If you are a first-time rabbit owner, you may be surprised to find that rabbits make a variety of noises including honking, huffing, and grinding their teeth. Tooth grinding can mean a couple of different things, and it’s important to understand the context of the tooth grinding to make sure you are addressing it correctly.
Why is my rabbit grinding her teeth? Tooth grinding can either mean that your rabbit is very happy or that your rabbit is in severe pain, and it’s important to pay attention to context clues to make sure you’re addressing the reason correctly.
Why Do Rabbits Grind Their Teeth?
Rabbits may grind their teeth for both good reasons or bad reasons. Rabbits will grind their teeth to show that they are happy or comfortable. This will be a quieter, slower noise that sounds like a cat purring. They will also grind their teeth when they are in severe pain. This happens for the same reason that humans may grind their teeth while they are in pain; the rabbit is trying to withstand the pain and is tense and clenching its teeth.
What is Tooth Purring?
Tooth purring is another name for the type of tooth grinding that happens when a rabbit is happy. If you are petting or cuddling with your rabbit, or if you have given her a treat that she really enjoys, you may hear a quiet grinding noise that sounds like a cat purring. This means that your rabbit is very happy and comfortable. Tooth purring is recognizable because it is quieter and slower than tooth grinding that comes from pain, and you will usually be able to tell from context clues if something good is happening that makes your rabbit tooth purr.
How Do I Know Why My Rabbit is Grinding Her Teeth?
For the most part you will need to use context clues to understand why your rabbit is grinding her teeth. For example, it should be easy to tell when she is tooth purring because she will be calm and relaxed and you will probably be doing something that you can assume she enjoys. This includes petting, feeding treats, and cuddling. Your rabbit may close her eyes when she is tooth purring or lean up against you.
On the other hand, tooth grinding due to pain looks very different than tooth purring. If your rabbit is grinding her teeth because she’s in pain, she will usually refuse to come near you and may hide or run away. She may be limping or hunched over in pain if she is injured, and she will usually have bulging eyes from the severity of the pain. If you notice tooth grinding and there are any signs of your rabbit being injured or sick, it is probably due to pain and you should take your rabbit to the vet.
What Does Tooth Grinding Sound Like?
Tooth grinding will sound different depending on the situation and the reason for the tooth grinding. Rabbits that are grinding their teeth due to happiness or comfort will usually make a quiet noise that sounds similar to a cat purring. It will be a slower noise than if the rabbit is grinding its teeth due to pain.
If your rabbit is grinding its teeth due to pain, it will usually be a louder, faster noise that sounds more like a person grinding their teeth in pain. You will probably hear this noise from farther away and may even hear this noise before you notice the other symptoms, while with happy tooth grinding you will usually need to be closer to hear the purring noise.
What Does Tooth Grinding Look Like?
Tooth grinding is hard to see because it’s a fairly small motion, but if you look closely you may be able to see your rabbit’s mouth moving back and forth or vibrating. This isn’t a sure sign of tooth grinding, as this could also just be your rabbit eating or shifting its mouth. The signs you should look for primarily are the noise and, if your rabbit is hurt, bulging eyes. However, if you are hearing a noise and are not sure whether it is tooth grinding, you can check your rabbit’s mouth to make sure.
Can Grinding Her Teeth Hurt My Rabbit?
Typically the tooth grinding itself is not going to hurt your rabbit, as rabbits are used to grinding their teeth both as a form of communication and as a necessary part of their health. Unlike human teeth, rabbit teeth constantly grow and need to be ground down to keep them in check, otherwise they can cause injury to your rabbit. While there is the potential of your rabbit grinding her teeth down too much, it’s very unlikely if she is just grinding her teeth normally. If your rabbit is grinding her teeth due to pain, the actual source of the pain is much more urgent than the tooth grinding itself. Even in this situation, she’s unlikely to hurt herself through the action of grinding her teeth.
What Do I Do If My Rabbit is Grinding Her Teeth?
If your rabbit is grinding her teeth, your reaction depends on the reason for the tooth grinding. If she is simply happy and is tooth purring, just keep doing what you’re doing! Whether it’s petting her a certain way, cuddling her, or playing with her favorite toy, whatever you’re doing is making her happy and you should continue.
If your rabbit is grinding her teeth due to pain, you need to find the source of the pain and address it. Look for signs such as trying to protect a certain part of her body, sitting awkwardly or hunched over, shaking her head or scratching at her ears, or refusing to eat. These are all signs that something is seriously wrong and you should take your rabbit to the vet as soon as possible.
How Do I Stop My Rabbit from Grinding Her Teeth?
If your rabbit is grinding her teeth for good reasons, you may not want to stop her. Of course, you could always stop doing what you are doing that makes her happy and she will stop making the noise eventually. However, there’s no reason you wouldn’t want to make your rabbit happy!
If your rabbit is grinding her teeth due to pain, the best way to stop the tooth grinding is to help her and treat whatever is causing the pain. This probably means a visit to the vet to find out what’s wrong and how to help.
Why is my rabbit scratching at the floor? Scratching or digging is a natural rabbit behavior that comes from the need to dig dens out in the wild. Rabbits do this for fun or just to satisfy the urge. Unless your rabbit is damaging your property, you don’t need to worry about this behavior.
How do I know if my rabbit likes me? Rabbits may tooth purr, cuddle up to you, or seek you out when they like you. When they are comfortable around you, they may flop down on their side to rest, which means that they fully trust you.
How do I take care of my rabbit’s teeth? Just feed them a healthy diet of lots of hay and leafy greens as well as giving them plenty of chew toys, and the rabbit will take care of its teeth by itself through eating and chewing naturally.