Spikes on molars but hates wood chews!

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ahrat

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I had a wellness vet check recently for my senior bun.

Everything checked out great! They were like “wow she’s old. But very healthy, besides a bit of spikes on her back molars on the right side.” They said with her age (8+) that they’re not too keen on putting her under anesthesia to file them down because it’ll just cause her body unneeded stress, & as long as she’s not having any issues eating or holding things in her mouth, they’re not too concerned, but I should try to encourage more stuff that’ll help grind her teeth down naturally.

She’s a constant cardboard chewer, but they recommended to get something a bit tougher. Like a wood chew.
However, she is not interested. I’ve tried every brand & flavour I’ve found the last 4 years of caring for her. She wants nothing to do with them. She’ll chew for a literal second when I first give it to her then never touch it again.

She gets unlimited hay, usually timothy, occasionally orchard, depending on what is available in bulk when I order, oxbow pellets, and her slabs of cardboard.
Is there a tougher green I can give her to help? Something to soak the chews in that makes her want them more?
Appreciate all suggestions!
 

Blue eyes

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Wood chews are not going to affect her molars. The grinding of her teeth is done by chewing long strands of hay. The silica in hay strands is what helps grind them. The more hay, the more grinding.

You mentioned she has unlimited hay, but how much does she actually eat every day? Is it about the same as her body size? Is it refreshed a couple times per day? --that can help encourage more hay eating. Rabbits seem to be drawn to the hay each time it is put into their enclosure.

What is her approximate weight and how many pellets does she get daily? Reducing pellets can also encourage more hay eating.
 

ahrat

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Wood chews are not going to affect her molars. The grinding of her teeth is done by chewing long strands of hay. The silica in hay strands is what helps grind them. The more hay, the more grinding.

You mentioned she has unlimited hay, but how much does she actually eat every day? Is it about the same as her body size? Is it refreshed a couple times per day? --that can help encourage more hay eating. Rabbits seem to be drawn to the hay each time it is put into their enclosure.

What is her approximate weight and how many pellets does she get daily? Reducing pellets can also encourage more hay eating.
She’s just shy of 7 pounds & her hay is refreshed 2-3 times a day. I only give about a 1/3 cup of pellets a day, split into two feedings, half in the morning and half at night, for that reason specifically.
I’m hard pressed to believe that ONLY hay grinds the molars.
 

Blue eyes

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The molars are in the back side of the jaw. A chew block is a block, so a rabbit might gnaw on it with their front teeth (incisors) but the block can't fit inside their mouth to reach the molars which are further back. The molars need to grind against each other to wear down. The silica in the hay acts like sandpaper. The figure 8 chewing motion used when chewing long strands of hay is what grinds those molars with the rough hay.

1/4 cup pellets should be enough for a 5-7 lb rabbit. Perhaps reducing her pellets to that amount would help. It's great you're refreshing the hay throughout the day. Can you estimate if she's actually eating her body size in hay each day? I hope along with you that you will be able to avoid having to put her under anesthesia. Thankfully for now she isn't having any eating issues.
 

JBun

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The only kind of wood that might help some with wearing down the molar surface, is wood that's actually consumed. This would be very small new growth rabbit safe branches, like the ends of willow or apple branches. Other wood that's larger pieces, is usually just gnawed at with the rabbits incisors, like Blue Eyes talked about, with not much actually getting consumed. So chewing wood, has very minimal effect on the molars.

Hay is going to be of the most benefit, in affecting molar surface wear. One hay that might be worth trying out is orchard grass hay. It seems to be a more abrasive grass, so can wear more on the molars when being chewed, than some other grass hays. I know of one rabbit owner that had a bun that needed ongoing molar burring every 2 months. The rabbit was switched to orchard grass hay, and she later said the rabbit went almost a whole year before needing another molar burring done. So might be worth trying out.
 

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