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Thread: What to feed a bunny with molar root elongation??

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    Administrator KarenM's Avatar
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    Default What to feed a bunny with molar root elongation??

    Bubbles has had x-rays which have shown that her molar roots (top and bottom, both sides) are elongated, causing her considerable pain and meaning that she doesn't want to eat hay at all.

    She'll be on metacam long-term now and I'll still be trying the usual tricks to get hay into her, plus giving lots of grass BUT:

    Is there anything else I can add to her diet/changes I can make that will help with tooth wear?

    She currently has unlimited hay (which she doesn't touch), grass, limited veg as it upsets her stomach, a handful of SS pellets daily.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KarenM View Post
    Bubbles has had x-rays which have shown that her molar roots (top and bottom, both sides) are elongated, causing her considerable pain and meaning that she doesn't want to eat hay at all.

    She'll be on metacam long-term now and I'll still be trying the usual tricks to get hay into her, plus giving lots of grass BUT:

    Is there anything else I can add to her diet/changes I can make that will help with tooth wear?

    She currently has unlimited hay (which she doesn't touch), grass, limited veg as it upsets her stomach, a handful of SS pellets daily.
    Apple sticks ?

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    Warren Veteran Loosy's Avatar
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    If she will eat grass then have you tried readigrass? Pipkin won't eat hay but he loves normal grass and will also nibble at readigrass.
    Pipkin has the same root troubles as Bubbles, he hasn't had a problem with spurs in over a year which I am pleased (and a bit amazed) about. He used to need a dental every 6 months or so.

    Thank you FondueKid! :-)

    Currently bunny mum to Ruby and Willow
    Binky Free Widget and Pipkin <3 <3

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    Wise Old Thumper GrahamL's Avatar
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    If its tooth roots, have they done a dental and burred the relevant molars back as far as possible Karen?

    What dose of metacam is she getting, and how often and of what metacam?

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    Administrator KarenM's Avatar
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    I've been giving them Graze-On (which I think is similar to Readigrass) for a few mths; Bubbles seemed to love it at first but she barely touches it now although that may improve now she's had a dental. The same with the apple sticks.

    I'll have a look at the JR stuff though, thanks, as she seems quite keen on dried herbs/plants etc still.

    Graham, yep, the teeth have been burred right down which I'm hoping will make a difference but I'm also trying to look from other angles. She weighs 1.2kg and is on 0.25ml of dog metacam twice daily which, if I've done the maths right, is the highest dose for long-term use.

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    Wise Old Thumper Jenova's Avatar
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    Unfortunately I have a lot of experience with this.
    With Grim his teeth became too painful to eat anything hard. He hasn't eaten hay as long as I've had him as it's just too painful. Slowly other foods have become painful too and he's stopped eating almost everything.

    I managed to get him off painkillers by feeding him only soft food. I give him unlimited pellets which I soak in water first. It's hard to let him have unlimited pellets while he;s bonded but I separate him every few hours and feed him on his own. I think this is really important as if a rabbit can't eat hay they still need to eat continuously to avoid stasis. And in fact when Grim started his unlimited soggy pellets the time between dentals increased. Another member also commented this happened to one of their rabbits on a pellet only diet. I think it has something to do with the body not having enough of the nutrients to grow the teeth, but I'm not sure.

    What I do for Grim is scoop up a cup of pellets and fill the cup with water just to the top of the pellets. After a few minutes they soak up all the water. Excel and Science Selective work well as they both keep their shape rather than disintegrate.

    Then you just have to keep on top of dentals, but this way Grim has been off pain killers most of the time. My personal opinion is there is no point trying to get a rabbit with root elongation that causes pain to eat hay. They just can't do it as it's too painful. Keeping the teeth short is the best way to deal with it but if it's too painful it's too painful.

    Grim does get a lot of excess cecals but he's gone from having a dental every month to having a dental every eight months and he east no hay at all, just soggy pellets, some oats and some bread to hide his baytril in.

    I hope that helps.

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    Wise Old Thumper Bunny Buddy's Avatar
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    No advice but sorry to hear that Bubbles is having such trouble
    My heart is in a thousand pieces for my soulmate stopped running today (22.05.13) and 12.12.20

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    Warren Veteran chelle's Avatar
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    sorry to hear this...poor Bubbles...

    I dont know about this problem...but what came to mind was perhaps hawthorn...fresh & you can dry it for winter forage....mine adore it...but its great fibre and quite soft...so perhaps Bubbles would be able to cope....you could also give willow leaves & branches..again fresh & dried...dont over do it but willow has a natural pain killer in it...and often it rabbits eat loads it can be a sign of pain or discomfort. Bothe of these you can get for free by foraging... Introduce slowly so as not to cause extra ceacs.

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    Administrator KarenM's Avatar
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    Thanks Alison and chelle for thinking of Bubbles. Chelle, I've been thinking about foraged foods so I might have a wander through the threads later to find out a little more.

    Jenova, thank you for all the info. I've been giving Bubbles extra pellets for the past couple of weeks and she seems to manage fine with them atm as they are - soaking them may be something I'll need to look at in the future. As you say, it's difficult when they're paired with a bunny with healthy teeth because I don't want to affect Alfie's diet so I'm going to have to feed Bubbles separately little and often I think.

    The pain relief hasn't made any difference at all to her eating habits but I've seen a difference in her general behaviour on the metacam so she definitely needs it atm.

    I was wondering about the excess cecals too, and that's another issue as Bubbles has got quite a delicate digestive system and can't tolerate much veg etc. She's been ok with the increase in pellets so far but ideally it would be good to find foods to either help her teeth wear or to provide the fibre that she's missing out on from the hay.

    I need to do some searching of old threads too, but there are so many it's hard to know where to start.

    Thanks for the ideas and keep 'em coming.

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