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View Full Version : How often do Rabbits get ill ?



flat
05-02-2013, 03:40 PM
I know it's a ' how long is a piece of string ' type question , but how often do rabbits get ill ?

I ask this because I'm looking at rescuing a couple of house rabbits within the year and i wanted to find out whether or not they are right for me.

I say the above because i am quite a ' worrier ' and i don't think i could deal with a seriously ill rabbit every 6 months

thanks,

flat

Kermit
05-02-2013, 03:45 PM
Honestly just depends. Like anything!

Some buns never get ill, some are ill all the time, some now and again.

No matter what pet you get you will worry.

You have found this forum now and there are so many knowledgeable and helpful people on here to give you advice and lessen any worries :)

fruitandnutcake
05-02-2013, 03:47 PM
I think it's impossible to say really...I've had Bugsy & Chloe for 5 years, no problems at all. Poppy hasn't had any illnesses in the 3 years I've had her (don't know how old she is). Pebbles had a huge abdominal tumor when I adopted him, but hasn't had any further tumors since it was removed nearly 3 years ago. However he does have malocclusion and doesn't eat much hay, so has needed regular dentals, although hasn't need one for about 8 months now. Pebbles has had episodes of stasis, but this has always been related to his dental issues, and has also not happened since I've adjusted his diet.

happybun
05-02-2013, 03:49 PM
my personal advice to anyone thinking of starting with rabbits is 'don't'! they are very expensive and time-consuming to keep properly and are only suitable pets for middle-aged women with large disposable incomes and deeply generous personalities. pre-maternal women also make good rabbit keepers, but rabbits are the wrong commitment for that stage of life.
get a hamster instead.

of course, you don't have to listen to me...;) i'm the woman who made an emergency trip by taxi to asda to buy a hairdryer to dry a rabbit's bum on sunday. :roll::lol:

flat
05-02-2013, 04:02 PM
my personal advice to anyone thinking of starting with rabbits is 'don't'! they are very expensive and time-consuming to keep properly and are only suitable pets for middle-aged women with large disposable incomes and deeply generous personalities. pre-maternal women also make good rabbit keepers, but rabbits are the wrong commitment for that stage of life.
get a hamster instead.

of course, you don't have to listen to me...;) i'm the woman who made an emergency trip by taxi to asda to buy a hairdryer to dry a rabbit's bum on sunday. :roll::lol:

:lol:

Money is no problem for me , i live alone and earn alot more than i can spend , so im ok on that front :D

I also have a lot of spare time so i'm sure rabbits will help fill that XD

Amy104
05-02-2013, 04:02 PM
Personally I think of rabbits as a very sensitive species where illness is concerned. I know there are probably a few on here who are fortunate enough to of had bunnies who were pretty robust but from personal experience they are nowhere near as hardy as my other pets. Somebun is always ill in my house, my vets threatened to get me my own seat in the waiting room. No-one really copes when their fur babies are ill, it its a huge strain and causes endless amounts of worry, but it is sensible to think about how you will manage practicality wise and expense wise when considering a pet.

ripminnie
05-02-2013, 04:04 PM
[QUOTE=happybun;5761575

of course, you don't have to listen to me...;) i'm the woman who made an emergency trip by taxi to asda to buy a hairdryer to dry a rabbit's bum on sunday. :roll::lol:[/QUOTE]

:lol: :lol: :lol:

If in doubt i would definitely not get buns :wave:

fruitandnutcake
05-02-2013, 04:05 PM
my personal advice to anyone thinking of starting with rabbits is 'don't'! they are very expensive and time-consuming to keep properly :

I agree with this...house rabbits keep you on your toes...when you think you have bunny proofed everything, they find something you have missed and chew it :lol:

bethepoet
05-02-2013, 04:10 PM
I have three and, touch wood, have never had an illness.

madcatwoman
05-02-2013, 04:12 PM
I think maybe knowing the background of a rabbit may be an advantage, perhaps. I do wonder if some are more prone to being ill if they have had a poor start in life?? This doesnt rule out getting a rabbit from a rescue, I would say a rescue would know far more about a rabbit than say a pet shop etc.

Rescues have seen it all and have a bit of a 6th sense about certain things in bunnies. Many rescues have mums with babies so know their history.

Having said this Ive always had adult rescue buns with no history. Sadly one only lived 6 weeks but my other 4 have thrived. I lost one to old age and her back end going at 11yrs, one to pasturella at about 7yr. With my current 2, Ozzie is now three and never had anything, touch wood, Twinkle is about 6 or 7 and has had a breast tumour removed, possibly caused by being spayed very late.

