Rabbit health

Rabbit diseases

October 8, 2019

Rabbit breeding seems to be a profitable business. Production is almost waste-free (both fur and meat are valued), and the fecundity of animals has become legend. However, the company can suffer huge losses if the owner does not know in advance what the rabbits get. One outbreak of viral infection or food poisoning can take 100% of the livestock. Diseases of rabbits and their treatment are huge financial costs.

In order for the animals to remain healthy and regularly bear offspring, it is necessary to provide them with optimal conditions for keeping and have an idea of ​​the main dangers.

Common signs of the disease.

The owner must distinguish sick animals from healthy animals without the help of a veterinarian. A prosperous rabbit has a thick, shiny fur, clear clean eyes, good fatness. The hair on the chin around the eyes, nose, anus is dry and clean. Feces of dark color formed. Animals have good appetite and activity.

Rabbit diseases

Symptoms of the disease:

  • discharge from the eyes or nose
  • salivation (glued wool on the chin)
  • bald patches on wool, dull fallen over fur, dandruff, scratching on the skin.
  • shortness of breath (wheezing, wheezing)
  • stool disorders: diarrhea or constipation, feces next to the anus
  • refusal of food, apathy, the animal lies all the time
  • intense thirst
  • neurological disorders: paralysis or cramps, trembling;
  • "Bumps" on the body (abscess, tumor)

Diseases are conditionally divided into infectious (viral, bacterial, fungal, parasitic) and non-infectious. Non-infectious diseases do not impose restrictions on the sale of meat after slaughter. They arise due to a violation of the technology of keeping and feeding animals.

Non-communicable diseases.

Related to improper feeding:

Often a digestive disorder accompanies the weaning of rabbits from the mother. The animals refuse food, the stool is liquid, yellowish, mixed with mucus and vesicles. Great thirst. Animals weaken, lose weight, their temperature decreases.

First Aid: 12 hours fasting diet and plenty of water. Then they feed with dry food (high-quality hay) often and little by little. To stop diarrhea, veterinarians use antibiotics (chloramphenicol, synthomycin), but rabbits can sometimes cope with the usual gastrointestinal upset by using folk remedies: drink decoction of oak bark and add roasted oats to the food. You can give a decoction of chamomile, activated carbon and other sorbents.

  • Tympany (bloating), constipation. weakening or complete cessation of intestinal motility due to eating feed, causing fermentation, or lack of fiber.

Bloating accompanied by very characteristic signs: a swollen stomach and lack of stool. The animal bulges its eyes, clogs into the corner of the cage, grinds its teeth from pain, breathes often and superficially.

First aid: massage the abdomen every 2 hours, an enema with warm water (100 ml per 1 kg of mass), inside the paraffin oil 1-2 teaspoons. To reduce gas formation, Espumisan or its analogues, sorbents are evaporated. Veterinarians use no-shpu to relieve pain and cerucal (metoclopramide) to stimulate gastrointestinal motility.

If tympanum is massive, it is not possible to give drugs individually. rabbits must be forced to move, they are released to run.

  • Poisoning. intoxication caused by eating poisonous plants, sodium chloride, chemicals, root crops (green potatoes contain solanine, steamed beets. nitrites).

Signs of poisoning: excessive salivation and refusal to feed. There may be diarrhea, often neurological disorders: shaky gait, cramps, stupor.

First aid: remove toxic food and give adsorbents. In the absence of medicines, rice or oat broth, liquid starch paste are prepared, flax seeds are steamed. Make a cleansing enema. Further treatment is symptomatic.

  • tooth pathology. Various malocclusion due to improper grinding of constantly growing teeth.
Rabbit diseases

Read more:  Rabbit constipation

The reason is always improper feeding. Animals eat poorly, lose weight. The chin is wet from saliva. Chewing (buccal) teeth malocclusion is more difficult to recognize than incisors.

Related to temperature violation:

Animals are lethargic, do not move, do not eat, can lie on their sides without movement. Eyelids, nose and oral mucosa are bright red, breathing is frequent. If cramps start, treatment will be ineffective and the rabbits will be killed.

First aid: cool, fresh air. Cold compress on the head and legs.

  • frostbite. damage to peripheral parts of the body by frost (ears, paws).

Redness, swelling appears on the ears, itching is observed. If the frostbite is severe, the ears are wrinkled, dry out, the tissue areas can become frozen and fall off.

First aid: lubricate the affected area with fat, oily ointment. In the event of a severe lesion, they are treated like an ordinary wound.

