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Exotic pet teeth masterclass

Top tips on looking after exotic pets’ teeth including snakes, lizards, tortoises, bearded dragons, ferrets, rabbits and rodents.

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Species-specific dental concerns

Rabbits and rodents

The teeth of these species grow continuously throughout their lives. If incorrectly cared for, this growth can cause the development of sharp spurs which can cut into their gums and tongue. This growth is naturally managed and prevented by providing a natural high fibre diet with unlimited grass, good quality hay and chew toys to gnaw on as these promote natural tooth wear, keeping teeth at the right length.


Ferrets are prone to breaking canine teeth, this is usually caused by chewing on cages. This damage can expose sensitive pulp cavities and can cause infection. If this occurs, it is vital to seek veterinary help as soon as possible.

Bearded dragons

Bearded dragons’ teeth are rooted directly into the bone, which (if not properly cared for) can cause inflammation and infection of the bone. Regular cleaning is recommended to prevent these problems from developing.

Snakes, lizards and tortoises

These pets are particularly vulnerable to mouth rot. This is caused by bacteria entering the mouth through abrasions but is also influenced by housing conditions, which are not ideal for the specific species.

Symptoms include thickened saliva, yellow plaque and swelling of the mouth or face. This is a serious condition, which requires urgent veterinary attention.

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