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Routine Dental Care

Routine Dental Care for Small Mammals

Dental care is important for small mammals too, and dental disease is one of the most common health-related reasons small mammals visit us. Though the cause varies, dental disease can result in substantial, and even life-threatening, health concerns in small mammals.  Prevention and early detection are necessary to keep your small mammal healthy and happy.

Signs of Dental Disease in Small Mammals

If your small mammal is experiencing any of these symptoms, please call us to schedule an exam:

  • Overproduction of saliva, drooling
  • Teeth grinding
  • Lack of appetite or anorexia
  • Matted facial fur (from salivation)
  • Matted forepaws from facial grooming
  • Bad breath
  • Excessive eye watering

Normal Tooth Anatomy in Small Mammals

Many species of small mammals, such as rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas, rats, and rodents, have long-crowned teeth without an anatomical root that grow continuously throughout their life.   If their teeth become overgrown it can result in overgrown teeth, uneven wear, malocclusions (the teeth not lining up properly) or other uncomfortable abnormalities, which can ultimately affect your pet’s ability to feed themselves and their overall good health.  Some of these species may also have cheek teeth, which also continuously throughout their life.

Radiographic Examination

No matter what type of small mammal you have, visualizing all their teeth at home can be a problem.  A dental exam with one of our experienced veterinarians is critical for small mammals for early identification and prevention of dental problems.  To perform a complete dental evaluation, radiographs under anesthesia are necessary.  We utilize advanced diagnostic equipment including digital radiographs and CT Scans to provide a thorough oral examination.  After review of the radiographs or CT scans, we will discuss an individualized treatment plan with the pet parents. Our doctors are skilled in dental evaluation and care of small mammals, so your pet will be in exceptionally good hands.

Small mammals with a strong veterinarian-patient relationship will benefit from better overall health and improved disease control.  We encourage small mammal pet parents to establish a relationship with us early in their pet’s life, before an emergency necessitates a visit.  We have an experienced exotic veterinarian on call 7 days a week for small mammal, avian and exotic pets established with us as clients. As part of our lifetime commitment to our established small mammal pet parents, in the evenings and on Saturday and Sunday we prioritize established small mammal pet patients if capabilities are limited.  Therefore, establishing and maintaining the relationship with us is important for your small mammal pet.