Rabbits are fun to watch and play with and are popular pets, but rabbit owners aren't always aware of the illnesses rabbits are susceptible to or the common signs of illness. As your bunny can't just tell you how they're feeling, it's important you learn about how illness may present in rabbits to ensure our pet gets veterinary care when needed. Read on to learn about common health problems in rabbits and the signs that let you know something may be wrong.
Common Health Problems In Rabbits
Rabbits aren't more prone to illness than other pets, but they do get sick from time to time as everyone does. Conjunctivitis is a relatively common health problem in rabbits and is often caused by a bacterial infection or environmental irritants. Your vet may prescribe antibiotics, eyewash, or anti-inflammatories to treat this condition. Ear mites can cause severe discomfort and lead to a bacterial infection developing. They can live in hay and can also spread to other parts of your rabbit's body if they are not treated promptly. Like dogs and cats, rabbits can also get fleas. Lesions left by flea bites can cause skin infections and severe infestations can lead to your rabbit developing anaemia. Fly strike is a condition that can be very painful for your rabbit. It occurs when flies lay their eggs in the fur around your rabbit's bottom. The larvae can enter your rabbit's body and cause damage to its intestines. Fly strike can develop at any time of the year, but there's a greater risk during the summer months. Rabbits can also develop several types of cancer, including intestinal, uterine and mammary gland types.
Signs Your Rabbit Is Ill
If your rabbit is ill, it will often become lethargic and may not seem as alert as they normally are. They may also lose their appetite, which puts them at risk of dehydration. If your rabbit is grinding their teeth, this is a clear sign they are in pain and should be examined by a vet quickly. Drooling and facial swelling are also signs of illness in rabbits, as is sneezing or wheezing. Rabbits are typically very quiet pets, but they can get quite vocal when they are in pain. Any unusual sounds should be investigated by your vet. Other common signs of illness include scratching, gastrointestinal upset and irritability.
If your rabbit develops any unusual behaviour, or if you have any concerns about their health, speak to a veterinary service for guidance.