Dental problems in rabbits, guinea pigs and chinchillas

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http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-201907033140
Title: Dental problems in rabbits, guinea pigs and chinchillas
Author: Hermiö, Heidi
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2019
URI: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-201907033140
http://hdl.handle.net/10138/303804
Thesis level: master's thesis
Abstract: Dental problems are very common among pet rabbits and rodents. Rabbits and rodents have continuously growing teeth which makes them very susceptible to problems in their dentition. The primary cause of acquired dental disease is typically insufficient or improper wearing of the cheek teeth. This is usually caused by improper diet and nutrition lacking sufficient fibre content to ensure proper wearing of the teeth. Inappropriate diets can cause metabolic disturbances for example through lack of necessary vitamins or an improper Ca:P ratio. These metabolic disturbances can and usually will affect the dentition via the loss of the supporting structures of the teeth. Genetic causes can also be a predisposing factor in the development of dental disease. Brachycephalic dwarf rabbits in special are more susceptible to dental problems because of their shortened skulls and altered masticatory forces that affect the teeth. Trauma can also be the instigating cause. Because a dental problem usually primarily affects the dentition and secondarily other organs and systems, it is best to be defined as a syndrome. Pet rabbits and rodents are typically presented in veterinary practise with a wide scale of non-specific clinical signs. These include loss of body condition and appetite, dysphagia, anorexia, changes in faecal size, quantity and appearance, facial swellings or masses, salivation, epiphora and nasal discharge, just to mention some of the more common symptoms. Diagnosing dental disease usually requires a thorough clinical examination, intraoral examination (preferably under sedation) and diagnostic imaging. Computed tomography may provide a more accurate diagnosis and prognosis as well as more detailed treatment planning than conventional radiography. The aim of dental disease treatment is to restore the function and anatomy of the dentition to as normal as possible. Supportive treatment, control of inflammation and infection are also fundamental. As dental disease causes pain, sufficient analgesia should be provided until optimal masticatory function is achieved. Owner education on proper husbandry and nutrition plays an important role in the prevention and control of dental disease in these species.
Subject: dental problem
rabbit
guinea pig
chinchilla
aquired dental disease (ADD)
progressive syndrome of aquired dental disease (PSADD)
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