If Your Rabbit Gets Sick, What Should You Do?

sick pet rabbit

A healthy makes an excellent pet. Your rabbit, like other pets, need attention to avoid major health problems. Regular visits to the veterinarian and a nutritious food will help your bunny stay healthy and happy, but keep an eye out for symptoms that he or she is ill.

Why Do Rabbits Get Sick

Rabbits, like most pets, can get ill for a variety of causes. They might be exposed to pathogens, ingest something poisonous, be genetically prone to a disease, or suffer from other factors. Rabbits usually hide indications of disease since they are at the bottom of the food chain. They risk becoming prey if they show vulnerability. Of course, your pet is unlikely to be eaten, but you must still keep a close eye on it to detect early indications of illness. The following are some frequent indications of illness:

  • Lowered energy and appetite: Rabbits show two significant signs of illness: (or lethargy) and for both food and water. These are vague symptoms and can indicate any number of illnesses. Keep track of your rabbit's food and water consumption as it provides a quick way to spot if your pet is having health issues.
  • Missing or excessive stools: Rabbit gastrointestinal stasis (RGIS) is a common rabbit illness sign that occurs when the animal stops eating. This slows everything in the digestive system down and the bunny stops dropping stools. GI stasis might be a result of an inadequate appetite, like a lack of fiber, dental issues, or a secondary problem such as liver disease or cancer. Diarrhea or loose stools can be a sign of trouble, too, indicating a potential parasitic or bacterial disease.
  • Poor grooming habits: Bunnies are known for keeping themselves clean. Therefore, any signs that the rabbit hasn't been cleaning itself, such as fecal matter staining paws or matted fur, is a sign the rabbit is unwell. Drooling, slobby or missing hair on the creature's hair and neck are also all indicators of illness, potentially dental disease. Additionally, dandruff, overall fur loss, or a scaly coat can be a sign of an infection that could be contagious to other animals or even humans, such as in the case of "the walking dandruff mite," Cheyletiella parasitovorax.
  • Cold symptoms: Rabbits can only breathe through their noses, so an upper respiratory tract disease is a serious health problem. If it looks like your rabbit is suffering from a cold with symptoms like nasal discharge, sneezing, coughing, breathing problems, including open-mouth breathing, it needs to be seen by a vet ASAP.
  • Head tilt. If your bunny's head is listing to one side, the on that side seems to be having issues, or the rabbit has poor coordination, it could be suffering from a sudden onset of head tilt, a dysfunction of the system that controls the rabbit's balance.


The treatment that a veterinarian recommends will be determined on the rabbit's condition. Keep your rabbit hydrated and warm while you seek care. Water or soft meals (applesauce or baby food) in a syringe can help. Your veterinarian may recommend prescription medicine to treat your rabbit's condition, depending on the circumstances. Because illness may strike rabbits suddenly, be sure you have a rabbit-friendly veterinarian. Rabbits, like other pets, should be seen by a veterinarian at least once a year until they reach the age of four, when they should be seen every six months. A veterinarian has specialized expertise that may detect indicators of rabbit sickness before they become a serious health problem.

How to Prevent Illnesses

It's not fully possible to keep rabbits healthy. Preventative measures can assist. Feed them a nutritious meal, keep their habitat clean and caring, and prevent severe temperatures. It's just as crucial to touch their bodies as it is to keep an eye on their behavior for any ailments. Your hands will alert you to any changes in your body's state, as well as lumps or injuries. It doesn't take as long as you may expect. respond fast to physical attention, and you'll become accustomed to caring for them.

If you suspect your pet is sick, call your vet immediately. For health-related questions, always consult your veterinarian, as they have examined your pet, know the pet's health history, and can make the best recommendations for your pet.


"Heart Disease In Rabbits. Chicago Exotics Animal Hospital, 2020,", "Gastrointestinal Stasis In RabbitsChicago Exotics Animal Hospital, 2020", "Parasitic Diseases Of RabbitsVeterinary Manual", "Wry Neck/Head Tilt In RabbitsArizona Exotic Animal Hospital.Com" ;