Rabbit Health

signs of a sick rabbit

Signs of a sick rabbit.

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Attention: If your rabbit needs health needs to be reviewed now, book an appointment now with Vetster for a review from a vet.

Are you confused about your rabbit’s unusual behavior?

A change in your rabbit’s natural behavior might be signs of a sick rabbit.

Understanding the changes in your rabbit’s behavior will help you recognize your rabbit’s health.

I have shared a complete list of possible signs your rabbit will give you when they are feeling unwell.

Do rabbits get sick suddenly?

A rabbit does not get sick suddenly. Raising house rabbits in an unclean environment without proper diet will result in health concerns.

Being prey animals, rabbits are good at hiding themselves as well as their feelings.

Usually, a rabbit does not show any signs of their sickness until they can’t hide the pain anymore.

Rabbits in the wild survive for merely 2-3 years because they can’t escape from their predators.

However, domestic rabbits live longer because the guardians keep them safe from predators.

On the contrary, when a rabbit guardian fails to take genuine care of their pet rabbit, only then a rabbit may pass away sooner because of sickness.

Although domestic rabbits are delicate pets and vulnerable to sickness, it is unusual for them to have deadly diseases.

Often they get sick because of a guardian’s irresponsibility.

I believe you are one of those rabbit owners who are concerned about pet rabbit’s well being.

Thus you are willing to recognize what are the signs of a sick rabbit.

Signs of a sick rabbit include:

  • Changes in the rabbit’s behavior;
  • Stiff posture;
  • Aggressive behavior;
  • Lonely rabbit;
  • Peculiar noises;
  • Tooth grinding;
  • Head tilt;
  • Overgrown tooth;
  • Loss of appetite;
  • Unhealthy looking rabbit’s skin/fur;
  • Fluctuations in body heat;
  • Respiratory issues;
  • Urine;
  • Stool;

Changes in the rabbit’s behavior.

If you own a pet rabbit for some time now, you may have already noticed a common habit in your pet rabbit.

Rabbits are habitual animals. Once they have built up a custom, they will always follow that model.

Therefore potty training a rabbit is very easy. Likewise, rabbits will always go to the same spot while they want to use a toilet regardless of a litter box because they have built up this manner.

Yet a sick rabbit will show alterations in their habit.

Suppose your rabbit loved hopping around the house before, and suddenly they stopped doing so for some time.

You may notice many uncommon things in your rabbit, such as not willing to play with the rabbit toys anymore. It means your rabbit is feeling unwell.

The rabbit is in pain and does not appear to be playing around.

Stiff posture.

In case, a rabbit is not feeling well; it will have a stiff posture. It is easily noticeable when your rabbit is resting but has a hardened stance.

It is typical for a happy, relaxed bunny to lay down on his/her side. Also, lay down flat on his tummy. So do not confuse yourself if you see your rabbit every time in such a position.

Try to observe for other symptoms of sickness together with stiffness and unwillingness to move.

Aggressive behavior.

A sick rabbit will act grumpy. It is natural for anyone not to have a better mood when sick.

Likewise, a rabbit, if s/he is in pain, s/he will show aggression. The rabbit may show hostility towards other rabbits in the group as well as its guardian.

My rabbit once bit my finger, and at the time, I did not understand why she did that.

Now I know she did that as she was in pain because I was an irresponsible guardian.

Lonely rabbit.

Your rabbit may have been a lively one. Suddenly you start to see that your rabbit is not playing around anymore.

A sick rabbit may avoid the companion of other rabbits and stay inside her enclosure for an extended time.

Your rabbit is lonely and willingly avoids contact with other rabbits because she is unwell.

In such a condition, a lonely rabbit requires immediate attention from his/her guardian.

Peculiar noises.

Rabbits are good at hiding their pain. If they cannot hide their pain any more, they will make noises.

A healthy rabbit does not make any sound at all. They are prey animals and very quiet.

In case they are very sick, they will make strange sounds as if they are screaming. The noise may not be loud, but a sensible rabbit guardian will notice the change in no time.

Tooth grinding.

Grinding teeth is unusual behavior for rabbits. When rabbits feel ill, they may grind their teeth, and a rabbit guardian understands the difference.

Yet you have to figure out whether it is tooth grinding or just tooth purring.

Tooth purring is normal, and you can hear your rabbits purring when you are playing with them.

Therefore recognize the difference between tooth grinding and regular purring to know your rabbit is in pain or not.

Head tilt.

The tilted head is also known as wry neck. Head tilt is a sign of many severe illnesses in rabbits. More commonly, a rabbit will have a tilted head due to inner ear infection.

However, a rabbit with trauma or a tumor will also show the same signs.

If you see your rabbit having a tilted head, visit a veterinary before it is too late.

Only a rabbit vet can find the exact reason for your rabbit’s current condition and provide the appropriate treatment.

Overgrown tooth.

I believe most rabbit guardians know that a rabbit’s teeth grow throughout their lifetime.

Hence a rabbit needs a 90% hay diet and many chew toys, which will help the rabbits tooth from overgrowing.

If a rabbit’s tooth has grown longer than average, then I deem the rabbit guardian is not taking care of the rabbit.

Yet if your rabbit somehow has grown long teeth despite having an adequate amount of hay every day, you must visit a rabbit vet.

Only a rabbit vet can help the rabbit with its problem of long teeth.

Loss of appetite.

Similar to all animals, a sick rabbit will lose its desire to eat. A healthy rabbit can munch on fresh hay all day. As well as drink a lot of water.

If you give a healthy rabbit some tasty treats, they will be overly excited.

On the other hand, a sick rabbit will stop feeding. It will not munch hay or enjoy even if the rabbit has a treat in front of it.

So if your rabbit noticeably eats less than average, then it is time to visit a veterinarian.

There are a few diseases that will prevent rabbits from eating like normal.

Unhealthy looking rabbit skin/fur.

A weak rabbit will not groom itself. Self-grooming is the natural characteristic of a rabbit.

