Rabbit health

Diseases of rabbits and their symptoms and treatment (photo and video)

August 28, 2019

Signs of a healthy domestic rabbit

First of all, a healthy animal leads an active lifestyle. He has no appetite problems. Nose and ears in healthy rabbits without secretions. The coat is smooth and even. The signs of the disease can be judged by feces and urine. Usually rabbit feces are dark, the shape resembles peas. As a rule, urine also has a dark color. But depending on the feeding, it can change. For example, after carrots turn orange.

As for the sick rabbit, his behavior is different from healthy. He is lethargic, sits with virtually no movement or even lies with his eyes closed, breathing heavily. Depending on the disease of the rabbit, excessive hair loss, sores on the skin can serve as a sign. From the nose and ears there are discharge, in appearance resembling pus.

When a rabbit does not feel well, it is noticeable in its appearance and behavior. Healthy rabbits behave actively, eat well. The first sign that something is wrong with the animal is the refusal of food. Sick animals look lethargic, move restlessly. The disease is also displayed on the condition of their coat. it loses its shine, becomes dull, crumpled.

With viral diseases, an eared animal develops a runny nose, sour eyes, and discharge from the mouth. He has rapid breathing (usually 50-60 per minute) and a heartbeat (usually 120-160 beats per minute), a temperature increase above normal 38-39.5 ° C. Also a characteristic symptom is drooping ears.

Due to the high fecundity and fast rate of muscle mass gain, raising rabbits is a very profitable occupation, which most domestic farmers would be ready to do. The only and at the same time the main problem remains the increased soreness of these animals and the need to provide them with special care.

Along with providing pets with high-quality feed and soft bedding, the breeder should regularly examine the wards, revealing the slightest signs of disease. Healthy animal:

  • has a smooth and shiny fur;
  • it is mobile and not afraid of light;
  • eyes shine and do not watery;
  • there are no mucous discharge from the nose;
  • fecal feces are small balls of dark brown or black;
  • the average body temperature ranges from 38.5-39.5 degrees Celsius;
  • respiratory rate is about 60 breaths per minute;
  • heart rate 120-160 beats per minute.

Any deviations from the norm may indicate the animal’s health problems. We will talk about the most common diseases of rabbits, and their symptoms and treatment in this article.

HBVC and myxomatosis

Both of these diseases are extremely contagious with a high mortality rate. With HBV, mortality most often reaches 100%.

Attention! There are no treatments for these diseases.

All the so-called folk methods of curing these diseases are symptomatic relief of the sick rabbit. As a rule, they “work” with myxomatosis, where the mortality rate is lower than with HBV.

In fact, the treatment of viral diseases is not designed even for people. There are only immunostimulating drugs that help the body cope with the virus due to its own immunity. The virus does not die, but remains to exist in the living cells of the body, which is why surviving rabbits have long been a source of infection for healthy animals.

It is caused by a virus that infects only the European rabbit, from which it comes from domestic. Accordingly, domesticated rabbits are also susceptible to this disease.

The incubation period for the virus is not more than 48 hours. The course of the disease can be super acute, acute and subacute.

With subacute, you can notice the symptoms of the disease:

  • lethargy;
  • lack of appetite;
  • heat;
  • cramping
  • death.

In the subacute course of the disease, you can try to stretch the rabbit by injecting him with an immunostimulating serum, but this can be done only if the rabbit lives alone, being a pet. If there are several goals, such an action does not make the slightest sense. Even if the rabbit survives, it will be a carrier of the infection, capable of infecting not only rabbits in neighboring cages, but even on neighboring farms.

With a super-acute and acute course of the disease, there are no symptoms. The rabbit just suddenly falls and after a few agonizing movements freezes.

Sometimes in dead rabbits, you may notice bleeding from the nose, mouth, or anus.

Mortality of rabbits with HBV is from 50 to 100%. over, according to the observations of practicing veterinarians, the last figure is much closer to the truth.

For any sudden death of a rabbit, it is necessary to analyze for the presence of HBV, since the virus is extremely resistant to adverse environmental conditions and can persist for up to six months at room temperature and more than 9 months at a temperature close to 0.

Diseases of rabbits and their symptoms and treatment (photo and video)

The virus is transmitted by almost any means:

  • through inanimate objects: car wheels, inventory, staff clothing, shoes;
  • in contact with an infected rabbit or infected feces;
  • through farm products: meat, skins, wool;
  • through people in contact with infected animals;
  • through rodents, bloodsucking insects and birds.

