Common Rabbit diseases and their symptoms
Even though rabbits are very robust pets, because of stress and bad diet or poor hygiene they are still exposed to various digestive, respiratory and other diseases, some of which are fatal such as cancer, HVHD and Myxomatosis and others less serious such as abscesses, long teeth, skin diseases and some eyes , ears and respiratory problems.
Symptoms are varied and the most alarming signs are diarrhea, small irregular droppings; discharge, sneezing, convulsions and refusal to eat and some other diseases and symptoms that we will see in detail in this article.
We will look at all rabbit diseases, their symptoms and how to detect them in time or more importantly, how to prevent them or the need to take your rabbit to the vet.
First of all, let’s start with these 10 signs that should alert you that your rabbit may be sick and that you should try to understand if you can recognize them in your rabbit:
- 1_ Your rabbit does not eat for more than 12 hours.
- 2- He always refuses to eat even if you give him his favorite treat.
- 3-Your rabbit loses weight that it doesn’t regain quickly enough even if you give it Critical Care for example or protein-rich pellets for several days.
- 4-Your rabbit is cowering on itself, a sign that it is suffering.
- 5-Your rabbit loses tufts of hair
- 6- Your rabbit suddenly starts to grind its teeth, it’s a bad sign !
- 7- Your rabbit has runny eyes, ears or nose.
- 8-Your rabbit saliva (wet hair around the mouth); sign of too long or curved teeth or an abscess.
- 9- Your rabbit no longer poo or pee (an emergency)
- 10- Your rabbit suddenly behaves in a strange and different way (unusual)
Quick verification of symptoms in your rabbit :
If you don’t wanna go into details and quickly find out what’s wrong with your adorable rabbit, check if your rabbit has the symptoms that correspond to every possible rabbit disease (this is only a preliminary diagnosis and it’s imperative that you take your rabbit to a veterinarian).
Check to see if your rabbit has some of these symptoms:
|Symptoms||Your Rabbit may have|
|– Rabbit scratching continuously himself|
– Fleas jumping on your hands
– Missing clumps of hair
|Fleas / Lice|
|– Excess shaking of rabbits head|
– Constant scratching of ears
– Hair loss at back of ears
– Crusty Inflamed inner ear
|– Pain |
– Matted fur
– Purulent exudate
|– Excessive head shaking|
– Lots of scratching inside of the ear with the paw
– Your rabbit might be a bit disgruntled with you if you try to touch this area on their head.
|Any Ear Infection|
|– Changes in litterbox habits|
– Difficulties to pee and poop
– Not Eating
|Kidney Problem ( Infection)|
|– Whitish urine|
– Some blood in urine
– Spends more time in his litterbox
|– Wet Chin or drooling|
– Not Eating or decrease in appetite
– Can’t eat hard food like carrots
– Too long or deformed incisors
– Infection of the jaw bone
|– The head that shakes or tilts to one side|
– He goes around in circles and hits objects in his cage.
|Head tilt (wry neck)|
|– Not eating|
– Can’t poop
|– Hair loss|
– Digestive disorders (gas and burping)
– Severe and continuous diarrhea
– Stop eating and drinking
|– Smaller, irregularly shaped droppings or droppings strung together with fur|
– Smelly poo
– Refuses his fresh food or its special treats for more than 24 h
– Red ears
|Heat Stress ( Heat Stroke)|
|– Stop Feeding|
-irregular small droppings , dabbled poop.
– Hair in its droppings than No poo or pee at all
|– Loss of balance|
– Feeding difficulties
|– Chronic Sneezing|
– Nasal discharges
– Labored breathing
– Conjunctivitis and ear infections
|– Fever + 42° C/107°F , cold or heat ears|
– Fatigue ; listless bunny and loss of appetite.
– Drooping and swollen ears.
– Red and watery eyes
– Discharges from its nostrils
|– Their feet are hurt and infected|
– Missing hair on the back legs near the bend
– Redness on the back legs near the bend
– Tooth grinding cuz of pain
|– He does not move and his back legs are lying on the ground|
– It drags its hind legs
|– Body heat ;High Fever|
– Bleeding from its nose, mouth and rectum
– Loud tooth grinding
– Loss of appetite and Lethargy
– Depressed and quiet
– Difficult breathing
– Sudden death
|– Read the post||Tumors|
Now I invite you to read more if you want to know more about rabbit diseases and what you can do to help your rabbit if it will one day show one or more symptoms.
