Tooth abscesses are pockets of pus that form beneath the teeth. You probably already know that people can develop them, but you may not know that your pet rabbit can also get tooth abscesses. Here are four things rabbit owners need to know about tooth abscesses.
Why do rabbits get tooth abscesses?
There are a few different things that can lead to tooth abscesses and rabbit, first, if they break one of their teeth, bacteria travel down the exposed pulp of the two and form an infection beneath the tooth. Abscesses can also develop if a foreign object, like a piece of hay or wood, gets stuck beneath their gums. Another possible cause of tooth abscesses is genetic problems with the teeth, like molars that are longer than they should be.
What are the signs of tooth abscesses in rabbits?
The symptoms of tooth abscesses can be hard to spot because rabbits tend to hide signs of illness. In the wild, rabbits are prey animals, and looking weak or sick will attract unwanted attention from predators. You will need to pay close attention to your rabbit's behavior for clues that they have a tooth abscess.
Tooth abscesses can be painful, so you may notice that your rabbit isn't eating their food or playing with their chew toys. Rabbits that are in pain also tends to separate themselves from their cage means, become a mobile, or try to hide under their bedding. Tooth grinding is another clue that your rabbit is any a lot of pain. If you notice any of these behavioral changes, take a closer look at your pet.
If your rabbit has a tooth abscess, you may notice that its face looks swollen. Upon closer inspection, you should be able to feel a hard swelling on your pet's jaw that feels like a marble. If you notice these signs, take your rabbit to a vet immediately.
Are tooth abscesses serious?
Tooth abscesses can be fatal for humans, and the same is true for rabbits. This can happen if the infection spreads to other parts of the body. For example, the infection can spread to tissues like the jawbone, the blood, or even the brain, and all of these situations are very serious. Fortunately, tooth abscesses are very treatable, so as long as your pet gets prompt veterinary attention they should be fine.
How do vets treat tooth abscesses?
Tooth abscesses are surgically treated. Since this procedure can be stressful for your rabbit, it's usually done under general anesthesia, which means that your rabbit will sleep through the whole procedure. The vet will make an incision in your rabbit's gums to allow the pus to drain out of the abscesses. Infected or dead tissue from the area will be scraped away, and then the area will be flushed clean.
Once the procedure is finished, your rabbit will be sent home with a prescription for antibiotics. You will need to keep a close eye on your rabbit during the healing process as abscesses can be quite persistent in rabbits, so the problem may come back. If you notice the signs of abscesses again, take your rabbit back to the vet.
Stubborn abscesses may need to be treated with tooth extraction. For this procedure, your vet will pull out teeth that are affected by the abscess, which will allow the pus to drain out constantly. Since rabbits have open-rooted teeth, unlike people, the extracted teeth will eventually grow back and your rabbit will be as good as new.
If you think your rabbit has a tooth abscess, go to a vet, such as http://www.1stPetVet.com, immediately. This dental condition is quite serious, but it can be treated.