IMPORTANT Information For New Bunny Owners: Bunny Summer Care
SIGNS YOUR RABBIT IS SICK FROM HEAT
If your rabbit becomes listless, floppy, and unresponsive, take it to the vet right away! Vetinarians can save rabbits which otherwise would certainly die. If you're here because you've found your rabbit in this state, please don't leave a question in the comments asking what to do, use your head and take your rabbit to the vet. It always amazes me how so many people with obviously sick pets waste time asking questions online whilst their animal suffers, and I imagine, quite often dies.
In summer it is easy for rabbits to over heat and die because, unlike other animals, bunnies have no means of cooling themselves such as panting, or sweating. In the wild, rabbits huddle in their cool underground burrows during the heat of the day. Domestic rabbits often die in summer because they have nowhere to hide from the heat of the sun, and their owners have no idea that they are in trouble until it is far too late.
There are many things you can do to prevent heat stroke and keep your bunny healthy all through summer. Of course the first, and most logical thing you can do is to bring the bunny inside where it is cooler and perhaps even air conditioned. If you can't do this, or if you are sweltering without air conditioning as well, then you may need to get more creative. A bottle filled with water and put in the freezer for a few hours makes an excellent bunny cooler.
DO NOT PUT YOUR RABBIT IN THE FREEZER OR THE FRIDGE, OR A COOLER.
(Of course, that was obvious to most of you already, but there's always one or two who need it pointed out.)
When the freezer has done its job, take the frozen bottle out of the freezer and then place it in your rabbit's cage. This will give your rabbit something cold to cuddle up to and lower its body temperature with. Don't just assume that because you have an indoor rabbit that you don't need to worry about this either. Temperatures can soar inside, especially if your rabbit is close to a sunny window, and bunnies can die just as easily inside as out.
Keep an eye on your rabbit on hot days, and if you notice that it becomes listless and unresponsive, then call your vet right away. This is an emergency, and your rabbit can die from getting too hot.
Another common problem encountered during summer is flystrike. This is when flies lay their eggs around a rabbit's bottom, and then the eggs hatch into maggots and things get very gross very quickly. If you have an outdoor rabbit, you will need to check daily for flystrike, as this is very uncomfortable for a rabbit, not to mention very unhealthy indeed.
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