They are spotless animals. A rabbit has dense, soft fur which feels fresh to touch.

If a rabbit is sick and stops self-grooming, you will feel the fur is slightly oily to touch.

As well as the rabbit skin will form dandruff.

Not self-grooming for a while and flaky skin is a symptom of a sick rabbit.

Fluctuations in body heat.

If a rabbit’s body is warmer than ordinary or feels colder than usual, it is highly likely your rabbit is suffering. It is best to visit a veterinarian for a checkup.

Only a rabbit vet can say why your rabbit’s body temperature is not the same as usual.

Respiratory issues.

Snuffles is a common disease in rabbits. Anything related to a rabbit’s respiratory system will show flu-like symptoms.

Your rabbit having discharge from the nose, sneezing, and coughing is signs of respiratory issues.

Similarly, shortness of breath and watery eyes are all issues that require attention from you.

Providing proper medication to your rabbit will bring your rabbit back to normal.

The unusual color of urine.

Traces of blood in a rabbit’s urine is a sign of sickness. A healthy rabbit will never have blood in their urine.

Likewise, if the color of your house rabbit’s urine is unusual; then, it is better to consult a vet.

Traces of blood or reddish pee show that your rabbit is sick.

Stool.

Your rabbit’s stool will show many signs that your rabbit is sick.

There is a saying that a rabbit guardian must start from the rabbit’s litter box to find whether the bunny is healthy or sick.

A sick rabbit will have loose stools. An abrupt change in a rabbit’s diet can cause diarrhea.

Loose stools are the result of a diet with fewer fibers.

Which means the rabbit is not healthy.

If the rabbit is not going to the toilet as usual, then you may also observe that. Because the rabbit suddenly stops pooping, then it means the bunny is struggling. One of the reasons why your rabbit may stop pooping is that the digestive system is struggling to pass the stool.

Observe the size of the rabbit stool too. If the size of the rabbit’s waste is smaller than regular, then your bunny friend is having a problem digesting the food.

Rabbit poop does not have any odor, yet if you find your rabbit’s waste is spreading smell, then it means your rabbit is sick.

Conclusion.

If you adopt a rabbit, you must learn to read the symptoms.

Consider a rabbit as an exotic pet; thus, it is crucial to keep track of their behavior.

Any change in rabbits’ normal behavior might be a sign of a sick rabbit.

Maintaining cleanliness in your pet rabbits’ cage, running area, and feeding them a menu high in fiber is vital for their well-being.

Observe your rabbits often, and in case you notice any symptoms as I mentioned above, visit a veterinary soon.

Leaving your rabbits untreated for their sickness will deteriorate their health and might as well bring their demise sooner.

Want your rabbit to be happy and healthy?

Click here to order the ebook How to raise healthy & happy rabbits!

Need other things for your rabbit?
Click on the links below for:
Rabbit food
Rabbit Toys
Rabbit cages and houses
Rabbit health and hygiene

rabbit diseases

Common rabbit diseases.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Knowing the most common rabbit diseases will certainly help rabbit owners keep their bunnies secure.

The symptoms of the most widespread house rabbit diseases are unknown to maximum rabbit guardians. Surely knowing the condition before it gets deadly will help you keep your rabbits safe.

I have listed a few diseases regularly seen in house rabbits in this post.

There are so many rabbit diseases to list; however, I thought it is only necessary to state the conditions that might infect house rabbits.

Twelve rabbit diseases your rabbits are vulnerable to:

  • Overgrown teeth;
  • Snuffles;
  • Hairballs;
  • Heatstroke;
  • GI Stasis;
  • Sore hocks;
  • Myxomatosis;
  • Bloat;
  • Head Tilt;
  • Rabbit viral hemorrhagic disease;
  • Ear mites;
  • Uterine tumors.

Let us start our discussion with the condition that is very common in rabbits with a poor diet.

Disproportionate teeth.

I believe by now; if you have had a rabbit for quite some time, you may already know that a rabbit’s teeth never stop growing.

Rabbit’s molar teeth and incisors keep growing throughout their lifetime.

This constant growth can become very painful for rabbits. Overgrown teeth can lead to rabbit’s death. 

A longer molar tooth than usual can damage their cheek and tongue. And incisors can grow so long which will limit rabbits from closing their mouth.

Unable to close their mouth, rabbits will stop eating, and that will lead to starvation and then death.

How to prevent overgrown teeth?

Preventing the continuous growth of a rabbit’s teeth is possible by providing your rabbits an endless supply of hay. A rabbits diet must consist of 90% hay and 10% other food.

Other food will give them all the necessary nutrition.

However, the fiber in the hay will help maintain a sound digestive system for your rabbits.

Most importantly, chewing on hay more often aids in wearing off rabbits teeth.

So as their teeth keep growing, the hay rabbits continuously chew on hay to keep their teeth in good shape. As a result, a rabbit’s teeth don’t become excessively long.

So to prevent your rabbits’ teeth overgrowing, give them hay so that they can munch on whenever they will.

Treatment:

If you notice your rabbits have overgrown teeth, then visit a rabbit vet. The rabbit vet can have surgery and save the rabbit from dying early.

Snuffles or Pasteurellosis.

It occurs when a certain bacteria infects the rabbit’s respiratory system. The typical sign for snuffle is discharge from the nose, sneezing, red eyes, and squinting. This Pasteurellosis Multocida bacteria may affect other parts of a rabbit’s body, including ears.

How to prevent snuffles?

Preventing snuffles is easier than you might think. Presenting your house rabbits with nutritious food will keep their immune system healthy enough to fight such kinds of bacterias.

And a healthy rabbit can stay away from such bacteria by themselves.

Keeping your rabbit’s hutch and the running area clean is equally important. Because this kind of bacteria can spread in wet and damp conditions, it is crucial to keep your pet rabbit’s enclosure fresh and dry for all the rabbits’ well being.

Similarly, this bacteria can spread by contacting an infected rabbit. So once you notice one of your rabbits has snuffles, the priority is quarantining the infected rabbit from others.

