Here's a brief introduction to the many causes of sudden death in pet rabbits that happen without warning.
Having a pet bunny can be one of the most rewarding experiences, but it can be traumatizing when it approaches the end of its life. Here's what to expect.
A pet rabbit may be healthy one day, sick the next, and then die very suddenly. Why does this happen? Sometimes, the rabbit is older than the owner realizes. Read on for more possible answers.
Rabbits can't tell you when they feel sick. It's up to you to figure out what is wrong with them. Here are some common problems that can make a bunny ill or uncomfortable.
Sometimes it's hard to tell whether rabbits are sick or not. Here are five signs that may indicate that your bunny is not feeling well.
A relatively under-discussed phenomenon in rabbit-keeping is moulting. Not to worry—moulting is a common occurrence in most cases.
Rabbits need constant access to hay (or kiln-dried grass) to maintain optimum dental and digestive health, but this can cause problems for humans suffering from hay fever type allergies. There’s also a risk of becoming allergic to the rabbit itself, as rabbit fur can trigger allergies over a period of time, especially if your rabbit lives indoors. It is advisable to take steps to reduce the allergen exposure to yourself and your family. For example, feed only high quality, dust-free hay, or use a kiln-dried grass. Keep sections of the house (especially bedrooms) rabbit and hay-free zones, to ensure that you are not constantly bombarded with allergens, and vacuum regularly using a machine with a high quality filter. Groom your rabbit regularly to reduce the amount of dead fur flying round the house.
What Is a Lionhead Rabbit?
These rabbits definitely stand out from the crowd. They have the mane of a powerful lion but the stature of a tiny rabbit. Perhaps that’s why they’re so endearing.
Where do these unique-looking rabbits come from? Well, they originated from Belgium. They were created when rabbit breeders were trying to produce a long-haired dwarf rabbit.
It is thought that the lionhead rabbit was created by mixing a Netherland dwarf and miniature Swiss Fox rabbit, though some people dispute this.
Lionheads are recognized by both the British Rabbit Council and American Rabbit Breeders Association. Although they are popular show animals, they are also considered great pets.
Characteristics of a Lionhead Rabbit
Lionhead rabbits share the following characteristics:
- A wooly, medium-length coat (although it appears wooly, it is soft to the touch).
- A mane that runs around the rabbit’s head. The mane is usually at least 2 inches long.
- Some Lionheads have woolly fur on their cheeks, chest, and/or hind-quarters.
- Lionhead rabbits can come in lots of different colors. For example, the British Rabbit Council acknowledges at least 18 different colors including Chocolate, Iron Gray, Lilac, and Cinnamon.
- Some Lionheads have flatter-faces than other rabbits. The Brachycephalic (flat-faced) features could be mild or very pronounced.
- A friendly personality, but they can become spooked very easily.
- An average lifespan of 7-9 years.
17 Signs of Old Age in Rabbits (And How You Can Help)!
You might think that your rabbit will remain healthy and active for its entire life. Over time, however, your rabbit will start to slow down and sleep more. This is just one rabbit old age symptom. If you need to know how to tell if your rabbit is getting old, there are some obvious signs.
Signs that your pet rabbit is getting old may include a greying coat, cataracts or loss of sight, hearing loss, or sleeping more often. You may also notice mobility problems, trouble grooming, weight loss, frequent avoidance of the litter box, or temperature change sensitivity. Age can also bring a range of illnesses, such as dental disease, heart disease, respiratory problems, kidney problems, or urinary tract infection. Your rabbit might even get dementia or cancer.
Some of these signs will not manifest if your senior rabbit has received high-quality care for most of its life. Other signs will be unavoidable, so you will also need to adjust your rabbit’s lifestyle. The older your rabbit gets, the more it will rely on you to remain happy and healthy.
Purchasing Your Rabbit
The association between rabbits and Easter means rabbits are often impulsively acquired as pets around the Easter holiday. Unfortunately, many of these bunnies end up neglected or given up for adoption since those cute little bunnies grow up into rabbits that need as much attention and care as a dog. Avoid the impulse to get a bunny for Easter.
The best option is to adopt a rabbit from a nearby shelter or rescue. There are many wonderful pet rabbits who need a second chance at finding a forever home. Don't worry about the age of an older rabbit you can quickly get a good sense of an older rabbit's personality, and they will often bond with new owners even quicker than a younger rabbit.
Food and Water
Unfortunately, a lot of people don't understand the nutritional requirements of a rabbit, and this can lead to digestive problems and, particularly, issues with their teeth.
Because rabbits teeth constantly grow, they need a diet that will naturally help their teeth to file down to prevent them from becoming overgrown. All rabbits should be given unlimited access to high-quality and high-fibre fresh grass hay, along with water. Fresh, leafy greens, like Kale, are also beneficial.
Steer clear of sugary fruits, unless it's an occasional treat, and don't fall into the trap of letting your Lionhead eat too many commercially prepared pellets. These can be okay in moderation, but they aren't particularly fibrous and finding high-quality hay mixtures that they like is much more important.