Is your rabbit eating normally?
In the wild rabbits are the amongst the first to be preyed upon, so their instinct is always to try to hide any signs of illness or injury. Domestic rabbits still carry this instinct, which may make it difficult to spot if something is wrong with your pet.
Rabbits are naturally grazing animals and need to eat all the time to keep their gut moving. So if they are refusing their usual food and treats, this could be a good indicator that something might be seriously wrong.
If you notice your rabbit is lethargic or not eating, please contact our head nurse, Kate, for advice and to make an appointment. Never starve your rabbit, even ahead of an operation.
Other warning signs for ill rabbits
Here are some other signs that may indicate your rabbit is feeling under the weather:
- Abnormal droppings – smaller, irregularly shaped droppings or droppings strung together with fur may indicate a problem
- Abnormal breathing sounds, such as sneezing, wheezing or heaving respiration – may indicate allergies or an upper respiratory problem
- Salivating or traces of food around their mouth – often a sign of tooth problems
- Bald areas/hair loss – could be caused by skin mites
- Crust or wax in the ears – again, could be due to ear mites or infection
- Overgrown teeth/teeth grinding – loud teeth grinding can be a sign of pain
- Head tilt/loss of balance – this might indicate an inner ear infection and needs to be treated
As well as looking out for any abnormalities in their behaviour, you should regularly handle your rabbit to help you spot any changes in their body condition, such as lumps. skin changes or any signs of pain.
If you notice anything out of the ordinary, please contact us at the Hyde Park Veterinary Centre on 0207 723 0453 and the team will be happy to offer advice or make an appointment for you to see one of our very experienced vets.