Here are the common rabbit diseases:
1- Intestinal disorders in rabbits (GI Stasis)
Digestive disorders (translated by severe diarrhea) in rabbits can be very serious.
Diarrhea is very rare in adult rabbits, usually the result of another infection or disease, it can also be easily avoided before weaning with a minimum of hygiene, this disease can be fatal especially in young rabbits (between 4 and 10 weeks old).
Digestive disorders are usually, if not always, accompanied by diarrhea.
Symptoms of enteritis (digestive disorders) in rabbits
It is not easy to recognize a rabbit with digestive problems during the first two or three days, because the symptoms are only a decrease in the consumption of solid foods such as pellets and hay, especially hay.
After that, the symptoms of this rabbit disease will become more visible, because the rabbit will have a discreet diarrhea, not too consequent, it will just wet its hind legs a little bit but will not produce too much liquid faeces.
This diarrhea is sometimes preceded by constipation and the stop of consumption of cacotrophs by your rabbit.
Between three and six days, a rabbit with digestive problems will have dry skin, will start not eating or drinking water, and death will usually occur some time after the rabbit has heard grinding of its teeth.
Tooth grinding signals the existence of painful colic, (you will notice palpitations of the abdomen and feel the cecum filled with liquid and gas) and death occurs after several hours of a restless coma of spasmodic jerks.
On the other hand, if the animal survives one day in this coma, it will be able to get out of it because its immune system is quite developed and is fighting the infection.
The sign of healing that does not deceive is that the rabbit will go from diarrhea to constipation, it will produce small, hard droppings, a sign that it is on the road to recovery, which will also happen quite quickly.
What happens when a rabbit has a digestive disorder?
You should know that anything that stresses your rabbit can cause digestive problems.
Stress will change the hormonal balance of your pet. This hormonal imbalance, caused for example by a sudden release of adrenaline if your rabbit has been attacked by his cratemate or your dog …
This will affect the rabbit intestinal nervous system and cause the intestinal transit and caecotrophy to slow down or stop completely.
The content of the cecum will become too basic, the flora in this sensitive part of the rabbit’s intestine will become unbalanced; the coli bacteria, which were not numerous before, will become unbalanced because of this and because the consumption of the ccotrophs will stop.
What causes digestive disorders in rabbits?
The reasons for diarrhea caused by digestive disorders in rabbits can be many, an unprepared trip or a fright could affect your rabbit and the disease will not appear until several days later.
For example, it is not recommended to bring back or buy a rabbit that has just been weaned, because the trip home may stress the rabbit and cause a digestive problem later on.
You should also be aware of scenarios such as the following to avoid causing diarrhea in your rabbit:
The stress of the rabbit can be caused by :
- Noises that are not used to hearing and that persist
- The sudden change in temperature as when you open the room windows in the morning without covering the rabbit cage especially in winter .
- When you have visitors and the children become a little too curious and agitated near the rabbit cage.
- Your dog or a friend’s dog gets a little too close to your rabbit’s cage and scares it.
Food can also cause a digestive disorder:
- Avoid pellets that are too high in calories or have too much protein.
- A disorder in the amount of cellulose your rabbit gets from its food, as it needs it for the process of caecotrophy.
- Avoid disrupting the schedules at which you give pellets, vegetables and fruits to your rabbit.
- Avoid abrupt changes in your rabbit’s diet and introduce the new food little by little.
Your have to know how to correctly feed your rabbit ; he should also never be left without water, it must stay clear and fresh and you must change it if he has just dropped some droppings in it or you suspect that he has urinated in it by mistake, because it is one of the major causes of mucoid enteritis in rabbits.
- Avoid chemical agents, such as certain antibiotics that cause diarrhea, like ampicillin, clindamycin.
- Avoid molds, they cause severe digestive problems in rabbits, moldy hay, pellets can also become moldy and develop harmful fungi, bread and peelings, always give your rabbit fresh vegetables and fruits.
Microbes can also cause digestive disorders in rabbits!
Microbism is a pollution of :
Air : when you choose the wrong location for your rabbit cage (in a too humid or non ventilated corner … )
Objects and cage or hutch: by bacteria, parasites, viruses or fungi . Most of the time, these microbes and bacteria are not intrinsically pathogenic and dangerous. They can become so when the pollution is high and permanent because of the bad maintenance of the cage and the objects used by the rabbit .
