Why Is My Rabbit Drooling?

Why Is My Rabbit Drooling
Why Is My Rabbit Drooling

Rabbits sometimes drool. It can be a symptom of health problems. If your rabbit is drooling, I suggest you find out why. In fact, I get asked by people all the time why rabbits drool. So, why is my rabbit drooling?

What Does It Mean When A Rabbit Drools?

When a rabbit drools it’s often a sign she has teeth problems. Your rabbit’s teeth are constantly growing so they need trimming regularly. Overgrown teeth result in jaw misalignment, pain and cuts inside your rabbit’s cheeks. Eventually, because of the pain, your rabbit will stop eating and drinking.

How Do You Know Your Rabbit Has Teeth Problems?

You may not be able to tell that your rabbit has teeth problems. But here are some symptoms to keep an eye out for:

  • Drooling, wetness around your rabbit’s chin
  • Weight loss from not eating
  • Your rabbit acts like he’s in pain, not playful or wanting to move due to the pain
  • Facial swelling, you might notice that one side of your rabbit’s face looks swollen
  • Not eating her cecotropes because of pain when chewing
  • Not grooming because of her overgrown teeth

How Can I Keep My Rabbit From Having Teeth Problems?

There are some preventative measures you can take to help your rabbit avoid teeth problems.

Healthy diet-

Rabbits are herbivores. They eat grass hay, leafy greens and vegetables. Your rabbit should eat her weight in hay every day.  Hay’s tough fiber will keep your rabbit’s teeth well trimmed.  Hay is also important for your rabbit’s digestive system to stay healthy.

Leafy greensLeafy greens should make up 75% of your rabbit’s daily menu. That’s a 1 cup of packed leaves for every 2 pounds of per rabbit per day.

  • Carrot tops
  • Endive
  • Escarole
  • Kale
  • Green lettuce
  • Red lettuce
  • Spinach greens
  • Turnips Greens
  • Dandelion greens
  • Mint
  • Basil
  • Watercress
  • Cilantro
  • Bokchoy

Fresh vegetables- Fresh vegetables should make up 15% of your rabbit’s daily diet. This is 1 Tablespoon per 2 pounds of rabbit per day.

  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Bell peppers
  • Celery
  • Cabbage
  • Summer squash
  • Zucchini squash

Fresh fruit-Fresh fruit should be only 10% of your rabbit’s daily diet. This is 1 teaspoon per 2 pounds of rabbit per day.

  • Apples
  • Cherries-without the pits
  • Pears
  • Papaya
  • Mango
  • Pineapple
  • Berries
  • Apricots
  • Nectarines

Regular checkups-

Take your rabbit for her veterinarian or regular checkups. Her vet will trim your rabbit’s teeth if they aren’t short enough from chewing hay. She can also look for any evidence of mouth or teeth problems if your rabbit is drooling.

Why is my rabbit’s mouth wet?

Rabbit slobbers or ptyalism is a condition that makes your rabbit produce too much saliva. This can lead to dental issues and wetness around your rabbit’s mouth and face.

Rabbits with ptyalism are in pain. They sit hunched over. Sometimes they lose the fur around their mouth. Other symptoms of ptyalism include:

  • Nasal discharge
  • Teeth grinding
  • Tearing of eyes
  • Can’t eat because of pain
  • Weight loss

Causes of ptyalism:

  • Rabbits that eat only pellets are more at risk to get ptyalism because they don’t get enough fiber.
  • Rabbits suffering from central nervous system disorder that controls heart rate, respiration and saliva production.
  • Bacterial infections of the soft tissues in your rabbit’s mouth, nose or gut often lead to ptyalism. Some medications that affect your rabbit causing dental disease which results in ptyalism.
  • Gingivitis
  • Rabies
  • Tetanus
  • Gastrointestinal illnesses

Treatment for ptyalism:

If your rabbit has wet mouth, your vet can examine her to look for signs of ptyalism. He can rule out neurological or dental illnesses.

What Are Spurs On Rabbit’s Teeth?

Your rabbit has twenty-eight teeth. Her teeth grow for all her life. She has twelve molars and ten premolars, or cheek teeth. Cheek teeth and front teeth stay trimmed down as your rabbit chews hay and other fibrous materials.  Untrimmed teeth become overgrown causing alignment issues in your rabbit’s mouth. Overgrown cheek teeth develop long points called molar spurs. The molar spurs grow towards your rabbit’s tongue and cheek causing sores and cuts Your rabbit can’t chew properly.

Causes of molar spurs-Although overgrown teeth cause molar spurs, there are other health issues that cause your rabbit to get molar spurs.

  • Genetics-A certain gene can make your rabbit’s teeth misaligned. If this is the case, your rabbit will get molar spurs when she’s young
  • Injury-If your rabbit is injured in her jaw area of her mouth, she may get molar spurs. They usually show up several months after the injury.
  • Age-The older your rabbit is the more susceptible she is to molar spurs. Regular aging cause changes to her cheek teeth. Older rabbits teeth roots extend into their upper or lower jawbone, sometimes affecting your rabbit’s tear ducts so she ends up with runny eyes.

Symptoms of molar spurs

Drooling

Disliking hard foods, preferring soft foods, loss of appetite

Weight loss

Swelling in jaw, under her chin or cheek

Bad breath

Runny eyes

Grinding teeth-this often means your rabbit is in pain

Grumpy, acting like she’s in pain

Behavior changes-irritable, growling

Treatment of molar spurs:

Your rabbit’s vet can remove the molar spurs. Your rabbit must be anesthetized for this procedure. The vet will use a dental drill and a file to remove the spurs. Your vet may also give your rabbit antibiotics to heal the sores and cuts inside her mouth from the molar spurs. Your rabbit should eat fine in a couple of days. Unfortunately, the procedure might need to be repeated if your rabbit grows the molar spurs back again.

What Kind Of Wood Can I Give My Rabbit To Chew On?

Rabbits need to chew to keep their teeth trimmed. They also love chewing because it gives them physical stimulation. Hay is the best choice for your rabbit’s chewing needs. But you can give your rabbit other things to chew on.

Rabbits also enjoy chewing on wood logs, sticks and twigs. Wood such as apple, ash, birch, hawthorn, hazel, maple, pear, poplar, spruce and willow are safe for your rabbit to chew. Your rabbit may develop preferences which woods he likes best. Give him several kinds to see which ones he chooses.

Unsafe woods

Never give your rabbit woods that contain phenols. Phenols is the natural chemical in woods that smell so good. Cedar, pine, peach, avocado, apricot or cherry woods are all unsafe for rabbits to chew.

What Else Causes Drooling In My Rabbit?

When animals get overheated, they will often drool. Rabbits are prone to overheating and heat stroke. Here are signs your rabbit is overheated.

  • Loss of appetite-Your rabbit eats less. You can add vegetables and leafy greens with a high water content such as tomatoes or cucumbers to hydrate your rabbit.
  • Weakness-Moving slowly around her cage or hutch. She seems to be out of energy.
  • Lethargy-Your rabbit just lies around, not playing or happy to see you or her treats.
  • Red ears-If your rabbit’s ears are red or pink on the inside this could be a sign that she hot and her body’s trying to cool down.
  • Drooling-Rabbits don’t drool. Is she’s drooling it means she’s salivating too much which isn’t healthy for a rabbit.
  • Panting-If your rabbit is having a hard time breathing, she’s trying to cool down.
  • Dehydration-She’s stopped drinking. She’s not peeing very much or her urine is very dark.