Helping your rabbit through False Rabbit Pregnancy

Published: July 7th, 2022
Last Updated: April 30th, 2023
Written By: Bradly Spicer
Helping your rabbit through a false pregnancy
How long does a false pregnancy last for rabbits?

If your rabbit has been exhibiting signs of pregnancy but you have recently confirmed that she is not pregnant, it is important to determine the cause of her symptoms. In some cases, false pregnancy can be caused by a hormone imbalance or other medical condition. Treatment will vary depending on the underlying cause.

A false pregnancy, also known as a pseudopregnancy or Phantom pregnancy will typically resolve itself within 3 weeks. This is because your rabbit will realize that they aren’t actually pregnant and as a result will move on from this issue.

If you are not sure what is causing your rabbit’s false pregnancy, seek veterinary care for diagnosis and treatment. Early diagnosis and treatment can help ensure a successful outcome for your rabbit.

What is a false pregnancy?

False pregnancy is a semi-common occurrence in which a female rabbit will believe they are pregnant, even when they are not or it is no longer possible due to spaying. This occurrence can happen to any female rabbit at its breeding age which is 3+ months old.

When your rabbit experiences a phantom pregnancy, they will genuinely believe they are pregnant, this means they will take on the same characteristics of a normal pregnancy however there will be no litter.

Will spaying help stop false pregnancies?

Regardless of spaying, your doe can still have false pregnancies, although this is less common. We highly recommend spaying regardless to help lower the chances of cancer.

What causes a false pregnancy?

When a rabbit ovulates, it will usually result in a phantom pregnancy which leads them to believe they are pregnant. Your doe will usually believe they are pregnant for around 21 days, this can occur with any female rabbit which has reached sexual maturity at around 3+ months old.

There are two factors as to why a female rabbit may believe they are pregnant, these are:

  • High-Stress Levels – If a doe is afraid or stressed they may trigger ovulation. This can be caused by a wide range of reasons such as a trip to the vet, a car journey, loud noises, or separation from a bonded partner.
  • Sexual Stimulation – When a rabbit is most fertile, it will be in heat. this can mean any stimulation such as mounting or humping can trigger hormones that make your rabbit believe they are pregnant.

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