Viruses, intestinal parasites such as Rotavirus ; Trematode (fluke), cestode (taenia), nematodes (intestinal worms), protozoa (coccidia); coccidia, coccidiosis and bacteria, even rarely, can also cause diarrhea in rabbits, but especially in breeders, but I will name them:
Corynebacterium, Clostridium, Enterotoxemia , and especially E. coli and Escherichia (Colicolibacillosis). These bad bacteria can come from the industrial food but especially from the bad hygiene of the rabbit cage like Clostridium for example.
Theses are some other bacteria that causes rabbit diarrhea :
- Tyzzer disease too , caused by Clostridium piliforme bacteria.
- Proliferative enteropathy caused by Lawsonia intracellularis bacteria .
- Mucoid enteritis : diarrheal disease of rabbits that causes inflammation, an abnormally secretions, and a mucus in the intestines.
As for viruses, there is only one culprit when Rotaviroses appear (an enteropathogenic rabbit virus that rarely appears in breeders; don’t worry, your rabbit will never contract it).
After we have discussed the intestinal pathology, we will now talk about another very common disease in rabbits, which is the respiratory pathology.
What should I do if my rabbit has diarrhea?
In the past and even for naturalists nowadays, white vinegar in water can help your rabbit to overcome diarrhea, you should add 20 ml of white vinegar to one liter of water.
In fact, this mixture will acidify your rabbit’s stomach contents and help the digestion of proteins and selluloses which will help to keep a balanced intestinal flora and prevent your rabbit from having severe diarrhea.
If you notice the other symptoms I mentioned before, such as abdominal palpitations or swelling of the cecum, and you notice that your rabbit is not feeding anymore, you should take your rabbit to the Vet as soon as possible.
2- The respiratory disease of rabbits:
Rabbits are also prone to diseases of the respiratory system. Adult male rabbits (except for the breeders) generally do better than young rabbits, bunnies and especially females, they are very sensitive to respiratory diseases and difficult to treat too.
Symptoms of upper respiratory diseases in rabbits :
If your rabbit is at the first stage of a respiratory disease, you will generally see him scratching his nose with his hind legs (the hair on these legs will be soiled, stuck and dirty).
You will notice before that during a simple Coryza for example (when only the upper respiratory tracts of the rabbit are affected). You will also hear continuous sneezing, when it is not due to a too dusty hay or a twig of hay stuck in the nostrils of your rabbit.
But coughing, sneezing and runny nose can also be symptoms of a serious infection, or one that may become serious and that you should take seriously and treat your rabbit right away.
Let’s take a closer look at what rabbit respiratory diseases are, what are the warning signs, how to avoid these rabbit respiratory diseases and especially how to prevent them.
Signs of lower respiratory tract disease in rabbits (advanced stage ) :
First of all, know that the word “Coryza” means only one thing : “a rabbit sneezing” and it is not rabbit cold as you are told !!! So let’s go on to know the symptoms of rabbit respiratory problems:
1-Sneezing: when your rabbit sneezes, it’s usually a bad sign because it’s very rare that it’s caused by a cold or an allergy (to pollen which is also very rare) and it often hides a respiratory disease in rabbits.
2-Breathing difficulties (Dyspnea) : one of the symptoms of respiratory diseases in rabbits is the congestion of the nose by fungus, which will prevent your rabbit to breathe properly and make a sound when he breathes, because the rabbit never breathes through the mouth.
And if you notice your rabbit open its mouth to try to breathe, know that it is an emergency and you must take it to a vet immediately.
3- The rabbit’s eye discharge: you will also see the hairs stuck under the nostrils and eyes because of the discharge and when the disease has been going on for some time, you will notice that the inside of your rabbit’s front paws are wet because of the discharge from the nose and eyes because the rabbit wipes himself with his paws.
4- Increased breathing: if your rabbit is suffering from a respiratory disease, you will notice that he is breathing faster than usual, look at his flanks, just at the level of the abdomen before the hind legs.
5-Cough : Finally, one last symptom, even very rare, which is coughing, you can also hear your rabbit coughing from time to time when he has a respiratory infection.
What is the risk for a rabbit that has a respiratory problem that cannot be treated?
