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Common illnesses in your rabbit

Common illnesses in your rabbitRabbits can suffer from numerous conditions and illnesses and it is important to detect signs of these at an early stage. Getting to know your pet is the most essential aspect in helping you to recognise these. Some of the most common ailments are:

Dental Problems
Rabbit’s teeth continue to grow throughout their life, at a rate of 2mm-3mm per week. Rabbits require a high fibre diet to ensure their teeth are evenly worn down and to prevent overgrowth. If the teeth are not worn down, they grow incorrectly leading to discomfort, abscesses, anorexia, etc. Their teeth may require “burring” by the vet to correct the problem. Indication of dental problems may be saliva around the mouth or on the chest or front paws, an inability to eat or teeth grinding. Seek veterinary advice if you are at all concerned.

Flies are attracted to rabbit droppings, either in the hutch or around the rear end of the rabbit. Fly eggs will hatch into maggots and will initially feed on the droppings and will then burrow into the rabbit and eat its flesh. This will result in discomfort, pain and, often, death. Avoid flystrike by removing droppings regularly from the hutch, grooming your rabbit daily and ensuring good ventilation to the hutch as this will prevent flies becoming attracted and then trapped in the hutch. Spray a safe disinfectant (Scampers recommends Surpreme’s Keep It Clean) in the hutch and on bedding to deter flies and eliminate bacteria. Seek veterinary attention immediately if you suspect flystrike.

This is a condition caused by bacteria and can be brought on due to stress (such as high temperature, draughts, damp bedding etc.) The animal will develop cold-like symptoms, with a runny nose, breathing difficulties and discharge from the eyes. Snuffles can lead to more serious problems, such as pneumonia, head tilt and tooth root abscesses. Keep your hutch well ventilated and in a fairly constant temperature (around 16°C). Avoid leaving damp bedding in the hutch. A clean hutch and run equals, clean and healthy rabbits.Always seek veterinary advice if your rabbit appears poorly.

Rabbits are prone to a number of internal and external parasites, including fleas, fur mites, worms and coccidiosis. Pet rabbits should be kept free of all parasites to keep them in optimum health. Signs of parasites are numerous, from loss of condition, to diarrhoea or sore skin, depending upon the type and place of the infection. The Scampers Pet Care Advisors can help advise with treatment or seek veterinary attention.

Gastro-Intestinal Disorders
These can be caused by such things as inappropriate diet, stress, the presence of parasites, etc. Your rabbit will have a digestive upset and will exhibit symptoms such as bloat, constipation or diarrhoea, or a combination of these. It is extremely important that rabbits are treated quickly during this period to prevent dehydration or the condition worsening, as they can deteriorate very quickly. Seek veterinary advice if your rabbit shows any signs of these disorders.

To see our full range of Supreme Petfoods, Science Selective super premium foods, treats and toys pop into Scampers on the A142 Soham By Pass, between Ely and Newmarket and speak to one of the Scampers Pet Care Advisors.

Supreme Petfoods, promoting the Well-Being of Small Animals.

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