Recognising the signs of potential ill health in your rabbit is important in helping keep your pet in peak condition.
Knowing when to call your vet for advice and treatment could also help save your rabbit’s life in an emergency. Your vet will also be able to advise you on how regular check-ups and vaccination can protect your pet against potentially fatal disease. Diseases and danger signs to be aware of include;
A serious and often fatal disease spread by blood sucking insects including the rabbit flea, typified by swollen eyelids and swellings to the face and head.
Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease (RHD)
Often fatal with early signs including fever, lethargy and bleeding from the nose.
Many rabbits have bacteria living in their nasal sinuses called Pasteurella. These bacteria will not cause a clinical problem for a rabbit with a healthy immune system.
In certain situations, if the rabbit becomes stressed, these bacteria will multiply rapidly causing a disease known as pasteurellosis or 'snuffles'.
This disease may affect the respiratory tract, uterus, skin, kidneys, bladder, tear ducts, middle ear or spine. Clinical signs include discharges from the eyes and nose, loss of appetite, lethargy, head tilt, loss of balance, hind limb paralysis and laboured breathing.
The infection cannot be eliminated but it can be controlled with antibiotics and you should consult your vet at once.