Common Rabbit Health Problems

Below is a list of the most common health problems rabbit face with their health.


Myxomatosis is an extremely contagious disease which was introduced to help prevent the over populating of wild rabbits. It is spread mainly through the Rabbit flea, but can also be carried by mosquitoes. There is currently a vaccine, but it is illegal to vaccinate in Australia without special permission due to silly government regulations.

Happy Rabbits

It is extremely important to keep your pet rabbit in insect proof cages, or inside at night. Once the signs of Myxomatosis start, it will spread and be difficult to treat successfully. Signs include swelling of the vent and ears and discharge around the eyes and nose.

Vhd, Viral Haemorrhagic Disease is also a very contagious disease, and spread through many countries through the import of rabbit meat. Older Rabbits are most vulnerable.

Symptoms include obstructed respiration, haemorrhaging from the nose and paralysis. Thus resulting in death. There is no medical treatment possible, but there is a preventive vaccine available from your vet.

Another health problem common with rabbits is Pasyeurellosis, also known as snuffles. It is a common cause of severe illness in rabbits. The cause is a bacteria which is present in the respiratory tract; it then can be triggered by stress, cold and damp conditions, other diseases and pregnancy.

First systems are the eyes and nose will run and the rabbit “snuffles”. This condition if not treated with antibiotics quickly can result in it not ever going away and continually flaring up or fatal lung disease.


Diarrhea is a fatal threat and health problem to rabbits, usually the result of poor or incorrect feeding. Sometimes damp conditions and rotten food and dirty water also.

You should remove all moist food if your rabbit shows signs of diarrhea and supply dry food, rice (boiled) and crisp bread and fresh water, to be replaced with camomile tea.

Clean out all litter and bedding and disinfect regularly.

Colds and pneumonia

Incorrect placement for a hutch can cause illness, from draughts, wet weather and cold temperatures combined add up to an unsuitable spot for a rabbit hutch.

If your rabbit starts to get a runny nose or sneezing, or wheezing sound when breathing it is time to visit your vet, antibiotics can be prescribed, keep your rabbit in a draft free room 18- 21 temp to recover from respiratory infection.


A rabbits tooth may become brittle with poor diet and brake. If you notice a broken tooth, check your rabbit’s diet.

A vet can prescribe a calcium medication to restore the level. Front teeth grow back, but you should regularly check what is happing in your rabbit’s mouth.

If a rabbits front teeth don’t get enough wearing down through gnawing, they may keep growing and become unbalanced. When a rabbits teeth are too long they can not chew properly, and may not eat enough and starve.

The teeth can be chipped back, see your vet for advice.


Rabbits can easily break their bones and suffer health problems from jumping off things, catching their paws, or falling from our hands. If the bone is broken, say a paw, leg, the rabbit will limp around holding the paw off the ground.

If a straight break it will heal in a few weeks.

Make food and water easy to get to.

If the break is more serious, such as back, the best thing is to have the rabbit put to sleep. Always talk to your vet if in doubt about your rabbit’s health.


There is a common flea known as the rabbit flea, but rabbits can also get cat fleas. If you have cats or dogs with fleas there is a good chance your rabbit will have them too. Treat your rabbit as well as your other animals. The best treatment is flea powder or spray.

Skin mites or mange, this parasite can be quite harmful to your rabbit. If you find hair loss with flaky skin and dry and dead skin the rabbit may be infected. The rabbit will scratch itself damaging the skin and spreading the parasite. Treatment can be difficult so get professional advice from your vet for a suitable product.

Ear mites can cause health problems, if your rabbit is always shaking its head or holding it tilted, they may be suffering ear mites. The mites will cause the rabbit’s ear to be very itchy. Most of the time the rabbit cause’s the damage through constant scratching to soothe the itch. Leaving the ear canal very red and dry. Special eardrops can assist and be very effective but act quickly to prevent it spreading outside the ear.

Worms, sometimes your rabbit can become infected with intestinal worms, the best treatment is Piperazine, and this is available from pet shops and your vet.
Fungal skin infections should be treated as soon as any signs of tiny flakes of skin in their ears and nose appear. This fungal infection can spread to other animals and humans too.

Easily treated, get advice from your vet on the best products.

If you’re Pet rabbit has any symptoms or suffering any health problems, don’t wait too long before getting medical attention from your vet. You will also find a wealth of information at Medi Rabbit

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