Your domestic rabbit has an average lifespan of 8 to 10 years but it they could actually live beyond that especially if they are perfectly healthy house pets. These days, due to many factors reaching the average life span of rabbits are not difficult to achieve. The causes could either be sudden death, aging, and the common rabbit illnesses.
A regular health check must be done in order to prevent any prevailing diseases your domestic rabbit is susceptible too. Remember, rabbit behavior and body movements can express any signs of health problems. You must know how to examine their health as their care provider and their companion. To help you with that, here is a list of tips on how to know if your domestic rabbit is sick. Please refer below to see if any of these signs mentioned are present in your rabbit.
Knowing if your domestic rabbit is ill
1. Tooth grinding with unusually loud sound
Rabbit grind their teeth and it is a normal thing for them, they usually refer it to as tooth purring. However, when the grinding is accompanied by loud sound and an unusual motion, this could be an indication of a sick rabbit. They do this kind of behavior when they are in pain. Pick up your rabbit gently and put them in a cage or wrap their body in a comfortable blanket as you head your way to the nearest rabbit veterinarian.
2. Abnormal body temperature
The temperature of rabbit can be determined by touching their ears. A very hot ear indicates fever and you have to check other symptoms too because fever is also caused by an infection or any underlying diseases. Cold rabbit ears can also be a sign of sickness. Have your rabbit checked immediately to give immediate treatment.
Rabbits are prone to respiratory diseases and this is shown by heavy breathing that is sometimes accompanied by nasal discharge
4. Runny eyes and nose
In humans runny eyes and nose can be an indication of an upcoming flu, for rabbits this is the same. If your rabbit has an unusual watery eyes and nose, prevent the condition bringing your pet to the nearest veterinarian to seek immediate treatment.
5. Frequent head tilting and ear scratching
Like other animals, this kind of behavior could be a symptom of ear infection. Excessive ear scratching can be caused by ear mites. Ear mites can be fatal when not treated immediately.
6. Lethargic behavior
Uneasy behavior and drowsiness in rabbits are signs of illness particularly the hairball disease or GI stasis which is very common to rabbits. Immediately bring them to the veterinarian so actions can be taken immediately.
7. Slimy and unusual discharge coming from the nose and eyes
These are symptoms of a common respiratory problem among rabbits. This disease is called “Snuffles” which is very common on rabbits that have weak immune system. This needs immediate attentions from a rabbit health expert. Aside from snuffles, myxomatosis could also be the cause. This is an infection acquired from an infested flea or mosquito bite. It is a fatal disease and can cause sudden rabbit death.
8. Bloody discharge
Blood present in a rabbit’s dropping is not normal and something a rabbit owner must be alarmed at. This is a sign of tumor and is common on female rabbits, two years of age and above that have not undergone neutering. It is best to have your rabbit checked by an expert to prevent cancer from spreading on other organs of the body.
9. Hair loss, rough and dry coat
It is a sign of skin problems that is normally accompanied by flaky skin and inflammation. Parasite infestation like fleas, mites, lice, and fungus is the most common cause. This can pose serious health problems when not treated immediately. Always consult a rabbit veterinarian before giving any fur medication whether externally applies or not as rabbits are sensitive and may die from toxins from parasite medications. What works for your cats and dogs may not work for rabbits.
10. Loss of appetite
Once of the key symptoms of almost all types of rabbit diseases. If not looked into, other symptoms may follow and the underlying cause may become worse. If loss of appetite has been observed, immediately check other unusual changes and behavior.