You’ll hope that your pet rabbit can have a straightforward and happy life, but alas, that’s not always guaranteed. If nature can get up to its tricks, then you could find that your rabbit ends up with a disease that has to be actively managed.
As with all animals, there are some diseases that are easier than others to manage -- and there are things you can do to help prevent them from materialising in the first place. On this page, we’re going to look at some of the more common diseases that can affect rabbits. If you know what you’re looking for, then you’ll be in a strong position to protect your bunny.
A rabbit’s teeth are probably its most recognisable feature. However, while they may be iconic, they can also pose problems. Did you know that a rabbit’s teeth continue to grow throughout the entirety of its lifetime? It’s true -- in fact, they would grow more than three inches a year, if they weren’t controlled. To ensure things don’t get out of control, rabbits need a lot of fibre -- this helps to grind down the teeth.
The best way to control the size of their teeth is to provide the right food. 90% of your rabbit’s diet should consist of oats and hay. Leafy greens can take care of the rest of the meal. Chew toys can also help. If your rabbit’s teeth become too long, then get in touch with your vet -- they’ll be causing your pet pain.
As with humans, rabbits have the capability to transfer disease to one another. One of the most common is snuffles. This will provoke flu-like symptoms in your bunny. Their eyes can become tired-looking and red, and they’ll be sneezing or wheezing too.
They’re the most common symptoms, but there can be others too -- in general, it’s just a nasty disease to pick up. If you suspect that your rabbit may have snuffles, then book an appointment with your vet. They’ll prescribe a course of antibiotics, though sometimes more than one course is required if it’s an especially nasty bout of snuffles.
Myxomatosis is a dangerous disease that is transmitted by insects. Way back when, it was responsible for the death of 99% of the UK’s rabbit population -- disastrous. This can be prevented by getting your rabbit vaccinated and staying on top of boosters.
Ear mites are not the most dangerous condition that a rabbit can pick up, but only if they’re handled early on. If they’re left to run riot, then lesions and other wounds can form -- perhaps not life-threatening, but not pleasant either.
If you suspect that your bunny has one of the common rabbit diseases or any other condition for that matter, then make an appointment with your vet. Don’t forget that the foundation of your rabbit’s health will be a good diet and plenty of exercise, so make sure that you’re feeding them top-quality food and that they’re getting a few hours of exercise each day.