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9 Common Rabbit Diseases

Last Updated: 22.08.19

 

Your fluffy-eared friend definitely requires a lot of maintenance to be well and happy. From rabbit food to the best ways to keep your companion healthy and even how to buy the best brush for shedding rabbits, there’s a lot of stuff you need to know.

The most important thing to be aware of is that rabbits are sensitive beings so the owner has a responsibility to be well-educated and know enough to care for his beloved pet should something ever happen. That being said, here’s a list of the most common 9 rabbit diseases.

 

  1. Ear Mites

Ear mites are annoying little things which like to set up shop in your rabbit’s ears. You can recognize this because they will look really brown and crusty. You should always carve out some time to check out your rabbit’s ears, especially if you see a lot of scratching.

Even if your rabbits do get ear mites, you shouldn’t always feel bad. Even if you keep a clean home and feed them a proper diet – which you should always do! – they might still appear. Since it seems ear mites also love hay and bunnies should eat a lot of hay, the premises are there. Make sure to constantly check the long, fluffy things and they should be fine.

Treatment often comes in the form of a few drops of vegetable oil twice a day, every day for seven days.

 

 

  1. Snuffles

What every owner should realize, and a lot of them don’t, is that it is not normal for an animal to “get a cold”. If you see your rabbit having a nasal discharge or sniffing, you need to give it some attention. Other symptoms will include matted paws and watery eyes, which also should be prevented by regular inspections of the fluffy one.

This disease, like many others, can be prevented with a healthy diet and good hygiene. If your rabbit does get this disease, do go to the veterinarian for a check-up because it is usually treated with antibiotics.

 

  1. Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is one of the main dangers that summer can bring for your rabbits. Because they are very well insulated, bunnies suffer from heat much more than they suffer from the cold. So if it’s hard for them to freeze to death due to the cold, instead it’s very possible they can suffer from a heat stroke.

If your rabbit is lethargic, you need to quickly decrease their body temperature. Gently spray them with water and, if the bad mood continues, take them to a vet so they can be treated with IV fluids. A good tip to avoid heat strokes is to place frozen water bottles near them so they can lay and cool off. If you have air conditioning, make sure it’s not blowing directly on your rabbit.

 

  1. GI Statis

This is a serious disease that can oftentimes be fatal for your bunny. GI stasis is another one of those illnesses that can be prevented by feeding it a high fiber diet, so lots of hay.

Signs of GI statis include lethargic behavior, loss of appetite, not drinking water and also lack of going to the proverbial bathroom. If any of these appear, give your rabbits lots of fluids, massage their bellies, and if the situation does not improve go ahead and call your vet as it could potentially require surgery.

 

  1. Coccidiosis

This is one of the more common issues out there and also one of the most dangerous. Some symptoms for this include diarrhea, lack of appetite and a bloated stomach. It is usually fatal and will often appear in baby kits from 4 to 6 weeks.

The solution for this seems to be not raising the rabbits in a colony setting but opting instead for a hutch. A colony setting also makes breeding hard to keep up with and it’s very hard to properly clean because of the way it is organized.

 

  1. Flystrike

Flystrike is an awful disease and puts you through many challenges should your rabbit get it. This happens when flies lay their eggs in the moist areas of skin on a rabbit’s body, eggs which will hatch into maggots within 24 hours.

When they hatch, they will remain under the bunny’s skin and release poison that will eventually be fatal. To prevent this you need to make sure that your bunny’s bottom and general hind quarters are kept very clean, especially if they are overweight or if you have a female with a large dewlap. If you notice any maggots, immediately go to your veterinarian to have them removed.

 

 

  1. Sore hocks

Sore hocks are basically when the rabbit’s feet become calloused and sore on the bottoms, and this usually happens due to either poor living conditions or having no actual place to rest their feet.

Even though this looks very painful, the good news is that it’s easy to prevent. If you’re raising a bunny in wire hutches, make sure to always keep it very clean and provide them with something comfortable for their feet. However, sore hocks is a very common illness among larger breeds of rabbits as their extra weight will really take its toll on their legs.

 

  1. Bloat

Even though you may not think so, bloat is a big deal for your rabbit! It has a high chance of fatality and, again, the best treatment is to prevent it from happening. This occurs when your bunny’s stomach has an imbalance of bacteria in it that causes the belly to look like a balloon and start swelling.

It usually happens when the bunnies eat too much green food, moldy food and don’t have enough fiber in their diet – don’t forget to good old hay – to feel good. Too much of anything (except hay) is bad, so keep this in mind when you feed your long-eared pal. You can never have enough hay.

 

  1. Head Tilt

Head tilt is a disease that seems to be one of the more common ones of domestic rabbits. So, if your bunny’s head goes to the left or to the right and his eyes often go side to side quickly, he might be suffering from this specific illness.

Head tilt can potentially be caused by a trauma if your bunny gets a blow to the head. It can also develop due to cancer or quite possibly an ear infection. As you see, the possibilities are quite a few and only your trusted vet will be able to accurately point out the problem.

 

 

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