Kirsties Frenchie's

Illnesses And Your Bunny

Runny/sore eyes, particually during moult seasons, frenchies are prone to having runny eyes now and again i tend to treat by bathing them in saline water which you can make yourself from boiled water and salt.

 

Snuffles in rabbits is the illness that every owner dreads. Once a rabbit develops snuffles its a life long problem which can be treated but never cured :(

snuffles is extreemely contagious and also affects the eyes, ears and other organs. If detected early it can be treated, but it can become CHRONIC and even FATAL if left untreated.

 

CAUSE

Snuffles is the term to describe the upper respiritory signs. The most common cause for it is an infection with the bacteria PASTEURELLA MULTOCIDA

 

 

TREATMENT

Snuffles is generally treated with antibiotics for 14 - 30 days. The antibiotics usually include Baytril, ciprofloxacin and trimethoprim sulfa. Rabbits will need additional bacteria during and after these treatments and should only be used under strict veterinary advice

 

PREVENTION

Snuffles is very CONTAGIOUS disease and difficult to treat, it is not curable ! 

Breeders should sanitise housing areas etc and quarantine 'new' stock until certain there are no signs of the disease. Pet owners should try and look for healthy rabbits, make sure they do not show any signs of the above, also look at the mam and other litter mates.

Because snuffles is a devistating disease to rabbits and is so contagious and wide spread, rabbit owners need to be aware of the signs of this disease and seek veterinary advice / treatment at the first signs.

 

BLOAT

Bloat is another very sudden affliction in rabbits, one minute they are fine and happy and healthy, the next they are very quiet, off their food and water, huddled in a corner and do not move. Tummys are often very bloated and hard to the touch and no signs of droppings.

Bloat can be caused by a number of reasons, some of which being stress of moving/travelling, a very quick change of food, hence why when purchased from a breeder you will recieve a change over supply of food to help prevent this from occuring.

Give plenty of hay to help the digestive system and guts to keep moving.

If your rabbit shows symptoms of bloat please give your rabbit a

            * 5ml syringe full of Pinneapple juice

               * Syringe water direct in the mouth regularly  to keep up                fluid levels.

            * 0.5 ml of gripe water twice daily

            * Massage your rabbits tummy regularly to help to get guts moving again.

            *  cabbage leaves. dandilion leaves/heads

               * Mash up some pellets in water so they are easy to eat .

 

Bloat is often fatal in rabbits if not caught / recognised early enough.

 

If in doubt take your rabbit to the vet.

 

BASIC CARE FOR YOR RABBIT

 

There is a lot to take into consideration when buying a bunny. I'm going to mention just a few but remember they are important no matter how trivial they seem.

 

Once you have you cute little bunny, remember they can grow very big depending upon the breed, make sure they have a suitable sized hutch i.e. minimum 5ft in length, 2ft in height and 2ft in width,  and remember they grow.

 

They need food, and water, i feed mine 2 times every day to make sure they get what they need. I also feed them fresh fruit and veg to compliment their diets. The fruit i give mine are..........

necturines, apples and firm pears .

The veg i feed them are the following.......

cabbage leaves, carrots, cauliflower leaves, tomatoes, celery.

 

They need fresh hay, this acts as bedding but you will soon find that they eat a lot of it too, so i tend 'top' my cages/hutches up twice a day. Yes this seems alot but it does their digestive systems good and also keeps them warm acting as nice soft bedding. Also you will need sawdust, this acts as a layer of softness under their feet and also as a bedding.

 

They need love and attention. No animal likes being shut in a cage or hutch 24/7 without being bothered with. It makes the animal unhappy, it can also cause behavioural problems like biting, scratching and kicking. This is due to not being handled and can take quite a while to rectify. With perseverance it can be done! 

 

Exercise is also a must. If you were 'stuck' in a cage all day wouldn't you get bored? Well bunnies do too! I let mine out in the garden for a few hours every day unless the weather is really bad then they are let loose in the house. Typically mine do both as i leave my door open and they come and go as they please. This adds to a happy bunny.

 

Also just like us rabbits need their claws/nails cut. you can either do this yourself by purchasing a cutter for them or your vets will do this for you, The picture below shows the kind of cutters i use. It's very easy when you get the hang of it, but if you do try this yourself then be very careful of the veins running through them just like a dog has. If you bunny has black nails/claws then trim litterally the end of them as you cannot see the vein.

 

Here are some pictures to help you and guide you when cutting and where to cut their claws :) Pictures found on google pictures.

 

 

 

 

 

TEETH

 

Please keep a check on their teeth, their front teeth continue to grow and grow and sometimes if they havent enough hard veg or toys to nibble on these can over grow and can be uncomfortable for your bunny.

Also teeth problems can occur due to trauma. My Bentley was running round like a nutter and he banged his mouth and knocked his front top teeth clean out! When he did this it resulted in him knocking the alignment of his jaw which meant that his teeth did not meet and caused them to over grow. He has regular vet trips to trim them. Pictures below show differnt stages of this.

 

 

 

Whilst in your garden please keep watch

While your bunny is getting his or her daily exercise please be aware of what your bunny is nibbling on. Grass is fine, dandilions are fine but please stop them from eating bulbus plants, these are poisonous for bunnys and will lead to the death of him or her. If you do have bulbous plants in  your garden then use a rabbit run which is recomended that way they get exercise but cannot eat anything they shouldn't that is harmful to them.

A TIP 4 WINTER MONTHS

 During winter months if your bunny is kept outside you usually find that their water bottles tend to freeze constantly. I was in my local pet shop and they suggested a helpful hint, which is a tiny drop of GLYCERIN in the water bottle prevents the water from freezing. It also doesn't harm the bunny either. I have tested this and it has worked.

I MUST STRESS A TINY DROP TO ENSURE THE SAFETY OF YOUR BUNNY !!!!!!!!!!

 

 

As you can see from the picture above they get up to all sorts !

Your bunny and vaccinations

 

We all want our bunnies to be happy and healthy, and a way to add to this is to get your bunny vaccinated.

There are three diseases which are seen regularly in rabbits, two of which are due to a viruses and these can be vaccinated against.

The first being....

myxomatosis 

VHD (Viral Haemorrhagic Disease.)

The vaccines contain a harmless amount of the viruses that cause the disease and works by making the antibodies in the bunny begin to set up a resistance to the disease.

The third disease is Pasteurella, unfortunatley there is no vaccine for this and is caused by bacteria.


Once your rabbit has had its vaccinations you will be given a vaccination certificate which will have your pet's details on it, the dates the vaccines were given and when the next one is due. This certificate is important, especially if you are going on holiday and you require someone to look after your pet. Some boarding kennels and catteries cater for rabbits as well as dogs and cats. Many of these places will not accept your rabbit unless you can show this certificate and it is up to date. Your veterinary surgeon will send you out a reminder when the next vaccination is due

neutering or spaying your bunny

 

Should i get my bunny 'fixed'?

 

As a pet owner, it is important that you know the facts about spaying or neutering your house rabbit. There are many benefits to spaying or neutering your house rabbit. First and foremost, a fixed rabbit can live a longer, healthier life as the risk of cancer and urinary tract infections are greatly reduced. Spayed and neutered house bunnies are easier to bond because of their calmer demeanor. And of course, an altered couple will not end up with a litter of baby buns.

When male rabbits are between 3 and 5 months old, they are old enough to be neutered. Female rabbits are generally old enough to be spayed between 4 and 6 months; this is when they first reach sexual maturity. When rabbits have reached middle age (5-6 years old) they can be considered too old to be altered. Rabbits that are too young or too old are at higher risk for complications from surgery.