That will stop the bacteria from spreading.

Treatment:

Using antibiotics can cure snuffles. The process of healing snuffles may take a long time, even with medicines. In a severe condition, an infected rabbit may require surgery.

Hairballs.

Signs of hairball congestion in the intestine of a rabbit is not as visible as you may think. Didn’t I tell you rabbits are fighters? Rabbits don’t like to show any signs of sickness until they cannot hold it anymore.

Hence it is impossible to know whether a hairball is forming inside the stomach of your rabbit or not. But in extreme circumstances, your rabbit will avoid eating anything.

Rabbits are self-grooming animals similar to cats. But unlike cats, rabbits cannot vomit the hairs that pass inside their stomach.

If the self-grooming continues, the hairballs inside the rabbit intestine will create a barrier and lead to a sick rabbit.

So the only prevention for hairball formation in a rabbits gut lies in the rabbit’s diet.

How to prevent it?

Hairball building is typical of all rabbits. But passing the hair through the gut is crucial.

When the rabbit is consuming 90% hay in their diet, the fiber in the diet helps to move the hair inside the rabbit’s gut and pass it out with the waste.

So hay is vital for a rabbit to stay healthy and keep the hairballs out from their body.

Treatment:

There might be medication available at your rabbit veterinary, though surgery may be required if a severe blockage is there.

Heat Stroke.

Rabbits are mammals that can survive in cold weather, merely by sharing the heat of each other in the group. Rabbits have dense fur that allows them to keep themself warm even in winter.

Therefore these dense furs can be trouble for rabbit guardians during the summer.

Usually, rabbits are alright and healthy during the summer. They do not have much trouble getting along with the heat.

However, if the temperature rises over standard, then the extreme heat will become intolerable for rabbits.

They will have a heat stroke. A possible indication of a heat stroke is the rabbit will become lazier unwilling to move.

Being an active animal rabbit likes to hop around, yet if the temperature gets too hot and the rabbit cannot tolerate it anymore, the rabbit will move slowly. The rabbit’s body temperature will be warmer than average on the outside.

How to prevent rabbits from heatstroke?

As rabbits have dense fur and they are naturally warm, all we can do to keep them fresh on hot, sunny days by keeping them indoors.

I always say raising pet rabbits indoors is the most suitable thing to do as a rabbit guardian.

Do not leave your rabbit out in the heat on sunny days. The best place to keep your rabbit is under a shed or your garage.

If your rabbits are inside a hutch, keep the rabbit hutch away from direct sunlight.

Always check the water feeder and replace it with cold water for your rabbits to stay hydrated on summer days.

Treatment:

If it seems that one of you rabbit is about to have a heat stroke, the quickest thing to do is sprinkle cold water on the rabbit.

If you notice your rabbits seem weaker due to a hot summer day, give them a few ice cubes to play. They will like playing with ice cubes in warm weather.

If your rabbit is having a heatstroke and not moving, it is best to visit a veterinary for a checkup, and the vet will give IV fluids to hydrate your rabbits.

Gastrointestinal Stasis.

If your rabbit loses appetite and has no interest in even drinking water, it is probably because your rabbit has GI stasis. Gastrointestinal stasis is the blockage of the intestine due to the lack of fiber in a rabbit’s diet.

Supposedly the rabbit guardian is feeding foods that are rich in carbohydrates to his/her pet rabbit that caused the gastrointestinal stasis.

When the diet starts to interrupt the digestive system of a rabbit due to the lack of fiber in the menu, the digestive system cannot produce waste properly.

The digestive system incapable of moving waste will result in a blockage of a rabbit’s intestine.

Therefore the rabbit does not poop as much as it used to.

How to prevent Gi stasis?

It is by providing your rabbits with a diet filled with fiber. It means 90% of your rabbits diet must contain hay.

Hay has fiber, which will prevent rabbits from Gastrointestinal stasis and smooth movement of waste in the intestine.

Treatment:

If the condition of your rabbit is severe, then you must visit a vet who may have to carry out surgery to remove the blockage in your rabbit’s diet.

Sore Hocks.

Sore hocks are visible signs of rabbits living in an unhealthy condition. If you keep your rabbit in hutch most of the time and they don’t have enough place to rest their foot, there will be a noticeable sore in their hind legs.

The joint in their hind legs will be sore, and your rabbits will struggle to move, unlike other healthy rabbits.

It is more common in larger breeds of rabbits.

How to prevent sore hocks?

Providing rabbits with adequate space to move will stop them from having sore hocks.

If you keep your rabbits inside a hutch, ensure you give them a floor mat inside the pen. The floor mat will prevent larger breeds of rabbits from having sore hocks.

It is equally important to keep the hutch clean and moisture-free. If there is moisture on the floor of the cage, that might result in sore hocks too.

Treatment:

Treating sore hocks is the same as preventing. Use plenty of enough place for your rabbit inside the enclosure to relax their feet.

Soon enough, you will notice your rabbits are well enough to hop around like before.

Myxomatosis.

Myxomatosis is not so common. However, it is a deadly disease for rabbits. So I believe mentioning this disease is essential.

Myxomatosis is a viral disease, and the symptoms are visible in rabbits.

A rabbit contaminated with myxomatosis will have swelling, discharge from eyes, nose, and the anal region.

How to prevent myxomatosis?

Myxomatosis is a viral disease, and mosquitoes and fleas contribute to the spread of this virus.

Contact of an infected rabbit with another rabbit will spread the disease too.

To prevent rabbits from myxomatosis, you can use vaccines. Yet the vaccines are not available on many continents. So the best possible thing for a rabbit owner is to keep mosquitoes and fleas away from rabbits.

If there are many mosquitos at your location, using mosquito nets for your rabbits seems reasonable.

As well as if you find an infected rabbit, it is best to quarantine the infected rabbit.

Keeping the infected rabbit away from other rabbits will prevent the virus from flowing.

Treatment:

Sad but true, there is no cure for myxomatosis. Once a rabbit is infected, it’s a way for demise.

