ANOTHER TOOTHY BUN
This is Mike one of our recent surrender bunnies. He and his companions came in very overweight and, unfortunately, Mike also had tooth spurs making holes in the side of his cheeks. Having seen Rebecca at Oaks Vets in Cotteridge he was not given a great prognosis but sent home with a good diet ordered and a return visit in 3weeks time.
Yesterday was his three week return trip and sadly it appears that Mike is going to have an ongoing issue with his teeth and so, is going to have to spend the rest of his life here with us.
Tooth issues in rabbits are not always avoidable but often they are. A rabbits teeth grow constantly throughout their life, at a rate of about 12cm a year, and as a result they need have the right diet to give them the chance to grind them down. Muesli mix, too many pellets and other high calorie sugary treats fill your rabbit up but don't take much chewing to consume. A rabbit needs a high fibre diet to ensure their teeth get ground down using the side to side action. Rabbits are grazers in the wild; they eat a lot of low calorie high fibre foods to stay full, and their dietary tract gets the nutrition it needs whilst their teeth get constantly ground down on the rough foods.
80% of a domestic rabbit's diet should be hay the best tooth control you can find and good quality hay is something most bunnies will love. It's relatively inexpensive if bought from farms selling it by the bale so you can be excessively generous with it and various suppliers also sell more expensive hays such as Meadow, Orchard and Timothy hay which can give variety for your bunny.
The rest of their diet can be topped up with green and leafy veggies - carrots and apples are high in sugar so should be used sparingly - and a few pellets. The occasional treat is ok but remember some treats can be the equivalent of a mars bar for a human so should not be given too frequently. A piece of broccoli or a pellet taken and saved from breakfast are good options.