Gerbils’ teeth are central to their health. As rodents, gerbils' teeth grow constantly, and are worn down by the hard foods they nibble. If the teeth become damaged or grow too long, your pets will have trouble eating and grooming, so you need to keep an eye on them.
Gerbils' teeth are really important to their wellbeing
To check a gerbil's teeth, hold the pet on your lap, and very gently try to open their mouth. If this is too triky, slowly lift their lip a little so that you can see the state of their teeth. Below are some things to be on the lookout for:
- Check the length of the teeth
Gerbils' teeth should be pretty even in length. If one is noticeably a lot shorter than the other, it means it must have broken. A pet with uneven teeth needs to be taken to the vet for treatment.
Overgrown teeth is another rodent-specific problem that gerbils sometimes face. It's difficult to tell if this is the case, so you'll need to check whether or not your pet has any difficulty eating. Offer them a favorite treat - if they are interested but seem unable to eat it, there may be a tooth problem. Again, consult a vet.
Your gerbils' teeth are really important, so it's good to keep a close eye on them
Gerbils' teeth should be textbook examples - straight, even-lengthed, and not misaligned
- Check the shape of the teeth
Are the teeth properly aligned? Are they growing in the same directions as the ones next to them? If not, this could indicate a problem such as bar rub - misaligned and differently-shaped teeth can cause problems when it comes to eating and grooming.
- Check that your pet can eat
Ultimately, one of the most important aspects of your pets dental health is that they are able to eat properly. It’s wise to be constantly aware of how much your pets eat - this is one of the big, obvious indicators of their dental (and general) health.