Thursday, January 3, 2013

Rat teeth

Yeah, a weird title for a post. But it's what this post is about.

Stay tuned to learn about rat teeth, and about what can happen when they go wrong.

Funny thing about a rat's front teeth is that they keep growing, always and forever. This means that rats have to continually chew on things to keep their teeth a reasonable length. But...sometimes they can't.

Beka's front teeth have somehow gone crooked, and she can't gnaw them down anymore. One of her lower front teeth is actually pointing back into her mouth, and that's BAD. That tooth was already poking a hole in the roof of Beka's mouth when the problem was discovered. You can imagine how horrified I was when the vet told me that.

Luckily, there's an easy solution: we trim Beka's teeth for her.

I'll be taking Beka to the vet to get her teeth trimmed regularly. I guess I could learn to do it myself, and part of me feels like that's the truly responsible thing to do. But I know it can be tricky, and I would be too scared of cutting her tongue.

In addition to routine tooth trimming I now have to break Beka's food into bite sized bits for her. It turns out that rats use their front teeth to do that job, and that with her teeth so crooked Beka can't do that anymore

This will be a life long thing for Beka. There is no way to fix her teeth. Yeah, I could have the problem teeth removed, as the vet suggested, and it's not like they're doing her any good anymore anyways...but I don't want to put Beka through dental surgery unless absolutely necessary. And it isn't necessary, so long as they can be trimmed.

I'm just glad we caught this problem, and that I don't have to do the trimming myself.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

I'm surprised some enterprising vet hasn't come up with orthodontics for rats. Imagine the wee braces!

You take good care of your ratties -- that's good to see.

Sarita Rucker said...

I hadn't thought of braces...huh.