Signs of a sick rabbit.
March 9, 2020
Are you confused about your rabbit’s unusual behavior?
A change in your rabbit’s natural behavior might be signs of a sick rabbit.
Understanding the changes in your rabbit’s behavior will help you recognize your rabbit’s health.
I have shared a complete list of possible signs your rabbit will give you when they are feeling unwell.
Skip to section
- Do rabbits get sick suddenly?
- Signs of a sick rabbit include:
- Changes in the rabbit’s behavior.
- Stiff posture.
- Aggressive behavior.
- Lonely rabbit.
- Peculiar noises.
- Tooth grinding.
- Head tilt.
- Overgrown tooth.
- Loss of appetite.
- Unhealthy looking rabbit skin/fur.
- Fluctuations in body heat.
- Respiratory issues.
- The unusual color of urine.
Do rabbits get sick suddenly?
A rabbit does not get sick suddenly. Raising house rabbits in an unclean environment without proper diet will result in health concerns.
Being prey animals, rabbits are good at hiding themselves as well as their feelings.
Usually, a rabbit does not show any signs of their sickness until they can’t hide the pain anymore.
Rabbits in the wild survive for merely 2-3 years because they can’t escape from their predators.
However, domestic rabbits live longer because the guardians keep them safe from predators.
On the contrary, when a rabbit guardian fails to take genuine care of their pet rabbit, only then a rabbit may pass away sooner because of sickness.
Although domestic rabbits are delicate pets and vulnerable to sickness, it is unusual for them to have deadly diseases.
Often they get sick because of a guardian’s irresponsibility.
I believe you are one of those rabbit owners who are concerned about pet rabbit’s well being.
Thus you are willing to recognize what are the signs of a sick rabbit.
Signs of a sick rabbit include:
- Changes in the rabbit’s behavior;
- Stiff posture;
- Aggressive behavior;
- Lonely rabbit;
- Peculiar noises;
- Tooth grinding;
- Head tilt;
- Overgrown tooth;
- Loss of appetite;
- Unhealthy looking rabbit’s skin/fur;
- Fluctuations in body heat;
- Respiratory issues;
Changes in the rabbit’s behavior.
If you own a pet rabbit for some time now, you may have already noticed a common habit in your pet rabbit.
Rabbits are habitual animals. Once they have built up a custom, they will always follow that model.
Therefore potty training a rabbit is very easy. Likewise, rabbits will always go to the same spot while they want to use a toilet regardless of a litter box because they have built up this manner.
Yet a sick rabbit will show alterations in their habit.
Suppose your rabbit loved hopping around the house before, and suddenly they stopped doing so for some time.
You may notice many uncommon things in your rabbit, such as not willing to play with the rabbit toys anymore. It means your rabbit is feeling unwell.
The rabbit is in pain and does not appear to be playing around.
In case, a rabbit is not feeling well; it will have a stiff posture. It is easily noticeable when your rabbit is resting but has a hardened stance.
It is typical for a happy, relaxed bunny to lay down on his/her side. Also, lay down flat on his tummy. So do not confuse yourself if you see your rabbit every time in such a position.
Try to observe for other symptoms of sickness together with stiffness and unwillingness to move.
A sick rabbit will act grumpy. It is natural for anyone not to have a better mood when sick.
Likewise, a rabbit, if s/he is in pain, s/he will show aggression. The rabbit may show hostility towards other rabbits in the group as well as its guardian.
My rabbit once bit my finger, and at the time, I did not understand why she did that.
Now I know she did that as she was in pain because I was an irresponsible guardian.
Your rabbit may have been a lively one. Suddenly you start to see that your rabbit is not playing around anymore.
A sick rabbit may avoid the companion of other rabbits and stay inside her enclosure for an extended time.
Your rabbit is lonely and willingly avoids contact with other rabbits because she is unwell.
In such a condition, a lonely rabbit requires immediate attention from his/her guardian.
Rabbits are good at hiding their pain. If they cannot hide their pain any more, they will make noises.
A healthy rabbit does not make any sound at all. They are prey animals and very quiet.
In case they are very sick, they will make strange sounds as if they are screaming. The noise may not be loud, but a sensible rabbit guardian will notice the change in no time.
Grinding teeth is unusual behavior for rabbits. When rabbits feel ill, they may grind their teeth, and a rabbit guardian understands the difference.
