PDSA veterinary nurse Nina Downing said good dental care is essential for all pets, but rabbits need special attention when it comes to caring for their teeth.
“Our bouncy rabbits can be prone to painful dental issues, unfortunately aggravated in many cases by selective breeding and insufficient hay feeding. Rabbits need hay – it’s the most important part of their diet. No not only is it well balanced and full of fibre, but it is very important for keeping rabbit teeth healthy – a poor diet can contribute to dental disease in rabbits.
“Unlike human teeth, theirs grow constantly throughout their lives, so they must spend a lot of time nibbling and chewing to wear them down. If your rabbits teeth don’t wear down constantly from grazing, they will start to proliferate.
“It is therefore essential that you provide your rabbit with plenty of good quality hay. We work with Burgess Pet Care to promote the welfare needs of rabbits and small animals, and recommend feeding Burgess Excel Feeding Hay with dandelion and marigold, while allowing them to graze on the grass that grows in their race.
“You can also give them fresh vegetables like cabbage, broccoli and peppers, and just one tablespoon of rabbit nuggets a day, two if it’s a large breed.”
It’s not always easy to examine your rabbits mouth – in most cases only the front teeth are visible. If they are overgrown or grow in a strange direction, it is likely that the teeth further back are also growing strangely and will cause problems and pain. Have your rabbits’ teeth checked regularly by your veterinarian several times a year.
“Rabbits instinctively hide pain and discomfort, so unfortunately dental disease can often go unnoticed for a long time. wet around the mouth.
“You may also notice weight loss, grinding teeth, a lumpy jaw, loss of appetite, diarrhea, change in behavior, or a buildup of caecotrophs (sticky poop) around their buttocks.
“Rabbits that were bred to have a flatter face shape with shorter noses and jaws have less space in their mouths, so the teeth become misaligned, preventing them from wearing down when chewing. .”
PDSA is the UK’s largest veterinary charity helping pets across the UK whose owners are struggling to afford treatment costs. People’s Postcode Lottery player support helps us reach even more pet owners with vital tips and information. Visit the website www.pdsa.org.uk. (photos: Quench Studios)
PDSA Veterinary Nurse Nina Downing answers all your pet questions
Dear PDSA vet, my dog had five puppies about a week ago, but one of them is much smaller than the others. He keeps getting pushed back and I don’t know if he’s eating enough. Do I need to do anything to intervene? Elsa
Dear Elsa, the first thing to do is to weigh the puppies every day to make sure they are gaining weight. If the pup isn’t gaining weight while being expelled, you may need to move the other puppies to one side so he can feed first.
But, if he’s too weak to do so, you may need to hand raise him – talk to your vet for advice on bottle-feeding. Hand rearing puppies is a big commitment. During the first two weeks of life, puppies should feed every two to three hours.
Dear PDSA vet, I just brought home my first hamster. Every time I try to get her out of her cage, she goes back down her tunnel or runs away from me as fast as she can. Why is she doing this and is there anything stopping her from running away? Michael
Dear Michael, your hamster needs time to settle into its new home and get used to you – running away is an instinctive behavior that helps keep hamsters safe in the wild.
Approach her calmly and gently, never from above, and avoid waking her during the day because hamsters are nocturnal.
Offer her your favorite food from your hand so she learns to associate you with something nice.
Then, when she seems happy to approach you, try gently lifting her from under her in your open palms, remembering to always hold her close to a surface in case she falls.
Dear PDSA vet, My big gray cat Pascal is ten years old and has always been quite heavy which I think is due to his breed. But recently he seems to have lost a lot of weight – is there something wrong with him? Callie
Dear Callie, there are a number of medical conditions that could cause your precious cat to lose weight despite having a healthy appetite, so you should take her to a vet to find out what’s wrong.
Some diseases, such as diabetes, kidney disease and hyperthyroidism, can cause weight loss and may be accompanied by other symptoms such as increased appetite or thirst, or an increased need for ‘urinate.
Many of these health issues can be improved with the right treatment. So I always recommend you see your vet to identify the root cause and discuss how you can help your furry friend feel better.
PDSA is the UK’s largest veterinary charity and is backed by the People’s Postcode Lottery. For advice and vital information, visit the website www.pdsa.org.uk.
Dear PDSA vet, My five year old dog recently developed a lump on his face, but it doesn’t seem to be causing him any pain. What should I do? Layla
Even if he doesn’t seem to be in pain or discomfort, it’s a good idea to take your dog to the vet to have the lump checked out. They can give her a full exam to determine if the swelling is a cause for concern – it could be a skin tag, wart, cyst or the development of an abscess. Your vet may conclude that the lump is nothing to worry about, but it’s best to be on the safe side. It’s always a good idea to keep a log of any changes you notice in the lump, you can even track it over time by taking regular photos. For more information on lumps in dogs visit www.pdsa.org.uk/lumps
.PDSA is the UK’s largest veterinary charity, whose mission is to improve the welfare of companion animals through prevention, education and treatment. People’s Postcode Lottery player support helps us reach even more pet owners with vital tips and information.
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This notice was published: 2022-04-10 11:02:29