If your rabbit shows its signs and you ignore them, he/she may survive, but there may be complications, and usually its respiratory disease will become a chronic disease that you should treat for good after that.
1- Pasteurellosis for example can become chronic and even the antibiotics afterwards will only have a limited effect in time and your rabbit will become sick again because of this germ because he is a carrier of this germ.
2-Otitis in the middle ear: The second risk when you don’t treat a respiratory disease is that your rabbit will have an otitis because the nose and the ears of the rabbit are somehow linked and your rabbit will be unbalanced and will have difficulty to move properly.
3-Abscesses: Untreated respiratory diseases in rabbits can lead to abscesses; at the neck level and even dental abscesses which can become dangerous for him and will require expensive surgery .
As a primary conclusion, you should always take these symptoms seriously and take your rabbit to see a veterinarian as soon as they appear, especially all together and at the same time.
Are these respiratory diseases contagious in rabbits ?
Not all of them, but there are two of them, one of bacterial origin and another one due to a virus, which are contagious:
The rabbit should be operated on if an abscess forms and removed and the infection treated with antibiotics.
After a few hours, the infected rabbit will feel sharp and brutal pain, local inflammatory reaction, fever, impotence.
If left untreated, risk of abscess, arthritis, osteitis, chronic progression.
In case you notice symptoms of respiratory disease in one of your rabbits, you must immediately isolate it from its cage or saddle mates and prevent any contact between it and your other pets such as guinea pigs for example, because a rabbit can be healthy but carry the germs of both infections and transmit them to an older rabbit or guinea pig and it will make them sick while he will have nothing!
The respiratory disease of viral origin and which has signs that do not deceive, runny nose and eyes in your rabbit (conjunctivitis) and this disease is unfortunately not curable, you can just prevent it by vaccinating your rabbit.
4- E Cuniculi
Symptoms of this disease can appear several years after contamination following a stress episode, an immunode of depression….
Symptoms are essentially characterized by :
- Loss of balance
- Paralysis or weakness in the hind legs
- Feeding difficulties
- Ophthalmological signs (uveitis)
Kidney failure may also be present.
This disease must be treated quickly because it can be transmitted to humans as well. Antibiotics, antiparasitics and vitamins will be prescribed to your rabbit.
- It will also be necessary to clean with bleach all the objects soiled by your rabbit’s urine.
- It is also important to wash your hands properly after touching an infected rabbit.
- A rabbit suffering from E.Cuniculi must be isolated from other rabbits. Ant parasitic treatment can be used as a preventive measure in animals in contact with HIV-positive animals.
When a rabbit is affected by coccidiosis, you will notice:
- Hair loss
- Digestive disorders (gas and burping)
- The rabbit will suffer from severe and continuous diarrhea.
- The rabbit will stop eating and drinking
It is very deadly, the Coccidia responsible for this disease in rabbits attacks the stomach lining of the animal.
These microorganisms live in balance in the rabbit digestive system in a normal way, but when stress levels are very high in the animal and its immune defenses are low, the coccidia multiply uncontrollably and affect the rabbit negatively.
The cause is often stress stroke and it can also easily cause secondary infections such as coliform infection , caused by Escherichia coli and the main symptom and most serious problem it produces is continuous diarrhea.
Heat stress ( Heat stress )
Your rabbit can also suffer from heat stroke, as its body temperature should never exceed 85° F (between -10° C and 30° C), remember that rabbits are born in cold areas.
In this case, you will see that your rabbit’s breathing accelerates and you must ventilate the room to lower the temperature. Never wet your rabbit in these cases, you risk aggravating his case.
Just take your rabbit to a cooler area of the house.
3-Dermatological (skin) diseases in rabbits
1- Scabies ( Ear mites ) :
You detect this disease by noticing that your rabbit has itching and scratching in its ears, and you will see scabs and infection inside the rabbit’s ears.
The cause is a microscopic mite and it must be treated quickly before it affects the whole body of your rabbit.
When a rabbit has ringworm, you remove hairless areas of the rabbit’s body, scabs form in these areas and lesions and oozing when the disease is advanced.
A visit to the veterinarian is mandatory because this disease is contagious even to humans and you will have to disinfect the entire environment of the rabbit to get rid of the parasite.
The symptoms :
Flea attacks are characterized by intense itching, irritation and superinfections.
