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Spotting when your bunny is ill

The Duchess

Wise Old Thumper
This is a note from my Facebook rescue page which might be useful to some. https://www.facebook.com/notes/the-rabbit-crossing/spotting-when-your-bunny-is-ill/456752894368443

Spotting When Your Bunny Is Ill

Rabbits are prey animals and are very similar to their wild cousins in behaviour terms; as a result, they hide illness and injury to avoid being a ‘sitting duck’. This means that unless you know your rabbits’ normal, healthy behaviour, it’s likely that you won’t notice when one of them is poorly until it has become serious.

If one of your rabbits is not behaving normally, you are concerned and you can’t attribute this to anything in particular (e.g. change in surroundings, diet, circumstance (loosing a partner rabbit, recent medical intervention), you must seek veterinary attention immediately. Rabbits can go downhill very quickly indeed and delayed treatment, can often cause unwanted suffering or possible early death.

Things to look out for are bunnies that mean a trip to the vets are:

Not eating, drinking (EMERGENCY)

Not pooing or weeing (EMERGENCY)

Straining to wee

Sitting in a hunched or strained position – this indicates pain (EMERGENCY)


Bleeding (EMERGENCY)

With nasal or ocular discharge

That are floppy or listless (EMERGENCY)

With a wet chin

With a wet or mucky bottom

With maggots on skin and or lesions (EMERGENCY)

With white fluffy ‘powdery’ substance at root of fur

With bald patches in skin

With bald or sore and infected hocks

Not moving correctly/limping

Refusing to get up (EMERGENCY)

Having a bloated tummy (EMERGENCY)

Tooth-grinding (not to be confused with tooth purring)

The best way to know when one of your bunnies is off colour is to spend lots of time every day enjoying their company and learning what they normally like to do, this way, when they don’t do it, you will know something is wrong.(This list is not exhaustive and may not cover every eventuality - if in doubt seek immediate veterinary advice)