Dental Abscesses In Rabbits

Dental Abscesses In Rabbits

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What’s going on in your rabbit’s mouth? His narrow smile, since only his incisors are visible, sometimes hides pains and serious bacterial infections. However, you can prevent them or provide them with fast and appropriate medical solutions. Some signs can alert you to a deformed cheek, a difficulty in chewing, abnormal salivation or flow under the eye, abnormalities in eating behavior or weight loss and stinging hair … Here are some tips to help you monitor and to better medicalize your rabbit in case of dental abscess.

Dental Abscesses In Rabbits

Properly consider the environment and diet is essential to take care of your rabbit

The peculiarity of the rabbit is to have a continuous dental growth, the wear of its 28 teeth being linked to a suitable, fibrous and balanced diet. If tooth growth and wear do not compensate for each other, deviations or deformations of the incisors or teeth, located in the bottom of the oral cavity, will cause discomfort to the grasping of food and chewing. It is then the unstoppable beginning of a dental disease which produces discomfort, discomfort then pains, abscesses and sometimes more seriously, a bone infection of its jaws.

Preventive action : limiting the intake of pellets in your diet, vertical mastication with hay is essential, favoring greenery or fresh vegetables to leave available during the day.

The weakening of the jaw can result from diets too rich in phosphorus, it is then recommended to use granules that have a Ca / P ratio of 1.5 to 2 (phospho-calcium).

Genetic factors may have an impact on the development of dental diseases , as in some dwarf rabbitswith a nose stop too marked, who have teeth already poorly positioned. In this case it is advisable to avoid cutting the incisors with the forceps. A dental equipment at your vet, adapted, is needed, most often performed under a small gas anesthesia flash mask for a precise gesture.

The teeth of your rabbit are alive , they are all the more fragile that their roots are not totally protected, a part that is called the reserve crown located under the gum and embedded in the alveolar bone of the jaw can be very quickly exposed to germs, including faecal germs since the rabbit, caecotroph, feeds at night some of its excrement rich in vitamins.

Surgery and medical imaging as the scanner adapted to the rabbit

When a dental abscess appears, it’s a bit like the hidden side of the iceberg, everything goes below, deep, in a tissue or bone shell, with bacterial germs and probably dental destruction. Dental deformity causes a number of injuries, lacerations of the cheek, tongue, salivary glands, and heavy contamination of the surrounding tissues, which sometimes occur as far as the eye, nasal cavity, or bone structures. So you see a shell more or less calcified, deforming on the face of your rabbit or just flows through the eyes, nose, skin as fistula evacuation of the abscess.

X-rays and sometimes, 3D reconstruction scans, are essential for performing a dental check-up, determining the extent of the lesions and the surgical approach for your rabbit. The prognosis of dental abscesses is generally good, provided that all of the deformed or contaminated teeth are extracted, the shell removed, cleaned and the bone infection treated.

Antibiotics and management of the dental abscess

Although the use of antibiotics in rabbits and pet rodents is limited because of intolerance in many of these species and antimicrobial resistance legislation, tissue Surgery will be sent to a specialized laboratory to define the antibiotic profile specific to your rabbit. You can have oral treatments or eye drops to apply on the wound at home, a daily cleaning, pain killers in some cases. The treatment can be long, its digestive tolerance is essential. It is always defined on a case by case basis.

Do not forget to adapt the power supply , the exits and the contacts with its congeners according to the seriousness of its state, its capacity of recovery. Cuddling and brushing adapted for its comfort will be highly appreciated.

An attending veterinarian is better than a rabbit’s paw to bring him luck

The treatment of these abscesses can be restrictive with regular check-ups for post-operative care. The risk of recurrence is nevertheless low if the care is complete and adapted. Do not hesitate to talk to your veterinarian who will be your best adviser, especially as other abscesses are also possible, from various origins such as bites between males on certain parts of the body or ingestion of a body foreigner causing abscess in the mouth or face.


Dr. Corinne Lesaine


Graduated from the National School of Veterinary Services  (ENSV) of Vetagro Sup in animal welfare (from science to law) in 2018, after a doctoral dissertation on the protection of dogs in 1995 (Oniris). Professional veterinarian  and passionate about science, nature, health, protection and animal welfare, I offer my scientific communication consulting services and my experience as a veterinary specialist editor with many professional publications to my credit on health , nutrition, mediation and animal welfare.

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