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This website is devoted to the care and well-being of all rabbits, and focuses on pet rabbits kept as indoor members of the family.

Last site update: Wed Feb 25 01:52:51 EST 2015

General

Small Mammal Health Series

Health and Medicine

Health Hazards

MediRabbit

Merck Veterinary Manual - Rabbits

Rabbit Health Central

Rabbit Health Central

Health & Reference

Rabbit Health in 21st Century

Rabbit Health

Medical FAQ

Dental Problems

Rabbit Anatomy


Specific to conditions:

Mites Overview

GI Stasis

Nursing Your Rabbit Through Gastrointestinal Stasis

Mycotoxins

Head-tilt

Heat Stroke

Bacteria

Is your bunny healthy?

Flystrike in rabbits

Fly Strike

Fly Strike (Morfz)

Fly Strike (Myiasis)

Butt baths

Rabbits Need Dental Care Too

Bloat

Bloat in Rabbits

Relieving Gas Episodes

Look Out for Dangerous Chemicals in Antimicrobial Soap & Body Care Products

Harmful Chemicals

Analgesic Drugs For Use In Rabbits

Check out my book on pet rabbit care and socialization, and I'm always updating it. The book is copyright-protected but available for free, though I request a $1 donation for the bunnies and for my efforts. C'mon, what's a buck?

Understanding Bunny Health

Bunnies hide their illnesses - keep a close eye on your bunny's health!!

PLEASE NOTE: We can't even begin to cover all of the issues you might encounter, and we urge you to follow the links provided down on this page. These articles are kept updated as needed, and they are the best sources of information to use. Even if you think you know something to be true, it's still always a good idea to check if the Earth is still flat, y'know?

I will touch upon certain conditions which I have experienced, and I'll try to explain what some things mean. You will be the health advocate for your bunny (and a good help for your vet) and you need to stay conversant and current (as knowledge grows) so that you can guarantee your little friend the best care.

Rabbits will hide illness and/or discomfort for fear of attracting predators, so you must watch carefully to see if there may be any health issues. Not only can their health deteriorate very quickly, many times a problem goes unnoticed until it is too late. PLEASE educate yourself on rabbit health!!

The other reason I don't want to attempt any descriptions here is that I am linking to pages which are updated as needed. It's

As with any animal, fleas can become a problem with rabbits. Insecticides contain some of the most powerful poisons known to science, and they are extremely dangerous to almost all animals (including humans). If you try treating your bunny with any of the common treatments available, We recommend Revolution, which is a prescription-only, FDA-approved medication available only through a veterinarian - and is NOT a pesticide registered by the EPA.

DO NOT USE FRONTLINE!! - fipronil is the active ingredient and is extremely toxic and even lethal to rabbits. An easy way to remember this warning is that both are "F-words". Avoid the F-word!!!

Here is a very short list of just some of the problems you might encounter or discover, to give you an idea of what it means to care for an exotic animal like a rabbit:

If your bunny has stopped eating for close to 24 hours, has stopped pooping, is having difficulty breathing or suffering from heat, or is in any apparent distress, this could be a life-threatening situation!! Please contact your vet immediately!! Please also see the litterbox training page for information on some common issues you can detect based on your bunny's litterbox use.

Rabbits are prey animals, and so they will instinctively hide any weakness that may make them more vulnerable to a predator. Also, a sick rabbit may be rejected by other rabbits because instinctually they fear that the sick rabbit will attract predators to the whole group. Many times this means that people discover a problem with their rabbit's health after it has progressed quite a bit. Many people tell the same sad story that their bunny seemed just fine the day before, but in reality the day before the bunny was just hanging on, and now is crashing. You should take advantage of the opportunity to inspect your rabbit as closely as possible, as often as possible, as part of the grooming, handling and general contact you have with your pet.

Please also refer to the feeding page for information on foods that are safe and those that are harmful to your bunny. Other pages on this site with some health information include the

A rabbit's health can deteriorate very quickly with some conditions, so it is important that you catch health problems early on and seek proper veterinary care. Need a vet? You should also take your bunny for regular checkups just to make sure everything is okay, and to make sure you aren't missing anything important.

Remember - an unhealthy bunny is an unhappy bunny. Take care of your bunny and you will have an extraordinarily loving companion. If you don't get medical care for your bunny when it's necessary, then you are condemning a living being to suffer and possibly die.

Please also see the page on keeping your bunnies cool in the summertime

Kathy Smith was kind enough to give us permission to reprint her article on E. cuniculi - please take the time to read it.


Recommended Reading:

General

Dr. Susan Browns Series On Small Mammal Health

Morfz Rabbit Reference's list of health and medicine issues

Morfz Rabbit Reference's list of health hazards

An excellent resource available in many languages, covering health/dental/surgical issues, feeding, biology, and medicine. This is a very thorough resource.

The Merck Veterinary Manual for Treating Rabbits

Dana Krempels's collection of articles on rabbit health

Dana Krempels's article on early detection of illness in rabbits

The RabbitHabit's set of links to useful articles on rabbit health

A must-have book for any bunny parent concerned about the well-being and good health of their rabbits.

The House Rabbit Society's very thorough resource on rabbit health and medical problems and treatments, including keeping them in good mental spirits.

The House Rabbit Society's medical FAQ - another must-read

Explanation of some dental problems some rabbits have

A good basic presentaton of rabbit anatomy


Specific to conditions:

University of Florida's page on mites that attack humans and very educational

An excellent article on identifying the symptoms and treatments for gastrointestinal stasis

Zooh Corner's article on dealing with GI stasis

Mycotoxin poisoning

An article on E. Cuniculi (sometimes called "wry neck" or "head tilt") and treatments

How to cool down an overheated bunny

Identifying bunny infections through culturing and sensitivity testing

Wisconsin State University's page on rabbit health - a very good reference

Fly Strike in Rabbits

The House Rabbit Society's article on fly strike

Morfz's index on fly strike

Galen's Garden's article on fly strike

Miami House Rabbit Society's artice on bathing a rabbit's messy bottom

Zooh Corner's article on what you need to know about your rabbit's mouth

SaveABunny's article on recognizing and treating bloat (info for vets too!)

An excellent article on Bloat (and the differences between bloat and stasis)

A short article on handling gas episodes with bunnies

An excellent article on the dangers of antimicrobial products in the household (this applies to humans, so imagine the effect it has on the bunnies and other animals)

The Long Island Parrot Society's article on harmful chemicals and airborne contaminants and the effects on sensitive animals (in this case, birds)

MediRabbit's table of analgesic drugs that are safe for rabbits


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Last update: Wed Feb 25 01:52:51 EST 2015