From: Bruce Williams, DVM
Date: 2001-04-24 15:15:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Need a dentist?
--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., "Christopher" <christopher@b...>
> My 10 month old gib has yellow teeth. It isn't tartar or that there
> is a yellow substance on the teeth.. his teeth themselves are
> The sprite he came into the shelter with has the same thing to a
> lesser degree. at 10 months these are the teeth they are going to
> have for the rest of their lives right? Should I worry. The kits
> still have baby teeth but Angel has really white pretty teeth. At
> what age do permanant teeth come in on ferts?
Permanent teeth erupt between 54 and 72 days of age, so this is the
set that they are stuck with. The cause of discolored teeth is
difficult to pin down - tetracycline or viral infections in utero may
result in tooth discoloration, but there are probably other causes as
well. It is not a problem, just a cosmetic defect.
> The new girl I adopted from the shelter has chips missing from both
> canines. Just the absolute very most tip of both. My guess it's too
> much cage time and chewing on the bars to get out. One has to look
> carefully to notice and they don't interefere with her eating or
> affect her jaw alignment.. any concern here?
No - the pulp cavity in ferret teeth as actually very superficial and
does not penetrate deep into the tooth (and recedes with age.)
> My kids have nyla bones and rawhides to chew and are on TF not to
> mention dog biscuits all for reducing tartar and keeping their
> as healthy as possible. I'll point out the teeth on our next
> vet visit, but I wondered if it was an indication of something I
> should or shouldn't be doing.
I'm not a big fan of rawhides, as it can be swallowed in fragments
and cause obstruction or damage to the GI mucosa. I generally don't
think that chew toys do much to discourage tartar in ferrets or other
domestic species for that matter - they are more likely to chip
enamel or break teeth. The best way to fight tartar is to brush
daily. (Yes, we do that for our dogs and ferrets at least every
With kindest regards,
Bruce H. Williams, DVM, DACVP
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