Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Canker in Rabbits

Canker in rabbits can be very painful and distressful for your bunny. make sure to check ears regularly for any redness or irritation. They can get this from ear mites which causes your bunny to scratch his ears which then will develop a brownish crust in their ear (or ears) which is kind of like a scab.

Symptoms -

These seem very easy to spot and recognize in your bunny as they are very obvious. They are:
-continuously scratching ear(s) with back feet
-constantly shaking head and ears
-a scaly or brownish crust which can be in one or both ears.
This can be visible by having a look in their ears. 

treatment and prevention -

The prevention is very simple. You can either go and get an injection for your bunny which will help or you can get some anti-biotics which will also help. There is the option of having both which I personally think is quite a reasonable thing to do. Something which may be necessary to use is anti-inflammatory and pain relief anti-biotics.If this is some very severe cases, you may need to take a visit to the vets for them to soften and and remove this scabbing in the ears.

If your bunny ever catches this or you just generally want to keep them from getting this, you can check regularly in their ears (maybe weekly) for any redness or irritation and to have it treated at the first sight. You will also need to keep their living environment nice and clean which will help to prevent ear mites.

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I hope that this post about canker in rabbits helped your understanding about it. Please comment below if you have anything to say about canker in rabbits.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Weaning Rabbits

When you are in the process of weaning rabbits, this is when they stop drinking their mothers milk and start to eat pellets ( or whatever you are feeding them) and start to drink water. If these were wild bunnies, they would start being independent and also stop drinking their mothers milk.

They may get diarrhea at this stage, as their digestive system is still developing and they don't absorb all of the nutrients which they should be.

When they are 4 weeks old you can begin. The mothers milk will start drying up. Look at the litter and decide which one is the largest (you may already know which one is) and pick this one up. This will be the first bunny that you start with. In 2 days take the second largest and do the same. You continue doing this until they are all finished.

When they are 5 weeks old they should be weaned (or most of them) and capable of eating by themselves. If their is any that seem they aren't doing so well (as in don't seem ready yet) leave this one with the mother for a bit longer.

Just keep in mind that they all won't necessarily live due to some diseases which aren't very nice for them to get such as e coli which humans could easily catch as well. There are some more which can result in death and if you are concerned about it I would suggest that you look into it more.

If you breed lots of bunnies, you may find that some take longer then others. I have found out that this is especially the larger breeds yet sometimes it can be the smaller breeds as well.

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I hope this post helps you to learn much, much more about weaning rabbits! If you have any concerns, comment on this post.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

E coli in Rabbits

E coli (eschericha coli) in rabbits can end up resulting in death and any bunny owner should and needs to be aware of. This bacteria is found in practically all mammals and birds over the world. This is caused by intestinal bacteria which produces a disease. This can lead to health problems which is from simple upset stomachs to severe diarrhea with dehydration leading your bunny to death.

This usually happens during the weaning process where you are getting your bunny to eat pellets and drink water instead of just having its mothers milk. It is most dangerous at this time as the mothers milk was good for keeping diseases away and their pellets won't have that.

This will be disrupting their system and e coli can take over quickly. At this point they won't be able to absorb nutrients properly and will lose quite a bit a water. You may have heard somewhere that people can catch e coli which can  happen quite quicklly. These are the type of things thatyou need to be aware of so make sure that if you bunny ever catches this that you find out how to handle them and what you will need to do.

Symptoms -  Th symptoms would include diarrhea and they may be acting a bit odd. Make sure not to mistake this for any other diseases.

Treatments - Luckily there are some treatments but are not 100% guaranteed to cure your bun. Some antibiotics have worked most of the time so you may want to use that if your bunny catches it. Something to consider is getting your bunny a vaccination against e coli which has been said is better and more efficient. Also if you get the vaccination there will be less of a chance of getting it which will make life for your bunny much, much better!

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Just remember that e coli is a deadly disease and should be treated at the first symptoms.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Bloat in Rabbits

Bloat in rabbits has been said to be quite familiar to a breeder. This is when they are 'blown up' from the large quantity of gas which is in the abdomen.

There seems to be many causes for how this happens, such as feeding your bunny too much Lucerne or clover.

the signs for bloat in rabbits is: sitting huddled up in a corner very inactive. Their coat looking very dull and eyes glazed. Their abdomen will appear very swollen and grinding their teeth loudly in pain. Occasionally they will be very thirsty and drink LOTS of water.They will often die a few days after because of having too much pressure on lungs and heart.

For the cause there hasn't been a main one traced although there is one from feeding your bunny too much Lucerne or clover.