Usually, vets will suggest euthanizing the infected rabbit to stop its suffering.

Bloat.

A rabbit’s diet must not contain too many vegetables and fruits because it can cause an imbalance of bacteria inside the rabbit’s stomach.

An unevenness of bacteria inside a rabbit’s stomach will cause swelling of their tummy.

From the outside, you can see your rabbit’s tummy is bloated like a balloon.

How to prevent bloating?

A rabbit’s diet rich in fiber is crucial for a rabbit’s health. Therefore a rabbit’s menu must contain 90% of hay and not any less. The other twenty percent must consist of vegetables and treats to keep the balance of nutrition and prevent dehydration.

Feeding your rabbits an adequate amount of hay will prevent bloating and save your bunny’s life.

Treatment:

There is no effective treatment for a rabbit’s bloat. Replacing a rabbit’s diet with more hay and a fiber-enriched menu will probably help and slowly cure the bloat.

Head Tilt.

Head tilt is a common problem with rabbits in a large group, and the reason is variable.

There are several reasons why you may notice one of your rabbit’s head tilting on the side.

The sign is visible, and as a rabbit guardian, the sight of your rabbit’s tilted head can be shocking and sad.

The cause of a tilted head in rabbits can be:

  • trauma to the head,
  • tumor in the head,
  • ear infections,
  • as well as a stroke.

How to prevent head tilt?

The prevention of a head tilt depends upon how you treat your house rabbits. By keeping a house rabbit in a well-maintained enclosure, a hygienic place, they are less likely to face any of the reasons mentioned above.

Prevention of domestic rabbits from trauma, tumor, and ear infections, will possibly stop rabbits from having a tilted head.

Treatment:

Treatment of tilted heads relies on the rabbit veterinary. First, the rabbit vet has to identify the reason for the rabbit’s current condition.

Next, the rabbit vet has to treat the disease accordingly to bring the rabbit’s head to normal.

Rabbit Viral Haemorrhagic Disease.

RHVD, previously known as Calicivirus, is not very common. Nevertheless, it used to be a prevalent disease in wild rabbits. This viral disease is incurable and resulted in the death of many rabbits in the past.

Rabbits usually do not show any symptoms of sickness until unless they can’t hide it anymore.

Therefore it is difficult to identify an infected rabbit with RHVD.

But the apparent symptom in an infected rabbit is a loss of appetite, weakness, and a high fever.

This virus may be widespread in the wild rabbits until today. And once infected, a rabbit may face its death within 48-72 hours.

How to prevent RHVD?

RHVD may spread through direct contact of domestic rabbits with wild rabbits. Thus keeping house rabbits from contacting wild rabbits will retain your pet rabbits safe.

Keeping your rabbits safe from insects that carry the virus will save your rabbits too. Use mosquito nets or keep rabbits in clean places where insects will not reach.

There are vaccines available in the market. However, the vaccine is not available on all continents.

On the other hand, there are few types of RHVD, and vaccinating a rabbit will prevent the rabbit from one kind of RHVD only.

A vaccinated rabbit is yet vulnerable to other types of RHVD.

Treatment:

There is no treatment available for RHVD in rabbits. If this virus infects a rabbit, that rabbit will die within 72 hours or sooner.

Ear Mites.

Ear mites are an infestation of parasites in rabbits’ ears. Ear mites are not very dangerous for rabbits. If kept untreated for a long time can cause more infection in your rabbit’s ears.

Signs of ear mites are visible. Ear mites will form a crusty, brown skin inside and around your rabbit’s ears. You will see you rabbits often itching their ears. Also, thick fluid in the ear canal can be noticeable.

If you are suspicious of ear mites, do not hesitate to treat them sooner.

How to prevent it?

This parasite of ear mites is often present in the hay. Thus keeping your rabbit hay clean is vital. Buy a hay feeder for your rabbits and serve the feed to your rabbits using a hay feeder.

Do not allow your rabbits to lay on hay. Instead, buy them a bunny bed.

Often check your rabbit’s ears to see any presence of ear mite parasites.

Treatment:

Treating ear mites is more straightforward than managing any other rabbit diseases.

It is not fatal and can be cured by merely using some oil. Use a dropper and some oil to soak the infected area regularly for a week.

After a week, the ear mite will disappear as the skin scales will fall off.

Do not try to remove the skin scales as it will be excruciating for your rabbits.

Instead of hurting your rabbits, let the oil do its job.

Uterine Cancer.

Uterine cancer is a common problem in female rabbits. Spaying a female rabbit at an early age is necessary; otherwise, the female rabbits are prone to having uterine tumors.

These tumors will eventually spread from the uterus to other abdominal organs in a quick manner.

On average, a rabbit dies within 18 months from the first appearance of the tumor.

Common signs of uterine cancer are the presence of blood in urine, and vaginal discharge containing blood.

60% of the female rabbits over three years old have uterine tumors.

How to prevent uterine cancer?

Desexing, a female rabbit is essential once she is 3/4 months old. Spaying of a female rabbit will not allow tumors to form, and the rabbits will be safe from having uterine cancer.

Treatment.

There is no treatment for uterine cancer once cancer fully develops in a female rabbit. The only way is by spaying a rabbit and preventing the formation of a tumor at an early age.

A female rabbit with uterine cancer will inevitably die.

Conclusion.

Like all creatures on earth, rabbits are prone to different kinds of diseases.

It is thus keeping house rabbits safe from viruses, bacteria, and any parasites a rabbit guardian’s duty.

Many other diseases can harm your rabbits. Yet, in this post, I have discussed only the most common ones and the conditions that can be easily preventable.

So keeping your rabbit’s enclosure and running space clean and safe from insects must be your priority as a rabbit keeper.

Likewise taking care of your rabbits and visiting the vets as early as possible if any of the symptoms mentioned in this article appear.

Want your rabbit to be happy and healthy?

Click here to order the ebook How to raise healthy & happy rabbits!

