We all know that our dogs and cats need proper dental care, including regular professional cleanings, but did you know that your exotic pets need dental care, too? Rabbits are known as lagomorphs, because they have four incisors on the upper jaw and a set of peg teeth, instead of two incisors, as seen in rodents. Small rodents (guinea pigs, hamsters, rats, and mice) as well as rabbits need routine dental care. The teeth in small rodents and lagomorphs are open rooted, meaning they grow continuously throughout their lives. Our small furry friends need regular chewing action in order to wear down their continuously growing teeth. The most effective way to help your exotic pet wear down their teeth is to provide a good quality timothy hay at all times. A regular physical exam with your veterinarian at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital in Frederick, MD will include a dental examination to determine the status of your pet’s teeth.
Sometimes, however, our pets just have bad teeth. In which case, a visit to your veterinarian is recommended. Some animals do not wear their teeth down properly, leading to malocclusion, a misalignment of the teeth. Malocclusion can lead to other dental problems, including abscesses, wounds and difficulty eating. Symptoms of dental problems in your exotic friends include, but are not limited to, drooling, difficulty eating, and weight loss. Improper nutrition can also lead to poor dental health.