Malocclusion in rabbits

Asked November 8, 2013, 5:52 PM EST

My daughter's lop rabbit has developed a malocclusion of his lower incisors. He has a steady diet of hay and rabbit pellets, as well as fruits and veggies. He chewed on the inside of his hutch when he was younger, but has never chewed on wood or cardboard. I had his teeth trimmed once at the vet. But it was $20, and my husband has been out of work for a year. Do you know of someone in the Oregon City area that can help me with this?

Clackamas County Oregon

1 Response

Rabbit teeth never stop growing. A malocclusion is called "buck teeth," and the teeth must be shortened on a regular basis. Such a rabbit should never be used for breeding. When we had our rabbitry, we would occasionally have to trim teeth that got out of hand. This is not hard to do and does not harm the rabbit. To prevent this problem, you need to offer fresh branches of nontoxic plants for the rabbit to chew. They are quite fond of willow, birch, and maple.

To clip the teeth we used wire cutters. Wrap the rabbit in a soft towel and hold firmly (easier with two people). Be quiet and gentle. Clip off the over-length. Do not try to pry or break off the teeth.

This will be an ongoing problem, so you need to consider whether you are okay with this or should get a different rabbit.