Rusty the rabbit and his misaligned teeth
January 3, 2011

This latest entry is written by Sheri, one of the Animal Care and Adoption Counselors at the MSPCA at Nevins Farm.  As part of the Small Animal Task Force, Sheri participates in adoption promotion programs to not only help homeless rabbits find their forever families, but also rehabilitate those who are ill or injured.

 

"Rusty is my one-and-a-half year old male agouti colored mini lop foster rabbit who came to our shelter on November 30th. Rusty had been in his previous home since he was a baby and was ultimately surrendered because his owners couldn’t afford vet care or surgery for his misaligned teeth. He has 4 overgrown incisors that prevent him from being able to eat much hay or food at all. He came to us thin, but in good spirits. Until he has his surgery, Rusty needs his teeth trimmed down once every 3 weeks since they do grow very fast.  The biggest issue when his teeth become overgrown is that -- when he tries to groom himself -- he gets hay, fur, and feces stuck in his teeth and that prevents him from maintaining a healthy weight and eating normally. Currently I am cleaning out his teeth about twice a day. When he is a healthy weight he will undergo surgery to remove his front incisors and peg teeth, and this will enable him to eat all of his favorite foods without any complications, including hay, pellets, and lots of veggies.

 

In my foster home Rusty is a social and very interactive bunny with me and my kids, and he doesn't even seem to mind my two dogs. He is very comfortable being held, and will come over and nudge me softly for attention with his nose. He is not litter box trained yet, but we are working on that. He's good about not having any accidents outside his cage but still needs some reinforcing about keeping his habitat clean.  I think once he gets his life-changing dental surgery he will be a great indoor rabbit for pretty much any home that can offer him lots of love and attention."

 

Unlike many other animals, a rabbit’s teeth grow throughout their whole lives.  The process of regular chewing will wear their teeth down at the points where they come into contact with each other.  However, on occasion a rabbit’s teeth alignment doesn’t quite line up properly, and this can develop into a multitude of problems.  While Rusty’s medical problem is being managed with daily care and teeth trimming, his future surgery will keep him healthier and happier in the long run, without the constant maintenance.

 

If you would like to learn more about our special Angels for Animals fund, which raised money designated for homeless animals with medical needs, please click here.