How to Recognize a Rabbit Health Emergency
Part of the Rabbits For Dummies Cheat Sheet
You need to be familiar with your rabbit’s normal condition and behavior so that you notice when something is wrong. Bleeding is fairly obvious, but raspy breathing may be harder to detect and just as dangerous. Contact your veterinarian as soon as you see any of the symptoms in the following table.
Handle an injured rabbit gently so that you don’t hurt your pet further, and be sure to use a pet carrier when transporting your bunny to the vet.
|Bleeding||Injury (Apply pressure to stop the bleeding)|
|Blood in urine||Uterine disease in intact female rabbits.|
|Inability to stand; staggering||Severe illness|
|Paralysis||Injury to the spine|
|Rapid breathing, raspy breathing, heavy coughing||Illness or infection|
|Refusal to eat||Serious illness or mild colic|
|Severe pain indicated by refusal to eat, teeth grinding, and limping||Injury or illness|
|Straining to defecate or urinate||Intestinal or urinary blockage|
|Swelling on body part that’s hot to the touch||Injury|
|Teary, closed, red, or cloudy eye||Eye injury or infection|
|Temperature significantly above or below 101–103ºF||Chill or fever|
|Tilted head||Injury, bacterial infection|