Rabbit health

The main diseases of rabbits

August 3, 2019

It is beneficial for farmers to breed rabbits, because their meat is considered dietary, and skins are highly valued by tanners. Under favorable conditions, farming would be quite profitable if it were not for one “but”. rabbit disease. These animals get sick more often than others, and any health problem can take their lives in a matter of days. Having decided to start breeding rabbits, the farmer should get an idea of ​​what diseases are most often found in eared animals, by what signs it can be determined that the pet is not well.

Types of diseases and their classification

All diseases of rabbits can conditionally be divided into 3 groups:

  • non-contagious;
  • infectious (infectious);
  • invasive.

Non-communicable diseases include various pathologies of health that are not transmitted to other individuals, for example:

  • allergic reactions;
  • disruption of the digestive tract;
  • subdermatitis;
  • overheating of the animal or frostbite;
  • injuries.

Infectious diseases pose a serious danger to the entire population: they quickly spread to healthy individuals and are able to destroy all animals on the farm in a short time. Such diseases are caused by viruses, fungi and bacteria. These include:

  • pasteurellosis;
  • myxomatosis;
  • rabbit hemorrhagic disease;
  • rhinitis;
  • infectious stomatitis;
  • ringworm.

Invasive diseases are also contagious, but they have a different origin. They are caused by parasites: worms, ticks, fleas. Coccidiosis also refers to invasive infectious diseases.

Common signs of malaise in rabbits

Determining that the rabbit is sick is not difficult. The main thing is to be attentive to the pet. The deterioration of the condition of the animal can be judged by the signs:

  1. Oppression. The animal does not play, often lies motionless in the corner of the cage.
  2. Tooth grinding.
  3. Loss of appetite.
  4. Discharge from the nose or eyes, sneezing.
  5. The coat is ugly, disheveled.
  6. The stomach is bloated.
  7. Diarrhea.
  8. The rabbit does not go to the toilet.
  9. Bumps on the body.
  10. Scarves on the wool.

Attention! Noticing at least 1 sign of malaise, it is worth measuring the temperature. The normal value in a rabbit is 39.5 degrees.

Non-communicable diseases

Non-communicable diseases are not terrible for rabbits adjacent to the sick individual, but you can’t treat them frivolously. The animal must be treated immediately after detecting the symptoms of the disease, otherwise it will die.

Gastrointestinal diseases

Digestive problems are a common problem for long-eared pets. Rabbits often suffer from flatulence or poisoning. Symptoms of the disease are:

Rabbit Digestion Problems

  • lack of feces;
  • rounded belly
  • lack of appetite;
  • depressed state;
  • with poisoning, excessive salivation, nerve manifestations are possible: convulsions, tipping of the head, lack of reaction to various irritants.

Similar health problems arise if the rabbit eats wet grass, a poisonous plant, swallows its hair, as well as with a sharp change in diet or feeding the animal with prohibited foods.

Heat stroke and frostbite

Overheating and severe hypothermia can kill a rabbit. That is why these animals need to provide comfortable conditions. The temperature in the room where the eared horns should not rise above 27 degrees or fall below 8 degrees. Symptoms indicate heat stroke:

  • the animal lies on its side and often breathes;
  • mucous membranes are red and dry;
  • the nose is hot.
The main diseases of rabbits

Attention! The cage where the pet lives should not be in direct sunlight, and the room should be ventilated if the weather is hot.

Hypothermia is especially dangerous for newborn rabbits. They are born without fur, completely naked. If the rabbit has not plucked down for the nest, the babies will die. Help is required from the farmer: you need to pinch the mother’s fluff as quickly as possible and put the cubs in it.

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Rabbits in a nest of down

Adults suffer from frostbite if they are in the cold for a long time. Signs of frostbite. swollen auricles, ulcerations on the skin, redness of the ears.


An allergic reaction in a rabbit can manifest as sneezing and a runny nose. Irritants can be chemicals, dust, mold. Signs of an allergy:

  • sneezing
  • runny nose (discharge is predominantly transparent);
  • tearing;
  • redness of the mucous membranes, including genitals.

Allergy is dangerous, although not contagious, because the animal’s immune system suffers. The treatment is to eliminate the source of allergens. A sick animal is recommended to give antihistamines.