There is no cure for this disease. The only way to prevent HBV is to prevent the disease.

First of all, you must follow the vaccination schedule. In rabbits, immunity to HBVC does not form, so vaccinations must be repeated every six months. The first three times the vaccine against HBVC is injected according to a special scheme:

  1. 45 days from birth;
  2. 115 days from birth;
  3. Six months after the second vaccination.

Further, the vaccine is always punctured every 6 months.

Prevention measures for HBV:

  • quarantine a newly acquired rabbit for 5 days;
  • disinsection of the room where rabbits are kept;
  • keeping rabbits indoors, as on the street they are more likely to meet with the carrier of the virus;
  • purchase of feed from areas safe in VGBK;
  • special clothes and shoes for working with rabbits;
  • systematic treatment of cells and cell equipment with disinfectants.

When a disease occurs on a farm, all livestock is slaughtered.


The birthplace of the virus is South America, from where it was specially brought to Europe to combat wild rabbits that had bred and did not have immunity to the disease. As always, they did not think about the consequences.

The virus is transmitted through direct contact with a sick animal or through blood-sucking insects that do not care who they bite: a wild rabbit or a domestic one. As a result of the rapid spread of myxomatosis and the high virulence of the virus in Europe, it came to panzootia.

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Myxomatosis virus is quite stable in the external environment. In the body of an animal, it can remain for a week, at a temperature of about 20 ° C in a dried rabbit skin for up to 10 months, in the external environment at a temperature of 9 ° C for 3 months. When heated to 55 ° C, the myxomatosis virus is inactivated after 25 minutes. Does not withstand the virus and disinfectant solutions.

The incubation period of the disease can be 20 days long and largely depends on the immunity of the rabbit.

Attention! Treatment of rabbits for myxomatosis has not been developed.

Treatment with folk remedies, such a dangerous disease as myxomatosis, is profanation in fact. Those animals survive that themselves could cope with the virus. But the “doctors” endanger not only their own rabbits, but also neighboring animals.

Diseases of rabbits and their symptoms and treatment (photo and video)

Actually, the entire treatment of the disease comes down to simply alleviating the condition of the rabbit during the illness, anesthetizing and waiting for the animal to survive or not.

The requirements of veterinary services when myxomatosis appears on the farm are the slaughter of the livestock.

Symptoms of Disease

Despite the fact that each disease has its own specific signs, there are a number of common features characteristic of most rabbit diseases. These symptoms do not need to be ignored, and when the first “bells” appear, immediately seek help from a veterinarian. It is necessary to identify those signs of diseases that can appear in rabbits and lead to serious consequences:

  • lethargy, fatigue or hyperactivity;
  • lack of appetite;
  • loose stools, frequent constipation;
  • tarnishing and hair loss, the appearance becomes painful;
  • thirst;
  • hard breath;
  • dislike of light;
  • lying on the floor of the cage without litter;
  • the presence of ulcers and abscesses around the nose, eyes, paws;
  • obstructed movements, paralysis.

If the rabbit is healthy, then it behaves actively. His coat should shine and be stiff. The breathing is calm, and the nose and eyes will be dry. As an exception, only pregnant individuals can act. Note that the optimal temperature indicator of the pet’s body is considered to be 39.5 degrees.

From the very first days after a female’s rounding, the owner should pay special attention to the health of the pets, conducting their daily external examination. If the babies are lying with their eyes closed, breathing difficult and often, or they drink a lot of water, this may be a sign of the onset of the development of the disease in rabbits.

If the problem becomes more serious, then the animals begin to profuse lacrimation, mucous membranes from the nose, the hair grows dull and begins to fall out in clumps, swelling and neoplasms appear on the head and body. In some cases, diarrhea and constipation are fixed, trembling, cramps and paralysis of the body appear, leading to inevitable death.

In the presence of similar signs of rabbit disease, their treatment may be different. It depends on the nature of the disease and its pathogens.

Non-Infectious Rabbit Disease

If widespread invasive ailments can be effectively controlled using medical treatment, then rabbits infected with infections are much more complicated. Rabbit breeding annually suffers serious losses due to the need to dispose of tens of thousands of infected animals.

Myxomatosis and viral hemorrhagic disease are the most dangerous diseases that cannot be cured of rabbits.

