The most frequent rabbit illnessesIf the own rabbit suddenly behaves differently, the worries are often large that it is ill. But what are the most common rabbit diseases and how can you recognize them??
If the rabbit just sits there apathetically, it may be a sign of illness. (Photo: Pimonpim/Thinkstock,iStock)
Rabbits are masters in camouflaging diseases and usually suffer silently. No wonder, after all, weakness often means death for the escape animal in the wild. Nevertheless, there are some signs that indicate that the rabbit is not well. In order to quickly recognize the first symptoms of illness, it is crucial to observe the rabbit regularly and attentively. Thus already first changes in the behavior of the animal can indicate an illness.
Look closely at behavioral problems
If the rabbit is withdrawn, often sitting around apathetically and hopping around very little, this may already be a sign that the animal is not feeling well. If loss of appetite comes to it, you should be alarmed and visit if necessary a veterinary surgeon.
For the health of a rabbit it is crucial that the intestine is evenly and well filled, otherwise the digestion comes to a standstill and so bloat can arise. Thus a view of the excrement and urine belongs to the regular health control of the animal also. Unusual discoloration or a particularly liquid or hard consistency can be an indication of digestive disorders or other diseases.
If the rabbit feels strong pain, it often grinds its teeth. Since this behavioral pattern often occurs during relaxation, you should closely observe whether the animal shows other abnormalities in behavior. Basically, "Several symptoms in rabbits can be either harmless or indicative of a serious disease," explains the Swiss Animal Protection on its page on rabbit keeping.
Diseases can often be recognized by the eyes
Often you can tell the rabbit's health by looking at its eyes. Are these clear and free of adhesions or does the rabbit pinch them together and has strong lacrimation? If the animal has in addition a stuck nose, then this is frequently a first illness symptom.
Another indication is the increased scratching. If bald or even sore spots appear on the fur, the rabbit may be suffering from parasites.
The most common rabbit diseases
Even with the best care, sometimes you can not prevent the rabbit from becoming ill. The Zurich animal protection warns however: "Rabbit illnesses are very often attitude-conditioned."Wrong feeding can lead to malocclusions of the teeth and thus to digestive problems. Therefore, especially the teeth of a rabbit should be checked regularly by a veterinarian. Lack of exercise and social isolation often lead to apathetic behavior.
Some serious viral diseases such as myxomatosis and RHD (Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease, also known as Chinese disease) are almost impossible to treat once they have been contracted. Myxomatosis is manifested by a strong discharge from the eyes and the formation of edema. The RHD often shows no clear clinical picture. Often ends with the sudden death of the animal. However, there are vaccinations that protect the hobble from these deadly rabbit diseases.
Vaccinations and species-appropriate husbandry protect the animal
In the case of neurological deficits such as holding the head crooked, convulsing or temporary paralysis, the causes can be manifold. From ear infections, over an infestation of parasites up to the stroke many disease pictures come into question. "Many rabbit diseases can still be treated well if they are detected in time – so you should examine your animals regularly and look out for the first signs of illness," writes the German online magazine "Deine Tierwelt".