Dental Disorders in Prairie Dogs

Prairie dogs also deal with many dental issues. This article will discuss dental disorders specifically in prairie dogs, as well as symptoms and treatment options for these disorders.

A Prairie dog's teeth are always growing and if they don't chew on things their teeth don't get filed down

Malocclusion sometimes occurs in prairie dogs. It is when the upper and lower teeth are uneven. Malocclusion can be dangerous. Teeth such as the animal's incisors can become overgrown and tissue in their mouth can be damaged. This disorder can be caused by a few different things including vitamin C deficiency, injury, heredity, and dietary imbalances.

Broken and fractured teeth also occur in prairie dogs. These are usually from the prairie dog chewing on something that it shouldn't such as metal bars on a cage. Fractured teeth could also be the result of some type of injury.

Another serious dental problem that prairie dogs encounter is odontoma. This disorder is when the root of the animal's incisor actually enlarges and causes the nasal passage to be blocked. There isn't a definite cause of odontoma, but is it believed that this dental problem is related to lack of sunlight, vitamin and mineral imbalances or deficiencies, and inadequate wearing down of the teeth.

Symptoms of most dental problems in prairie dogs include drooling, weight loss, difficulty eating, blood coming from the mouth as well as obvious dental problems such as broken teeth, overgrown teeth and improper alignment of teeth.

It can be difficult to look in a prairie dog's mouth long enough to figure out what is wrong. Therefore, if you notice any of the previously mentioned symptoms it is a good idea to seek medical attention from a veterinarian. A veterinarian will examine the prairie dog's mouth and may take x-rays.

Depending on the exact diagnosis, you veterinarian will have different treatment options. Teeth may need to be filed down or trimmed. Your veterinarian may also prescribe things such as vitamin and mineral supplements. 

The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your veterinarian or other health care professional. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment.