Soft, cute and gentle, rabbits are also among the hardiest pets available. But even these sturdy animals can fall prey to illness. If you own a rabbit or plan on getting one, you need to watch out for these three diseases.
More commonly known as snuffles, pasteurella is characterized by nasal discharge, watery eyes, mattered paws and sneezing. It is caused by the Pasteurella multocida bacteria and tends to manifest itself during or after stressful situations. So in addition to feeding Bunny a healthy diet and keeping his or her cage clean, minimizing stressors — such as loud noises, aggression from other humans and/or animals — is critical. You also need to know that snuffles can be easily transmitted from one rabbit to another. So if you have more than one rabbit, you will need to isolate the infected one immediately to stop the spread of illness.
Typically, sore hocks are more commonly seen in large-breed rabbits. But smaller breeds can also be susceptible as well. Sore hocks result from an infected ulceration of the foot pad, which is usually caused by prolonged pressure of a rabbit’s feet against a wire cage floor. You can prevent the problem by providing floor mats, resting boards or nest boxes so that your animal pal has comfortable place to rest. Additionally, remember to clip Bunny’s toenails short and keep his or her enclosure clean.
Crusty, scabby substances on the inside of your bunny buddy’s ear more than likely mean he or she has ear canker, which is caused by ear mites. Head shaking, intense scratching and, on occasion, hair loss, are three other symptoms. You should be aware that ear-mite symptoms could indicate the presence of an underlying infection. So the more quickly the problem is dealt with, the better.
One way to keep Bunny bouncing along is to call the DVMs at Austin Pet and Bird as soon as you see something is wrong. Our caring veterinarians are fully trained to also serve the needs of most pets, including rabbits. For the best in pet healthcare, contact us today!