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Rabbits/Rabbit Dental Advise


My four year old rabbit, Olly, has been having problems with his molars for about six months now and has had to have multiple operations to file down spurs. This is almost every 3-4 weeks, so it's becoming quite a challenge on me financially and obviously it's a lot for Olly. I asked what the other solution would be and it was removal, but it wasn't promised to fix the problem, plus it's multiple teeth that are causing issues. If he has to get his teeth done every 4 weeks of so it's a lot on him and I was told to consider putting him down, which to me isn't really an option as he is a very healthy and happy rabbit despite this. Someone mentioned to me about killing the roots so that the tooth is there but it is dead and won't grow? is this an option? What do you advise? I really don't want him put down, but I also don't want him suffering. He still eats well but it's clear it uncomfortable for him.


I had a rabbit with this same exact issue. It's a tough call.

I don't think there's a solution that involves killing the root. If you kill the root of a tooth, you kill the tooth, and it would eventually fall out - at least that's how I figure it would go. Because rabbits have an open-root tooth system, I don't think this is even a possible solution. None of the vets I saw for Jessica even offered that as an option, so I think that suggestion may have come from someone who owns a different type of animal.

Unfortunately, your options are limited. You can continue to file down the spurs every month or so - knowing full well that that schedule can shift and you could start seeing the need even sooner than every month (that happened to Jessica), or you can have them pulled. Having them pulled is traumatizing (I eventually did this), and it will forever alter how you have to feed him. In the end, having them pulled still may not negate the need to visit the vet for a filing - his teeth will shift with the new space available and it could make the problem worse.

Honestly, if he's otherwise happy, keep doing what you're doing. I realize it's hard on him and your wallet, however that means you'll need to shower him with extra love and attention to balance out the trauma. Keep a vigilant eye on his eating habits and poo consistency/frequency. You can also talk to the vet about providing some sort of payment plan or reduced pricing since you'll expect to see them often for his condition. Mine waived the mandatory $35 fee for a visit. See what they say - they know his situation and the worst they can say is no.

Above all else, don't let your desire to keep him around cloud your judgement when it comes to providing him a good quality of life. I ended up keeping Jessica around for about 6 months longer than I should have, and there's not a day that goes by that I don't regret that decision.

I'm sorry this answer isn't what you wanted to hear, but I hope it helps. Best of luck.



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Christine Whetstone


I am not an expert on wild rabbits, only domesticated rabbits. I can answer questions regarding habitats, behavior, diet, health, pairing/bonding - pretty much anything having to do with owning a rabbit.


I've owned indoor rabbits for the last 10 years. During that time I've gained experience in areas like bonding exercises, understanding behavior, warning signs of sick bunnies, how to handle more serious illnesses (GI stasis, abscesses, eye problems, etc.) and more. It's rare that I come across an inquiry that I do not already know the answer to.

House Rabbit Society, supporter of local rabbit rescues


Personal experience beats the pants off of a degree, in my opinion.

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