It is better to avoid fleas than to treat them. Preventive treatments, especially in the spring, are recommended to keep fleas away from rabbits, especially if you have other pets that regularly go outside to play.
Head tilt or loss of balance :
Rabbit ear infections can cause inner ear infections and then a rabbit brain infection.
The main symptom is that you make your rabbit tilt its head to one side and turn around in its cage with a loss of balance.
What can you do?
Turn down the light and keep the room quiet so that your rabbit stops moving around and does not hurt itself while waiting to take it to the vet.
This problem can be temporary or permanent and a visit to the Veterinarian is highly recommended in this case.
It is not uncommon for small fungi to attack the rabbit’s lower limbs, causing itching. It is therefore imperative to quickly apply a suitable antifungal agent.
Your veterinarian will give you a treatment for your rabbit.
As i said before, contaminated rabbit presents symptoms such as swelling, fever, fatigue and swollen, red and runny eyes and a runny nose.
It is transmitted by mosquitoes, fleas or by close contact with an already infected rabbit.
Without immediate treatment, the disease spreads and leads to the death of the rabbit within only a few days.
Unfortunately, there is no treatment that cures this disease, only against the symptoms, hence the frequent mortality. In addition, an animal in care must be isolated because it remains highly contagious.
Keep your rabbit away from mosquitoes as a simple prevention.
4-Dental diseases in rabbits
Abscesses are very common in rabbits, so it is best to spot them early and remove them surgically and let antibiotics cure the infection before it spreads throughout your bunny’s body.
2-The dental malocclusion (Over grown teeth or incisiors)
In this case you will notice that your rabbit cannot feed normally anymore and the rabbit’s rabbit rack often remains full, so digestive problems are to be expected in the next few days.
If it is hereditary, you can only file them regularly at a veterinarian or remove them altogether as a last resort and give the rabbit only liquid food with a syringe.
But if it is due to a lack of tooth wear, you should encourage your rabbit to eat more hay by temporarily removing the other feeds and also give him high quality hay and chew toys as well as treats that have a slightly hard texture.
5-The hemorrhagic disease (Calicivirus, Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus “RHDV”)
It must be specified here that the Europeans released this virus in the wild to control the proliferation of wild hares which according to them were ravaging the crops !!! what a shame !!!…
The symptoms of this incurable disease are obvious, signs of haemorrhage in the orifices of the rabbit, mouth, anus and nostrils.
This viral disease is highly contagious. The virus is highly resistant and is transmitted through the respiratory tract.
Unfortunately, when symptoms appear, the rabbit has only 3 days to live in the best case.
The disease evolves rapidly and there is no treatment, you’d better ask your veterinarian to administer a preventive vaccine to your rabbit, the one against hepatitis C1.
gives results ) .
- Avoid any contact between your rabbit and wild animals if it goes outside.
- Avoid cutting grass for your rabbit in places where wild rabbits are dragged.
- Maintain hygiene and a disinfection program
The rabbit is very sensitive in the urinary tract. It is indeed prone to urinary stones and infections.
These often fatal pathologies are generally due to a poor quality or unbalanced diet that is too rich in calcium.
The rabbit is prone to cystitis or stones (in the bladder, urethra, ureters or kidneys); these diseases are very often caused by inadequate mineral concentrations in the diet.
1-Bladder Sludge :
Note that rabbits are particularly sensitive to excessive calcium intakes.
Bladder sludge is the accumulation of calcium carbonate in the rabbit urinary bladder, forming crystals like sand in fact. you will notice a a viscous and whitish urine, a bit like condensed milk.
You will also notice that your rabbit goes in his litter box, and stays there without being able to urinate and poop or it takes him more time than usual.
Sometimes you can even see a little blood in the urine.
They are in fact the ones who secrete this calcium to throw it out of their bodies and because of a slowing or stopping of their transit,or a food too rich in calcium ( + 510 miligrams/day ) !; this calcium accumulates and forms like a sand . It is uncomfortable for the rabbit and also painful.
Obesity in rabbits can also cause this disease which can be complicated to give rise to E Cuniculi .
So to avoid this problem, you must pay attention to your rabbit’s diet and especially take your pet out so that he can biogas and exercise and thus evacuate this excess calcium by mixing it with his urine.
2-Reddish Urine : for example is caused by an excess of green vegetables, a lack of vitamins, legumes and fiber. You should also be aware that orange-colored urine may also be due to stress.
