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Question
Hello Dr. Krempels,

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:

http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare/dental.html

so you'll know to ask about dental problems.

I hope he's fine now.

Dana

Rabbits

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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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