Rabbits are not easy animals to understand, as they are a prey species, rabbits will hide the fact they are in pain when ill or injured. That’s why it is important to check your rabbit every day for signs of illness, injury and flystrike (in warmer weather this should be undertaken twice daily), check their teeth and nails at least weekly and have regular check-ups with your vet.

Did you know

At least 85-90% of the rabbit’s diet should consist of hay, grass and dried grass, as a guideline as much as the size of the rabbit’s body! They also need a small amount of nuggets – 20-25g per kg ideal bodyweight is all that is needed. You also need to make sure they have some green leafy salad as part of their diet and water should always be made available.

A Healthy Rabbit

Rabbits can be prone to some health issues which can prove challenging to treat, but can often be easily prevented if you know how.

Symptoms or injuries to look out for that need an immediate visit to the vet:

  • anorexia
  • bloated stomach
  • depression – losing interest in exploring their surroundings
  • trouble breathing
  • teeth grinding
  • not being able to urinate
  • collapsing
  • seizures
  • fractures
  • heat stress
  • myiasis – known as flystrike
  • diarrhoea in young bunnies

Other symptoms of pain/injuries:

  • not running around or moving as normal
  • changes in behaviour – nervous/aggressive
  • isolation – withdrawal from you and its bunny friend
  • immobile
  • changes in the droppings
  • eating less
  • not grooming as often
  • wet nose
  • sneezing
  • blood in the urine
  • loss in the weight
  • drinking a lot more water
  • peeing a lot
  • diarrhoea

Good care, a high-fibre and grass based diet along with regular check-ups and necessary vaccinations will help keep your rabbit healthy. Myxomatosis and viral haemorrhagic disease (VHD) are two serious infectious diseases of rabbits that can be prevented by vaccination.