Yet you have to figure out whether it is tooth grinding or just tooth purring.
Tooth purring is normal, and you can hear your rabbits purring when you are playing with them.
Therefore recognize the difference between tooth grinding and regular purring to know your rabbit is in pain or not.
The tilted head is also known as wry neck. Head tilt is a sign of many severe illnesses in rabbits. More commonly, a rabbit will have a tilted head due to inner ear infection.
However, a rabbit with trauma or a tumor will also show the same signs.
If you see your rabbit having a tilted head, visit a veterinary before it is too late.
Only a rabbit vet can find the exact reason for your rabbit’s current condition and provide the appropriate treatment.
I believe most rabbit guardians know that a rabbit’s teeth grow throughout their lifetime.
Hence a rabbit needs a 90% hay diet and many chew toys, which will help the rabbits tooth from overgrowing.
If a rabbit’s tooth has grown longer than average, then I deem the rabbit guardian is not taking care of the rabbit.
Yet if your rabbit somehow has grown long teeth despite having an adequate amount of hay every day, you must visit a rabbit vet.
Only a rabbit vet can help the rabbit with its problem of long teeth.
Loss of appetite.
Similar to all animals, a sick rabbit will lose its desire to eat. A healthy rabbit can munch on fresh hay all day. As well as drink a lot of water.
If you give a healthy rabbit some tasty treats, they will be overly excited.
On the other hand, a sick rabbit will stop feeding. It will not munch hay or enjoy even if the rabbit has a treat in front of it.
So if your rabbit noticeably eats less than average, then it is time to visit a veterinarian.
There are a few diseases that will prevent rabbits from eating like normal.
Unhealthy looking rabbit skin/fur.
A weak rabbit will not groom itself. Self-grooming is the natural characteristic of a rabbit.
They are spotless animals. A rabbit has dense, soft fur which feels fresh to touch.
If a rabbit is sick and stops self-grooming, you will feel the fur is slightly oily to touch.
As well as the rabbit skin will form dandruff.
Not self-grooming for a while and flaky skin is a symptom of a sick rabbit.
Fluctuations in body heat.
If a rabbit’s body is warmer than ordinary or feels colder than usual, it is highly likely your rabbit is suffering. It is best to visit a veterinarian for a checkup.
Only a rabbit vet can say why your rabbit’s body temperature is not the same as usual.
Snuffles is a common disease in rabbits. Anything related to a rabbit’s respiratory system will show flu-like symptoms.
Your rabbit having discharge from the nose, sneezing, and coughing is signs of respiratory issues.
Similarly, shortness of breath and watery eyes are all issues that require attention from you.
Providing proper medication to your rabbit will bring your rabbit back to normal.
The unusual color of urine.
Traces of blood in a rabbit’s urine is a sign of sickness. A healthy rabbit will never have blood in their urine.
Likewise, if the color of your house rabbit’s urine is unusual; then, it is better to consult a vet.
Traces of blood or reddish pee show that your rabbit is sick.
Your rabbit’s stool will show many signs that your rabbit is sick.
There is a saying that a rabbit guardian must start from the rabbit’s litter box to find whether the bunny is healthy or sick.
A sick rabbit will have loose stools. An abrupt change in a rabbit’s diet can cause diarrhea.
Loose stools are the result of a diet with fewer fibers.
Which means the rabbit is not healthy.
If the rabbit is not going to the toilet as usual, then you may also observe that. Because the rabbit suddenly stops pooping, then it means the bunny is struggling. One of the reasons why your rabbit may stop pooping is that the digestive system is struggling to pass the stool.
Observe the size of the rabbit stool too. If the size of the rabbit’s waste is smaller than regular, then your bunny friend is having a problem digesting the food.
Rabbit poop does not have any odor, yet if you find your rabbit’s waste is spreading smell, then it means your rabbit is sick.
If you adopt a rabbit, you must learn to read the symptoms.
Consider a rabbit as an exotic pet; thus, it is crucial to keep track of their behavior.
Any change in rabbits’ normal behavior might be a sign of a sick rabbit.
Maintaining cleanliness in your pet rabbits’ cage, running area, and feeding them a menu high in fiber is vital for their well-being.
Observe your rabbits often, and in case you notice any symptoms as I mentioned above, visit a veterinary soon.
Leaving your rabbits untreated for their sickness will deteriorate their health and might as well bring their demise sooner.