking into buying a floor stand avian uvb light too for indoors. Both bunnies seem ok after the Bravecto flea treatment. Will try to bond the two bunnies after Abbie is spayed, in a month orso. She still only weighs 811 grams.
 

cwebster

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Dutchess stopped eating Sat. Gave her meloxicam and simethiconeand got her eating handheld veggies and critical care papaya. She has a vet appt tomorrow to check her teeth again.
 

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