How to tell if a rabbit is sick
Bunnies are great pets and, therefore, they are increasingly part of families as companion animals. Normally, if they are given the care they need, they will be strong and healthy animals, but unfortunately, they are not always free from illness. For this reason, it is normal and very correct that you may ask yourself how to know if a rabbit is sick, because that way you will be able to detect the signs in time and take it to a vet.
How to know if a rabbit is sick: symptoms of illness in rabbits
The signs that indicate disease in rabbits vary depending on the pathology that the animal suffers from, as well as the circumstances and characteristics of each rabbit.
However, there are some symptoms that respond to how to tell if a rabbit is sick.
The rabbit has not urinated for 24 hours. This may be due to kidney problems, but also to other pathologies.
On the contrary, he urinates too much.
Your rabbit’s ears are either very hot or very cold.
You have constipation.
His hair falls out a lot.
His hair does not shine and/or shows scabs on the skin.
He does not eat or drink in the amount that corresponds to him.
Has nasal or/and eye secretions.
The rabbit makes sounds when breathing.
His head is tilted to one side.
Show tremors or lose balance.
He appears more nervous or aggressive.
He has no interest in things that used to attract his attention.
His breathing is fast.
Is very restless or very inactive.
Make repetitive movements without apparent end (stereotypes).
He has gained a lot of weight or has lost weight.
Has bumps on the skin.
Some of these mentioned symptoms are caused by erroneous care, for example, a bad diet, incorrect hygiene, poorly healed wounds, an inadequate cage, etc. Others, instead, come from the most common rabbit diseases.
Common diseases in rabbits
Some of the diseases that attack rabbits and that are caused by fungi and bacteria are:
Pasteurellosis. It consists of a respiratory problem that manifests itself with sneezing, snoring and nasal discharge, mainly.
Otitis and other ear diseases. It is usually identified because the animal shows its head to one side and loses its balance.
Conjunctivitis and eye infection. The eyes appear inflamed and secretions are produced in them.
Pneumonia. Its symptoms are similar to those of pasterellosis, but it is a much more serious disease because it reaches the lungs and makes it difficult to breathe.
Skin abscesses. They are lumps that are filled with pus and are caused by bacteria.
tularemia. Unfortunately, this disease has no symptoms and can only be confirmed by laboratory tests. A clue that can help identify it is that the animal stops eating. This pathology is related to mites and fleas.
Ulcerated tarsi. It consists of the appearance of wounds on the legs that become infected and produce pododermatitis.
Mastitis. It is an infection in the breasts that causes fever and swelling. The disease must be treated with antibiotics.
Coccidiosis. Caused by microorganisms that attack the stomach of the animal when it has low defenses or suffers a high level of stress.
Tub. It is a highly contagious disease due to the speed with which it reproduces. It affects the skin and some of its symptoms are hair loss in areas and the appearance of scabs on the skin.
Other health problems in the rabbit
In addition to those mentioned, there are other health problems that may lead you to wonder how to know if a rabbit is sick, since they will show symptoms that something is wrong. Those diseases are:
Dental problems in rabbits, such as overgrowth or malformations.
Wounds and inflammations.
Hairballs in the stomach.
Entropion (inward-turned eyelids).
Reddish colored urine.
Knowing your rabbit well, observing it from the first minute it comes into your life, is the best way to know if it is sick. If you know him well, you will immediately detect any change in his behavior and that will give you a clue that something is wrong.