What to Watch For

While rabbits can be resilient–such as able to handle the addition of a new baby to the people family–their health can sometimes be delicate. They need their human to be diligent in making sure they have everything they need, every day. This includes access to clean hay and clean water at all times, as well as knowing when your rabbit is “off.”

Every day, check your rabbit's...

Appetite: Are they eating the same amount? Did they skip a meal?

  • WATCH CLOSELY: If bunny goes more than 12 hours without eating, be concerned and make an appointment to see the vet promptly. If bunny goes more than 24 hours without eating it’s a critical situation.  The rabbit digestive system requires that food be circulating through the system at all times.
  • It could be a symptom of the start of stasis, bloat, dental problems, or another issue.

Litterbox: Are they pooping and urinating like they usually do? Does the poop look different? How about the urine? Are they drinking less or more?

  • Rabbits tolerate different foods differently. (Note that red urine can be caused by eating certain leafy vegetables such as red chard or beet leaves.)
  • Changes in urine or poop can also indicate illness.
  • Rabbits excrete two types of droppings. One is the dry round “cocoa puff” that you commonly see. The other are called cecotropes, which are small, shiny, and moist and resembles a bunch of grapes; these are usually consumed by the rabbit and often are not seen.

Exercise: Is bunny moving around less than normal? Are they lying flat and look uncomfortable? Are they limping?

  • Are they lying flat and look uncomfortable? ENCOURAGE bunny to hop around as well as massage bunny’s tummy. They may be gassy. Exercise may be able to move the gas bubbles and get the gut and poops moving.

Cleanliness: Are the eyes, ears, chin, bum clean?

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