Their isn't a reliable treatment discovered yet. There are some ways to help your bunny though. These are to make your bunny exercise as this can help and to massage with good liniment (produces a slight irritation on belly) has been said to help. Some use of antibiotics has reduced the amount of bloat by 75%.

If this is caused by your bunny eating frozen food, this can cause some damage and has been said that there is no treatment available.

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I hope this post helps you to have a much better understanding about bloat in rabbits.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Vaccinations for Rabbits

Vaccinations for rabbits can be very important as there are some deadly diseases which can kill them. Many people strongly think that they should be vaccinated for myxomatosis and VHD (viral heamorrhagic disease) which is a good idea. These are what they can be vaccinated for which many bunnies die of.

When they get the vaccination, they will become immune but there is still a small chance that they will catch it. The only difference is that they have a better chance of recovering and will recover much better. These vaccinations may be required for getting pet insurance, holiday boarding, or attending events (this could be bunny hopping).

This is mainly aimed at UK bunny owners as there is a higher risk. This may not be available in places such as USA, but if it is available you may want to consider getting these vaccinations for rabbits.

The earliest age that your bunny can get vaccinated against these lethal diseases (myxomatosis and VHD)  is at 6 weeks old. After you have the first vaccination, depending on the risk in your area, you will need either every 6 months or yearly. This costs £10-20 for each one.

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To protect you bunny so their not at risk as much.....keep them vaccinated. If you can in your area, make sure you get these vaccinations for rabbits.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

How to hold your rabbit

Have you ever wanted to hold your rabbit with him feeling comfortable and not squirm? If you do, here's how:

Usually their not very KEEN on being snuggled by anyone (especially when it isn't properly). Also, they don't exactly like being off 'ground level' when they don't have anything solid to stand on. This doesn't mean you.

When you reach to pick them up, they might become scared or afraid as they may think of you as a predator (maybe a hawk or something) coming to kill them. That is when some aggressive bunnies will go to bite you. It will take some time for them to get used to being 'handled' by you.

You pick them up with both of your hands. One of them will be underneath their chest and (if possible) have you thumb above their shoulder. The other hand will be supporting their bottom. Have their back legs tucked in a bit when you pick them up this way. This will prevent them kicking. Use this way to carry them a short distance (like putting them into their hutch).

For carrying them longer distances, do the same but bring them up to against your chest. Here there is 2 positions that you can hold them in. One of them is by holding them up vertically with one  hand supporting their bottom and the other across their back.The other one is holding them horizontally with one arm underneath them and the  other securing them onto you so you can't drop them.

The vertical one is usually used for small/smaller bunnies. I prefer to hold mine horizontally as that is how I feel safer picking them up and they don't try to jump off that way as much.

If your bunny does go to jump out of your arms, lower yourself to the ground and let them hop off as then they are almost touching the floor before they jump and they won't get injured.

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If you need any advice on how to hold your rabbit, comment on this post.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Obesity in rabbits

Obesity in rabbits seems to be coming more and more common as more people are getting pet bunnies and are overfeeding them (or giving them an improper diet). Most bunnies that are obese are usually around 20-40% overweight. This causes them not to function properly. Some different breeds of bunnies are more at risk then others.

An easy way to check if they are overweight is to put them straight and feel where their ribs are. If you can feel them, then they are a good weight (just make sure that their not underweight). If not then you know that they are overweight so just think about what you have been feeding them and how much they have been let out to run around and possibly nibble on the grass if you are outside.

Also, if your rabbit is tired a lot and have some difficulty breathing, you may want to look into it as these are some signs of your bunny being overweight.

Some of the causes are being in their cage o hutch too much (in other words not being let out). As well as being over fed. This could be from giving them large quantities or you not having a very descent pellets. There should be at least 21% crude fiber in their pellets. Some of the pellets will say the amount on the bag which is sometimes for every 5 pounds of your rabbits feed them (like a tablespoon or something).

You have to make sure that your rabbit is getting the proper diet which is made up of mainly hay, then around a handful of vegetables, a small amount of pellets and only A FEW treats.

The treats part can be quite a common part that people get wrong as they think 'These treats are only small, if I give him quite a few he will be fine'. But the problem is they will give them that many everyday which makes it worse because you should only occasionally give these to them. If you do give them treats, use the healthier one which are the dried vegetable ones.

Exercise is another crucial part. This gives them time to stretch their legs and hop around freely. Click on the link exercise for more information.

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I hope this post helped you get a better idea about obesity in rabbits and that you make sure your rabbit is having lots of exercise and a very good, healthy diet.