Rabbits are almost always eating, grazing or foraging. Constant eating ensures that their intestinal tract keeps moving and stays healthy. It is essential to contact your vet as soon as possible after noticing that your rabbit isn’t eating its usual amount of hay and vegetables. Gastrointestinal stasis is a potentially fatal condition and can develop quickly.
Difficulty eating / drooling or facial swelling:
Signs of dental disease include irregular chewing patterns, dropping food when eating, weight loss, drooling, and facial swelling. Pain and reduced appetite can lead to gut stasis.
Abnormal or absent droppings:
It is essential to keep an eye on your bunny’s faecal output. Check for small or abnormally shaped faeces, uneaten or excessively produced cecotropes (glossy, grape-like faeces that are high in nutrients and are often eaten by rabbits), soft stools, diarrhoea, or a reduced amount of faeces passed.
Rabbits are quite active. If your rabbit suddenly becomes lethargic, moves around less, or acts aggressively, they may be unwell or in pain.
Changes in gait or posture:
It is important to watch for any change in gait (the way they move) or posture. Be on the lookout for any stumbling, staggering, head tilting or repeatedly stretching – these can be signs of pain or discomfort.
Dull or Missing fur:
It’s best to contact your vet if your bunny’s coat is looking dull, balding, shedding excessively or they seem to spend an excessive amount of time grooming or scratching.
Runny nose or sneezing:
Rabbits are obligate nose breathers (must breathe through their nose), so a runny or blocked nose can be very worrying. Watch out for sneezing, a runny nose, or discharge from the eyes.
Rabbits are prey animals and tend to try and hide any injuries or illnesses.
It is best to observe and check your rabbit regularly for any of the above-mentioned symptoms and contact us as soon as possible if you have any concerns.