Animal Sciences

A Comprehensive Guide to Rabbit Health

A Comprehensive Guide to Rabbit Health

1. Why Rabbits Shouldn't Be Bathed

  1. Disruption of Skin Oil Balance: The oils on a rabbit's skin serve as a protective barrier, helping to prevent dryness and infection. Bathing can wash away these oils, leading to dry, itchy, and infected skin.

  2. Risk of Respiratory Infections: Rabbits have very sensitive ears and noses, and getting them wet can lead to respiratory infections and other health issues.

  3. Stress and Fear: Rabbits have a natural fear of water, so forcibly bathing them can cause stress and fear, negatively impacting their mental well-being.

If your rabbit is very dirty or has an odor, you can gently wipe them with a clean damp cloth or use some specially designed dry shampoo sprays for rabbits, but frequent use of these products is not recommended. Additionally, to help keep your rabbit clean, it's important to regularly clean their living area and provide ample clean water and high-quality food. If your rabbit experiences skin issues or other health problems, consult a veterinarian promptly.

2. What are the common diseases of domesticated rabbits?


 What medicines do rabbits take when they are sick, and what are the common diseases of rabbits? Rabbits, like other animals, can get sick, and when they do, they should be treated. Generally speaking, the most common rabbit diseases are colds, diarrhea, coccidia and so on. When encountering this situation, the owner can give them some targeted medicine, and if there is no effect after eating the medicine, it is best to take them to the hospital for treatment.
Recipes for rabbits:

Rabbits under 3 months old: alfalfa grass (a small handful in the morning and evening, rationed) + timothy grass (unlimited) + young rabbit food (3 to 5% of body weight up and down rationed) + plain water (unlimited)

Rabbits aged 3 to 6 months: Alfalfa grass (rationed) + Timothy grass (unlimited) + young rabbit food (rationed at 3-5% of body weight up and down ) + plain water (unlimited)

Rabbits over 6 months old: Timothy grass (unlimited) + Adult rabbit food (rationed feeding) + Boiled water (unlimited) + Appropriate amount of fresh vegetables and fruits

Especially the rabbit food, adjust it yourself according to the growth of the rabbit and its own situation.

  1. Rabbit Viral Hemorrhagic Disease (Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease): A highly contagious disease caused by the rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus. It primarily affects young and adult rabbits over three months old, with a mortality rate of over 95%. Symptoms include sudden collapse, convulsions, high fever, respiratory distress, and bloody discharge from the nose. Vaccination is key for prevention.

  2. Pasteurellosis (Snuffles): Caused by Pasteurella multocida bacteria, this disease mainly affects rabbits aged 2-6 months, particularly in spring. Symptoms include high fever, respiratory distress, sneezing, nasal discharge, and diarrhea. Vaccination and antibiotic treatment are effective preventive measures and treatments.

 

3. How to take good care of rabbits when you're new to raising rabbits?

Caring for rabbits properly is crucial for their well-being. Just like dogs need regular grooming, baths, and nail trimming to stay clean, rabbits require regular grooming, nail trimming, and maintaining a clean living environment. Additionally, regular veterinary check-ups are essential to ensure their health. Providing adequate food and water to meet their nutritional needs is important too. Offering plenty of love and companionship during daily interactions helps them feel cared for. Controlling indoor temperature ensures they live in a suitable environment. Patience and attention to detail are key when caring for pets, as understanding their preferences and habits allows for appropriate care. This way, both dogs and rabbits can live healthy, happy lives as cherished companions.

Steps for Rabbit Care:

  1. Rabbits are beloved pets, and proper care is essential. Firstly, ensure they have a clean and comfortable living environment. Clean the hutch daily, replace bedding with fresh wood shavings or hay, and maintain good ventilation to prevent bacterial growth. Additionally, regularly trim their nails to prevent overgrowth. Be cautious when bathing rabbits, ensuring water temperature and bathing products are safe to avoid harming them.

  2. Besides cleanliness and grooming, rabbits' diet requires careful attention. They mainly eat hay, but fresh vegetables and fruits can be added in moderation as supplements. Avoid giving them overly sweet or greasy foods. Ensure they have access to fresh, clean water at all times. Regularly check their health, including temperature and stool condition, to promptly address any issues.