Need other things for your rabbit?
Click on the links below for:
Rabbit food
Rabbit Toys
Rabbit cages and houses
Rabbit health and hygiene

Do rabbits need shots?

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

You must realize by being an ignorant rabbit guardian you will only endanger your rabbit’s well-being.

The simple answer to the question:

Do rabbits need shots is YES and No at the same time?

This article is a must-read for new pet rabbit lovers to prevent their rabbits from getting infected by common rabbit diseases and the shots all the rabbits require.

When and what shots are required for your rabbits to live longer is what I will discuss in this article.

Do bunnies need to go to the vet and get a vaccine injection?

Bunnies need to go to the vet if necessary. And I have to say for new pet rabbit owners that rabbits are very precarious animals.

As a pet, they are so adorable, and as a rabbit guardian, you have to locate a vet who is a specialist in exotic animals.

The first and foremost thing to do is find out an expert for rabbits. Rabbits are unique animals, and taking them to regular cats and dogs veterinary is No-No.

If you take your rabbits to a vet who does not attend to exotic animals, then you might have just put your rabbits in danger.

So before you inject your rabbits with vaccines, discuss with a rabbit vet first.

Only a rabbit vet can advise you whether a vaccine for your rabbit is necessary or not.

Why do you think a vet will say a vaccine is not necessary?

Now, much depends on your location. Rabbits in the wild have two common diseases:

  • Myxomatosis;
  • R(H)VD;
  • R(H)VD2, The second category of R(H)VD.

There is a reason why I said rabbit shots are required depending on the location.

The viral diseases I mentioned above are rare in North America.

On the contrary, these viruses are widely-spread among wild rabbits from Europe and Australia.

Therefore vaccines for a rabbit is available in Europe and Australia.

However, as the diseases in rabbits are not so common and rarely seen in the pet rabbits in North America, it is difficult for rabbit owners to get your hands on rabbit shots.

Thus in the United States or Canada, even if you are willing to inject your rabbits with vaccines, it is impossible there.

I always say to new rabbit owners:

Bunnies need immediate attention once they get sick and need to visit a rabbit veterinary to prevent them from dying.

Let me share a story about my rabbit with you. I have a pet rabbit, and my rabbit loves peanuts.

There is no doubt about that.

Every time I get back home, she does binkies around me and expects that I will give her some peanuts.

Unfortunately, peanuts are not for rabbits. It was a mistake when I fed my rabbit a few peanuts, and the next day, she had soft droppings.

My bunny pooped everywhere. My rabbit had no control of when and where to find the potty. My rabbit could not manage to poop in the potty.

The poor rabbit dropped soft poop whenever she felt like going to the toilet.

So whose fault do you think was that?

It was my fault. I did not understand the rabbit’s diet, and I gave my rabbit something that is not suitable for a rabbit’s digestive system.

Although my rabbit loves peanuts, it is not what I can feed her.

I want to say that new rabbit owners fail to understand the behavior of rabbits as well as how sensitive these animals are.

Most new rabbit owners will not do decent research before bringing a pet rabbit home.

Your rabbits will likely not confer you indications of their stress and will never tell you. Rabbits are creatures that can suffer and die without being their guardian aware of what followed.

So if you want your rabbit to lead a healthier life, you have to pay attention to your rabbits.

Neglecting any signs of stress or avoid vaccinating your bunnies if you in Europe or Australia is like pushing your rabbits towards an early death.

Nevertheless, rabbit diseases are rare in Northern America. And getting your hands on a rabbit shot may be very difficult.

How often do rabbits need to be vaccinated?

Rabbits need to be vaccinated annually. Before you inoculate your rabbit, the best idea is to consult the rabbit vets beforehand and do accordingly what the vet suggests for your bunny friend.

How much do rabbit vaccinations cost?

The cost of rabbit shots and vaccines may vary depending on where you and your house rabbits reside. Yet the price range is between 40-60 USD.

Before adopting a bunny, a rabbit guardian must acknowledge the expense of rabbit vaccines.

A sensible rabbit guardian will never compromise the health of rabbits for 60 USD annually.

Endangering your rabbit’s well-being only for a few dollars can be fatal for your furry friend.

What are the two common diseases that rabbits get infected and their symptoms?

Rabbits are furry animals and are prone to several infections if rabbit guardians do not keet them clean.

If the rabbit keeper does not maintain decent cleanliness within the rabbit’s running space or their hutch, that will make rabbits vulnerable to several kinds of infections.

The two common rabbit deadly diseases are myxomatosis, and rabbit viral hemorrhagic disease, also known as R(V)HD.

What is myxomatosis?

Myxomatosis is a viral disease that spread through biting insects and flies.

Myxomatosis is a prevalent disease and can cause an infected rabbit to pass away within a fortnight.

In case you notice you rabbits have puffy swelling around face, eyes, and ears, you must promptly contact an exotic pet veterinary.

Similarly, the symptom of myxomatosis in the rabbit is high fever and lost appetite in pet rabbits.

With proper care and attention from your vet, you may save your bunny friend.

Nevertheless, in cases of myxomatosis infection, it is unusual for a rabbit to recover and survive.

There are vaccines available for rabbits to prevent them from myxomatosis.

But the shots available today will not prevent bunnies completely from getting an infection.

The myxomatosis shots for bunnies will only make them less vulnerable to the virus.

In such cases, a rabbit owner has to keep their rabbits away from wild rabbits, which might be carrying the virus.

As well as maintaining the cleanliness of a rabbit’s enclosure is equally essential.

The unhygienic environment around the rabbit will attract more flies, mites, and fleas.

What is R(V)HD?

R(V)HD or Rabbit viral hemorrhagic disease is widespread in wild rabbits of Europe and Australia.

Rabbits in the wild are prone to R(V)HD infection because the R(V)HD virus can quickly spread through merely by encountering infected rabbits or ingesting contaminated hay.

So rabbits in the wild get contaminated instantly, and the disease spreads out rapidly.

