Rabbit Diseases: Health Hazards

There may be many rabbit diseases, but the good news is: your long-eared bat can live eight to twelve years in good conditions, be extremely happy and bring you a lot of joy. But even if you do everything to ensure that your pet is well, the animal can still get sick. It is important that you recognize the symptoms quickly and act accordingly. This overview should help you.

Types and Symptoms of Rabbit Diseases Are Many – Shutterstock/ABulash

Types and Symptoms of Rabbit Diseases Are Many – Shutterstock/ABulash

If your bundle of energy is healthy, the topic of rabbit diseases is far away. The grumpy man seems chronically in a good mood, likes to move, discovers his surroundings and appears alert and full of vigour. Relaxation is also not to be understood as an alarm signal, blissful dozing is part of the life of your cuddly friend. Just like a healthy look of the long-eared rabbit: The rabbit has shiny, close-lying fur, clean genital openings and eyes and nose that are not encrusted. In addition, claws and teeth should not be excessively long, and your friend brushes himself regularly.

Another sign that your favorite pet is in perfect shape: the droppings present as clearly shaped balls of feces or as mucus-covered, soft caecal feces. In contrast to the characteristics of a healthy animal mentioned, the following symptoms and signs show that the fur nose is suffering from one of the dreaded rabbit diseases.

Dental problems caused by diet

When molars become problematic, they create sharp points and edges that injure the tongue, gums, and cheeks. Signs of these rabbit diseases include easy drooling when eating, slow eating, reduced hay intake, or refusal to eat. Extended root growth can also cause problems. Symptoms are a swelling on the lower jaw that can be felt from the outside, conjunctivitis, a blocked tear duct and pus formation in the corners of the eyes.

Eukaryotic Infections

Coccidia are parasites found in the gut. It is often poor hygiene in the housing that leads to an infestation. Signs are diarrhea, loss of appetite, rapid weight loss, refusal to drink water, a bloated stomach and secondary diseases in rabbits such as fungal infections caused by a weakened immune system. Encephalitozoonosis is caused by a unicellular parasite. Rabbits become infected through contact with the urine of infected animals, and around eighty percent of rabbit populations are said to be affected. In addition, guinea pigs, rats and mice are also among the possible carriers. Symptoms of the disease are tilted head, paralysis, balance disorders, lack of coordination, turning on one’s own axis, lying on one side and changed blood values ​​- especially with the kidney values.

Rabbits need lots of exercise and like company – Shutterstock / Rita Kochmarjova

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Bacterial Infections

Pasteurellosis, also known as rabbit cold, is the most common type of rabbit disease. The disease caused by the Pasteurella multocida bacteria breaks out primarily when the animal’s immune system is weakened by a combination of factors such as high stocking densities, stress and drafts. Signs of the disease are watery-purulent nasal discharge, clogged-crusted nostrils, sneezing and difficult breathing.

viral infections

The best-known viral infections in long-eared bats are myxomatosis and the so-called China epidemic (RHD). These rabbit diseases are transmitted by mosquitoes and contaminated feed. The best protection against the deadly infections is to have your rabbit vaccinated regularly. In the case of myxomatosis, the typical signs of the disease are inflammation and swelling of the eyes, eye discharge and the formation of subcutaneous edema. RHD manifests itself primarily through accelerated breathing, loss of appetite, apathy and disturbances in general well-being. Commonly, all signs may be absent until sudden death occurs.

Gastrointestinal Diseases

Diarrhea and strong changes in the smell of the faeces can indicate various rabbit diseases. In addition to a visit to the vet, a change in diet may be necessary. A veterinarian should also be consulted quickly in the event of flatulence with symptoms similar to constipation. Drumming addiction affects gas formation in the stomach from food fermentation and can be fatal. Signs include gastric bloating, bulging in the chest and shortness of breath. Stomach obstruction is usually caused by balls of fibers, hair, and stalks that cannot be digested. Signs of this hairball formation are loss of appetite, apathy, weight loss, reduced or no defecation, restlessness and constant changing of the lying position.

coat and skin problems

Rabbit skin and fur can also be affected. Symptoms include loss of fur, matting and discoloration of the fur, reddening of the skin, formation of scales or crusts, and itching. The background is often parasitic diseases caused by mites, fungi, lice or fleas. These are mainly caused by poor hygiene in the enclosure.

What can you do to keep your rabbit healthy?

Essential factors for the health of your animal and for protection against rabbit diseases are: species-appropriate nutrition, fresh food and lots of hay, sufficient exercise through plenty of exercise, keeping with a partner animal, regular vaccinations, hygiene and routine examinations by the veterinarian. In addition, unnecessary carrying of the animals should be avoided to prevent falls and fractures.

You might also be interested in these topics from the Animal category:

Understand rabbit behavior and body language

Outdoor enclosure for rabbits: what does a good outdoor enclosure need?

Social behavior of rabbits: This is how living together works

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