Cuddly and adorable!
What strikes your mind? Of course, rabbits do.
There it comes hopping along, your pet rabbit, who is the latest addition to your family.
Rabbits fulfil the cute quotient and make excellent pets. Domestic rabbits are found in abundance today. Most people are fond of raising pets that are comforting and provide an enjoyable time to the owner. Rabbits are furry animals that hop around and burrow into the ground. Their snowy fur and adorable size make them favoured and exotic pets. Even their shyness is an endearing feature.
Have you just got your new rabbit and getting used to the idea of having a pet? It may seem like a daunting task. Especially in case of these small animals such as rabbits, extra attention is required. Rabbits tend to be quite shy creatures and are wary of humans until they are accustomed to them.
You’ll first have to learn to be friends with your pet rabbit. Be gentle and do not stress him out. Coax him to be friends with you and those around you. Make sure he isn’t agitated around you, so that you do not get kicked by him when you try to lift him and pet him. Remember, rabbits have really strong hind legs and if they feel uncomfortable around you they might kick you! It will not only hurt you, but could cause serious harm to the rabbits themselves.
No one ever wants their pet to be sick, and in the case of rabbits, you might not even be aware of your pet being sick. It is difficult to detect any illness that your pet rabbit might be ailing from. With care and patient observation, you might soon become a rabbit expert and just know when your pet is sick and needs a visit to the vet.
Here are some ways to discover if your pet rabbit is sick:
- Check your Rabbit’s Eyes: If your rabbit has contracted some eye infection, it will definitely show. Young rabbits are more prone to Conjunctivitis (more commonly known as pink eye). Your rabbit’s eye might be swollen and appear to be red. There might be quite some discharge from the eyes, which may cause the eyes to become sticky and close. The infection may spread to both eyes even, and cause both eyes to be shut. This is caused due to a bacterial infection and must be treated immediately.
Look out for: Red eyes, discharge from eye.
- Ears might have mites: Rabbits have distinctive ears that make them appear adorable. Cute as it may look, the ears of the rabbit might be infested with mites which are external parasites. Mites may cause accumulation of serum in their ears. You would notice if your rabbit has mites in its ears, because it would be constantly scratching its ears. This could result in bacterial infections if left unchecked, and if severe may lead to weight loss and even nerve damage. A consultation with the vet would be good here too and the rabbit’s ears must be cleaned to remove the serum in the ears.
Look out for: Vigorous scratching of ears
- Diarrhoea is dangerous: It really is a no-brainer that if your rabbit has acute diarrhoea that is sick and needs veterinary attention immediately. If your rabbit is really young and suddenly it has diarrhoea, it could even lead to death within a day or two if not cared for.
Look out for: Diarrhoea
- Hair Loss: Hair loss is an indicator of fungal infection that your pet rabbit might have contracted. If your rabbit has patchy skin and it has hair loss, which might mostly be found in its face. The fungus might cause skin abrasions, so look out for wounds in the skin of your pet rabbit too. Do not wait too long to get it checked, even though it might turn out to be a false alarm.
Look out for: Hair loss near nose, eyes and skin abrasions
- Crooked Teeth: Everyone’s bound to notice the long and large front teeth that rabbits have. Straight long teeth are indispensable for your rabbit to munch those yummy carrots and other food that you give him. The uneven growth of rabbit teeth is a serious problem and the condition is known as Malocclusion. Unless you go to the vet have the teeth evened regularly, it is going to be extremely difficult for your pet to eat its meals.
Look out for: Overgrown and uneven teeth
- Wry Neck: Have you noticed your rabbit tilting its head all the time? This is a sign of a severe ear infection. When a rabbit’s inner ear gets infected, it starts tilting its head all the time. Even after the infection gets treated your pet might still have that stiff neck forever. You should make sure that you get your rabbit treated before its infection spreads to the inner ear causing this head tilt.
Look out for: Head tilting
This might all look scary, but you will begin to notice these things when you spend time with your pet rabbit. In most likelihood, if you look after your pet well, feed him nutritious food as well as clean his cage regularly, your rabbit is going to be hale and healthy. Just observe your pet regularly, so that you will know when he is not eating properly or is lethargic and sickly. Then a visit to the vet is warranted for.
All you ever need is patience, care and most importantly love for your pet rabbit!