Lapis ISSN 2398-2969

Overgrown teeth Owner Factsheet

Contributor(s): Vetstream Ltd, Claire Speight

The incisors, premolars, and molars of rabbits grow throughout life. Rabbits do not possess any canine teeth but do have peg teeth which sit just behind the upper incisors. The normal length is maintained by the wearing action of opposing teeth. Malocclusion (mandibular prognathism, brachygnathism) probably is the most common inherited disease in rabbits and leads to overgrowth of incisors, premolars and molars, with resultant difficulty in eating and drinking. When spikes develop, either along the tongue or cheeks, these can cause painful ulcers and cuts. Malocclusion can also develop in later life due to incorrect diet, especially one lacking in the correct calcium to phosphorus ratio or through trauma to the teeth or jaw.
Image: Teeth: severed incisor malocclusion - ©Richard Saunders BSc BVSc MRCVS CertZooMEd CBiol MIBiol

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