A box turtle after a beak trim

A box turtle after a beak trim

 A guinea pig before her tooth trim

A guinea pig before her tooth trim

Tooth and beak trimming

While turtles, tortoises, and birds do not have teeth, their beaks are continuously growing.  In the wild, their beaks are worn down as fast as they grow, but in captivity they can overgrow and lead to beak damage, malnutrition, and self-inflicted wounds.  It is important to have the beak trimmed down regularly to avoid these complications. 

Rodents  and rabbits sometimes need to have their teeth trimmed down as well.  The molars and incisors in guinea pigs, chinchillas, and rabbits grow continuously and can sometimes overgrow into the cheeks or lips, causing wounds and making it difficult for them to eat.  Abscesses can also form around the roots of the teeth which is a very painful infection.  Having their mouths examined regularly will help to avoid these issues.  

 Radiograph of a rabbits head

Radiograph of a rabbits head

 Overgrown rabbit teeth

Overgrown rabbit teeth

anesthetic dentals

In the case of pets with severe malformations or tooth root abscesses, sometimes a full anesthetic dental is needed.  This means your pet is put under general anesthesia and the problem teeth are trimmed down, or if needed, removed.  Pain management and antibiotics are prescribed if needed to avoid infection and keep your pet comfortable.