View Full Version : How to tell if a rabbit is deaf and/or blind

10-01-2014, 06:28 PM
Sorry for the stupid question, but how do you tell for sure that a rabbit is deaf or blind, either fully or partially? Would it be the way they act, or would a vet do tests?

10-01-2014, 07:39 PM
Don't know about deaf but I have a bunny who only has 1 eye and is almost completely blind due to glaucoma. She will move her head from side to side like she is scanning the area around her, uses her nose for most things and I my be mad but I could swear her whiskers are either longer or more sensitive. If you change her space around she would bump into things :(

10-01-2014, 07:53 PM

my Smudge is deaf, The vet checked his ears to see if there was any obvious reason but there was nothing.

I can stand behind him waving my hands like a dafty, i can run up to him and he wont flinch BUT if i have food, he wont initially react but if he smells it.. He comes up to me... If theres mad wind outside Willow does nuts and Smudge follows her but of left to his own devices he just sits despite any loud noise,..

Inimical Me
10-01-2014, 08:21 PM
Sharp, high pitched sounds seem to get a response out of any bunny I've ever known. If their ears don't pick up at the sound of something like a whistle, then I'd think they had hearing trouble. That said, I'm sure they sometimes know you're trying to get their attention and willfully ignore you :lol:.

"Scanning" (moving head from side to side) is common in rabbits with poor eyesight.

10-01-2014, 09:48 PM
I did the cotton wool ball test with Louie. Basically, a cotton wool ball doesnt make a sound when it drops to the ground. Therefore a rabbit with sight would see the cottonwool as it was dropped in front of his eyes and not merely react to the sound of an object being dropped.

I then asked the vet to check his eyes and there was no pupil reactiion whatsoever in either eye when a light was shined into them.

10-01-2014, 10:23 PM
We think Nena is deaf or hard of hearing. I've had a few vets do tests where she doesn't appear to respond, but it's very hard to judge because she's always such a fidget at the vets! For me I notice it because when Nena is alone and Tapla is inside/asleep, if I call her she doesn't look. If she sees me she goes mad, and if Tapla gets excited she also gets really excited... but when I call her or make noise there's just no response at all. I didn't mention my suspicion to my mom when I moved back home with them, and after a while she mentioned that she thought she might be deaf after getting to know them both. It doesn't seem to affect her so I've never looked into getting a proper diagnosis. She almost always has her sister to tell her what to be excited about, and if she's alone I just try to approach her from a non threatening angle - i.e. walk slowly and approach her from an angle that she can see me at. Sometimes she's really startled when she's finally realised I'm there, so I try to avoid that now as I feel bad!

10-01-2014, 10:49 PM
My Hamish bunny is very poor sighted. He scans, but he also struggles i you move things, and can be seen sniffing and scanning to see whats changed. He also thumps a lot more than the others, like if he hears something he worries and thumps. Im hoping once I can bond him with Ava she will help calm him.

My previous bunny, Buzzby, was deaf. He couldnt hear you coming up behind him no matter how much noise you made, and he was terrified when he finally caught sight of you. He was never scared of sounds, and I think it made him a more confident bunny in a way. It was just watching his complete lack of awareness of any sound, that was all we knew.

10-01-2014, 11:05 PM
I am convinced that my Timmy can't hear properly, and he can't see properly either because of the eye ulcers we just can't get rid of, even though he has had loads of treatments from the vet and an eye specialist involved.

He is unaware a lot of the time when I approach him, even though I always talk to him. He does react to very loud noises, but don't know if it's the noise or vibration he reacts to.

13-01-2014, 10:56 AM
I'm unsure if my Slipper has hearing/eyesight problems as he sure does like to play tricks on me at times that make me think there's nothing wrong with him and I'm imagining it. Then other times I'm not so sure :?

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