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Common Rabbit Diseases

It is good to know some of the common rabbit diseases so that you are aware when your rabbit is ill or unhealthy. Below are some common diseases and how to prevent and treat them.

Ear Mites

Symptoms – Ear mites are when small little mites burrow into the ear and lay eggs. It is easily recognizable by the formation of scabs or crusty accumulation in the ears and scratching of the affected areas by the rabbit.

Treatment – Place olive oil or mineral oil directly on the ear once a day for 3 days, then repeat the process at 10 day intervals. This will suffocate the mites. Alternatively, take the rabbit to a vet for a mites injection twice, the second injection being a week apart.

Malocclussion

Malocclussion is  sometimes inherited in some rabbits, and sometimes caused by injury. The symptoms are elongated teeth, crooked teeh or overlapping upper teeth. It is sometimes also known as buck teeth. DO NOT breed rabbits with malocclussion.

Treatment – The teeth can be clipped until animal reaches desired weight.

Red Urine

Red Urine is a normal condition where there is an incomplete breakdown of nutrients. There is no treatment nor prevention necessary.

Snuffles

Snuffles is a bacterial infection in the upper respiratory system, sometimes cause by stress. Its symptoms are sneezing, watery eyes, white nasal discharge, breathing difficulty and decreased growth rate.

Treatment – There is no cure for snuffles. A veterinarian may assist with early treatment. To prevent snuffles, reduce stress factor in rabbits, provide proper ventilation, sanitary practices and clean water.

Sore Hocks

Sore Hocks can happen when a rabbit with paws too small for its weight or fur covering on paws too thin that has come into contact with rough areas for some time. The sores will be infected and sometimes bleeding, and the rabbit may have difficulty moving around.

Treatment – Use astringent ointment daily until healed, and provide dry, flat surface for rabbit to sit on. Eliminate any rough flooring areas too.

Weepy Eye

Usually caused by blocked duct between lower eyelid and nasal area. Can be detected by looking for signs of discharge under the eye or matted fur under the eye.

Treatment – Seek a vet’s help to open the duct. Use eye drops 2 to 3 times daily for 3-4 days.

Wry Neck

Wry neck can have many causes. Most commonly it is caused by a bacterial infection of the inner ear. Wry neck is spotted by loss of balance or the rabbit’s head twisting to one side, as well as loss of appetite in your rabbit and paralysis of the hindquarters.

Treatment – Treatment is difficult and long. Sometimes, the rabbit may not recover fully. If you see the first signs of wry neck in your rabbit, take it to the vet immediately for early intervention!


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