Rabbits/Teeth issues


Looking for advice. Copying and pasting an email I got from the vet this morning.

Oh, dear.  The Baytril is going to taste awful for poor Lily.  I will have a flavoured Baytril suspension coming in by Tuesday.  I can  also give her an injection today (Sunday) that works well for abscesses.  However, I have received a reply from one of the rabbit specialists on VIN:

"Thank you for posting all those rads. They are very helpful. This rabbit shows some kind of malocclusion. However, I think the main problem is the left TMJ. The last rad (dv-view) shows a local bone lysis at this area. Prognosis is very poor as soon as the TMJ is affected. It may be a local abscessation (maybe tooth related) or even neoplasia (seldom in rabbits). If a referral for additional diagnostics (CT scan) is not possible,  I would recommend to put the animal to sleep if pain medication does not work adequately. Due to local pain, grinding down of the cheek teeth to reduce the length (eg. by dentistry) will not be adequate in the long term.   (TMJ = tempormandibular joint).

Estella Boehmer DVM Dr. med vet
Dep. Vet. Surg. Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany "

Once again, the specialist on VIN has amazed me with her diagnostic ability. (This is the same vet who diagnosed the auditory bulla lysis in the other rabbit I was telling you about.)  I definitely had not appreciated the lysis (bony destruction) of the left tempormandibular joint in Lily's case.  This is a VERY severe problem.  If the Metacam has not helped, and treatment for infection is not helpful - then, I agree with Dr. Boehmer  , Lily will be in terrible long-term pain, and euthanasia would be the kindest treatment for her.  There is another type of pain medication (tramadol) that I can order for Lily in a suspension from a compounding pharmacy.  However, even with flavouring, this medication tastes horrible - and most bunnies refuse to take it.  Besides Metacam, we have no other truly effective pain medications for rabbits that owners can give at home.

I am so sorry,

Hi Ashley

Sorry to hear about your bun. Unfortunately I have no vet training and minimal experience of severe dental problems - other than my childhood rabbit being put to sleep due to jaw abscesses.

I would recommend seeing if Frances Harcourt Brown could offer any guidance, she's one of the UK's leading rabbit vets.
She's also on Facebook.

Good luck!


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I can answer questions around the welfare of pet rabbits, basic health queries including gut stasis, diet worries and the proper welfare standards around housing rabbits (i.e. no wire floors, no small cages and they should be kept in properly bonded de-sexed pairs in very large enclosures). I cannot answer showing questions nor complex breeding issues as I do not agree with either, seeing the other end of the story in the world of rabbit rescue. If your rabbit is in distress, has any blood, isn't moving, has breathing issues or isn't eating, my answer will be, go to the vet!


I have two 10 year old rescue rabbits and have volunteered in rabbit rescue.

I belong to the RWAF (Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund) and have volunteered for a rabbit rescue.

I have no formal education on this subject, however read everything I can to keep up to date with current welfare standards and health problems. Both my rabbits have sensitive guts and constantly keep me on my toes.

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