Recently “Sven” a came to visit us at the clinic as his owners noticed he was having trouble eating. Sven was having trouble eating because of his overgrown front teeth (incisors). This condition occurs in rabbits when the teeth/ jaw are not aligned as they should be (mal occluded). Therefore when they chew, the teeth do not contact each other and, as they are continuously growing, they need this friction to wear them down.
To treat this problem we trimmed “Sven’s” teeth with a specialized dental burr. This is a painless process that was performed while he was conscious. However due to the fact that his teeth remain mal occluded and his condition is not caused by diet, we will most likely have to repeat this process as often as every three months.
Meanwhile “Sven” can get back to his normal routine and, combined with a complete and balanced diet, we hope to prolong the need for him to visit again.
The digestive system of a rabbit is adapted for a fibrous diet, and indigestible fiber is essential to maintain good health.
The ideal diet for pet rabbits is a high fibre (approx 20%), low fat (1-3%), moderate protein (12-13%) diet which contains sufficient but not excessive calcium (0.5-1%) which is balanced with phosphorus at 1-2:1 ratio.
Insufficient fibre can lead to digestive disorders such as hairballs and soft faeces that stick to the bottom and tail and sometimes lead to fly strike.
The correct way to feed pet rabbits-
- Introduce new foods gradually.
- Provide hay or grass everyday.
- Feed a wide range of green foods and vegetables everyday.
- Follow manufacturer’s instructions when feeding a complete diet, if your rabbit does not eat all the mixture change diets, as they will not be receiving all the essential nutrients.
- If possible allow your rabbit to exercise in the sunlight, take care of neighboring cats & dogs.
- Feed small amounts of cereal once a day. If any remains, remove the uneaten portion after a couple of hours, then feed less the next day.