And there is no remedy for a rabbit that is infected by R(V)HD until today. A rabbit will expire within 48 hours of contamination.

Symptoms of R(V)HD infection in rabbits are high fever, internal bleeding, and liver diseases.

So it is quite tricky for house rabbit owners to recognize the symptoms of R(V)HD infection in their pet rabbits.

Hence a rabbit usually passes away within 48 hours, which may leave a rabbit owner confused about what happened.

Therefore today, shots or vaccines for rabbit viral hemorrhagic are widely available.

Once you inject your rabbit with an R(V)HD prevention shot, it is highly likely the rabbit will not be contaminated.

Interestingly rabbits under six weeks will not be affected by R(V)HD. On the counter, older rabbits are further prone to get this virus infection.

Why is parasite control crucial to ensure rabbit safety?

Regardless of your bunnies are vaccinated or not, it is crucial to control parasites attacking your rabbits.

Because fleas/mites/lice are common to attack furry animals, they are attracted to rabbits.

The situation will become worse if you keep your pet rabbits in an unwashed and unclean atmosphere.

Rabbit guardians must clean the rabbit cages and hutches twice every day.

And always provide bunnies with fresh water.

There are many flea control products available which rabbit keepers can use inside the rabbit’s cage or hutch.

Similarly, rabbits will attract fur and ear mites. If mice attack them, they will show visible symptoms and visit the vet as soon as possible.

A rabbit guardian has to realize that rabbits are very fragile animals. A rabbit may die merely of shock.

A sudden loud noise can be the cause of a rabbit’s death.

Thus any viral or bacterial infection requires immediate attention by a veterinary.

Rabbit vaccinations side effects.

Likewise, any vaccination injection rabbit vaccination has minor side effects.

These side effects are infrequent and will wear off within 24 hours of the injection.

Side effects of rabbit shots are:

  • High fever;
  • Loss of appetite;
  • Swelling at the injection site.

You must remember that these side effects are usual, and your rabbit will get back to normal within 24 hours after the injection.

However, in limited cases, a rabbit may pass away due to the effect of vaccination injection.

Regardless rabbits must get their shots and have a prolonged, healthier life.

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Best pellets for rabbits

Best pellets for rabbits.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

A new rabbit lover or owner often times do not understand the importance of a healthy diet for a rabbit. What if I say you that choosing only the best pellets for rabbits can enhance your rabbit’s health a lot.

Are you confused about what type of foods are best for rabbits? In this article, I will explain the importance of rabbit pellets for your rabbits, and which pellets to buy for both young and adult rabbits.

Adult rabbits that are over 7 months old need hay pellets that contain more fiber and less protein, on the other hand, a young rabbit requires more protein in the pellets for their growth.

To better understand how to choose the best pellets for rabbits continue reading. If you want to listen to the audio then click the video below.

Best pellets for rabbits.

Rabbit pellets play an important role in a rabbits diet. Similar to rabbit hay which helps rabbits in many different ways, rabbit pellets aids domestic rabbits to get the necessary nutrition for their better health.

Due to the reason, domesticated rabbits grow in a household and depends only on the food provided by their guardians, they cannot get enough green vegetables or hay grass,

A rabbit in the wild has an unlimited supply of hay, dried grass, leafy greens, hence they do not require rabbit pellets to remain in good shape.

Why does this matter?

Although rabbit guardians intend to provide their pet rabbits with a lot of greens, it is not always possible.

80% of a rabbit’s diet must consist of hay or dried grass for a vigorous digestive system. Other than that a rabbit needs green vegetables and water to keep themselves hydrated.

As well as green vegetables give rabbits all the nutrition required for good health.

Understand this lack of leafy greens and vegetable varieties in a rabbit’s menu will result in a malnutrition rabbit.

If a rabbit guardian cannot provide their rabbit plenty greens or only occasionally, simply then you must give your rabbits to eat pellets.

Pellets are a good alternative for rabbits to obtain all the nutrition to remain in flawless health.

NOW

Constantly choose pellets depending on your rabbit’s age with many other circumstances.

Any rabbit that is younger than 7 months must feed on alfalfa hay based pellets. Rabbits older than 7 months which is considered an adult rabbit must only feed on timothy hay based pellets.

Rabbit pellets ingredients.

Rabbit pellets are made from hay. Depending on the brand you choose to buy the pellets may contain seeds and nuts in it,

I must say this, pellets with occasional treats like nuts and seeds in the packaging are not very healthy for rabbits.

As well as some brands of rabbit pellets are colored and some are non-colored. I always choose a pellet that is non-colored.

A non-colored pellet brand is definitely better for this delicate small pets opposed to the colored ones.

Timothy hay based pellets are made from timothy hay and contain more fiber and less protein,

Alfalfa hay pellets contain more protein compared to the timothy hay pellets.

Are pellets bad for rabbits?

NO, pellets are not bad for rabbits at all if they are fed the correct amount.

Unless you overfeed your pet rabbits with pellets and failure to recognize which type of hay pellet is best for adult and young rabbits can become fatal for rabbits.

Purpose of feeding pellets to your rabbits is to give them the necessary nutrition which may have been lacking in their diet.

However, if you are feeding your rabbits with sufficient green vegetables and leaves, it is fine if you do not feed them pellets.

Too much green vegetables together with regular feeding of pellets can be harmful to their health. Understand this too, often times your rabbit veterinary will ask you to stop feeding pellets to your rabbits.

What should I look for in rabbit pellets?

When you are purchasing rabbit pellets continuously choose the rabbit pellets according to your rabbit’s age and weight.

Before you decide on a brand of pellets, check the nutritional value of the particular brand of pellet on the back side of the packaging.

Rule of thumb:

  • A rabbit pellet must have at least 22% crude fiber;
  • Maximum of 14% Protein;
  • 1% Fat;
  • Not more than 1% calcium.

A rabbit below 7 months old needs to grow and requires more protein in their diet. Hence choose alfalfa hay pellets for your young rabbits and a brand of pellet with no coloring.