Myxomatosis virus is transmitted by blood-sucking insects, and is also transmitted by direct contact of animals with each other. Rabbits have swollen eyes and point tumors appear throughout the body. Natural death in 70-100% of patients occurs in 1-2 weeks. Survivors become carriers of the infection.

With HBV, the causative agent of the disease enters the cell with litter, feed and contaminated water. It can be carried on human clothing. There is symptomatic bleeding from the nose, mouth and anus, inflammation of the eyelids. Mortality reaches 100%.

There are other contagious diseases that spread rapidly among rabbitry inhabitants and can lead to high deaths among your pets.

Diseases of rabbits and their symptoms and treatment (photo and video)

The main signs of pasteurellosis are a sharp increase in body temperature, the appearance of secretions from the nose and rapid breathing. The infection carried by small rodents, birds, and humans quickly spreads throughout the rabbit’s body, causing it to die as early as 3 days after infection.

A disease such as infectious stomatitis is characterized by the appearance of a white coating on the rabbit tongue, which is sick. Sores and profuse salivation appear in the mouth. Lack of appetite, lethargy, and persistent diarrhea can be fatal.

The best way to prevent infection is to prevent rabbit disease with vaccines containing attenuated strains of the virus. How to do them correctly can be found in the article "When and what vaccinations to rabbits."

Non-communicable diseases are a separate group of diseases that are not infectious and are not transmitted when rabbits come into contact with each other. They are less dangerous than the previous two groups, but also can cause serious harm to the health of your pets.

Rabbits of any age can suffer from conjunctivitis. Manifestations of this disease are increased lacrimation, swelling and souring of the eyes from the developed pus.

Conjunctivitis accompanies almost all infectious diseases, but often there are cases of a non-infectious nature of this disease.

If rabbits are kept in group cells or they use a hard litter, then they periodically injure their eyes, which begin to watery and become filled with pus. With mechanical damage, as a rule, only one eye begins to water.

You cannot start such a disease, because the body weakened by conjunctivitis does not resist other infections that constantly attack it. First of all, you need to get rid of pus by wiping the sore eye with a gauze swab soaked in a solution of furacilin. For treatment, 2-3 times a day, “Tsipromed”, “Gentamicin”, children’s “Albucid” and tetracycline ointment are used.

Diseases of rabbits and their symptoms and treatment (photo and video)

In addition to myxomatosis and HBV, rabbits also get rabies caused by the virus. Since rabies virus is transmitted only with the saliva of a sick animal, it is enough to exclude access to cells with rabbits of mice and rats in order to be almost calm about rabies. For a guarantee it is possible to plant all livestock once a year.

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Bacterial diseases of rabbits and their symptoms are often confused with non-communicable diseases. This is a particular danger of pasteurellosis or salmonellosis.

Purulent conjunctivitis with pasteurellosis can be confused with neglected dacryocystitis, discharge from the nose can be attributed to a draft, and diarrhea is for eating unusual food.

The edematous form of pasteurellosis, in general, is very similar to rabies.

Types of diseases and their symptoms

A healthy rodent is very easy to distinguish from a patient. If the animal does not bother anything, then it is active, cheerful and fun, eats well and is playful. The hair of healthy rabbits is silky to the touch, has a characteristic luster. The feces of an unhealthy rodent are dark brown (may be black), urine is quite thick. The normal body temperature in a rabbit is about 38.5 degrees.

The first sign of rabbit disease is loss of appetite and lethargy

By what signs can the owner determine that the animal is sick? The first sign of this is if the animal loses its appetite, or it begins to have problems digesting food in the stomach. He stops playing, restless, can sneeze. The fur loses its natural luster, the organs of vision swell, mucus accumulates in their corners, usually the ears are hanging.

Symptoms of the disease may be respiratory failure: the animal often breathes, and the breath itself is not deep. The heart begins to beat too often (the norm is about 150 beats per minute). Discharges from the eyes or nasopharynx appear.

All diseases of rabbits can be divided into two groups: non-infectious origin and infectious. The first group includes eating disorders. Such diseases of rabbits, their symptoms and treatment have long been widely known. The causes of eating disorders are usually poor-quality feed in adults or the transition to hard food in rabbits after breast milk. The presence of the disease is determined by the absence of bowel movements, too loose stools, bloating.

