The Most Common and Well-Known Rabbit Diseases

If an animal family member becomes ill, there is a great concern. Rabbits in particular are robust pets that are not very susceptible to disease. But like dogs and cats, long-ears can also get sick. Often they even suffer from diseases that are very similar to humans. For example, you may get a cold, have a toothache, or develop diabetes.

If your rabbit is suspected of having an illness, you should definitely take it to a veterinarian. Quick action is required for many diseases. To avoid health problems caused by poor husbandry, it is important to do your research before buying a rabbit.

Keeping them alone, lack of space, and an unbalanced diet can have a negative impact on the health of your rabbit. A spacious enclosure, the company of conspecifics and rabbit-friendly food, on the other hand, contribute to a healthy and happy long-eared life.

However, even the best posture does not protect against some diseases – a vaccination helps in many cases.

The Most Common Viral and Bacterial Diseases in Rabbits

The most well-known rabbit diseases include the dangerous viral diseases myxomatosis and Chinese disease (RHD), but long-eared rabbits can also struggle with bacterial infections such as rabbit cold. In addition, they are often prone to ear or dental problems.

Digestive problems, diarrhea, or a stuffy stomach can also be reasons for a visit to the vet. A stuffy stomach often leads to so-called drum addiction, in which the food ferments in the animal’s stomach. If left untreated, drum addiction is life-threatening to the rabbit.

In order to be able to recognize the first signs of an illness quickly, it makes sense to find out about the individual rabbit diseases. This will allow you to better interpret the symptoms of your long-eared ear and, if necessary, take it directly to the vet.

When You Should Definitely Take the Rabbit to the Vet

Regular vaccinations against myxomatosis and RHD (Chinaseuche) are mandatory. Our checklist can also help you spot the first signs of many rabbit diseases. But even if you are unsure about the health of your rabbit, you should not hesitate to visit a veterinarian. In an emergency, prompt treatment can make the difference between the life and death of the animal.

In general, the following applies to all pets (with a few exceptions): Apathetic behavior and the refusal of food and/or water are always a reason to go to the vet. For the well-being of your animal, you should refrain from self-medication and rely on expert help for medical care.

Parasite Infestation in Rabbits

Parasites are often associated with dogs or cats, but not necessarily rabbits. Like our other four-legged friends, they can suffer from flea, mite, or worm infestation, for example.

What You Can Do to Avoid a Parasite Infestation

Parasites do not have to indicate poor hygiene – the animals are often infected in the womb. You have no influence on these diseases. However, you can protect your rabbits from severe infestation by regularly examining the animals and going to the vet at the first signs. Like many rabbit diseases, parasites should be treated as quickly as possible. These include, for example, coccidiosis, encephalitozoonosis, or fly maggot infestation.

Provides fresh food and water every day, removes leftover food, and makes sure that your rabbit’s enclosure is clean. Heavily soiled litter and forage should be replaced promptly. Also, keep in mind that in some cases it may be necessary to treat all animals. Therefore, always mention to the vet how many rabbits you are keeping and ask whether several animals could be affected by the parasites.

Here you will find an overview of the most common and well-known rabbit diseases and parasites:

The Most Common Rabbit Diseases

  • China Plague (RHD)
  • Inflammation of the external ear canal
  • Rabbit cold
  • Myxomatosis
  • Otitis media
  • Drum addiction
  • Dental problems

The Most Common Parasites and Infestations in Rabbits

  • Encephalitozoonosis
  • Fly maggot infestation
  • Fleas/rabbit fleas
  • Coccidiosis
  • Mites
Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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