Important dental advice for rabbits, guinea pigs & other small pets
February 21, 2023
It’s pet dental health month so at The Vet Whetstone we’re recommending all our clients with ‘small furries’ book a nurse-led dental check, so we can give your rabbits, guinea pigs, mice, hamsters, or rats a dental once-over.
We’re raising awareness of the importance of oral health as many of the problems we see in little furry creatures at our Whetstone practice originate from dental issues. This is why it’s so important to keep a close eye on your pet’s teeth.
Seven signs of dental disease in small mammals
According to our vet nurses, you should keep a sharp lookout for the following seven symptoms that indicate your pet may be suffering from dental issues:
- Not eating or difficulty eating
- Weight loss
- Swelling of the jaw, particularly noticeable along the lower edge of the mandible
- Excessive salivation and drooling
- An inability to fully close the mouth
- Watery eyes with matting of the hair in the corner
- Swollen appearance of the eye caused by infections behind the eyeball
The effect of diet on the oral health of rabbits & rodents
Most dental problems in rabbits and rodents are linked to a lack of normal wear on their teeth. This is because diets are often too low in fibre. A lack of fibre causes uneven wear of the teeth and in some cases, teeth become overgrown or develop sharp enamel points, known as spurs.
If spotted early enough, ‘spurs’ can be addressed by changing your pet’s diet to one rich in natural, high-fibre foods – Timothy Hay is ideal. Small furries love to nibble on dried grass to keep their continually growing teeth naturally filed down to a healthy length.
If your pet does have significantly elongated teeth, they will need trimming. NEVER do this yourself. If you live in Whetstone or the wider North London area, please contact us and we’ll trim their teeth safely.
Our four dietary suggestions for little pets
- Offer your small pets an unlimited amount of fresh Timothy Hay. As well as keeping their continually growing teeth naturally filed down, Timothy Hay also helps small animals maintain regular, firm bowel movements.
- Avoid muesli-style diets as these will cause long-term problems; a high-fibre diet is essential.
- Do not allow your pet to be a selective feeder.
- Buy the highest quality products whenever possible.
We hope you found our dental advice for ‘small furries’ helpful. If you’d like a little help checking your pet’s teeth, contact us to book a nurse-led dental check-up at our Whetstone vet surgery for your rabbits, guinea pigs, mice, hamsters, or rats.
If our nurse finds dental issues your pet may need a vet consultation for further investigation, therefore if you suspect a problem yourself, we recommend booking a vet-check right away. Dental problems in rabbits and guinea pigs are an emergency.