Same goes for the rabbits over 7 months old. Before you buy a brand of pellet for your adult rabbits choose timothy hay based pellets and with no coloring.

If you feed alfalfa hay to your adult rabbits which contain more protein will result in an overweight rabbit.

What can rabbits eat instead of pellets?

Replacing pellets in a rabbits diet are only possible by giving your rabbits all the food that has the same nutritional value required for a healthy rabbit.

A rabbit must chew on grass hay, dried grass continuously.

Eating plenty of green vegetables and leaves together with occasional treats is normal.

When you are sure that your rabbit is having all the required vitamins and minerals and enough fiber daily in their diet, then you can go for a pellet free diet for rabbits.

Otherwise, it is best to keep pellets in the rabbit’s diet. To understand how much pellet is good for rabbits:

Go to the heading “Are pellets bad for rabbits” and read again.

Also, check this pdf by rabbit.org to understand the rabbit diet >>> Rabbit food pyramid.

Read here to comprehend >>>  What not to feed your pet rabbits?

Want your rabbit to be happy and healthy?

Need other things for your rabbit?
Click on the links below for:
Rabbit food
Rabbit Toys
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Rabbit health and hygiene

domestic rabbit lifespan indoors

Domestic rabbit lifespan indoors.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

A pet rabbit has a pretty good lifespan almost similar to other house pets like dogs and cats.

If you intend to bring home a new pet rabbit or you already have one, you can use the techniques I have shared in this article for giving your domestic rabbits improved health.

Improved rabbit health will definitely increase your domestic rabbit lifespan indoors.

As well as I have shared here my routines which aids me to keep my pet rabbits lively and in amazing shape for longer life.

These methods are clear as well as necessarily applicable for any house rabbit that is living indoors.

Domestic rabbit lifespan indoors.

A domestic rabbit may live up to 12 years if they are properly taken care of. Besides, there are several other factors which a rabbit owner must comply with to increase the lifespan of their house rabbits.

You may have noticed I quoted the word indoors several times above. Because the lifespan of a pet rabbit or any domestic rabbit is correlated with the location of its habitat.

House rabbits are delicate small pets which most rabbit guardians do not comprehend.

They are so delicate that a simple shock due to fear can give them a heart attack and kill them.

Most importantly:

In order to increase the lifespan of your pet rabbits, you have to take care of them and interact with them. As well as proper supervision is always required.

In the wild usually, a rabbit may only survive up to 3 years. A domestic rabbit if not taken great care also may pass away very fast due to several health issues.

In the wild rabbits are prey animals, they are not spayed/neutered. It is very common for a rabbit in the wild to only survive less than a year.

Regardless of where we keep our rabbits, indoors or outdoors, to boost domestic rabbits’ lifespan, it is the rabbit owners’ liability to do their best.

Now:

Many rabbit owners prefer to keep their pet rabbits outdoors in hutches, which is not the best choice for pet or domestic rabbits.

Rabbit are sociable animal and they require friends and has to interact with their owners.

Leaving your rabbits outdoors may result in a decreased lifespan but not as much as the wild rabbits’ lifespan.

The best practice:

Is to keep your pet rabbits indoors and possibly raise your rabbits cage-free.

If you do not intend to raise your house rabbits cage free, you can choose one of the cages most of our readers suggested for indoors here >>> Indoor rabbit cages.

Maintaining a proper diet is vital for any rabbit’s lifespan. Domestic rabbits have that opportunity to survive longer due to the fact the rabbit owners constantly provide their rabbits with nutritious meals and good treats.

Unlike the rabbits in the wild has to find their own food and will survive on what is available to them.

Next:

If you raise your rabbit in an unhygienic environment and do not maintain cleanliness in the rabbit habitat, which also is the cause of a limited rabbit lifespan.

Now let’s chat a little more in detail concerning the circumstances that can develop the lifespan of domestic rabbits living indoors as well as outdoors.

Factors affecting your domestic rabbit’s lifespan and how to develop their lifespan?

Circumstances for house rabbits’ well being and longevity depends on several factors which are as follows:

  1. Food for an excellent maintained diet.;
  2. Housing or where your is your rabbits’ habitat;
  3. Domestic rabbit’s physical health;
  4. The mental health of your pet rabbits. The livelier a rabbit the longer it may live.

Rabbits are friendly social animals and enjoy the companion of their guardians. Therefore rabbit guardians must not compromise on anything regarding the longer lifespan of their pet rabbits.

Best rabbit food for an excellently balanced diet.

A rabbit’s diet is very important for ensuring the well being of a rabbit. If your rabbits don’t have a proper diet or proper balance of hay and nutritious food, they will suffer in the long run.

To ensure you rabbits better health you will have to provide your rabbit with fresh greens, occasional treats, hay, and water.

Your pet rabbits must not go dehydrated so they need to have adequate drinking water at all time.

Read here >>> What to feed your pet rabbits?

Hay must be the main component in their diet. Because hay contains fiber and fiber is very important in a rabbits diet to maintain a great digestive system.

As well as hay helps for rabbit’s dental health. Later in this article, you can read more why hay is important for rabbit’s dental health.

Read here >>> Why is hay important for a rabbit’s diet?

Housing.

A rabbit requires a large running space. Although they are small animals it is vital for house rabbit to run around and exercise to keep themselves in good shape.

For many rabbit guardians, it is not easy to provide their rabbits a large running space due to many reasons. But having a spacious cage is alright, and perhaps you can use a playpen around the rabbit cage to provide your rabbits a running space.

If a rabbit is kept in a congested place and does not have plenty of space to move around, that will affect your rabbit’s physical health.

As a result, your rabbit’s lifespan will deteriorate.

If you decide to buy a rabbit hutch and keep your pet rabbit outdoors, is also a fine idea. That will allow domestic rabbits to have sufficient space and light.

Before you do so you have to get a safe rabbit hutch that can be kept outdoors.

Domestic rabbit health.

If your rabbit is not in good health definitely they will not live a longer life. A domestic rabbit in good health will live longer by your side.