  3. Regarding interaction with rabbits, gentle strokes and soft sounds help them feel calm and comfortable. Regularly grooming them promotes blood circulation and skin health. If any abnormal behavior or physical conditions are noticed, seek medical attention promptly to prevent worsening. Building a strong bond with rabbits through love and care allows them to thrive happily. Only with attentive care and affection can adorable rabbits lead fulfilling lives in a warm home.

4. The correct way to keep rabbits

Newborn rabbits are very fragile, especially regarding their diet, so we need to pay close attention to it. Let's take a look at some rabbit-raising methods together:

  1. The intestines of young rabbits are delicate, and their digestive systems are not very strong. Therefore, during this stage, we should only feed them easily digestible food. Avoid feeding them high-fiber vegetables and fruits. Typically, we use specialized rabbit feed along with a moderate amount of alfalfa, celery, coriander, and other leafy vegetables for feeding. These foods are very beneficial for the health of young rabbits. As they grow older, we can gradually introduce green vegetables and carrots in moderation. However, it's crucial not to feed these to young rabbits. Lastly, when feeding, it's important to provide small amounts of food multiple times a day to prevent overeating.

How to Raise Rabbits Scientifically:

  1. Like any other animal, rabbits need clean water to drink. Make sure the water provided to rabbits is clean and fresh.

  2. Rabbits should not rely solely on vegetables for a prolonged period. Continuous consumption of vegetables can lead to intestinal problems and even death due to bacterial accumulation. The recommended diet for rabbits is as follows: 1-6 months: moderate alfalfa hay + unlimited Timothy hay + young rabbit feed + fresh water; 6 months and older: unlimited Timothy hay + adult rabbit feed + fresh water + a small amount of vegetables and fruits (vegetables should be low in moisture). Rabbit feed should be given in small amounts.

  3. The living environment for rabbits should be clean, dry, and well-ventilated. A damp and unsanitary environment can harbor bacteria, leading to skin diseases in rabbits.

  4. Rabbit supplies should be cleaned and disinfected regularly, including their food bowls, bedding, and toys.

  5. Rabbits kept in cages should have at least one hour of exercise time per day.

  6. To prevent rabbits from defecating everywhere, you can train them to use a litter box. Rabbit urine and feces should be cleaned daily to prevent the accumulation of ammonia.

  7. When handling rabbits, never grab their ears. The ears are important for rabbits' thermoregulation since they lack sweat glands. Damaging the ears can cause nerve injury, leading to permanent damage. Instead, gently hold the rabbit's back with one hand and support its hindquarters with the other hand when lifting it.

Three Key Points for Raising Rabbits:

  1. Hygiene: Rabbits are naturally clean animals. A dirty environment can make them sick and result in refusal to eat or drink. It's recommended to have a separate layer for rabbit droppings in their housing area for easy cleaning. Regular disinfection of the rabbit's living space and ensuring good ventilation and dryness are essential.

  2. Temperature: Young rabbits are sensitive to temperature. The temperature in their housing should be neither too high nor too low. High temperatures can cause heatstroke, while low temperatures can cause colds and increase mortality rates. The ideal temperature for young rabbits is around 20 degrees Celsius. It should not exceed 30 degrees Celsius or drop below 10 degrees Celsius. If there are temperature fluctuations, appropriate measures should be taken to cool or insulate the environment.

  3. Disease Prevention: Diarrhea caused by gastrointestinal discomfort is a common ailment in young rabbits. If left untreated, it can lead to death. Additionally, young rabbits are prone to developing red eye disease. Therefore, it's essential to have necessary medications for prevention and treatment readily available in the rabbitry.

Raising Precautions:

  1. Rabbits are naturally calm animals that prefer a leisurely pace. Spending time observing them allows you to appreciate their natural behavior and bond with them.

  2. Using dog bowls for water is a common mistake among rabbit owners. Due to their unique oral structure, rabbits should only drink from sipper bottles to prevent chin inflammation and bacterial infections.

  3. Providing rabbits with chew toys is essential for their dental health. Without proper chewing materials, their teeth can overgrow, leading to dental problems and potential death.

  4. It's crucial to provide rabbits with clean drinking water, preferably cooled boiled water, as tap water may contain parasites. Water should be changed daily to ensure freshness.

  5. Rabbits dislike water, so bathing is generally unnecessary if they are raised correctly. If bathing is required, it's best to use specialized rabbit shampoo or foam cleanser to prevent illness.

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