If you this is the first time you came across this word, it means
“imperfect positioning of the teeth when the jaws are closed.”
I believed this topic is commonly covered by many parties , me included. There is a whole section on chinchilla dental problems here if you have missed them earlier.
Probably I recap what we have covered here:
There are two major form of malocclusion in small animals like rabbits, chinchillas and guinea pigs.
1 Genetics Malocclussion
This form of malocclusion has a direct link to the chinchillas parentage.
In some homes, some chinchillas are left to interbreed between siblings and offsprings. Such actions caused the reduction of the genome pool. When this happens, chances of malocclussion in the offsprings becomes higher with each generations.
Malocclusion also occurs when chinchilla with recessive genes are interbreed. For example, malocclusion occurances may be higher for violets compared to standard grey chinchillas. However, much effort have been done by good breeders to breed good quality chinchillas with no malacclusion problems. In good breeders home, if found early these chinchillas are usually culled or pelted.
Chinchillas who have malocclusion or have malocclusion in their lineage should NEVER be bred. But back to Singapore context, rarely have we seen breeders culling bad chinchillas and stop breeding problem or rescue chinchillas
2 Adaptive Malocclussion
Environmental/Adaptive malocclusion can stem from one or a combination of a few of the reasons stated below:
- Poor quality pellet food
- Too many sweet treats
- Too many wrong kind of treats
- Lack of chewing toys or sticks
- Lack of timothy hay in their diet
- Cage accidents
- Fall during young age
- Too much pellets in their diet
- Too much soft hay in their diet
- Calcium deficiency
- Over supplement of calcium (milk)