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Common rabbit diseases

If your rabbit is acting abnormally and you have concerns please take them to a vet immediately.

One of the top concerns for a pet owner is the diseases that they can get and also how best to avoid them from occurring.

In this article, let’s look at common rabbit diseases, symptoms to watch out for and how to treat them at home.

The more common problems/ diseases that we see in domesticated rabbits are:

What are the signs you should look out for

Don’t think that your pet can’t get sick. And since they can’t tell you what exactly they feel, you must be sensitive to the signs and symptoms observable to you when raising rabbits.

Animals get sick too sometimes even more often than people do. Rabbit diseases and illness like other animal sickness is not apparent, so it is often ignored.

The principal reason why you require to increase your gaze concerning rabbit illness is that they can cause difficulties and even things like death. Pay close attention to your pet if you must!

Common Signs of Rabbit Illness

  • Loss of Appetite: This is the most common sign that there is something wrong with your pet. No matter how enticing and attractive you make, its food looks like it just won’t eat. In some cases, if the rabbit is sick, it won’t even take a small sip of water.
  • Irritability: Irritability among animals is exhibited through running away when you want to pet or cuddle them. Sometimes this includes biting and screaming.
  • Always Sleeping: A sick animal is still resting. You’ll notice that it would rather sleep than eat or run around.
  • Lack of Energy: You’ll also notice that the rabbit does not hop around too much. It’s either asleep or resting in one corner. It looks tired even though it’s always sleeping.
  • Fever: Animals with fever exhibit high temperature. You don’t need to take a thermometer to check this. You will notice a rise in temperature when you pick the animal up. Its body is warmer or hotter than usual.

What should I do when my Rabbit is ill?

The first thing to do is give your rabbit some fluids. Rabbits are generally gentle creatures, so you don’t have to worry about biting and scratching.

Use a dropper to so the rabbit won’t be overwhelmed. Don’t force your rabbit; you might cause more harm to him than help.

Let it rest while you observe for more signs of rabbit illness. Give it fluid from time to time. If this doesn’t work, don’t wait for a few days before you take it to the vet.

Take the rabbit to a pet clinic immediately, especially if you noticed signs of injury. The vet will prescribe medications for your rabbit, which you need to give your bunny religiously.

Rabbit illness doesn’t usually last long; it often takes about half a day or the whole day at most before it starts to eat again.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do rabbits sneeze

Yes, rabbits do sneeze. This doesn’t necessarily mean they are poorly. This could be as simple as dust in their hay, allergies to the type of hay, air freshners or even cigarette smoke.

If your rabbit is sneezing, there’s no harm on checking their nose to see how bad the sneeze was. Rabbits can only breathe through their nose, so checking their airways are clear is perfect.

If your rabbit has regular discharge from their nose, that is a sign to take them to a vet as if this is left without resolution it can lead to long term damage.

Why is my rabbit shaking

This really depends on the level of shaking, but some rabbits do daydream and nap whilst awake leading them to look like they’re shaking or rocking back and forth.

If your rabbit breathing very fast, this can sometimes just be due to exertion of energy.

If your rabbit is shaking, check the temperature of their ears, check they’re responsive and breathing clearly.

Some of the common causes of a trembling rabbit can include fear, stress and nervousness, these are commonly paired with thumping and grunting if they are unhappy.

If your rabbit is incredibly hot, they make be breathing quickly due to dehydration or struggling with the heat, there are a few solutions to this, the main one is to simply apply cold misty water around your rabbit.

If you’re concerned at any point, call your vet.

What if my rabbits have ear mites?

Before determining that your rabbit has ear mites, it’s worth mentioning that one of the really common issues with rabbits is that they are prone to ear problems.

Small pockets of dirt can cause common infections which require regular antibiotics from your vets and aren’t typically an issue.

The issue comes when a parasite called Psoroptes Cuniculi (Ear Mites) cause infection as this should be seen urgently by a vet.

We have a step-by-step guide on how to check for ear mites as well as a solution here.

There is an array of symptoms for ear mites and they are the following:

Ear Infections (caused by mites)

Loss of appetite – This will be due to nausea and dizziness from the infection, if the mites are particularly bad, they may have dental issues making it hard to eat.

Head Tilt – Ears are the main point of your body which keeps your balance, the same goes for rabbits. When there is a severe infection you may find they develop a minor head tilt (torticollis) simply due to a lack of balance.

Behaviour changes – Just like ourselves, when we are in pain we get grumpy and aggitated. Rabbits are no different, when there’s discomfort they will likely act out.

Signs of Ear Mites

Ear Mites can cause a world of problems, luckily, they’re quite easily to spot. These are the signs of ear mites:

Ear Scratching – You may find your rabbit scratching more than normal, this can be inside their ears and outside near their neck. As it worsens, you’ll see your rabbits skin turn scaly, rough and start peeling.

Brown Fluid in the ear canal – exudate, a fluid which appears in lesions and areas of inflamation will build up in your rabbits ear cancel. This will either be a brown pus or completely clear, in most cases due to infection it will be brown.

Hair Loss and lesions – As mentioned in the prior point, lesions may appear around the neck, feet and abdomen due to over-grooming. This will be accompanied by hair loss and patchy spots.

Thank you for reading this post!
Link is an incredibly spoilt rabbit who lives completely free roam. When he's not jumping on his owners heads at 5am or digging at carpet he can often be seen loafed or eating copious amounts of hay.