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Caring for Sick Rabbits


When given quality food, clean water, and a comfortable and safe home rabbits are remarkably healthy. Although sickness is unusual, bunny owners should do everything possible to prevent illness and be prepared to treat maladies that sometimes appear quickly. Just like people, sometimes animals can become ill and need to be taken care of promptly.

The best solution to disease is simple prevention. Keeping feeders and waterers clean, while providing fresh dry rabbit pellets and quality timothy hay, will promote good health. Keeping dropping pans and the entire hutch clean is also essential in preventing disease.

Despite the best sanitation and food, rabbits do occasionally get sick. Not all vets are comfortable treating rabbits, so wise owners find a vet with rabbit experience BEFORE their pet gets ill.

Although rabbits can catch an array of diseases, the most common are mattering in their eyes and stuffy colds that are called sniffles. Neither of these conditions seems serious when they first appear, but they can progress quickly and sometimes are fatal. Both respond well to medications that can be obtained from a vet.

Always be cautious about giving a rabbit an antibiotic. Their digestive tracts are lined with millions of microbes essential to digestion. Some nonselective antibiotics will kill these friendly bacteria, and that can be toxic to the bunny.

Finally, remember to wash your hands before and after handling rabbits to avoid swapping pathogens.