In this case, the rabbit should be kept on a hungry diet for about 12 hours, and then fed with a mixture of soft food and boiled potatoes. If the animal suffers from constipation, glauber, Carlsbad salt or castor oil is given inside per teaspoon. In rabbits, diarrhea is treated with a solution prepared from 2 liters of water and one tablet of synthomycin. They should be fed animals in the morning and evening. After a few days, rabbit food diseases and their symptoms go away with this treatment.

Often animals can get injured in the cage. All kinds of damage to the body of rabbits also apply to diseases of non-communicable origin. If the bruise is small, then after a few days it goes away on its own. To cope with small wounds in which the integrity of the skin is violated, you can lubricate them with iodine.

Like humans, as well as many other animals, rabbits are subject to heat and sunstroke. You can determine it by the following symptoms: the rabbit is motionless and lies on its side, the eyelids, mouth and nose are red, breathing is quickened. To cope with the effects of heat and sunstroke helps compress. The towel should be applied to the head of the rabbit, constantly wetting it in cold water. If convulsive twitching of the limbs is observed, the animal will not be able to cure. It remains to beat him.

Catarrhal diseases in rabbits develop if they are in a draft for a long time or are exposed to rain. Animals sneeze, transparent discharge is visible from the nose. Rabbits need to be moved to a warm place, several drops of a solution of furatsilin are instilled daily into the nose, for the preparation of which 1 g of the substance is diluted in 100 g of water.

To know how and how to treat a sick animal, you must be able to recognize diseases.

It is caused by parasitic protozoa. coccidia. Coccidiosis is dangerous because it causes damage to the liver and intestines. Pathogens enter the body through water, mother’s milk and feed. The cause of coccidiosis also becomes a large number of rabbits in the cage, an unbalanced diet, and a violation of sanitary and hygienic nutrition standards. Symptoms of the disease are constipation, diarrhea, bloating, lack of appetite, tousled hair on the abdomen, general weakness.

You can cope with the disease by eliminating all the reasons that provoked its development. In addition, often used in accordance with the instructions of the drug bycox for rabbits. This is the most effective tool, according to most experts, in the treatment of coccidiosis. It can also be used for birds and decorative animals.

Another well-known drug is solicox for rabbits. The instructions for this drug characterize it as a tool with a wide spectrum of action. Solikoks helps to cope with all types of causative agents of coccidiosis in rabbits. It goes well with other medicines and various supplements.

It is important that solicox is low toxic, therefore it is safe in case of overdose.

This acute disease manifests itself in the form of tumors and gelatinous edema on the skin, redness of the eyelids and auricles. Myxomatosis usually causes the death of animals. To avoid it, vaccinate rabbits. With the spread of myxomatosis, all livestock is divided into two groups. The first include infected individuals, which are immediately killed.

The main areas of damage to this disease are the liver and lungs of animals. It spreads very quickly, the incubation period is several hours. Rabbits may have cramps, nosebleeds, general weakness, and fever. Infection occurs through the litter or feeder, which was used for a sick animal, in direct contact with the carrier of the disease.

Ear mite

Diseases of rabbits and their symptoms and treatment (photo and video)

Their infection comes from the mother, with the skin scales of a sick animal in adults. The spread of the ear tick occurs more actively with crowded rabbits. Symptoms of the disease are clearly visible externally in the form of crusts on the inner surface of the ears. In addition, the rabbit actively scratches them, trying to get rid of these formations on the skin.

Rabbit diseases, photos and descriptions of which are presented above, are quite dangerous. Therefore, it is important to detect them in a timely manner and conduct treatment. Preventive measures consist of vaccination, periodic examination of animals and providing them with proper care.

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Most often, rabbits suffer from invasive or parasitic diseases caused by helminths, ticks, lice and fungal infections.

The signs of such diseases can be easily identified by the onset of hair loss, the constant sensation of itching, tearing and the presence of intestinal disorders. Animals lose their appetite, become afraid of the light, and their hair loses its luster. Next, we will explain how rabbits get sick.

A dangerous disease is cysticercosis. An adult parasite or cestode lives in the body of dogs, and the larval form develops in the rabbit liver. The infected animal quickly loses its appetite, weakens and dies.

Treatment of rabbits for this disease is not possible. The only thing a farmer can do is isolate a sick animal by transferring it to a quarantine cage. Slaughtering such a pet is much more practical than curing, and after slaughter, the carcass is destroyed by burning.

That is why it is forbidden to keep dogs on a rabbit farm, with the exception of guard dogs. For the prevention of cysticercosis, 10% mebenvet granules are added to animal feed for 30-40 days.

