Raising House Rabbits
Providing Information About Rabbits
Is My Bunny Sick?
Anyone with a pet rabbit has no doubt asked themselves, "Is my bunny sick?" Unless the rabbit has been to a veterinarian, chances are we are just guessing. However, only you truly know your rabbit, and when bunny strays from normal behaviour, activity levels or there are changes in eating, drinking and elimination routines there is a good chance that bunny needs a doctor visit.
A good way to tell if your rabbit might be sick is by performing routine generalized exams on your rabbit which can be done during your daily petting sessions. Things to look for in a general exam are listed below. If your notice anything unusual or are not sure if it is a problem discuss the situation with your veterinarian, it could be a vet check is in order.
If you suspect that your bunny is sick please do not hesitate in taking bunny to the vet. Delaying medical attention could be fatal.
My thought has always been if you suspect your rabbit is sick its best to get a check up just to be safe.
If your rabbit is sick and requires medication you might want to check out my page "Medication & Your Rabbit" this page will tell you what medications are safe for bunny and what isn't as well as tips on how to medicate your rabbit.
Other Signs Your Rabbit Might Be Sick
The following is only a basic guide, any signs of illness or injury should be discussed with a qualified veterinarian as soon as possible.
Listed by System:
This can be anything affecting the rabbits’ digestive system.
Symptoms may include: Loss of appetite; abdominal pain; arched back; small or no faecal droppings; diarrhea; dehydration; jaundice.
Possible causes include: GI Stasis; Mucoid-Enteropathy; Coccidiosis; Bacterial Enteritis.
This can be anything affecting the mouth & teeth.
Symptoms may include: Excessive salivation; inability to eat; weight loss; lip lacerations; weepy eyes.
Possible cause: Malocclusion. (tooth overgrowth)
This can be anything affecting the rabbit’s bones & muscles.
Symptoms may include: Inability to walk; dragging one or more limbs, inability to support weight, Paralysis of hind end or legs.
Possible causes include: Splay leg, Leg and/or Spinal Fractures.
This can be anything affecting the reproductive organs/genitalia.
Symptoms may include: crusty skin/scabs on nostrils, mouth, eyelids, ears, genitals
Possible causes include: Syphilis
Other Symptoms in Doe/female only: bloody Urine, bleeding from vulva, abdominal pain, GI stasis
Possible causes include: Uterine Cancer or Infection
This can be anything affecting the respiratory system, including the nose & lungs.
Symptoms may include: Sneezing; nasal & eye discharge; breathing difficulties or heavier/more laboured than normal; head shaking.
Possible causes include: Snuffles; Pasteurellosis; Heart Disease
Skin & Coat:
This is anything affecting the skin & fur.
Symptoms may include: Moist/ulcerated skin lesions on hind feet; Head shaking; itching/scratching; crusts & scabs in ears and/or body; hair loss.
Possible causes include: "Sore Hocks"; Parasites such as ringworm, mites, mange, fleas, ticks.
This is anything affecting the rabbit’s ability to urinate. Normal urine is cloudy, thick; often orange or brown in colour.
Symptoms may include: White pasty urine; difficulty/straining to urinate; arched back.
Possible causes include: Bladder Sludge; Kidney or Bladder Stones.
This can be anything affecting the rabbit's sense of balance
Symptoms may include: head tilt; unable to stand; rolling to one side; rapid back & forth movement of eyes; seizure like sympoms
Possible causes include: internal parasites; inner ear infection
Disclaimer: Raising House Rabbits takes no responsibility for the use or misuse of any information in this article. If you are suspect your rabbit is sick consult your local veterinarian.
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