how to raise a happy and healthy rabbit
How to Raise a Happy and Healthy Rabbit
- Health

Veterinarians:

One of the most frustrating things early in our time with Spot was trying to find a vet that was any good with rabbits. Some would even comment that “most people think of rabbits as disposable pets” If they say that, just thank them and leave. Ask if the vet is familiar with rabbits, ask around to find recommendations. We’ve finally been very lucky to find a couple that are very good and know how to handle a rabbit. This not only helps with a good quality diagnosis but it keeps the vet visit from becoming a traumatic experience. The good vets handle her so gently that she will try tomendocino nuzzle her nose into their hand, wanting them to rub her nose.

Rabbit Sitters:

Rabbits can change their attitude quite permanently towards people in general if mishandled by someone. I once read that if an adult drops a rabbit it is normal for the rabbit to then not let any adults pick it up again. So who you leave your rabbit with can have a big effect on their personality. For that reason spot travels with us.

Traveling:

Spot has been to: San Diego, Anaheim, Las Vegas, Monterey, Mendocino, Seattle, Cannon Beach and just about everywhere inbetween. Traveling with a rabbit does require some compromises but it also has benifits. It can be difficult finding hotels that take pets and even some that take pets won't take rabbits. You have to time your arrival to match check-in time and you can't really stop on the way and eat inside a resteraunt. We've spent many a lunch while traveling sitting in the car eating with the A/C on to keep her cool. Traveling can be stressful for rabbits and it isn't for everyone. Spot likes to have her cage raised up in the back seat so she can see a bit of where we are going

Grooming:

Rabbits shed in different amounts from different breeds and different times of the year. Spot used to shed so terribly at the start and end of summer that we’d brush her and brush her and brush her. Finally one day we had one of those sticky lint rollers sitting there and I just lightly rolled it up and down her. It didn’t seem to pull at her hair that much and really just got the loose hair. We can easily go through 5 or 10 of the pull off sheets from the lint roller in just one sitting and find it is a great follow-up to a good brushing.

Watch their nails, they like to grow and can easily get caught in things when they get long. You can see through the nails to where the blood is. Never clip at or below that level. We’ve tried several fancy nail clippers, but with her small nails she seems to find our regular fingernail clippers the least unpleasant. They will try to pull the foot back so be careful not to let them pull on the nail too hard while you are clipping it. It is best to get them seated in a comfortable position where you have plenty of lighting to see through the nail.

Their ears can get dry and even plugged with wax. It is a good idea to check them out on a regular basis. Something like: http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=17137on a cotton ball helps keep the exterior parts of the ear clean and a bit moisturized so they don’t itch or bother the bunny. For wax removal, I’d recommend a Vet visit as you risk compacting the wax into her ear even more.

Changes in behavior:

Once you get to know your rabbit you can quickly spot drastic changes in behavior. A big problem however, that we learned when she wasn’t feeling well in the above popcorn incident, is it is instinct for rabbits to hide the fact that they feel ill. In nature the weak get picked off so they are hard wired to not show that they feel bad. The only clues we had were a recent drop in eating and not as much activity. She was probably in a fair amount of pain from the gas and the associated digestive problems but she just tended to sit in what we call her “chicken” pose. Feet tucked in and fluffed in a ball like she’s sitting on an egg. Picking her up we could feel the pressure in her belly. But sometimes when we pick her up and she tenses up it feels a little like that so it required moving her around to different positions and keep feeling to see if the pressure went away.

Our rabbit goes through phases and moods, sometimes wanting to be held, other times wanting to be alone. Sometimes she’ll play non-stop and other times she just stretches out and relaxes so it can be a bit hard to determine what is a different mood and what is a problem. When in doubt, pick her up. See if she feels like she usually does. See if anything causes a different reaction than normal. Keep an eye on how much hay and pellets she eats. Watch the litter box to make sure she is still going the bathroom on a regular basis.

 

 

 

        
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