ISSN 2398-2969      

Dental examination

Clapis

Introduction

  • Oral cavity must be thoroughly examined in all rabbits as dental disease is very common.
  • Must form part of the initial clinical examination in any rabbit with dysphagia, hypersalivation, facial swelling, anorexia Anorexia or progressive weight loss Weight loss.
  • Dental disease is not always associated with clinical signs, particularly in the early stages.
  • Early detection of dental disease is essential if treatment is to be successful.

Uses

  • Provides a diagnosis of dental disease which enables appropriate action to be taken.
  • Allows assessment of:
    • Length, shape, color, markings, eg horizontal ribbing, occlusion, texture of incisors.
    • Length and shape of cheek teeth.
    • Soft tissue damage to tongue and cheeks from cheek teeth, or lips and nose from incisors.
    • Presence of purulent materials or blood (discolored saliva indicates soft tissue damage, foreign body or abscess).

Advantages

  • Early detection of dental disease allows successful treatment.

Disadvantages

  • Requires general anesthesia for a thorough examination.
  • The oral commissure is small and the oral cavity long and curved.
  • Cheek folds make visualization of the cheek teeth difficult.

Requirements

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Preparation

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Procedure

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Aftercare

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Sayers I (2010) Approach to preventive health care and welfare in rabbits. In Pract 32 (5), 190-198 VetMedResource.
  • Harcourt-Brown F (2009) Dental disease in pet rabbits. 1. Normal dentition, pathogenesis and aetiology. In Pract 31 (8), 370-379 VetMedResource.
  • Harcourt-Brown F (2009) Dental disease in pet rabbits. 2. Diagnosis and treatment. In Pract 31 (9), 442-445 VetMedResource.
  • Jekl V, Hauptman K & Knotek Z (2008) Quantitative and qualitative assessments of intraoral lesions in 180 small herbivorous mammals. Vet Rec 162 (14), 442-449 PubMed.
  • Meredith A (2007) Rabbit dentistry. European J Companion Anim Pract 17 (1), 55-62 MediRabbit.
  • Davies R R & Lawton M P (2001) Burring cheek teeth in rabbits. Vet Rec 148 (22), 700 PubMed.
  • Gorrel C (1997) Humane dentistry. JSAP 38 (1), 31 PubMed.
  • Harcourt-Brown F (1997) Diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of dental disease in pet rabbits. In Pract 19 (8), 407-421 VetMedResource.
  • Gorrel C (1996) Teeth trimming in rabbits and rodents. Vet Rec 139 (21), 528 PubMed.
  • Harcourt-Brown F M (1996) Calcium deficiency, diet and dental disease in pet rabbits. Vet Rec 139 (23), 567-571 PubMed.
  • Crossley D A (1995) Clinical aspects of lagomorph dental anatomy - the rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus). Vet Dent 12 (4), 137-40 PubMed.
  • Harcourt-Brown F M (1995) A review of clinical conditions in pet rabbits associated with their teeth. Vet Rec 137 (14), 341-346 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Saunders R (2015) Rabbit Dentistry. BSAVA Congress, Birmingham.
  • Varga M (2014) Dental Disease. In: Textbook of Rabbit Medicine. 2nd edn. Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford. pp 203-248.
  • Jekl V (2013) The Dental Examination. In: Manual of Rabbit Surgery, Dentistry and Imaging. Eds: Harcourt-Brown F & Chitty J. BSAVA. pp 337-348.
  • Jekl V (2012) Rabbit Dentistry: Assisting with Treatment and Providing Advice to Owners. WSAVA/FECAVA/BSAVA World Congress, Birmingham.
  • Milella L (2010) Rabbit Dentistry. London Vet Show, London.

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