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Marley and Me – Rabbit tooth update



Dr Ashley Davenport arriving at Broad Lane Vets

Marley the Rabbit’s Unfortunate Accident

An unfortunate accident suffered by Marley the 9 month-old ‘house-rabbit’ led to an interesting afternoon’s work for members of our team on Friday afternoon.

Marley’s owner brought him to Broad Lane Vets as an emergency patient one Friday morning in July (2016).  He had broken his lower-jaw, in between his lower front teeth, which is a life-threatening injury for a rabbit.

Normally, Broad Lane Vets manage fractured jaws in other animals by wiring around the teeth either side of the fracture to hold the broken ends of bone together so they can heal. Marley, like all rabbits, has just two lower front teeth and these were not sufficient to attach a wire.

Whilst assessing possible solutions the Veterinary practice identified a technique which uses dental composite, a tooth-coloured filling material to stabilise the fracture by sticking together the teeth either side. Unfortunately they did not have dental composite available, nor experience in how to use it.

This led to them taking the unusual next step of calling us to see if we might be able to help.

Ashley and Kirsty jumped at the chance to help

We use dental composite every day, usually to repair decayed teeth, but often to splint together teeth that have been loosened by injury. Ashley and Kirsty jumped at the chance to pack the appropriate dental equipment and materials after afternoon surgery to see whether they could assist.

Ashley had some very small involvement in veterinary dentistry as an undergraduate dental student and also treated fractured jaws in humans as a junior hospital dentist 20 years ago so he  was not wandering into wholly alien territory.

After Marley was anaesthetised, Ashley and Kirsty worked together to reset Marley’s fractured jaw and splintered it with dental composite to keep it stable enough to begin to heal.


Operation Marley: Broad Lane Vets and Balsall Common Dental Practice team-up.

Screenshot 2016-07-18 12.06.52

Before and after: Marley’s broken lower jaw required emergency dental work

Update On Marley’s Progress

We received great news from Sally at Broad Lane Vets towards the end of September regarding Marley’s progress.

They reviewed him at 9 weeks following his procedure and the fractured jaw had healed really well.

Rabbit’s teeth grow constantly so the dental composite that we used to splint the fracture had completely grown out and worn away.

Marley is back to munching on carrots as normal!


Dr Ashley Davenport BDS MFGDP(UK)

I qualified as a dentist in 1995 and can honestly say that I have been doing a job that I love for the past 20 plus years. Most people who know me well know that dentistry is a passion for me and that if I won the lottery I would still want to have some dentistry in my life. I get huge satisfaction from treating patients and making a difference to ...

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201 Station Road
Balsall Common
West Midlands
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Last updated: September 28th, 2023

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