This disease is most often affected by weighty individuals with unrefined paws. An additional provoking factor in the development of pododermatitis is the content of the pet on the mesh floor.

  • pace of hair loss;
  • redness of the lower extremities;
  • cracks, ulcers, crusts on the legs.
  • the animal does not get up due to pain in the extremities or moves lying.

Attention! If you ignore the problem, infection will penetrate into the wounds, which threatens suppuration and blood poisoning.

For treatment, disinfectants and healing ointments are used. The grating floor in the cage should be covered with a sheet of chipboard or other smooth material and lay on it a plentiful litter.

Mechanical damage (injury)

If rabbits are cramped, there is a high risk of injury. Allowed cohabitation in one cage no more than 5-7 individuals. It is worth considering that males often fight for the right to own territory. They bite and injure each other with claws, cause other injuries: fractures, dislocations. Scratches and punctures of the skin are not always able to be detected on time due to thick coat. If an infection gets into the wound, the rabbit may form an abscess, which is dangerous for his life.

Attention! Having discovered abrasions and wounds, the animal should be put in a separate cage, and the lesion sites should be treated with iodine and ichthyol ointment.

Infectious Diseases (Infectious)

Infectious diseases are easier to prevent than to cure, as they affect all healthy individuals in a matter of days. As a result, the farmer may lose most of the livestock and suffer losses. Consider common rabbit infections.


The causative agent of the disease is Pasteurella wand. The disease manifests itself in the form of general depression, apathy, conjunctivitis symptoms appear, purulent exudate is released from the nose, body temperature rises to 41 degrees, digestive upset. diarrhea is observed. Such signs accompany the typical form of pasteurellosis.

An atypical form of the course is characterized by the appearance of abscesses in the head and back. In this case, the chances of survival are higher. Purulent cones are opened within a month and a half, then the rabbit recovers, but remains the carrier of Pasteurella. For the treatment of the atypical form of pasteurellosis, intramuscular antibiotics are used. Biomycin, Terramycin.


The causative agent of myxomatosis is a highly virulent virus. The incubation period lasts from 2 days to 3 weeks. If the disease proceeds in a classic form, which is characterized by the appearance of skin edema, then the mortality rate in this case reaches 90-100%. There is another form of myxomatosis. nodular, in which multiple tumor nodules appear on the pet’s body. In this case, mortality reaches 70-90%.

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Symptoms of classic myxomatosis:

  • the formation of edema in the area of ​​the ears, head, as a result of which it increases in size, rough folds form on the skin;
  • bilateral blepharoconjunctivitis develops, the eyelids swell strongly, pus is excreted.

With nodular myxomatosis on the back, head, paws, ears, nodules appear, the size of which can reach a pigeon egg. In the future, they are necrotic. The temperature rises to 41 degrees, symptoms of pneumonia appear.

Myxomatosis is not treatable. To prevent infection of the livestock, all rabbits are given a vaccine annually.

Attention! If myxomatosis is detected in the farm, it is necessary to notify the veterinary service. The farm will be quarantined.

Rabbit hemorrhagic disease

This disease is also called fever and necrotic hepatitis; it is caused by a virus. The incubation period lasts from several hours to 5 days. Most often, the ailment proceeds rapidly, so it is impossible to notice alarming symptoms. Rabbits die, frantically twitching limbs. In some cases, the following symptoms of HBV are present:

  • oppression;
  • complete rejection of food and drink;
  • cramps
  • the animal squeals and groans;
  • blood comes out of the nose (before death).

Hemorrhagic disease treatment has not been developed. Vaccination helps prevent infection, it is carried out when rabbits are 45 days old.


Infectious rhinitis in rabbits develops against the background of a general weakening of the immune system. The source of infection is sick animals. For viral rhinitis, discharge from purulent contents is characteristic of the nasal passages. Scratches appear in the nose, because the animal is trying to remove crusts with its paws. The pet looks depressed, eats poorly.

Attention! If transparent mucus is secreted from a pet’s nose, it’s probably not an infectious rhinitis, but an allergic or catarrh.

Rhinitis is treated by instillation of the nasal passages with Furatsilin solution, inhalation, as well as antibiotics. Their use is necessary so that the infection does not spread to the lungs.

