Pet parents are very much in tune with the behavior and temperament of their furry buddies. Even owners of bunny rabbits, which rarely make a sound except for a shrill squeak when they’re either happy or apprehensive, can tell when their pet is not feeling well. We encourage rabbit owners to be observant of any subtle changes in their bunny’s habits or behavior. The following are some ways to tell if your rabbit is sick and needs to be seen by the vet:
Presence of Mites
Mites are parasites that make a home in your rabbit’s fur and skin, resulting in constant scratching of their ears or head, hair loss or bald patches, excess shaking of head, and a crusty, inflamed inner ear. There are three types of mites that can attack your bunny, namely ear mites, burrowing mites, and fur mites. Ear and fur mites are the usual culprits behind a rabbit’s excessive scratching and irritability. Remember not to use just any soap or shampoo to remove mites, and instead take your pet to a vet for proper and safe treatment.
Rabbits are known for their prominent, chisel-like front teeth that make it easy for them to chew hard plant materials and vegetables. However, did you know that a rabbit’s teeth grows continuously throughout its lifetime (approximately 4 to 5 inches every year)? Teeth of healthy rabbits are naturally worn down by regular ingestion of proper foods, such as greens and grasses. On the other hand, rabbits with dental problems or malocclusion (when the lower teeth protrudes in front of the front teeth) may have constant drooling, decrease in appetite, bad breath, reduced grooming behavior, and teeth grinding. In such cases, teeth may need to be trimmed or pulled out.
Vets never fail to emphasize to rabbit owners the importance of regularly checking their pet’s litter box wherein healthy bunnies with equally healthy digestive tracts produce large, round fecal pellets. Rabbits with diarrhea and/or unusual droppings that are runny, irregularly shaped or too small, or are strung together by fur or carpet have to be taken to the vet for a checkup. Since a rabbit’s gastrointestinal tract plays a very important role in its well-being, it’s best not to let more than 24 hours go by before taking your rabbit to the clinic or animal hospital where they can undergo x-ray and other tests to determine the ideal treatment(s).
14 Reasons Your Bunny Might Be Sick, PetHelpful.com