OMIA:000149-9986 : Brachygnathia superior in Oryctolagus cuniculus (rabbit)

In other species: domestic cat , pig , llama , white-tailed deer , taurine cattle , goat , sheep , alpaca

Categories: Skeleton phene (incl. short stature & teeth) , Craniofacial phene

Mendelian trait/disorder: unknown

Considered a defect: yes

Cross-species summary: Congenital abnormal shortness of the maxilla (upper jaw), resulting in protrusion of the mandible (lower jaw).

Species-specific name: maxillary brachygnathism, congenital malocclusion, mandibular prognathism, crossbite

Species-specific description: Disproportions in jaw length between upper and lower jaw result in teeth that are not positioned correctly and to dental malocclusion. Brachygnathia superior is observed in rabbits, most frequently in dwarf breeds.

History: Nachtheim (1937) first described brachygnathia superior in rabbits and his findings were cited by Robinson (1958, pp342-343).

Inheritance: Nachtheim (1937) suggested a recessive mode of inheritance. Huang et al. (1981) proposed a "simple autosomal recessive inheritance with incomplete penetrance for this condition". Korn et al. (2016) estimated heritability to be 25%.

Clinical features: In rabbits, teeth grow throughout their life. Rabbits with brachygnathia superior can have severely overgrown teeth due to abnormal wear. This can result in difficulties to feed and groom and associated severe health problems (Harcourt-Brown 1997, 2009). Affected animals require regular veterinary treatment.

Cite this entry

Nicholas, F. W., Tammen, I., & Sydney Informatics Hub. (2021). OMIA:000149-9986: Online Mendelian Inheritance in Animals (OMIA) [dataset].


Note: the references are listed in reverse chronological order (from the most recent year to the earliest year), and alphabetically by first author within a year.

2021 Geiger, M., Schoenebeck, J.J., Schneider, R.A., Schmidt, M.J., Fischer, M.S., Sánchez-Villagra, M.R. :
Exceptional changes in skeletal anatomy under domestication: The case of brachycephaly. Integr Org Biol 3:obab023, 2021. Pubmed reference: 34409262. DOI: 10.1093/iob/obab023.
2016 Castejon, A. :
Breeding for good dental and oral health in rabbits. [Comment on Genetic and environmental factors influencing tooth and jaw malformations in rabbits; Vet Rec. 2016 Apr 2;178(14):341] Vet Rec 178:339-40, 2016. Pubmed reference: 27034298. DOI: 10.1136/vr.i1808.
Korn, A.K., Brandt, H.R., Erhardt, G. :
Genetic and environmental factors influencing tooth and jaw malformations in rabbits. Vet Rec 178:341, 2016. Pubmed reference: 26908159. DOI: 10.1136/vr.103293.
2009 Harcourt-Brown, F. :
Dental disease in pet rabbits. In Practice 31:370-379, 2009. DOI: 10.1136/inpract.31.8.370.
1997 Harcourt-Brown, F. :
Diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of dental disease in pet rabbits. In Practice 19:407-418, 1997. DOI: 10.1136/inpract.19.8.407.
1981 Huang, C.M., Mi, M.P., Vogt, D.W. :
Mandibular prognathism in the rabbit: discrimination between single-locus and multifactorial models of inheritance. J Hered 72:296-8, 1981. Pubmed reference: 7288146. DOI: 10.1093/oxfordjournals.jhered.a109507.
1974 Granat, J., Selnik, J., Bulla, J. :
Inheritance of brachygnathia superior in rabbits. Zeitschrift fur Tierzuchtung und Zuchtungsbiologie 91:131-137, 1974.
1971 Fox, R.R., Crary, D.D. :
Mandibular prognathism in the rabbit. Genetic studies. J Hered 62:23-7, 1971. Pubmed reference: 5094712. DOI: 10.1093/oxfordjournals.jhered.a108111.
1967 Weisbroth, S.H., Ehrman, L. :
Malocclusion in the rabbit: A model for the study of the development, pathology and inheritance of malocclusion: I. Preliminary note J Hered 58:245-246, 1967. DOI: 10.1093/oxfordjournals.jhered.a107602.
1958 Robinson, R. :
Genetic studies of the rabbit. Bibliographia Genetica 17:229–558, 1958.
1937 Nachtsheim, H. :
Erbpathologische Untersuchungen am Kaninchen [Investigation of inherited defects in rabbits] Z. indo Abst. u. Vererbgs 73:463-466, 1937. DOI: 10.1007/BF01847500.

Edit History

  • Created by Frank Nicholas on 06 Sep 2005
  • Changed by Frank Nicholas on 28 Nov 2011
  • Changed by Frank Nicholas on 29 Apr 2016
  • Changed by Imke Tammen2 on 09 Jun 2017
  • Changed by Imke Tammen2 on 13 Jun 2017
  • Changed by Imke Tammen2 on 19 Jun 2017
  • Changed by Imke Tammen2 on 22 Aug 2021