Rabbits/Brown teeth

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Question
Aloha Dr. Krempels,
I have two unrelated MiniRex rabbits with brown teeth.  One is broken Chocolate, male, 6 months old.  The other is an 8 month old female solid chocolate.  They eat the same diet as my other MiniRex rabbits, Purina Advantage Complete, and Timothy hay.  The water is filtered by ultra violet light.  They are the only chocolates I have.
The coloring does not brush off, nor do I see white tooth enamel at the gum line.
The teeth seem otherwise healthy.
They have not been getting any treats for at least 3 months.  I thought the coloring might be from something they were eating.  The teeth have always been brown.  The male has a litter mate with white teeth.
I have a picture but can't seem to attach.
Thank you so much.

Answer
Dear Trisha,

This may be genetic, or it could be a sign of early dental disease.  Without seeing the bunnies' teeth, I can't really judge.

Are these rescue bunnies?  We do see brown teeth in rabbits who eat a lot of natural vegetation and expose their teeth to a lot of tannins, but since their teeth grow continuously, you'd expect that to eventually go away with a less natural diet.

I'd suggest you take them to a rabbit-savvy vet who can do an in-person exam to assess the quality of their teeth and see whether they have underlying dental disease causing discoloration of the enamel.  I have seen this a few times in some bunnies, though it's usually only one or two teeth--not all of them.

You can find a rabbit-savvy vet here:

http://www.rabbit.org/vet

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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