Rabbits aren’t just animals we look after – they’re part of the family.
That’s why when one of them falls ill, we’re prepared to take every necessary measure to get them back to full health.
But what happens when a rabbit does fall ill? Do you know the signs of poor rabbit health to look out for?
If you don’t, then here are 5 obvious signs of poor health in a rabbit you should be watching out for.
We’re able to keep an eye on the health of our pets by watching what they eat. Rabbits spend a lot of time eating, so if their appetite changes at any point, it could be a sign of illness.
A rabbit that doesn’t eat normally could have intestinal issues, and the problem simply ‘fuels’ itself. A lack of eating can cause a rabbit’s intestines to become too slow and become clogged.
A poor diet could be the cause. Seek out a rabbit emergency vet as soon as you notice a problem with your rabbit’s eating habits and discuss alternatives.
Making your rabbit as comfortable as possible will help alleviate any discomfort they might be feeling, and you can start by changing their diet to encourage better health.
Here’s a list of the types of hay rabbits can eat and the benefits of each kind.
If your rabbit isn’t drinking enough water, it could be a sign of an issue with their urinary system or kidneys, so don’t delay in finding vets that treat rabbits if this is the case.
Signs of Diarrhea
You can’t have a conversation with your rabbit, so you’re going to have to look at everything when you think that there might be a health issue.
An obvious sign to look out for is diarrhea or any kind of change in the stools that your rabbit is leaving. Rabbits often leave very similarly sized balls of poop, which can give you an indicator if something is wrong if these change.
They should be quite ‘dry’, rather than wet. Diarrhea isn’t a sign of good health and could indicate anything from a parasite infestation to a bacterial infection.
Consult with a vet for a proper diagnosis, but you can help your rabbit by changing to a diet that consists mostly of hay, even on a temporary basis. This should cause a change in poop consistency within a few days.
If things aren’t back to normal, speak to your vet again for more advice.
Loss of Fur or Poor Skin
The rich fur a rabbit has is lovely to touch, but it’s also the perfect breeding ground for all kinds of bugs and parasites if it isn’t kept in a good shape.
Rabbits will lose some fur as part of their regular shedding process, but you should be concerned if it seems excessive, or if it shows up any underlying skin conditions.
Flaky underskin can be a concern, although if it’s minimal, this is unlikely to be a problem.
Obvious causes of any areas of poor skin or fur loss in rabbits are things like lice, fungal infections, or mites. Once again, speak to a vet if you notice a problem.
You should try to make sure your rabbit keeps it’s fur dry and clean. One possible complication, if you don’t, is flystrike. This is where eggs are laid on the skin of your pet by flies, hatch, and begin eating your rabbit alive.
If you spot any sign of this, seek out medical care without any delay, as it’s a life-threatening condition for your pet.
Sneezing or Unable to Breathe Properly
Your bunny will usually only breathe through their nose, so if you spot them with breathing difficulties, or if they’re breathing through their mouth, it’s a sign of a real problem.
Likewise, if your rabbit is sneezing or has any kind of obvious respiratory issue, they could have an infection or disease. Watch out for nostrils flaring up or any discharge from their nose, too.
It’s possible that the illness affecting them can be cleared up with a simple dose of antibiotics or medication to help open your rabbit’s nasal passages to allow them to breathe with ease.
Seek out a medical opinion as soon as you spot a problem.
Sometimes, even the best medical care can’t always resolve a medical issue with your pet. Once they’re gone, it doesn’t mean you can’t remember them. Here are 8 ways you can honor and remember your pet.
If you’ve got a young rabbit, you might spot some unusual aggressive behavior. You might find that they start to bite, growl, lunge, circle around you or even attempt to mount you.
The most likely cause is that they’ve become sexually active and are ready to procreate. It’s best for your pet, especially if you have more than one rabbit, to have them spayed (or neutered) within the first six months after birth to help eliminate the aggressive behavior.
It’s not only good for their behavior. Spaying can also help reduce the chance of uterine cancer developing in female rabbits by as much as 80 percent.
Aggression may only be a behavioral issue, so you may need to train your pet by showing them that you’re not a threat. Affection, such as regular petting, can help reduce this.
If you see the behavior in older rabbits, it’s possible that there are other health issues at fault. Regular health checkups at the vets will help to spot anything that might be troubling your pet.
Check Rabbit Health Regularly
Rabbit health can deteriorate if you don’t keep an eye on your pet, so be sure to watch your rabbit for any signs that they’re in poor health.
Keep an eye on their appetite and make sure they’re eating and passing stools as usual. If you see any physical signs of illness or their behavior changes, be sure to consult with a vet for rabbits at your earliest convenience.
Check out our other articles on pets for more tips and tricks to help you care for your pets better.