It is your duty to take care of your rabbits and visit vets frequently.

For an extended lifespan your rabbits must have all the following done by the vets:

Spaying and neutering.

Domestic rabbits must be spayed/neutered. Especially female rabbits are vulnerable to uterine and mammary cancer.

Similarly, a male rabbit that is not neutered is prone to testicular cancer.

Spaying and neutering your rabbits will keep your rabbits safe as well as your rabbits will act less territorial.

Vaccinations.

Rabbits can easily get a viral infection. Vaccinating domestic rabbits will keep them safe from infection and diseases.

A vaccinated rabbit is less likely to get sick and live longer.

Dental Problems.

Rabbits tooth grows all life long. In order to prevent rabbit tooth excessively long rabbits like to chew on stuff.

Chewing on hay continuously helps rabbits to wear off their tooth.

You must provide your rabbits with plenty of best hay which they can chew on all day long.

Scatter many safe rabbits chew toys to prevent their tooth from continuous growing.

A rabbit’s tooth when it grows excessively long, it is really painful for them. Pain can cause too much stress in your house rabbits. A rabbit may die suffering from the pain in their tooth.

These delicate small pets must not suffer and a rabbit guardian can simply prevent that from happening by always giving them good quality rabbit hay together with rabbit chew toys.

Rabbit lifestyle and lifespan.

A rabbit cannot maintain a better lifestyle unless its owner supports them to do so.

Talking about lifestyle means helping your rabbits to have their meals on time and not bothering them when it is a rabbit’s time to sleep.

Most rabbit owners do not understand that rabbits are crepuscular animals. They are most active during dawn and dusk.

However, when most rabbit owners are awake and tend to play with their rabbits, that is their time for sleep. An owner may also bother their rabbits when the rabbit is already sleeping.

Failure to understand how do rabbits sleep and whether they sleep with their eyes or open or closed can cause the rabbit owners to disturb and interrupt the rabbits during their rest time.

Interruption of their sleep and not allowing them to sleep properly will cause stress in these delicate animals.

Veterinary care.

Rabbits are so delicate. They get stressed or sick very easily. A food that is starchy can cause them to have watery poops.

Understanding your rabbit’s diet and realizing health-related issues sooner and visiting a vet will ensure the long life of domestic rabbits.

Visiting any regular vet is not an option for domestic rabbits. Visiting any regular veterinary doctor may not always be right because rabbits are considered as exotic pets.

Find a vet that is specialized in rabbits health or a vet that works with exotic pets.

Every time you find anything unusual going on with your rabbits or may hear any unusual behavior visit a vet as soon as possible.

Going for regular checkups, keeping your rabbits in good shape will help grow the lifespan of your rabbits.

Toys for mental health and a happy bunny.

A lonely rabbit is very likely to pass away very soon due to the fact a lonely rabbits mental health deteriorates in time.

If your rabbit s bored and you do not spend sufficient time to bring your rabbits in a lively mood, your rabbits will suffer.

The domestic rabbit is similar to wild rabbits. They need to dig, forage, run around keep themselves active most of the time. That is the behavior of a normal rabbit.

A bored rabbit that is cage-free within your house is likely to chew on household stuff, carpet and furniture if they are bored.

To keep their mental health stimulated, you must provide them with rabbit chew toys. Rabbit chew toys are inexpensive and you can choose from many of them.

However many commercial rabbit chew toys can be dangerous for your rabbit because of the materials they use to make it.

I have written a list of safe rabbit chew toys recommended by our readers here which you may check out.

To retain your rabbits healthy, lively and prevent them from leaving you too early, you can provide them with toys. As well as bond with your house rabbits, spend time with them.

Similar to all other pets, rabbits want human interaction too. Interacting with their owners give the pet rabbits happiness and they do not feel lonely anymore.

As a result, a happy rabbit will have a longer lifespan indoors.

Common causes of death in rabbits:

Rabbits may die to several health issues. The most common reason for death in rabbits is GI stasis.

Not having enough fiber in a rabbit’s diet can cause GI stasis or gastrointestinal. The fiber in a rabbits diet comes from the hay.

Lack of enough fiber in a rabbits diet will cause a blockage in their stomach.

In case domestic rabbits are left outdoors on a hot summer day, your pet rabbits rabbit can die from overheating too.

That is why a domestic rabbit left indoors has an extended lifespan.

Rabbits will die from extreme stress. A mere sight of a predator can cause a heart attack in these animals. So leaving your rabbits without proper supervision and care is a NO-NO.

Find out the reasons for stress in rabbits here >>> Signs of stress in rabbits.

Having an injury while rabbits are left alone can be a reason for rabbit’s death too. Untreated injury can cause death in rabbits.

So always you have to keep an eye on your rabbits likewise any other pets.

Rabbit breeds and lifespan.

It is true that the lifespan of a domestic rabbit is not depended on their breed. It is more dependent on the care and love they receive from their owners.

However, the domestic rabbit lifespan indoors depends on the size of the breed of your rabbits. It is known that the larger breeds of rabbits tend to pass away early.

Although having a large body size, they have small organs similar to the size of small rabbits. The organs are not sufficient to support the good health of a large breed of rabbits.

As a result, large rabbit breeds have a lesser lifespan often compared to their smaller counterpart.

Hence it is often suggested for pet rabbit lovers to adopt smaller breeds of rabbits.

What is a rabbit’s age in human years?

A rabbit that is only 1-year-old in human age, has approximately lived 7 years in bunny age.

So to calculate your rabbit’s age you can just multiply the number of years he/she has lived in human years with seven.

That way you can find the approximate bunny years your rabbits have lived.

According to the Guinness book of world records, the longest a bunny has lived is 16 human years. 16 human years is equivalent to approximately 112 years.

Want your rabbit to be happy and healthy?

Need other things for your rabbit?
Click on the links below for:
Rabbit food
Rabbit Toys
Rabbit cages and houses
Rabbit health and hygiene