Going down the rabbit hole? New publication on dental pathologies in pet rabbits
Although pet rabbit medicine has improved over the last 20 years, diagnostics and targeted therapy are still often restricted as compared to medicine in cats and dogs. Among the most frequently encountered diseases in pet rabbits are acquired dental problems. However, early symptoms are often overlooked because the affected animals first appear completely asymptomatic.
The occlusal reference line according to Böhmer & Crossley (2009) facilitates objective interpretation of malocclusion using standard skull X-ray images. Despite its proven usefulness in most domestic rabbits, there are a few exceptions. In wild rabbits, the occlusal reference line is not suitable for application because of cranial shape differences (Böhmer & Böhmer 2017). The analysis revealed that the skull in pet rabbits is generally more quadratic, whereas it is longer and flatter in wild rabbits.
In pet rabbits, a new study provided evidence that the occlusal reference line is suitable in a considerable diversity of skull shapes and variance in only a few parameters influences its applicability (Böhmer & Böhmer 2020). The most substantial parameter is the palatal angle. The angle between the skull base and the palatal bone has been identified as quantifiable proxy that indicates if the occlusal reference line is suitable or not. It is, thus, recommended to measure the palatal angle in order to verify the applicability of the occlusal reference line according to Böhmer & Crossley (2009) for successful objective interpretation of norm- and malocclusion.
This collaborative work is part of the Evolutionary Veterinary Science project.
Böhmer C and Böhmer E (2020). Skull shape diversity in pet rabbits and the applicability of anatomical reference lines for objective interpretation of dental disease. Veterinary Sciences 7 (4): 182. DOI: 10.3390/vetsci7040182
Böhmer C and Böhmer E (2017). Shape variation in the craniomandibular system and prevalence of dental problems in domestic rabbits: a case study in Evolutionary Veterinary Science. Veterinary Sciences 4 (1): 5. DOI: 10.3390/vetsci4010005
Böhmer E and Crossley D (2009) Objective interpretation of dental disease in rabbits, guinea pigs and chinchillas. Tierärztliche Praxis Kleintiere 4, 250-260. DOI: 10.1055/s-0038-1622802