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Treatment, whether outpatient or inpatient, will be based on the severity of the symptoms. Fluids may need to be given if your rabbit is dehydrated, and intravenous nutrition if your rabbit has been suffering from a condition of anorexia. Appropriate antibiotic therapy will be given with caution. This is not the primary choice of treatment. If necessary, surgery may be performed to trim the teeth, extract teeth that cannot be repaired, or drain abscess that have occurred as a result of the malocclusion.
In some cases, the intestinal tract may have been affected as well, and surgery may be required to remove solids from the intestine. After you have returned home, monitor your rabbit's appetite and production of feces, and report any abnormalities to your veterinarian immediately, as death may occur due to sudden and severe complications.
A warm, quiet environment will need to be set aside for your rabbit to recover in, but encourage a return to activity as soon as possible, as activity can greatly enhance recovery. If the rabbit is not too tired, encourage exercise (hopping) for at least 10-15 minutes every 6-8 hours.
After the initial treatment, most rabbits will require assisted feeding for 36-48 hours postoperatively. Keep fur around the face clean and dry. It is important that your rabbit continue to eat during and following treatment. Encourage oral fluid intake by offering fresh water, wetting leafy vegetables, or flavoring water with vegetable juice, and offer a large selection of fresh, moistened greens such as cilantro, romaine lettuce, parsley, carrot tops, dandelion greens, spinach, collard greens, and good-quality grass hay. Feed timothy and grass hay instead of alfalfa hay, but also continue to offer your rabbit its usual pelleted diet, as the initial goal is to get the rabbit to eat and to maintain its weight and nutritional status. If your rabbit refuses these foods, you will need to syringe feed a gruel mixture until it can eat again on its own. Unless your veterinarian has specifically advised it, do not feed your rabbit high-carbohydrate, high-fat nutritional supplements.
Recurrence is likely, so it is important to provide adequate tough, fibrous foods such as hay and grasses to encourage normal wear of teeth. Lifelong treatment, with periodic teeth trimming, is often required, usually every 1-3 months. This, in turn, will require both an investment in time and money on your part.
Euthanasia may be warranted with severe or advanced disease, especially in rabbits that are in constant and/or severe pain, or cannot eat.
The type of contact that occurs between the teeth where chewing is concerned
A type of animal feed that is high in fiber; may include hay or pasture crops
An in-depth examination of the properties of urine; used to determine the presence or absence of illness
A condition in which the teeth do not connect properly
The condition of being drowsy, listless, or weak
A crop; often eaten by horses as a vital source of fiber and protein. Alfalfa has compound leaves made up of three small leaves.
The term for the front teeth that are used for cutting
A localized infection, usually a lesion filled with pus. Can be large or small in size.