[EXTERNAL] [Etherbun Main] Ongoing dental woes
When a bunny still won't eat a couple of days after a molar trim, it's time to think that something might have been missed.
In a little wee mouth like that of a Holland Lop, it's VERY difficult to see deep into the back of the mouth, and that's where problematic spurs can be lurking.
Our vet did one of our wild cottontails' teeth, and I did ask him to look REALLY far back because it seemed that Zogi was working his mouth as if there was something 'way back. Our vet actually thanked me for suggesting looking at the very back molars because he said it's extremely hard to see spurs back there unless you REALLY poke around and look. Sure enough, that's where the problem was! So that might be something to consider.
It's not unusual for a bunny to develop dental problems at this age, since loss of bone density with age (and possibly lack of sunshine for proper Vitamin D/calcium metabolism) can cause the teeth to shift just a bit. But enough to change the bite pattern and gradually generate spurs. It can be a lifelong thing. 🙁
Hope your little guy will be well soon.
Dana Krempels, PhD
Department of Biology
University of Miami
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Sent: Thursday, August 5, 2021 11:25 AM
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Subject: [EXTERNAL] [Etherbun Main] Ongoing dental woes
I am having ongoing dental issues with my ~6 year old holland lop, Seymour, and am wondering if anyone has any thoughts or advice. He had never had dental issues until about 8 months ago, when he went off his food and seemed uncomfortable chewing. He had some molar spurs, which were trimmed, and got back to normal pretty quickly. This same thing happened again about 2 months later, and then again ~6 weeks after that. He also received x-rays and had bloodwork done to rule out infection or other issues. After the third trim, he did not go back to normal eating despite his teeth looking fine, so I took him to another vet for a second opinion. She suggested that there could be an issue that was not showing up on x-rays, so he had a CT scan to look at his teeth in more detail. The CT did not show anything too obvious, but that maybe a couple of his molars are not growing super straight and could be causing him some discomfort. The vet does not think an extraction is needed at this point, so he received another molar trim in an effort to correct his bite.
It's now been 2 days since that trim and he's definitely still uncomfortable and not wanting to eat. I know that he will probably be in pain for a few days after the trim, and he's currently getting Gabapentin, Meloxicam, and Sucralfate for that. I should add that he's been on the Gabapentin and Meloxicam for about 6 weeks, since his third molar trim. With that pain management regime, he was able to eat pellets and some chopped-up greens (but no hay). I guess my question is, does anyone have experience with this sort of mystery dental issue? It arose so quickly and it still seems unclear what the main problem is or what a good long term solution could be. The treatments he has received so far have been insanely expensive :S Also, now that he's been on a modified diet for almost two months, and has not been eating hay, I am wondering what the best way to encourage him to eat hay again is. Should I slowly cut down the amount of pellets he is receiving so that he's hungrier? Should I wait until he is finished his pain meds to do this? I really just want to make sure that he's getting enough food for now. I also worry that the medications he is on are affecting his appetite, etc.
Any advice or recommendations much appreciated!
We had this problem with our Holland Lop about 15 yrs ago.toggle quoted messageShow quoted text
Actually, 2 incidents:
First, after a dental trim or two she still wasnt eating, and had lost about 20% of her body weight.
Vet couldnt figure out why.
Vet then put bunny out with brief anesthesia and gave her a through palpation over her entire body.
It revealed a large abscess underneath on her chest towards the "armpit" area.
It was almost impossible to find otherwise because the fur was just SO thick.
After surgery to remove it, bunny's appetite came roaring back and she put the weight back on in about a month.
Moral: check everything and everywhere.
Second incident, she wasn't eating after a couple of dental trims.
We took her to the vet school clinic because they had a x-ray setup that could take pictures of each side of the mouth independently - like the "bite-wings" that we get at the people dentist.
It revealed a maloccluded lower molar which the regular x-rays couldnt see.
Vet thought it was just because the Lops' faces are so stubby that there isnt enough room for a normal complement of teeth.
Unfortunately by that time it was too late.
A CAT scan showed her mandible was eroded and weakened by the uneven pressure of that tooth.
They didnt dare do surgery, as it would probably snap, and it would be game over.
She went on for a while, but complications from her not eating enough eventually did her in.
I'm not sure if removing that tooth is the answer for your bun.
But this was our experience.
In the meantime I would see if he will eat Critical Care.
It has grass fiber (it's mostly ground timothy hay) but it's ground up so fine that chewing isnt really required - they can basically just swallow it.
And most buns seem to like the taste.
He may even take it off a plate, so you wouldn't have to syringe feed.
If he is eating pellets, and it is a good quality pellet like Oxbow which is made mostly from Timothy Hay then I wouldn't remove them.
Because it's hay in a different form.
On 8/5/2021 11:36 AM, hunhare wrote: