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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 20927
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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Hello, I have a 9 year old rabbit. A couple of months ago

Resolved Question:


I have a 9 year old rabbit. A couple of months ago I took her to the vet and she had an abcess which the vet says was caused by dental problems. He gave her antibiotics and said if she was managing ...not putting her through an operation for her teeth.
I have since been online and seen that it may give her a new lease of life to have the op.
What do you think? She seems happy enough and is eating and grooming and going out in the garden but I have noticed that she does eat less and take longer to chew.
Would I need a specialist small animal vet?
Thank you
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 years ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.


The difficulty with a situation like this is that the severity of the dental abscess and the problems of the teeth involved can vary by individual. Therefore, this means some rabbits can undergo a procedure like this and obtain a full cure, where others may not be able to (ie if the abscess can only be partially removed, if the teeth causing the trouble are accessible, etc). Furthermore, we do have to appreciate that as the rabbit gets older, there is also increased risks of complications with anesthesia. So this too would be a serious concern before considering undertaking what potentially could be a intensive operation for Flossie.


Now the only way to appreciate if this is a situation where surgery could be possible and of benefit to Flossie would be to have a consultation with the vet that would undertake the procedure. If your vet wasn't keen on operating, then a rabbit specialist may be the best course of action. Ideally, you'd want (if it hasn't been done already) x-rays of the area prior to any operation to let you and the vet know just how extensive her abscess and teeth issues are. This can give you an idea of whether this will be a surgery that could be adequately undertaken or if it would be too much to put wee Flossie through. And the results of an xray can really shed light on which would be the best decision for her since it lets you see into the tissues and appreciate the extent of her problem.


Overall, dental abscesses can be very serious challenge for rabbits. Surgery is always ideal if we can fully remove the problem. Unfortunately, that isn't always possible and sometimes the operation would be too invasive or difficult on the rabbit. Therefore, the key to Flossie's situation is how extensive her individual problem is. So, it is worth a discussion +/- xrays with her vet. But if they don't feel comfortable (either with the procedure itself or with the surgery after xrays shed light on her abscess situation), then you may consider a second opinion with a rabbit specialist.


If you do wish to find a rabbit specialist, you can do so by checking here ( Alternatively, you can use the exotics filter on the RCVS register to find an exotics vet near you. You can find that here (LINK). As well, a lot of the vet schools (ie Edinburgh, Bristol, RVC, etc.) will either have an exotics vet on site or will have ties to one that they can refer you to (ie. Glasgow). Also you can check here .


I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you and hope to see you again soon! : )

Dr. B. and 3 other Vet Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Dr. B


Thank you for all your advice. It was very helpful.


I am going to keep an eye on Flossie and make sure she is eating every day. As she is quite old I have decided to hold off treatment for now.

She has not been xrayed so may do that sooner rather than later.


Thank you again for all your help.


Kind Regards



Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 years ago.
You are very welcome, Carole.

I think that is a reasonable decision for Flossie, especially if she is coping and comfortable with her mouth at this point. Should that change, then an xray would be the ideal next step.

Take care,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you and hope to see you again soon! : )

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