In detail

Rabbit Diseases: Health Hazards


Rabbit diseases may be many, but the good news is that your long-eared dog can live to be eight to twelve years old in good conditions, be extremely satisfied with it, and give you a lot of pleasure. But even if you do everything to ensure that your pet is well, the animal can get sick. It is important that you recognize the symptoms quickly and act accordingly. This overview should help you with this. Types and symptoms of rabbit diseases are diverse - Shutterstock / ABulash

If your bundle of energy is healthy, the topic of rabbit diseases is far away. The Mümmelmann seems to be in a chronically good mood, likes to move, discovers his surroundings and appears awake and full of verve. Relaxation is by no means an alarm signal either, blissful dozing is part of the life of your cuddly friend. Just like a healthy long-ear look: the rabbit has shiny, close-fitting fur, clean sex openings and not crusted eyes and nose. In addition, claws and teeth should not be excessively long, and your friend brushes himself regularly.

Another sign that your favorite pet is in perfect shape: The excretions present themselves as clearly shaped droppings or as mucus-covered, soft appendix. In distinction to the mentioned characteristics of a healthy animal, the following symptoms and signs show that the fur nose suffers from one of the dreaded rabbit diseases.

Dental problems caused by diet

If the molars wear out problematically, there are sharp tips and edges that injure the tongue, gums and cheeks. Signs of these rabbit diseases include easy drooling when eating, slow eating, reduced hay intake or refusal to eat. Prolonged root growth can also cause problems. Symptoms include a palpable swelling on the lower jaw, conjunctivitis, a blocked tear duct and pus formation in the corners of the eyes.

Eukaryotes infections

Coccidia are parasites that can be found in the intestine. Often it is poor hygiene in posture that leads to infestation. Signs include diarrhea, unwillingness to eat, rapid emaciation, refusal to water, a bloated stomach and secondary diseases of rabbits such as fungal infections due to a weakened immune system. Encephalitozoonosis is triggered by a unicellular parasite. The rabbit is infected through contact with the urine of infected animals, and around 80 percent of the rabbit population is said to be affected. Guinea pigs, rats and mice are also possible carriers. Symptoms of the illness include misalignment of the head, paralysis, balance problems, lack of coordination, turning around on its own axis, lateral position and changed blood values ​​- especially with the kidney values.

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Bacterial infections

In this type of rabbit disease, pasteurellosis should also be mentioned, also known as rabbit runny nose. The disease caused by the Pasteurella multocida bacteria breaks out especially when the animal's immune system is weakened by a mix of factors consisting of high population density, stress and drafts. Signs of the disease are watery-purulent nasal discharge, sticky-encrusted nostrils, sneezing and heavy breathing.

Viral infections

The best known viral infections in the long ears are myxomatosis and the so-called China disease (RHD). These rabbit diseases are transmitted by mosquitoes and contaminated food. The best protection against deadly infections is to have your rabbit vaccinated regularly. In myxomatosis, the typical signs of the disease are inflammation and swelling of the eyes, eye discharge and the formation of subcutaneous edema. RHD manifests itself above all through accelerated breathing, reluctance to eat, apathy and disorders of the general condition. In general, all signs may be missing until sudden death occurs.

Gastrointestinal disease

Diarrhea and strong changes in smell in faeces can indicate various rabbit diseases. In addition to a visit to the veterinarian, a change in diet may be necessary. Even in the case of flatulence with symptoms similar to constipation, a veterinarian should be consulted quickly. Drum addiction affects the gas formation in the stomach through fermentation of feed and can be fatal. Signs include bloating of the stomach, bulging in the chest and shortness of breath. The cause of constipation in the stomach is usually bales of fibers, hair and stems that cannot be digested. Signs of this hairball formation are appetite for eating, apathy, weight loss, reduced to no droppings, restlessness and constant changing of the lying position.

Skin and skin problems

Rabbits' skin and fur can also be affected. Symptoms include fur loss, matting and discoloration of the fur, reddening of the skin, formation of scales or crusts and itching. The background is often parasitic diseases caused by mites, fungi, lice or fleas. These are mainly caused by poor hygiene in the enclosure.

What can you do to keep your rabbit healthy?

Essential factors for the health of your animal and for the protection against rabbit diseases are: species-appropriate nutrition, fresh feed and lots of hay, sufficient exercise through plenty of exercise, keeping with a partner animal, regular vaccination, hygiene and routine examinations at the veterinarian. In addition, the unnecessary carrying around of the animals should be avoided to avoid falls and fractures.