  • rhinitis, bronchitis and pneumonia. diseases of the respiratory system caused by hypothermia (colds) or inhalation of dust, mold, ammonia.

The disease begins with mucous discharge from the nose, sneezing. As inflammation spreads to the bronchi and lung tissue, breathing is difficult in animals, wheezing and wheezing are heard. Oppression, refusal to feed.

Treatment boils down to the use of antibiotics and the improvement of living conditions.

Mechanical damage:

The animals inflict open wounds with their claws, in fights. They are washed with any antiseptic. Fractures occur from careless handling of animals, falling from a height. If the spine is broken and the hind legs fail, the sick rabbit is killed.

  • subdermatitis (plantar dermatitis). abscesses and wounds on the sole of adult animals kept on the mesh floor.

Excess weight, sparse fur on the legs, overgrown claws and lack of exercise contribute to this problem. The corns themselves are not dangerous, but without treatment they are complicated by a staph infection or fungus, turn into deep wounds.

They treat, like an open wound, apply dressings. Of folk remedies, calendula washing is used.

  • conjunctivitis. inflammation of the mucous membrane of the eyes caused by dust (low-quality hay or dry food, litter), mechanical injury (relatives, sharp twigs, straw) or exposure to smoke, caustic substances (ammonia, disinfectants).

The eyes turn red and swollen, the rabbit constantly scratches their paws, exacerbating the problem. If the secretions stick together the eyelids, the animal cannot open its eyes, clogs into a corner, loses its appetite.

First aid: the eyes are washed with an antiseptic (a weak solution of potassium permanganate, furatsilina, hydrogen peroxide), after which drops or ointments with an antibiotic (tetracycline eye ointment) are used.

Diseases of the uterus and young

The first sign of mastitis in the female is restless cubs who squeak from hunger all the time. The rabbit hardens the mammary glands, they are red, swollen. Milk or watery with cereal, or mixed with pus.

Mastitis is caused by an excess of milk or a small number of cubs. Root crops are referred to lactogonous feeds. Infection of wounds on it or lactostasis after a sudden weaning of rabbits also leads to inflammation of the gland.

First aid: limiting fluid intake, massage glands and lotions with camphor alcohol. Without antibiotics, mastitis is very difficult to cure. Rabbits are isolated from their mothers (often calves die).

  • rickets. violation of calcium-phosphorus metabolism in young animals, caused by a lack of vitamin D and a poor diet.
Read more:  Rabbit iodine for what and how to give

With rickets in animals, digestion is disturbed, a perverted appetite appears (they eat inedible objects). The bones soften, the growth zones do not close, which leads to swelling and deformation of the joints, curvature of the legs and back (hump, deflection of the lower back). In the later stages of the disease. cramps and seizures.

Treatment: ultraviolet irradiation, full feeding, vitamin D (fish oil) and other vitamin and mineral supplements are added to food.

Infectious diseases.


For viral diseases of rabbits, a mortality of 70-100% of the livestock, lack of treatment and strict quarantine measures, destruction of biowaste are characteristic. These diseases are very contagious and are the most dangerous. If part of the livestock survives the disease, the animals are slaughtered and burned with the skin.

  • Rabbit hemorrhagic disease (necrotic hepatitis). Calicivirus causes hemorrhages in all internal organs.

Infected animals die suddenly, there may be bleeding from the mouth, nose, anus, diarrhea. Before death. convulsions.

  • Myxomatosis. the virus is related to the smallpox virus, leading to inflammation of the mucous membranes of the eyes and nose, gelatinous edema of the subcutaneous tissue on the head, at the anus, on the genitals.

Myxoma virus is carried by rodents and blood-sucking insects. mosquitoes, lice, fleas.


Infectious diseases of rabbits caused by bacteria have common features: they are dangerous for humans, the source is often wild rodents (rats, mice) and blood-sucking parasites. Although antibiotic treatment is possible, it is not practical in a farm environment.

  • Pasteurellosis (hemorrhagic septicemia)

Fever (T rises to 41-42 C), nasal discharge, diarrhea, death of 15-90% of diseased animals after 1-3 days.

Causes massive abortions, mastitis, the death of pregnant rabbits. The rabbits die. Listeriosis causes convulsions, paresis and paralysis of the limbs in case of a nervous form of the course.

The disease can be difficult to recognize, but typical is an increase in all lymph nodes and their abscesses.

Internal parasites

The diagnosis is not established in vivo, and the manifestations of the disease are not characteristic: the animals lose weight, some die. There is no cure.