A serious danger is represented by a rabbit disease such as dermatomycosis, which is caused by a fungus that affects the skin and is a thin thread invisible to the naked eye.

The symptomatology of the disease manifests itself in severe itching, especially in the head and ears, in rabbits hair begins to fall out in shreds. With one of the varieties of dermatomycosis. ringworm. the hair falls out over large areas of the body.

Due to the fact that the animal constantly combes the itchy place, it is covered with wounds and scabs, through which other dangerous infections can enter the rabbit’s body. If you do not start treatment in a timely manner, then your pet will feel depressed and will surely die.

For the treatment of dermatomycosis, antimycotic ointments Saprosan and Unisan are applied to the affected areas, as well as drugs that relieve itching.

In adult rabbits, meat breeds often develop subdermatitis, accompanied by the formation of ulcers and fistulas on the plantar surfaces of their legs. Pathology refers to non-communicable diseases.

Diseases of rabbits and their symptoms and treatment (photo and video)

The main reason for the formation of this disease is the farmer’s non-compliance with sanitary and hygienic standards, as well as constant dampness and elevated temperature in rabbitry.

Wounds that appear should be treated with 10% lead or zinc ointment. If the wounds are covered with a crust, then it must be removed, stopping the bleeding with iodine. For treatment, Vishnevsky ointment, Tetracycline and Oxytetracycline are used.

Since the treatment is long, many rabbit breeders prefer to send such animals for slaughter. If the slaughter took place at the initial stage of the disease, then the carcass, with the exception of the affected areas, can be eaten. Otherwise, it is best to burn it, after removing the skin, the use of which restrictions do not apply.


Common signs of the presence of worms are considered to be the depletion of the animal with increased appetite. But worms are not only intestinal. With the pulmonary form of helminthiasis, the rabbit may look good and only cough. And in the presence of parasites in the liver, the animal will show signs of hepatitis, but not exhaustion.

Of all helminthiases, cysticercosis is the most dangerous for humans. The description of this disease is similar to the symptoms of peritonitis and hepatitis. Cysticercosis is caused by larvae of carnivore chains, which parasitize everywhere in the rabbit’s body, including the brain.

For humans, cysticercosis is dangerous because one of the species of these larvae is the larva of the pork tapeworm, the final owner of which is the person. Infection occurs by eating poorly processed meat.

The second route of infection: airborne eggs of mature larvae, which the rabbit secretes along with feces. In this case, the person becomes an intermediate host for the pork tapeworm, and the Finnish stage of the pork tapeworm passes already in the human body, leading to serious illness or death.

Important! Anthelmintic preparations for rabbits are drunk once every 3 months even in the absence of visible signs of the disease.

Tick-borne intoxication of rabbits

To parasitic diseases of rabbits include infection of animals with blood-sucking insects. Combating lice, mosquitoes and mosquitoes is easy. This requires systematic hygiene and hygiene.

It is much more difficult to deal with ticks, which are divided into fur, subcutaneous and scabies. The first are large. They feed on the hair of a sick rabbit, causing it to fall out in the back and neck.

Subcutaneous ticks carry out their activity in the deep layers of the skin. They gnaw through the canals and secrete toxic products of their vital activity that poison the rabbit. A sick animal experiences constant itching and itches. It experiences stress and loss of appetite.

The most dangerous parasites are scabies mites, which also live in the subcutaneous layer, but lay their eggs on the skin. To do this, they gnaw through numerous channels, causing a strong itch in the rabbit.

If you notice signs of tick-borne infection, then you must begin to treat these diseases of rabbits and their symptoms. For this, the skin of the animal is treated with sulfuric lime or injections of the drug "Ivermectin" (200 μg per 1 kg of weight) are made.

Signs of an unhealthy animal

It is not a separate disease. This is a symptom of a number of other diseases: sometimes infectious, sometimes non-contagious. often non-contagious.

Of infectious diseases, bloating causes coccidiosis and enteritis.

Coccidiosis is a common invasive disease for several species of mammals and poultry. As a rule, signs of coccidiosis appear in rabbits after weaning them from their mother. Therefore, immediately after weaning, rabbits need to drink coccidiostatics according to the instructions attached to each type of preparation.

In non-infectious tympania caused by a recent course of antibiotics, pre- and probiotics are diluted to rabbits. In the case of mild colic, the animal can be driven a little so that gases can escape from the intestines.

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