ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Care for a Sick Rabbit

Updated on January 24, 2013

You may have realised that your rabbit is unwell after carrying out a daily or weekly health check on it and are wondering how to care for a sick rabbit. There are a number of things you can do to help your rabbit recuperate, but the first thing is to decide whether you need to take the rabbit to the vets. If there is damage to the eyes, a broken bone, an abscess or you suspect myxomatosis or viral haemorrhagic disease you should definitely go straight to the vets. If your rabbit has a slight digestive upset or is a bit under the weather you may decide to monitor it closely at home to see if its condition improves.

Rabbits with suspected myxomatosis must be isolated and taken to the vet
Rabbits with suspected myxomatosis must be isolated and taken to the vet | Source

Care of an Unwell Rabbit

Isolate your rabbit – whether you have taken your rabbit to the vets or not it is worth isolating it if you think it is unwell. Put your rabbit somewhere quiet away from other rabbits and general activity. If it has a contagious disease this will reduce the risk of it spreading to your other rabbits. This will also allow your rabbit to recuperate in peace without the stress of other rabbits trying to eat its food or annoying it and without being disturbed by other pets or noisy human activity.

Don't place the heat mat in the cage with the rabbit in case it decides to chew at the mat or the electricity wires! There are some which claim to be chew proof, but I haven't tested them with my pets.

Provide extra Warmth – If your rabbit is very unwell or has had surgery it may struggle to maintain its body temperature and should be kept warm – bring it into a quiet but heated room or if you have one you could place a heat mat under part of the cage. Don’t use a heat mat under the whole cage because your rabbit needs to be able to move somewhere cooler if it is too warm.

If the rabbit is a bit under the weather and it is living outside through the winter it will benefit from being moved somewhere a bit more sheltered such as inside a garage or shed and being given extra bedding.

Food and water - if your rabbit is suffering from a digestive upset cut out greens and vegetables for a couple of days and once its feeling better reintroduce them gradually in small quantities to start with. Unlike for dogs you shouldn't withhold food altogether from a rabbit with diarrhea, but you could restrict it to liberal quantities of a good quality meadow hay for two days.

Your rabbit should have unrestricted access to water. If it have a sore mouth or a tooth abscess it might find it easier to drink from a bowl rather than its usual water bottle.

Follow your vet’s instructions carefully – these may involve syringe feeding a certain amount of medicine to the rabbit every day, adding antibiotic liquid to the water for a specified time or bathing an abscess several times a day in salt water or a product like Hibiscrub.

If your rabbit has had an operation you may be given a plastic cone collar for it to wear so that it doesn't start chewing at the stitches. Your rabbit may not be too pleased about this, but it is worth being firm and not taking it off too soon so that you avoid having to take your pet back for restitching.

Check your rabbit's droppings
Check your rabbit's droppings | Source

Monitor Your Rabbit's Progress

Making a daily record of your rabbit's progress will give you something to refer to so that you can be either confident that it is getting better or that it is deteriorating a bit and so needs to go to the vets. You should record:

  • The rabbit's weight
  • The amount it has eaten
  • The amount it has drunk
  • Consistency and quantity of droppings
  • General demeanor and activity levels
  • Any other symptoms for example runny eyes including a description of the colour and consistency of the discharge.

If any of these criteria get dramatically worse or more gradually worse over a couple of days you should take your rabbit to the vet.

Hopefully your Rabbit will soon be Better and Hopping around Happily

A healthy orange rex rabbit
A healthy orange rex rabbit | Source

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)