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There are many issues that might cause a problem when you’re dealing with rabbits. In fact, there are diseases that you could get from a bunny. You can prevent these conditions by knowing the signs of an unwell animal. With a good guide, you’d be able to tell that the rabbit you’re dealing with is problematic. Of course, it’s nice to deal with domesticated rabbits as pets but never forget the issues.

Is Your Bunny Healthy?

You should not forget that these domesticated pets are close relatives to those rodents you see in the wild. That means they can be prone to various diseases. In this article, we will list down some of the ways and tips that you can do to check if your pet is healthy to play with. Let’s start.

  1. The first thing to do to make sure that your pet bunny is healthy is to get it vaccinated. There are free vaccinations you can get today from your state’s pet centers. Volunteer groups are also everywhere that can help you in this. Just look around. Getting the bunny vaccinated could also help you avoid future problems. Diseases may complicate. When you vaccinate, you get the preventable ones out of the way.
  2. Some of the common issues that can be seen in rabbits include uterine infections, snuffles, abnormal teeth structure and hairballs. If you’re worried about overgrown teeth, you should know that they’re not a cause of worry as people would like you to believe. They’re just aesthetics. They’re not harmful to you, but could be painful to the rodents. The best way to prevent this is to improve their diet. Make sure you let your bunny eat a lot of fiber. Also, add a lot of leafy greens into their diet. Limiting the pellet food they eat and other hard treats may also improve the condition.
    If your pet is already suffering from overgrown teeth,  don’t fret. There is a general anesthesia that could fix it. In fact, it’s the only available treatment right now that can help remedy the rabbit’s issue.
  3. Snuffles or what is technically called Pasteurellosis is characterized by a bacteria that affects the eyes and nose, which gets the rabbit to emit a specific abnormal discharge. You should get this issue addressed immediately because it can transfer to other rabbits quickly. Uterine infections could also worsen with this issue at hand.You should also remember that even after treatment, there remains a strain of the disease in the rodent’s nasal tract. This usually happens when there are sudden changes in the diet of the bunny, or it is under severe stress. One good way to prevent your pet rom experiencing this is to make sure that they’re not overcrowded in a cage. Doing so adds a level of stress to them that worsens the condition. You may also like to consider putting the rabbit into quarantine. Letting them rest and recover in a quiet environment is a great booster. The pet recovers faster.
  4. Hairballs are another common rabbit disease that is usually occurring in the rabbit’s stomach. This usually happens after the bunnies self-groom. Because they cannot do a vomiting reflex to get rid of the hair, all the balls are accumulated in their stomach. What happens is that there will be an obstruction in the stomach and causes various complications. These hairballs are so ubiquitous among rabbits that every owner should concern themselves with it. When a pet is not eating well and is not moving about, the condition is even worse.To prevent hairballs, it’s good to address the issue of the gastrointestinal condition. That’s where it all starts. You can’t be simpler than that. When a rabbit is not getting enough fiber-rich food in their system, they won’t be able to get rid of the hairballs smoothly. If the hairballs are too much, the only way to get rid of it would only be through surgery. The hairballs could affect the natural mechanism of the rabbit’s stomach and create blocks in the gut. Another alternative is to use a medication to get the gut normally working again.

Take a look at our guide: how to take care of your pet rabbit throughout their life.

Though bunnies are pretty easy to care of, you will still need to visit a veterinarian from time to time. Consider consulting our exotic animals vet in United Veterinay Center. Call to schedule a visit – 203 957-3375.


Owning and caring for a rabbit is much different than owning a cat or a dog, as even pet bunnies are similar in nature—and therefore, require similar needs—as wild rabbits. Though a huge undertaking, if you care for your pet properly, you will find that your hard work will have paid off, as rabbits can live for as long as 8 to 12 years. With that said, while many parents believe that bunnies make great pets for young children, this is not generally the case. Rabbits’ needs are extremely complex, and you must consider everything from its living environment to its diet, and from cage companions to proper protection before even adopting one. Moreover, once you have a care plan in place, you must be vigilant with that plan and continue to provide adequate care for the remainder of your pet’s life.


The Five Basics of Rabbit Care

According to the Animal Welfare Act, individuals who adopt any pet—including a bunny—are required to provide for the animal’s basic needs. This includes doing the following five things:


  1. Providing a suitable place to live.
  2. Providing the animal with a healthy and consistent diet.
  3. Ensuring that your rabbit behaves normally.
  4. Providing appropriate company for the animal, including knowing which and which not cage companions to introduce your bunny to.
  5. Providing adequate protection from pain, suffering, injury and disease.


Establishing an Appropriate Environment

playing with bunFirst and foremost, it is important to note that your pet needs a home, not just a hutch or a cage. Animals are living, breathing creatures just like humans and, as such, deserve the same level of respect and care as humans. This includes providing them with an environment in which they can move freely. Rabbits like to hop, run, dig and stand up straight. Providing them with an environment in which they can do all of those things will ensure that your rabbit is not only happy, but that he is healthy and fit as well.