Maybe its just luck of the draw. But good on you for thinking ahead. Would it put me off having rabbits......No but then I am a bit daft:lol: and like a challenge

Amy104
05-02-2013, 04:17 PM
Not that I would wish it on anybun but illness has been one of the best bonding experiences I've had with my bunnies, Bluebell was on daily meds and being nebulised daily for his last year and whilst I would always want him healthy I've also got memories I cherish so I agree it is not something that would put me off personally.

Georgeypudding
05-02-2013, 04:56 PM
its very difficult. Sebastian is 3 and a half (actually its his 3rd gotcha day today :love:) he occasionally goes into stasis (stops eating and pooing) but is normally better within 5 days apart from that he's as fit as a fiddle. Mae was his first mate she had bloat, severe weight loss but rallied round and then died out of the blue one day less than 2 years after adopting her. Imogen is his second mate she's never been ill in the year and a bit I've owned her that is until recently and right now the bill is over 300 and counting but we have no idea what is wrong.


Rabbits tend to be healthy, but when they get sick they get pretty sick :(

klw
05-02-2013, 05:08 PM
I've had 8 year old buns who've never had a day's illness in their life. I've also had 2 buns ill this year in as many weeks.

If they're well-bred then they're generally more likely to be healthy and free of genetic faults such as dental problems but there are never any guarantees. Like humans, some are healthier than others. Equally, some give up when they're ill whereas others will put up a fight and do their best to survive.

It can be stressful, expensive and it is very time-consuming to care for ill buns, particularly when they require meds or feeding around the clock, day and night. It's not a decision to take lightly. Having said this, I wouldn't be without them - ever!

Fellie
05-02-2013, 05:26 PM
It's funny you know - certain people might say to me 'ooo- I was thinking about getting a rabbit' and I will give all the bad stuff - like the fact they need so much care, can be so expensive, can be such a worry....but to other people I say 'yes - do get a couple of bunnies - they are the best thing ever'.... it depends on the person and whether I think a bunny is suitable for them.

I think it depends on how much time and money you can afford to give...AND most importantly, can you stand the worry that inevitably comes from owing creatures who can come with a wide range of medical issues.

We have 4 little people - 2 of which have had GI Stasis - and we consider ourselves lucky that that is all we've had in the last year...

Just have a look at the Health thread on here - gives you good indication of what you might be letting yourself in for.

And also - there is a very high risk that once you've had a couple of buns - you will always want more...can you resist?

fruitandnutcake
05-02-2013, 06:38 PM
And also - there is a very high risk that once you've had a couple of buns - you will always want more...can you resist?

er...that's my problem :lol::lol:

happybun
05-02-2013, 07:55 PM
:lol:

Money is no problem for me , i live alone and earn alot more than i can spend , so im ok on that front :D

I also have a lot of spare time so i'm sure rabbits will help fill that XD

:lol: yes, they'll help you with that!

dutchbunny
06-02-2013, 09:53 AM
my personal advice to anyone thinking of starting with rabbits is 'don't'! they are very expensive and time-consuming to keep properly and are only suitable pets for middle-aged women with large disposable incomes and deeply generous personalities. pre-maternal women also make good rabbit keepers, but rabbits are the wrong commitment for that stage of life.
get a hamster instead.

of course, you don't have to listen to me...;) i'm the woman who made an emergency trip by taxi to asda to buy a hairdryer to dry a rabbit's bum on sunday. :roll::lol:

Mine are insured. I rather spend 20 a month of their insurance and preventative care insurance than risk a massive vet bill.
With the right set up, they are not expensive animals to keep I think.

happysaz133
06-02-2013, 10:24 AM
Depends on the bunnies. I do think some people worry more and it makes their bunnies ill. Mine are pretty much bombproof. I have 5, since getting the first 2 in 2010, none of the 5 have been ill. Only been to the vets for vaccinations and neuters/spays.

KateB
06-02-2013, 11:14 AM
In our experience, when they do get ill it tends to be seriously ill and/or long term with lots of vet visits, time out of work during the day to administer meds and other chaos. We've found this is possible as we can split the disruption between us (although I do most of the vet visits). The time and worry commitment can be huge as well as the vet bills.

They're great and we don't regret having them, but there are times when we're really stretched due to their illnesses.

