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Tooth root abscesses in rabbits, formally known as apical abscesses, are defined as pus-filled capsules or pockets within the animal's tooth or mouth. These abscesses are painful for the animal and tend to grow within inflamed areas of the gums, where infection is more likely to spread.
Some common signs include:
There are many different reasons an abscess forms under a tooth or near a tooth's root. For example, an infection can occur in cases of tooth or dental decay. However, rabbit abscesses are unlike those that form in other animals, like cats and dogs. They do not rupture on their own and drain infrequently. Rather, they tend to puncture the bone of the rabbit, often requiring surgical treatment.
The most common cause of tooth root abscesses in rabbits is tooth elongation. This is a chronic and common condition because rabbit teeth tend to grow constantly -- at the rate of nearly one-half an inch every month. The cheek teeth can then become spiked and erode, or gradually wear into the soft tissue near the teeth, allowing abscess-causing bacteria to enter into the gums. Tissue damage can also lead to the formation of an abscess.
Other causes and factors contributing to tooth root abscesses include:
Diagnosis involves ruling out other conditions contributing to tooth decay. A veterinarian will look for signs of dental disease and swelling in the mouth, and may take a culture to identify a possible infection.
Anything that produces pus
A medical condition; occurs when the sinus becomes inflamed
A product made of fluid, cell waste, and cells
A passage in the body with walls
Decomposing of matter with the help of fungus and bacteria; matter is completely oxidized.
A localized infection, usually a lesion filled with pus. Can be large or small in size.
The condition of being drowsy, listless, or weak