Give your rabbit a little more good first cut fodder.
Rabbits can develop a number of tumors.
1-Trichoblastoma: this benign skin tumor requires surgical treatment.
2-Melanoma: this skin cancer is characterized by brown spots and the prognosis is often negative.
3-Thymoma (tumors of the thymus): One of the quite characteristic signs is exorbed eyes.
This tumor is due to a compression of the vessels which disturbs the venous return and causes exorbed eyes and death of the animal.
4-Mammary tumors: Generally malignant, they must be operated on quickly, but the prognosis is systematically engaged.
5-Seminoma: this cancer of the testicles is very often fatal, even if the animal is castrated. This cancer is very aggressive in rabbits and metastases rapidly.
8- Lack of appetite in rabbits:
Rabbits are very emotional animals, and a simple stress, a small fright… can shock them and push them to stop feeding.
In this case, you can try to restore her appetite by providing a calmer environment with lots of caresses and affection.
You can also make him drink a mixture of pineapples and water, but if your rabbit refuses to eat for more than two days, you must see a veterinarian because the cause may be an illness.
Lack of appetite should not be confused with Tularemia, caused by fleas and mites, only a diagnosis in the veterinarian can detect this disease.
By the way, according to Dr Jennifer Coates, DVM, Tulemeria , that could affect humans too , is really dangerous for pets especially, cats, dogs and rabbits that lives outside, you will notice many symptoms in an infected rabbit :
Mildly infected animals may only suffer from a brief period of poor appetite, lethargy, and a low grade fever that resolves without treatment. More severely affected individuals can suffer from dehydration, draining abscesses, jaundice, ulcers in and around the mouth, eye infections, swollen lymph nodes, enlarged liver and/or spleen, and high fevers.Dr Jennifer Coates DVM
Unfortunately, like all furry animals, rabbits spend a lot of time licking and cleaning themselves, and at the same time swallowing hair that can form a ball in the rabbit’s stomach and cause problems.
Since the rabbit would not vomit these hairs, they can create an obstruction in the animal’s stomach if they don’t pass into the intestine. The rabbit will stop feeding.
A high fiber diet for your rabbit and regular brushing is necessary, especially in the case of Angora rabbits.
Surgery is often necessary if the rabbit is not able to get rid of the hair.
10- Sore Hocks
These are open wounds on the hocks of the rabbit, generally caused by poor hygiene in the cage or a wire floor or bedding that is not adapted and hurts your rabbit.
The treatment of these wounds is difficult, so it is best to avoid injuring your rabbits and provide them with a suitable bedding that you will renew before it gets completely soiled.
11- Rabbit eye problems
Corneal ulcers (of the cornea)
Because of its large eyes and the absence of blinking, the rabbit sometimes suffers from a corneal ulcer, a corneal disease.
This disease is an emergency because the rabbit that contracts it will feel pain and gene in the affected eye.
The most apparent symptom is a white veil covering the retina of the rabbit’s eye.
Conjunctivitis & inflammation of the tear ducts)
The apparent symptom of this eye disease is that the area around the eyes becomes red and a little swollen.
This conjunctivitis in rabbits is treated with antibiotics because the cause is viral or bacterial.
You should take your rabbit to the vet as soon as you see it rubbing its eyes with its front paws and the area around its eyes becomes bright red plus discharge from the eye.
Knowing what’s wrong with your rabbit just by looking at its Droppings ” Poop “
The droppings of a healthy rabbit must be round and of uniform size, generally of color rather brown, these droppings are neither uniform, nor sticky nor full of hair, they do not smell bad nor strong, they look dry but friable when they are fresh , full of chewed up hay, they do not crumble easily and your rabbit must produce on average between 250 and 350 droppings per day.
As I said before; the droppings of a healthy Rabbit should be brown in general and if your rabbit’s droppings turn black or become dark, know that your rabbit’s diet is too rich in protein and you must balance his diet before causing him a digestive problem.
The Cecotropes of your rabbit must look like the one in the picture, their color, squishy texture , shape and glossy surface.For the smell, you should smell them only if the thin membrane that covers them opens up.
Be careful just when your rabbit starts to produce a little more Cecotropes than usual, it’s a sign that you are giving him too many sweet treats or he is just stressed.
