These pages look at rabbit health and the causes for your pet becoming unhealthy.
Generally speaking, a well-fed and cared-for rabbit is a pretty healthy creature and won’t need much veterinary attention, but any rabbit can have an accident or catch a disease so it’s worth knowing your bunny in health, then you can tell immediately when they’re in ill-health. Like all prey animals, rabbits go to great lengths to avoid looking ill, because in the wild any animal that looks sick will be targeted by passing predators as an easy meal. This makes it all the more important for you to know your bunny very well!
Unfortunately, when a rabbit does become ill or injured, veterinary care can be frighteningly expensive. Rabbits have very delicate lungs and need special gas anaesthetics so vets need special (and expensive) equipment and training to care for them properly. Rabbits also can’t go without food for more than eight hours without risking death, so they have to be very carefully monitored after any treatment to make sure they’re eating properly. All this takes time and experience from your vet, which equals money! It’s always wise to ensure your rabbit against vet’s bills and medical treatment before any problems occur – you may not need it for years, but when you do need to enlist your vet, it can be more than worthwhile. I’ve also included a page here which discusses some of the more common drugs that you or your vet may need to use for your bunny.
Generally speaking, the problems rabbits have can be listed under a few general headings. They can catch a few diseases or they can suffer from parasites – the most common of these are fleas. Some problems are related to a rabbit’s reproductive organs and, unless you really want to breed from your bunny, neutering your bunny is a very effective way to ensure rabbit health. If you choose not to neuter your pet, you may need to look at how to deal with behaviour problems – and some neutered bunnies come up with behaviour problems too so it’s worth checking this out.
In warm weather your bunny can be at risk from fly strike, when flies lay eggs on your pet which then hatch and the resulting maggots eat the poor animal alive.
Accidents and even fighting can cause injuries, from bruises to serious wounds which will need stitching.
Daily rabbit health checks should be part of your routine with your pet and are an easy and reassuring way to make sure you keep on top of your rabbit’s health.
Finally, there will be a discussion of rabbit anatomy so you have a better idea of how a rabbit is put together and where it’s most delicate and vulnerable parts are.