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Rabbits/Bunny teeth, extraction and molar spurs

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Question
Hello! I own a pet rabbit who was diagnosed with abscess and molar spurs. She had her bottom incisors extracted and the spurs filed but she seems to have the spurs formed again. My vet told me she should get her molar filed every once in a while (she's obviously not feeling comfortable, eats less and looks a bit lethargic). My question is: is it ok for a rabbit to be sedated once every 2-3 months in order to have the procedure done? Is it dangerous for the health of the rabbit? Is this the only way for the spurs to stop forming? Thank you!

Answer
Dear Tery,

Provide your bunny with lots of fresh grass hay, and that should help with the spurs.  But if your bunny is older, or has a congenital malocclusion, then periodic filings may be the only way to keep her comfortable.

If the vet uses only mild sedative, this should not be a problem.  But full anesthesia is more risky, of course.  You're kind of stuck, though.  Bunny cannot live comfortably with the spurs, so you kind of have to get them treated, as necessary.

But I do know lots of bunnies who get their molars filed every few months, and they do just fine.  As long as she is in good health otherwise, her risk of problems is lower.  Your vet will be the best to judge that.

I hope this helps.

Dana

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Dana Krempels, Ph.D.

Expertise

I've lived with companion rabbits for more than 35 years, and consider them members of my family. I can answer any questions about the biology and health of rabbits, from the commonplace to the unusual. But please note:

RULE #1:
THE INTERNET IS NOT THE PLACE TO SEEK HELP IN AN EMERGENCY.

...it is an EMERGENCY.

Find a rabbit vet at www.rabbit.org/vet for immediate help, and don't risk your bunny's life by spending time asking questions online! If you can't get in touch with your vet, read these Emergency Sick Bunny Instructions.

If you have found a wild baby rabbit, please read these EMERGENCY INSTRUCTIONS FOR WILD BABY RABBITS and then use this link to FIND A LOCAL WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR who can give you the right advice.


RULE #2:
Help me help you! Please make your subject line informative if you have an urgent question. then LET ME KNOW IN THE SUBJECT LINE so I can give your question highest priority over non-urgent questions. If you don't do this, then I can't guarantee timely assistance!

For all the best, most accurate rabbit health, care and behavior information, visit The House Rabbit Society.

Experience

I have been rescuing and rehabilitating domestic and wild rabbits for about 30 years. I have written articles for many rabbit rescue publications, as well as for the veterinary journal, Exotic DVM. I own EtherBun, the internet's largest listserve dedicated to health, care, and behavior of domestic rabbits.

Organizations
Houserabbit Adoption, Rescue, and Education, Inc. (H.A.R.E., Inc.) president National House Rabbit Society (Board member)

Publications
Exotic DVM
Warren Peace (Journal of the House Rabbit Society of Miami)
Various newsletters of the House Rabbit Society, nationwide

Education/Credentials
Ph.D - Biology
B.S. - Biology
B.A. - English

Awards and Honors
Lightspan Academic Excellence Award for web site on rabbit health and biology
(http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare)

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