When your rabbit’s droppings are bound together with hair, don’t worry if there is space between them, you should be worried if they form a large clump, a sign that your rabbit needs more fiber and more greenery and especially more exercise.
Also, remember to brush your rabbit more often and avoid that it swallows too much hair.
Stress or the advanced age of a rabbit are the two factors that can be the cause of droppings stuck two by two.
If your rabbit is young and in excellent health and produces this kind of droppings, you should know that its intestinal transit has just slowed down and you should try to understand the reason.
Stress is often behind the oval shaped, elongated droppings, but it could also be that your rabbit has a rare hereditary disease which is Megacolon, a veterinarian could confirm this diagnosis and I’m not a veterinarian, I just do excellent research.
If you notice that your rabbit produces round droppings that are smaller than usual, it is due to stress if they return to normal after 48 hours. If not, you should take your rabbit to the veterinarian because small droppings for more than a day are a sign of digestive problems, slow digestion or a complete GI Stasis.
When your rabbit does not eat enough food for one reason or another, it will produce small droppings and formed males .
Your rabbit doesn’t like its hay or the hay is mouldy, the pellets are not adapted to the rabbit or it could simply be a dental problem in your rabbit or an abscess in the mouth, an irritated tongue…
You must take your rabbit to the veterinarian on the same day that it will produce droppings covered by a mucous membrane.
This is surely a serious digestive problem and the cause is often parasites.
A rabbit with diarrhea is a rabbit that has shown signs of intestinal or viral disease long before and that you have ignored or simply not recognized.
You should take your rabbit to the veterinarian immediately after you have found signs of diarrhea in the cage or even a small diarrhea that just wets the perimeter of the rabbit’s anus.
Is my rabbit gonna to die, what are the signs of an eminent death?
Unfortunately, rabbits also die and I have to give you the signs of imminent death in a rabbit, so you must go within the hour with your rabbit to the vet if you want to save it, here they are:
- The rabbit doesn’t eat or drink anymore +24 h !
- The Rabbit doesn’t move anymore !
- Altered vital signs: lower body temperature and very weak then very fast breathing and trembling.
- Abnormal behavior such as defecating in an uncontrolled way and everywhere, fear without reason…
- Remain still
- Shortness of breath
- Abnormal behavior
Some answers to the most frequently asked questions about rabbit health
Are rabbits prone to illness?
No, not necessarily, especially if you learn how to take good care of your bunnies, but it is preferable that as a parent of one or more rabbits, you must know its diseases, and especially the symptoms to intervene from the beginning of the disease.
What diseases kill rabbits ?
Thanks to preventive vaccines and early detection of symptoms, you can still save your rabbit, but generally speaking, there’s little to do if it’s a cancer or RHDV or Myxomatosis detected a bit late!
Will my rabbit give me the RVHD?
No; it’s contagious just between rabbits , but you must wash your hands thoroughly after every handling of your rabbit or objects in its cage, because some germs and bacteria can be dangerous for humans:
Cryptosporidiosis and external parasites
Should rabbits be vaccinated ?
Yes, it is recommended to vaccinate your rabbit against Myxomatosis, RVHD and RVHD2 every year.
when should I not worry about my bunny?
Here are the signs of a rabbit in excellent health :
An alert expression and demeanor.
Happy bunnies are curious and inquisitive and have bright, dry eyes
A healthy appetite
A dry, constantly twitching nose.
A healthy coat.
What is the best advice to give a rabbit owner about rabbit health?
The best advice I can give you is to avoid at all costs stressing your rabbit or causing him an emotional shock and to be very careful what he eats; because these are the two essential factors that guarantee a long and happy life for your rabbit
As you will have surely noticed, rabbits are certainly very cute and excellent companions, but sometimes, they can also quickly fall sick and if we do not intervene in time, they can even die faster than you think !
What to do then ? It’s simple, you will have to write down all the symptoms on a paper, and check that your rabbit doesn’t have them at least once a week.
Intervene quickly when you notice one or more symptoms, this will save the life of your adorable rabbit or at least avoid spending too much money if you don’t treat him in time !
Disclosure : This information is not meant to be a substitute for veterinary care. Always follow the instructions provided by your veterinarian.
Source : Merckvetmanual
1 thought on “Common Rabbit Diseases and Their Symptoms”
That is a good tip particularly to those new. Simple but very precise information? Thank you for sharing this one. A must read article.