Many of our patients have teeth which continually grow throughout their lives. In bunnies, chinchillas, and guinea pigs, their front teeth (incisors) AND their cheek teeth (molars) continually grow. As these animals chew their very fibrous diets, the surface of the teeth is worn down, while Mother Nature makes sure that they grow new tooth material to replace that which is lost by chewing. Over time, the teeth become unevenly worn, and spikes grow…….on the bottom molars these spikes are on the surface of the tooth that is closest to the tongue, and on the top molars, these spikes grow out into the cheeks. As you can imagine, these spikes are very uncomfortable, and if not addressed, the animals will stop eating and drinking……and can die!
Dr. Goodman can identify these problems by doing an oral examination in the office….which should be done periodically throughout your pet’s life. When there is a problem, we anesthetize your pet and use special tools to make his or her “bite” normal again. This is such a common problem that it is an unusual day when we haven’t done at least one dentistry!
Mice, rats, gerbils, and other rodents have molars like ours. Their incisors (the front teeth) continually grow throughout theirs lives, however. On occasion there may be some sort of accident, or by chewing on the bars of their cages, they break off one of their incisors. When that happens, we have to be sure that the tooth that normally would meet the broken tooth and wear it down doesn’t overgrow….until hopefully, the broken tooth grows back.
So….if there seems to be a problem eating, get a look at the front of your pet’s mouth (or bring him or her in to let the doctor look).
Ferret teeth are very similar to human teeth. We commonly see gingivitis, and when necessary we can perform a thorough teeth cleaning. It’s a good idea to let Dr. Goodman have a look at your pet’s molars periodically.