Infectious stomatitis

Mokrets, or infectious stomatitis, affects mainly young animals (individuals up to three months of age). Its symptoms are as follows:

  • wet face;
  • the appearance of plaque in the tongue. at first it is light, later it darkens;
  • the appearance of sores on the lips;
  • salivation;
  • hair loss in the chin area, inflammation;
  • the animal is oppressed, cannot eat due to pain.

Important! In advanced cases, infectious stomatitis leads to inflammation of the upper respiratory tract, so treatment should be started as soon as possible.

To improve the condition of the rabbit, the oral cavity is treated with Streptocide. To do this, crush half the tablet into powder and sprinkle the inflamed areas. A solution of copper sulfate or potassium permanganate is also used. While it is painful for rabbits to eat, you need to feed them soft or liquid foods.


This disease causes a fungus. It penetrates the skin and multiplies there. As a result, rounded pink spots with a darkened rim form on the skin of the animal. The hair in these places disappears, it looks as if it was cut short. The lesions strongly itch, peel, crusts form on them.

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Skin diseases in rabbits caused by trichophytosis or other fungi are treated with antifungal ointments:

In addition, the antibiotic Griseofulvin is used, as well as keratolic shampoos. You can prevent the disease with the Wakderm vaccine.

Invasive diseases

These diseases are also contagious, but they are not caused by viruses, fungi or bacteria, but by parasites that can live both inside the body of the rabbit and on its skin. Let’s consider them in order.


Coccidia, the causative agents of this disease, are the simplest unicellular microorganisms. They affect the intestines (intestinal form of the disease) or the liver (hepatic form). Intestinal coccidiosis is more severe, it has the following symptoms:

  • oppression;
  • exhaustion;
  • bloating;
  • diarrhea alternate with constipation.

With liver damage, these signs are less pronounced, but there is another symptom. yellowing of the mucous membrane of the eyes.

For the treatment of coccidiosis, the following drugs are used:

  • Baykoks;
  • Sulfadimethoxine;
  • Norsulfazole.

Reference. Also, for prevention and treatment, iodine diluted in a certain proportion with water is used.


Discussing the invasive diseases of rabbits, one cannot but mention worms. Infection with them is possible through food. The main symptoms of infection are:

  • loss of appetite;
  • exhaustion;
  • violation of the digestive system. delayed stool or diarrhea;
  • bloating (observed with ascariasis).

There are many types of helminths, but in most cases, treatment is carried out using drugs based on Albendazole.

Scabies (psoroptosis)

Continuing to consider rabbit diseases, we will focus on psoroptosis, a contagious invasive disease. It causes the so-called scabies itch. It is introduced into the ears of the animal, reproduces there. The parasite feeds on the blood of the animal, gnawing passages in the skin. Because of this, the rabbit itches and combs its ears and head. Symptoms

  • redness, ulcers, crusts appear in the area of ​​the ears;
  • bubbles with liquid contents form inside the auricle;
  • in severe cases, pus is released from the ear.

Psoriasis is treated with anti-itch pruritus sprays: Psoroptol, Dicresin. A good result is achieved after using the Ivermek vaccine.


Skin parasites include not only ticks, but also fleas. Do not ignore their appearance in pets, as they often carry dangerous diseases. Since fleas feed on the blood of animals, depletion occurs in infected individuals, and immunity decreases. It is easy to detect parasites: it is enough to carefully examine the pet’s hair. If black grains, flea excrement are found in it, then there are insects themselves. In addition, the animal often scratches itself, tearing the skin in the area of ​​the auricles.

Flea rabbits

To treat fleas, special shampoos and drops at the withers are used. The anti-flea collar is not recommended for rabbits for continuous wear, but for walking it can be used starting from 4 months.

Attention! To prevent re-infection, the cage and equipment must be disinfected, and the litter should be burned.

The article did not mention diseases of decorative rabbits separately, since the same ailments affect pets. The owner of the animals should be careful about their health. Having noticed signs of malaise, you must immediately separate the sick individual from the healthy ones living in the neighborhood, and consult a veterinarian. Diseases of rabbits are developing rapidly, so you can not hesitate.

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