I was petting my rabbit gently today when his happy teeth chattering suddenly turned very loud and violent. He got up immediately and frantically started washing his mouth, grinding his teeth very loudly at the same time (in a chewing motion). He wouldn't let me hold his face still or pet him. He stopped washing his face after a few minutes, and went to eat hay. When he was not eat his hay though, he kept on grinding his teeth fairly loudly every ~5 seconds. After ~15 minutes, he stopped grinding his teeth. He is not lethargic, and eating (veggies, pellets, and hay), pooping, and urinating well. What could have caused this episode? Is it likely that one of his teeth might have broken off (the ones that I can check - his two front incisors - seem okay)?
Answer Dear Bo,
It sounds as if something in his mouth suddenly was painful. If this continues, please get him to a rabbit-savvy vet, but read this first:
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.
If your rabbits is LETHARGIC
If your rabbit is NOT EATING
If your rabbit is PHYSICALLY INJURED (including broken bones)
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