We've had 4 buns in total since 2007 - all rescues - so to give you an idea:
Dill (2007-2012) - regular dentals, then persistent chest infection that after a 6 month battle ended in PTS
Willow (2007 - now) - regular dentals, one episode of bloat, now has a chest infection
Brownie (2009 - 2011) - EC/Head tilt which became permanent (so diff accommodation required), then sudden onset pneumonia from which we could not save her
Goose (2012 - now) - bloat which required 3 days in the vet hospital, on going dodgy tummy/guts managed by diet

So we've learnt lots about rabbit diseases & administering meds, and my little toddler knows our vets by name & often plays "taking the toy to the bunny doctor"......:lol:

BattleKat
06-02-2013, 12:06 PM
I've got 3 rabbits. One was ill when we got him but was quickly sorted out, one is bombproof and one has had a few episodes of refusing to eat (caught early so not a big deal)

Rabbits are really pot luck. Some are ill all the time, some are incredibly healthy. Insurance is reassuring on the bills front, but nothing will help with the worry.
The problem is with rabbits they tend to go downhill very fast and hide their problems well. You might go from an apparently healthy happy rabbit to a critically ill rabbit in hours. Where most other species can wait until the morning to see a vet rabbits usually can't.
The other issue is finding a vet who understands rabbits and knows how to treat them, without a good vet the worry will be 10x worse.

I wouldn't say don't get rabbits, because for the right person they make a fantastic pet, but I do wish I'd had more realistic expectations when I got mine and browsing the forum is an excellent way to do some research.

MrsBinky
06-02-2013, 01:07 PM
flat do you want to keep the rabbits inside or outside?
If you're renting I would advise against house rabbits....we own our place but once our rabbiting days are over/we need to sell we have a carpet, 2 skirting boards, floorboards in the hallway & many minor things that need to be replaced.

We have 2 buns;
1 is 4 & (touch wood) has never been ill...and he's a Pets at Home bun so must be one of the lucky ones!
1 is 5 & she's been ill 3/4 times since we've had her (at a cost of anything from 40 to 300 when treated).

cpayne
06-02-2013, 01:13 PM
I live alone and I wouldn't be without Doughnut however much she has cost me.

I would get pet insurance but you can't stop worrying. With every animal you get and love, you will worry when they are ill. Doughnut has just been unlucky by cutting herself internally but other rabbits have had nothing wrong with them for years.

I say go for it, it is so rewarding and it there is lots of heart ache when they get ill but that is true of any pet. I was told by my vet that rabbits are the hardest animals to keep but if you prefer a rabbit there is no point in getting a dog or cat!

thumps_
06-02-2013, 06:38 PM
:wave: Hi Flat & welcome to RU.

It's very much a "how long is a piece of string" question.
Also RU has a very high proportion of members who care for rabbits with serious ongoing, or recurrent illness. I think this gives a false impression of the frequency of illness in rabbits. They can be insured against illness to reduce vet's bills but not against tooth problems, which can be very expensive.
Rabbits can get very ill very quickly, & need expert specialist vet help quickly. I would find out if you can access such a vet easily. Maybe put up a new thread asking members about "rabbit savvy vets" in your area.

Because rabbits are prey animals in the wild (dinner to many other animals) they don't show many signs of illness, which is unlike cats & dogs. Eating less & pooping less can be the only initial sign of a serious gut condition called stasis. Again if you are concerned you can ask RU for advice. You will also find much emotional support on here. We know what it feels like, & TBH I think we all worry when they're ill, cos we love them so much.

Rabbits behave like rabbits. Have a look at normal house rabbit behaviour on the video #2 http://forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/showthread.php?377509-Rabbit-shaming. As said before they can be quite destructive by expressing normal behaviour in the house eg digging up carpet, chewing furniture, & electric cables. Most seem to have a penchant for computor cables! However with understanding of this behaviour & a lot of patience they can be trained to express this behaviour in more acceptable ways. All visable electric cables need to be protected from chewing. Once a "bad habit" becomes established it is almost impossible to train them out of it. I see it as a challenge to understand their viewpoint & find innovative ways to allow them to express their behaviour as rabbits in ways which are acceptable to me. They have no concept whatsoever of "punishment".

On the huge plus side they are highly intelligent, & being social animals, usually relate well to humans again in their own way, which can be quite subtle. They need stimulation. They have widely different temperaments, showing most human attributes. Unlike other pets, keeping a rabbit needs a lot of "give & take" on both sides. They will watch you & copy your behaviour!
I happen to enjoy this type of relationship. To achieve it, they need as much input as a 2 year old child.