Figure 7: Malocclusion, Dental extraction in a 1-year-old male rat (Isaiah).
Case history and photos
Isaiah was born on August 13th 2018. He was adopted on September 30th of the same year, along with his male siblings.
At one year of age, in August of 2019, Isaiah’s owner noticed a “bump” on the left side of his nose. She also noticed that his lower incisors appeared to be splayed and he seemed to be holding his mouth open more. He then developed a scab, while the “bump” receded slightly.
On September 11th Isaiah was taken to see his veterinarian, Dr. Manley. She discovered that the “bump” was an abscess and that the upper incisor on the right side was fractured/missing. In addition, the remaining upper incisor and both lower incisors were overgrown (the latter had likely caused the abscess, by damaging the tissue inside the mouth). A dental x-ray was taken, on which the root of the missing upper incisor appeared to be unhealthy. Dr. Manley decided to anesthetize Isaiah and trim the three remaining incisors down to the papilla. He was placed on the antibiotic SMZ-TMP for two weeks and given Metacam for pain relief. A diet of softer food was initiated. Dr. Manley recommended consultation with Dr. Buck to have the three incisors removed.
Isaiah’s incisors were trimmed a second time on September 27th.
Mouth abscess, fractured/missing tooth with unhealthy-looking root, remaining incisors overgrown.
On October 14th Isaiah was taken to see Dr. Buck, who confirmed the diagnosis of malocclusion of the three visible incisors, and one upper incisor being fractured/missing with root involvement.
Isaiah was anesthetized and extraction of the visible incisors was performed. Unfortunately, due to the friability of the teeth, one of the lower incisors broke off at the root and was unable to be fully extracted. Recovery went smoothly and Isaiah enjoyed eating whipped cream and soft foods. He was discharged and provided with 5-6 days of Metacam BID.
Isaiah continued to do well. All swelling was resolved 10-14 days post-op.
Isaiah enjoyed a good life and was spoiled with mashed/mushy foods, as well as always having soaked rat food available in shallow lids. He loved his freerange times and was as active as always.
In May 2020 (6.5 months after the surgery) Isaiah’s owner noticed that the lower incisor that had fractured during the extraction surgery started to grow back. Dr. Buck was notified, who advised that if it gave Isaiah any trouble to let her know. Luckily, the incisor only required minor trims every now and then.
Isaiah passed away on June 13th 2020 at 22 months of age due to an acute respiratory illness unrelated to the tooth problem. His lower incisor had been trimmed twice by this time.
Row 01: These photographs show the “bump” on the left side of Isaiah’s nose, as well as the subsequent scab and slightly receded “bump”.
Row 02: These photographs were taken by Dr. Manley during the initial inspection of Isaiah’s teeth. They clearly show that the lower incisors are overgrown, as well as the misalignment with the upper incisor(s). The first photograph is of the dental x-ray that was taken by Dr. Manley.
Row 03: The first photograph in this row clearly shows the malocclusion; the upper right incisor is missing/fractured and the upper left incisor has deviated considerably from the midline. The second photograph shows the three surgically extracted incisors; note that one of the lower incisors is shorter because it broke off at the root during extraction. The last two photographs were taken post-op.
Row 04: The first two photographs in this row were taken on November 1st and show Isaiah’s succesful recovery two weeks after his incisor extraction surgery. The third photograph was taken on October 5th, roughly one week before his surgery. The final photograph was taken earlier that same year (January 2019) and is included for comparison.
Case history and photos courtesy of Carol Souva, Dr. Manley and Dr. Buck
Case compilation courtesy of Cyzahhe