Is your rabbit eating normally?
In the wild rabbits are the first to be preyed upon, so their instinct is to hide illness and injury. Domestic rabbits still carry this instinct, which may make it difficult to spot if something is wrong with your pet.
However, they are naturally grazing animals and will constantly eat to keep their gut moving, so if they are refusing their usual food and treats, this is a good indicator that something could be seriously wrong.
If you notice your rabbit is lethargic and not eating, please contact our head nurse, Allison, for advice and to make an appointment. Never starve your rabbit, even ahead of an operation.
Other warning signs for ill rabbits
Here are some other signs that may indicate your rabbit is feeling under the weather:
- Abnormal droppings – smaller, irregularly shaped droppings or droppings strung together with fur may indicate a problem
- Abnormal sounds, such as sneezing or laboured breathing – may indicate allergies or an upper respiratory problem
- Slobbering – usually a sign of tooth problems
- Bald areas/hair loss – could be caused by skin mites
- Crust or wax in the ears – again, could be down to mites
- Overgrown teeth/teeth grinding – loud teeth grinding can be a sign of pain
- Head tilt/loss of balance – this might indicate an inner ear infection and needs to be treated
As well as looking out for any abnormalities in their behaviour, you should regularly handle your rabbit to help you spot any changes in their body condition, such as lumps or injuries. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, it could be a sign of illness.
If you see any of these warning signs please contact Northlands Veterinary Hospital on 01536 485543 and the team will be happy to offer advice and make an appointment for you to see Catherine Corden-Parry or another of our experienced team.