Additionally, you want to make sure that your pet has a separate and established toilet area. No animal likes to defecate where they live, so be kind to your bunny and provide an area separate from where they eat, sleep and play to do their business.


Some additional considerations to make when creating a suitable environment for your pet include:


  • Provide plenty of toys. Rabbits like to stay active, so preoccupy them with new and interchanging toys.
  • Provide hiding places. Bunnies tend to scare easily, and if they spot a dog, cat, fox or other potential predator, they may become stressed if they cannot find a place to hide.
  • Provide a SAFE environment. Rabbits are inquisitive animals, so if there are any hazards in their space, remove them to prevent injury.
  • Provide both a safe, indoor living space for your pet to relax, and attach it to an escape-proof outdoor area for them to run, jump and play in.
  • Provide a space that is well ventilated, and that is protected from the elements.
  • Provide enough bedding for your pet bunny to comfortably burrow into. Rabbits like to feel warm and snug, and skimping on proper bedding could mean that they won’t rest easy at night.


Maintaining a Proper Diet

Rabbits are grazers and as such, require plenty of plants and grass in their diets. Actually, without grass and hay, a rabbit could suffer from significant health issues. For one, rabbits who do not have enough grass, hay and other leafy green plants in their diet suffer from dental health issues, as those types of plants keep rabbits’ teeth at an appropriate length. For two, a rabbit’s pellets are an essential part of their diet. Bunnies produce two kinds of pellets: hard, dry pellets and softer moist pellets, which they eat directly from their bottom for nutrients. Without an adequate supply of leafy greens, they produce less nutritious pellets, and therefore, miss out on an essential part of their diet.


How much to feed your rabbit all depends on their age, breed, activity level and size. If your pet eats too much, they will suffer from obesity, which could lead to other health complications, including diabetes, heart disease and an early death. If they eat too little, they may suffer from malnutrition, which poses its own set of serious health risks.


Encouraging Proper Behavior

Rabbits are naturally social animals, which means that they require a good deal of social interaction. The best thing for your pet would be to have a second or multiple rabbits around, but if that is just not feasible for you, you must provide them with entertainment. Gently pet your bunny multiple times throughout the day, and train them to do tricks. Provide positive reinforcement when they learn to do something new.


If you notice that your pet shows signs of fear or stress (such as excessive chewing, skittishness or fear) talk to an animal expert about what you can do to bolster your rabbit’s confidence and happiness. It may be changing something small, like providing more room to play, or it may be something significant such as getting a companion rabbit for your pet. As a pet owner, it is your job to ensure his continued health and happiness, so it’s important that you consider all the possibilities of what you might have to do prior to adopting a pet.


Give Your Pet Company

care for bunnies as petsAgain, bunnies are social creatures, so if you are going to adopt one, you should really adopt two. A second rabbit, along with your own petting and training efforts, should ensure that your pets remain happy and healthy for the duration of their lives. Most experts recommend getting one neutered male and one neutered female; if you adopt rabbits that are not neutered, or if you do not neuter them yourself, you may find yourself saddled with a bunny farm (literally).


When introducing two new rabbits to each other, do so gradually and under supervision. It is best to introduce bunnies in a neutral space (as in, not in either rabbit’s home environment). Always consult with your vet first to ensure that neither rabbit is carrying a contagious disease or illness.


Protect Your Pet

Finally, it is up to you to provide protection for your pet and ensure their ongoing good health and welfare. Rabbits are capable of pain and suffering just like any other animal, but they are not too good at showing it. It is up to you to learn the difference between how your pet normally acts and how they act when under duress. This will ensure that they do not suffer for long if something should happen to them. Many rabbits are susceptible to dental disease and inherited disorders, so it is important that you take your new pet to the vet right after adoption so that you know what, if anything, to look out for. Some other health tips to consider include:


  • Ensure that your pet is up-to-date on his vaccinations;
  • Take measures to ensure that your bunny does not become stressed, as stress leads to illness;
  • Check your pet for signs of injury, illness or change in behavior every day;
  • Check teeth and nails once a week;
  • Check the fur around your bun’s ears and tail twice a day;
  • Only use medication specifically prescribed for your rabbit by your vet; and
  • Groom your bunny regularly.


Finally, if you think that your pet has been poisoned by herbicide or some other chemical, never “wait and see.” Take them to your vet right away for confirmation and swift treatment.


If you are thinking about adopting a pet bunny, bookmark this plan and share it on social media so that you can find it more easily when it’s finally time to take home your new pet. For ongoing tips for caring for your bunny at every stage of his life, subscribe to our email newsletter; include your rabbit’s age and details regarding its breed for reminders about when it’s time to visit the United Veterinary Center.

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