The Importance of a Healthy Rabbit
Keeping your rabbit healthy is one of the most important aspects of caring for your rabbit. Like all animals, rabbits can develop illnesses and suffer from certain conditions; it is important for rabbit owners to be able to recognize symptoms and identify illness as quickly as possible, and to get the rabbit to the vet. And rabbits require an exotic or small animal vet – not all vets are knowledgeable about rabbit health and treatment. To find local rabbit-savvy vets, visit our local vet list page.
If you are bringing home a new adopted rabbit, make sure you are familiar with common rabbit ailments. Remember, rabbits are considered “prey” animals – that means in the wild they are prey for other animals, and as such they don’t show pain or discomfort. Pay attention to your rabbit’s behavior so you can easily identify when changes occur, specifically if you notice your rabbit is:
- Not eating
- Not pooping
- Panting with his/her mouth open
- Experiencing diarrhea
- Tilting his or her head to the side, or if the head is upside down
Rabbits have a very sensitive digestive tract, and must keep food moving through it. If your rabbit is not eating or pooping, take your rabbit to the vet immediately. In general, if you witness any of the symptoms above, a visit to the vet is recommended.
Here are some great health-related resources from House Rabbit Society:
- Rabbit health resources
- FAQ: Medical Concerns
- How to Tell if Your Rabbit is Sick
- Dealing with Medical Emergencies
- How to find a good rabbit vet
Keeping your rabbit happy and healthy will lead to a long life of fun, enjoyment, and companionship for both you and your rabbit.