  • Fascioliasis. parasitization of flatworms of trematodes in the bile ducts of the liver.

Rabbits become infected with parasites through grass from flood meadows. In acute fascioliasis, the temperature rises, the eyelids, submandibular space, chest and abdomen swell. The mucous membranes are first pale, then icteric. Diarrhea alternates with constipation. Severe exhaustion, apathy. Young animals die more often, and in adult animals a chronic form is observed.

  • Nematodirosis is a parasitism of roundworms in the small intestine.

Often the invasion is asymptomatic, only rabbits suffer. There may be diarrhea, apathy. Animals lose weight for no apparent reason.

Helminthic infestations are treated with special preparations. anthelmintics. Of folk remedies, herbs are widely used. tansy and wormwood.

  • Coccidiosis is a parasitism of unicellular protozoa (coccidia) in the intestine or liver.

The disease very often affects rabbits, but young animals are more vulnerable (2-4 months). The main symptom is diarrhea. It is important to know what the signs of coccidiosis are, other than alternating constipation and diarrhea. Blood in feces, jaundice, growth retardation, exhaustion, death of part of the livestock.

There are effective medications for treatment, such as Baykoks 5% and Amprolium 22%.

Skin diseases

Small blood-sucking insects cause severe itching, lead to damage to the skin and weight loss in rabbits.

Read more:  Diagnosis and treatment of rabbit hemorrhagic disease

Signs: animals constantly itch, bite themselves, screech, jump around the cage. Combing bites leads to festering wounds on the skin. Insects are a source of infections and worms.

Parasitic insects do not feed on blood, but on hair and skin scales. In addition to severe itching, lice beads provoke baldness.

  • scabies (notothedrosis, sarcoptosis, psoroptosis)

Microscopic mites parasitize inside the skin, causing severe itching. The skin thickens, becomes rough, the hair falls out. With severe infection, animals die.

Against all parasitic insects, either local agents (bathing, ointment, spraying) or ivermectin injection (ivomek) are used. Of aerosols, Acrodex (cyodrin) is affordable and effective.

  • trichophytosis (ringworm). a fungal skin disease

Lichen looks characteristic: limited round areas of hair loss, on which the skin becomes inflamed and peeling. The spores of the fungus are resistant to disinfection, so lichen spreads throughout the livestock.

Treatment depending on the degree of damage: local antifungal drugs or by mouth with antibiotic griseofulvin.

Prevention of rabbit diseases.

I. Prevention of Infectious Diseases:


It is necessary to vaccinate in large farms, otherwise you can lose the entire population. They vaccinate against those diseases for which the area is considered to be dysfunctional. Most often these are vaccinations against viral infections. a hemorrhagic disease and myxomatosis.

You can vaccinate rabbits from listeriosis, pasteurellosis, salmonellosis.


When buying new animals, be sure to keep them separately under the supervision of at least 3 weeks. Also immediately sow from the herd of sick rabbit.

To comply with these rules, regular preventive examinations are needed.

Vector control:


Cells and aviaries are cleaned in a timely manner, they remove feces and residues of food. Feeders and drinking bowls, equipment are washed, and once every 10 days they are disinfected. Preventive disinfection of the entire room is also very important, especially before scrolling.

II. Prevention of non-communicable diseases:


Quality feed and a balanced diet are the foundation of well-being. Saving on feed in rabbit breeding always comes sideways. Do not feed animals with signs of spoilage (rot, mold). Animals should have access to good hay and branches, as well as fresh water.

Use caution with fermented foods. The transition from hay to grass in the spring is smooth, the grass is dried in the sun. All legumes, cabbage, alfalfa can cause bloating. Frozen vegetables are dangerous.

Conditions of detention.

With cellular content, crowding of animals should be avoided, cells should be made as spacious as possible. Cells are kept in maximum purity.

The rabbitry should have a comfortable temperature (18-20 C), fresh air, e humidity too high. For the prevention of rickets provide natural insolation or UV lamps.

Favorable late weaning of rabbits (at 3 months). Such young animals have strong immunity and there are no problems with digestion during weaning from the mother.


Active animals have better digestion. It is good to let rabbits walk in fenced enclosures.

Rabbit breeding requires strict adherence to recommendations on keeping animals. They are very capricious in care and difficult to treat. Almost any disease can lead to death. To succeed, it is not enough to know how to treat rabbits at home, you need to contact a veterinarian in a timely manner.

Prevention of rabbit diseases is much more effective than treatment, therefore preventative measures are not spared.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This