Rabbit Health

My Rabbit has an abscess, how can I treat It?

Abscesses are puss filled swellings which can appear on any part of the rabbits body. It is most common to find them on the face though. They are caused by bacteria infecting a wound or bite. They can also be due to infections in the tooth roots or jaw if they appear on the face, or under the chin.

Abscesses themselves shouldn’t cause the rabbit any pain, but the bacterial infection may worsen and cause further harm to the animals health if left untreated.

If you find an abscess on your rabbit you will need to take them to the vet as any treatment will involve antibiotics to stop the infection. The vet will either surgically remove the abscess if it is possible to do so, or drain it and provide a dose or antibiotics to remove cure the infection. If the vet removes the abscess it will need to be dressed and cleaned either by the owner or vet until the wound has healed. If the abscess is drained a longer dose of antibiotics may be needed to prevent the problem reoccurring.

Why is my Rabbit Sneezing?

Rabbits sneezing can be sign of an allergic reaction to something they have come into contact with. This may accompany running eyes and nose, and skin irritation. It can be caused by overly dusty hay or straw or perhaps a cleaning product that should not have been used on the animal housing. It can also be a household aerosol if the rabbit is kept inside.

If you notice your rabbit sneezing then try and identify what has changed in its environment that could have caused the problem and remove it. Use an eye cleaner or drops to help stop them from running. If the problem persists then see your vet.

Why is my Rabbit losing hair?

There are two main causes for hair loss in Rabbits. Firstly it could be caused by mites. If this is the case the hair loss will often by accompanied by dandruff in the coat. This can be treated with an anti parasite shampoo or other treatment. Your local pet store should be able to advise you on the best one to use.

It can also be caused by over grooming, especially in pairs that have a string bond. It may also be a sign of boredom. Try to provide more toys and space for the rabbits and perhaps separate them for short periods of time.

Why won’t my Rabbit eat?

A rabbit not eating is a sure sign something is wrong. If you notice your rabbit has not been eating its food then you should seek veterinary advice as soon as possible. In worse cases not eating can lead to liver failure.

You need to identify the reason for not eating. Check the rabbits teeth for signs they are overgrown or infected as this may make it too painful for the rabbit to eat. If this seems to be the case then a vet will be able to fix the problem. The next thing to consider is bloat or gastric stasis. This is a blockage of the digestive system and will need veterinary attention. As the gastric tract becomes blocked ingested food will start to back up and ferment, releasing gas which causes the abdomen to become hard. If none of the above is visible then check the rabbit for any other injuries or wounds that could cause them pain or discomfort as this can put them off eating.

In most cases a trip to the vet is a good idea to get the rabbit back to full health as quickly as possible and stop any deterioration in its condition. If you need to try and get some nutrients into the rabbit then you can try blending leafy greens or bananas, or soak rabbit pellets until they are soft and feed with a syringe. Try and get as much fluid into the rabbit as you can to keep them hydrated.

Why does my rabbit eat it’s own faeces?

This is a normal behaviour for rabbits. As their faeces still contain protein and nutrients they will eat them so that they absorb more of the nutrients the second time around. It is a natural instinct to aid survival. Ensure your rabbit has enough fibre in its diet to keep its digestive system working properly and that it has plenty of food and fresh vegetables so it is less inclined to eat its faeces.

How can I treat Conjunctivitis in my Rabbit?

Conjunctivitis is an allergic reaction in the eyes which causes them to become red and sore, and also causes a discharge. Try and identify the cause of the reaction, it could be dusty hay or straw, or chemicals. It can also be caused by excess ammonia in the rabbits urine which can irritate the eyes. Remove the cause of the irritation and treat the eyes with eye drops from your local pet store, or if the case is severe see your vet.

What can cause Diarrhoea in Rabbits?

Diarrhoea can be caused by a variety of things affecting the digestive tract of the rabbit. It can be caused by things such as infections, viruses, antibiotics, or simply a change in the rabbits diet. Look at your rabbits diet first, as it is the easiest thing to rule out. Have you changed the food you are feeding? If not then it could be too many vegetables (although rabbits do need plenty of these), or you could have introduced a new vegetable to quickly for the rabbit to get used to digesting it. In the case try and return the diet to normal and feed some extra hay to help bind the faeces. Make sure you give your rabbit lots of fluids so that they do not become dehydrated.

If there are been no change in the rabbits diet then you should try feeding a bit more hay to see if it eases the problem. If not then a trip to the vet will be the best course of action.

In both cases be sure to clean the rabbit housing out regularly to help keep them clean and comfortable.

My Rabbit has small white worms in its droppings, what should I do?

You may on occasion see thin thread like worms in your rabbits faeces or on the rabbits bottom. These are called Pinworms. They live in the rabbits intestines and do not generally cause ill health. If you wish to treat them then a suitable wormer should be available from your local pet store.

How can I remove a tick from my Rabbit?

Ticks are not that common in rabbits. This is because a rabbit does not generally go out of its hutch or run area into an area where they are likely to pick up a tick. The most common way of a rabbit coming into contact with a tick is if it has been carried into their area buy another animal such as a dog or cat.

Ticks are very small to start off with. They will attach themselves to the animal by their mouth and feed on their blood. When you remove them you must be very careful not to leave the mouth part embedded in the rabbit as it can get infected. You can by tick sprays from your local pet store and special tick removal tools that will make it easier to get it off safely. Alternatively you can suffocate the tick by putting Vaseline around it and them removing it carefully with tweezers.

How can I treat Ringworm in Rabbits?

Ringworm is a fungal infection that causes dry skin patches on the nose and face of a rabbit. These patches can then spread to the ears and legs. There are two types of Ringworm and both affect the animal in the same way.

It can be treated with a course of anti fungal cream or tablets until the ringworm fungi is gone.

Ringworm can be transferred to Humans and will be seen as a rash or circular rings on the skin. Anti fungal treatment from your doctor may be needed.

What is Myxomatosis in Rabbits?

There are two forms of Myxomatosis in rabbits. It is a disease that is spread by fleas and other insects. In the most serious cases it will cause swelling on the eyelids, ears and genitals. The disease then progresses and a secondary infection begins. The rabbit will loose its appetite and stop eating. This case is usually fatal to the rabbit. The less serious cases consist of nodules on the rabbit’s paws, ears, and nose. The rabbit will remain well and the nodules will eventually disappear.

Myxomatosis can only be spread by the insect carriers. The most common of these is the flea. It cannot be spread directly from rabbit to rabbit, but from the fleas passing between rabbits.

The most serious cases are usually fatal but the less serious cases can be treated by providing antibiotics to stop a secondary infection occurring.

A vaccine for Myxomatosis is available and should be given to your rabbit annually.

How can I treat fleas in Rabbits?

There are two types of fleas that rabbits can come into contact with. Outdoor rabbits are more likely to have ‘Rabbit Fleas’ whereas indoor rabbits or rabbits from multi-pet households can get ‘Cat and Dog Fleas’. You need to treat both the animal and the housing to make sure you kill both the fleas on the animal and the eggs in the housing. A flea spray or shampoo from your local pet store, along with a treatment to kill the eggs in the housing will be needed.

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