"How To Deal With a Sick Rabbit Before Going to the Vet
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"How To Deal With a Sick Rabbit Before Going to the Vet

If you are ever worried about your pet rabbit and find they are behaving oddly, or maybe they have stopped eating and drinking, then you need to get them to the vet as soon as you can. However, you may need to do something to help the situation before you make the trip to the surgery. This is especially true if your bunny rabbit is injured and bleeding or if they are running a high fever.

Below is a list of various injuries which you might need to deal with quickly before you put your rabbit in its pet carrier to go off to the vets.

What To Do With an Injured & Bleeding Paw

If you find your rabbit with an injured and bleeding paw, the first thing you have to do is wrap the paw in a clean, dry towel and then apply the right amount of pressure on the wound to try and slow down the bleeding. When the bleeding does stop, you can then examine the wound to see if it is a broken or torn nail or if it is a cut of some sort on the rabbit's paw.

The important thing is to keep all wounds on your rabbit's paw as clean as possible to avoid any infection getting in it. This means you'll have to clean out the litter box more frequently as well as wipe down the bottom of the cage to clean away any bacteria that might be lurking there.

If the wound won't stop bleeding or is very deep and needs veterinary attention, you have to get your bunny to the surgery as soon as you can for them to be given the right type of treatment and antibiotics if needed. However, you would still need to wrap the paw in a clean and dry towel to stop the bleeding as much as you can until you get there.

What To Do If You Suspect a Broken Bone

If you think your bunny has a broken bone, then you have to get them to the vets as soon as you notice there could be a problem, even if you have to take your rabbit to an emergency clinic. You should try to immobilise your pet until the vet has examined them fully and then treated your rabbit appropriately.

What To Do With Rabbit Eye Injuries

You should never treat an eye injury with any medication until your vet has examined the injury. What you should do is clean the eye injury with warmish water but avoid using any sort of cotton wool, instead use a lint free cloth which will not leave any bits of cotton around or in your pet's eye, little bits of cotton wool could cause further irritation to your pet's eye.

If there is a build up around the eye, make sure you remove this gently with warm water and a lint free cloth and then take your bunny to see the vet to find out what's causing the problem.

What To Do if Your Rabbit's Not Eating

When rabbits stop showing any interest in their food, it could be for several reasons and some of them could be the result of much more serious conditions. Rabbits have extremely delicate digestive tracts and any drastic changes in their diet could actually prove to be fatal to them. Below is a list of things that are often the cause of rabbits losing their appetites:

  • Drastic change of diet
  • Teeth and gum problems
  • Stomach pain caused by intestinal gases
  • Gastrointestinal problems

You need to get your pet bunny to the vets immediately if they stop eating so the vet can diagnose the cause of the problem and then give the right sort of treatment as soon as they can. This will ensure your rabbit makes a speedy recovery and gets their appetite back!

What To Do If Your Rabbit Twists Their Heads Upwards

This is one condition that all rabbit owners need to recognise – it's called head tilt and it's when for no apparent reason, a rabbit seems to twist their heads towards the ceiling. It is in fact, a clear indication that your pet is disoriented and you need to pad out their environment so they don't injure themselves. You should then make an appointment to see your vet as soon as possible to find out what's causing your pet to do this.

Possible causes of head tilt which is called “torticollis” or wry neck:

  • Middle/inner ear infection
  • Stroke
  • Trauma
  • Cancer - neoplasia
  • Cervical muscle contraction
  • Encephalitozoonosis
  • Cerebral larva migrans
  • Intoxication

What To Do If You Find Brown, Watery Discharge

If you notice any watery, brown discharge, this is a clear indication your bunny has diarrhoea. The problem with rabbits is they dehydrate very quickly if the problem is treated as soon as possible. If you know how to administer fluids, then you should do this as soon as you can but if you don't then make an appointment to take your pet to the vet so you can find out what the cause of the diarrhoea actually is.

What To Do If Your Rabbit is Bitten

If you have a few rabbits and one has bitten another one, you would need to treat the bite as soon as you can with some sort of antiseptic cream – preferably one that's been prescribed by your vet. The wound needs to be kept as clean as possible to prevent any bacteria getting into it and causing an infection.

What To Do If Your Rabbit Overheats

If you find your rabbit prostrate because they have overheated, you need to get their temperatures down as soon as you possibly can. One way to do this even if they have a high fever, is to place cool objects against their ears until their temperature drops. However, you must never let your pet rabbit's temperature go below 104 degrees. Again, you should then get your pet rabbit to the vets as soon as you can.

Hints & Tips

If you are thinking about adopting or buying a rabbit, remember just like any other domestic pet, they need a lot of care and attention. You should never leave them on their own for great lengths of time because rabbits need to be stimulated to stay healthy both mentally and physically. The other thing you need to check is that your local vet does deal with rabbits because a few veterinary surgeries do not.

A lot of symptoms in rabbits are not that easy to diagnose – which means you should take your pet to the vet as soon as you think something might be wrong.

It's a good idea to ask your vet to show you how to all of the above so you know what to do should an emergency arise.

If you suspect a hairball, then a few drops of pineapple juice will help relieve the problem of hair impactions.

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