Rabbit sickness symptoms are indicators that can save your pet. Since bunnies are meek creatures, it is difficult to determine if they are ill. This blog post will help you identify the common rabbit sick symptoms. We will also give you an idea of the possible causes of why your bunny is showing the signs. Keep reading to learn more!

rabbit sickness symptoms

#1: Loss of Appetite


One of the rabbit sickness symptoms is the loss of appetite. Unlike before, you could have noticed that it’s not paying attention to its favorite treats. A bunny that is missing its meal should not be ignored. Unlike other pets, rabbits’ guts need to move continuously. Lack of meals may lead to gut stasis, dehydration, and blockage.

Common reasons why a bunny stops eating are stress and diet changes. Your pet may also suffer from gut stasis, stomach ulcers, and urine infections. It is also possible that your pet is experiencing respiratory infections. You will know that a rabbit stops eating when it loses weight and has fewer droppings.

#2: Abnormal Fecal Output


If you observe that your bunny has irregular droppings, it could be one of the rabbit sick symptoms. If the droppings are separate, your pet may be experiencing constipation. On the other hand, sausage-like droppings show that your pet has mild constipation. Meanwhile, easy-to-pass droppings with clear-cut edges mean that your pet needs fiber. If the poop is mushy with ragged edges, your bunny is experiencing mild diarrhea. Your bunny may be experiencing severe diarrhea if the droppings are entirely liquid. A normal poop is sausage-shaped with a smooth texture or surface cracks.

There are different reasons why your pet is constipated. It can be due to dehydration, medication, and inactivity. However, conditions like multiple sclerosis and hypothyroidism can also result in the condition. If your bunny has difficulty passing stool, give it more water. Also, consult a nutritionist who can provide your pet with a proper diet.

#3: Changes in Posture


Is your bunny in a hunched position? It can signify pain, especially if its back is curved and its eyes squint in a grimace. You may also notice that your pet’s ears are flat and tightly folded. Other indicators of a sick bunny are down whiskers and flattering cheeks. The tip of its nose also moves closer to its chin. Besides a hunched position, your pet may tilt its head when unwell. Your pet may be experiencing an inner ear infection or infested by a parasite. Head injury and neck pain are also possible reasons for head tilt.

A bunny in a hunched position

#4: Shedding Excessive Fur


Shedding is a normal occurrence for rabbits. They usually have major molting at least thrice a year. Besides boredom and stress, it may indicate that your pet is ill. The average duration of shedding can last up to two days to several weeks. If the hair loss is located in its mouth only, your bunny may have dental problems.

A rabbit losing too much of its fur may have been infested by parasites or bacterial infection. Other possible causes are allergies, physical trauma, and tumors. Rabbits that are too stressed or bored may also pull out their furs. If ignored, your pet may suffer from a hairball, which can be dangerous to your bunny.

#5: Drooling and Facial Swelling


Although rabbits love to chew, it is unusual for them to drool. Once you have seen fur loss around the bunny’s mouth and chin, it indicates that your pet is drooling. Dental disease, ear infections, and toxin exposure are some causes of drooling. Your pet may also be suffering from burns inside its mouth or face. 

Facial swelling is also one of the rabbit health symptoms that you must watch out for. A jaw abscess can be the possible reason for swelling in the pet’s face. You may also notice discharge in and around its mouth. Dental diseases, such as overgrown teeth, can be a reason why there is an abscess in your bunny’s mouth. It can also be caused by bacterial infection.

#6: Difficulty Breathing


Rabbit sickness symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, should not be ignored. Since rabbits cannot breathe through their mouths, bring them to the vet. A healthy rabbit should be about 30 to 60 breaths for one minute. You may also notice rabbit sick symptoms, like sneezing and weepy eyes. Your rabbit may also have a reduced appetite and be withdrawn. Some causes of difficulty breathing are bacterial lung infections, heart diseases, or myxomatosis. Other possible underlying conditions are RHDV, lung tumors, and nose tumors.

#7: Limited Movements


As active pets, rabbits love to move around unless they are sleeping or relaxing. But if you notice that your pet rarely changes position, it can be one of the rabbit sickness symptoms. A sick bunny also has a dirty bottom since it cannot groom itself properly. Hence, it can be prone to flystrike. You must bring your pet to the vet to know why it cannot move properly. Your pet cannot move due to spinal trauma, arthritis, or disc protrusion. A bunny that has spinal trauma cannot move its back legs. It usually happens when the rabbit suddenly kicks or jumps out of your arms while holding it. Meanwhile, arthritis and disc protrusion are common in old rabbits. 

Other unusual cases, such as bacterial infections and spinal tumors, may paralyze bunnies. Toxoplasma, herpes simplex, and strokes can also leave your bunny paralyzed. If your bunny has difficulty moving, you should bring it to the vet for treatment. Old rabbits also require special care since they can no longer groom themselves as they used to.

rabbit sickness symptoms

#8: Teeth Grinding


There are two reasons why your bunny is grinding its teeth. It can be due to excitement or because of pain. If it is a quiet tooth-grinding, your pet is relaxed. But hearing loud tooth grinding indicates that your bunny is stressed, in pain, and sick. You may also notice other rabbit health symptoms like drooling and dirty bottom. Your pet may also experience diarrhea and reduced appetite.

Teeth grinding can be one of the symptoms of broken limbs, dental pain, and joint pain. Urinary tract infections are also reasons why bunnies grind their teeth. Suppose your bunny stops eating and continuously grinds its teeth. In that case, it may suffer from overgrown teeth and intestinal blockages.

#9: Sudden collapse


Imbalance or sudden collapse is one of the rabbit sick symptoms that you should not ignore. It can indicate that your pet is suffering from the floppy bunny syndrome. Due to weakness or paralysis, the bunny cannot move around for about 1 to 12 hours. Your bunny may also not consume food and water, so bringing it to the vet would be necessary.

Unless you know the reason behind the condition, it would be difficult to treat it. Some possible causes of the sudden collapse are dehydration and hypothermia. Pet may have a selenium deficiency, hypokalemia, and musculoskeletal pain. Blood tests, X-rays, or CT scans can help to diagnose the disease. Below is a video citing other reasons why bunnies suddenly collapse.

#10: Changes in urinating habits


Although you have trained a bunny to use its litter box, it may pee anywhere. It can be one of the rabbit health symptoms indicating that your bunny is sick. You can also check your bunny’s urine to know its health condition. Your pet needs to be hydrated if it has orange or brown pee. A rabbit has red spots in its urine can be a sign of blood. 

Besides the color of the urine, you must also observe the urinating habits of your pet. A healthy bunny pees at least two to eight times a day. If it’s peeing more frequently than usual, your bunny can develop bladder sludge. Your pet may have bladder troubles if it urinates outside its litter box or cannot control its urine.

Bladder troubles can be due to the bunny’s genes or the lack of water. If your pet doesn’t have enough exercise and lives in a tiny cage, it can suffer from bladder and kidney problems. You must also watch out for your pet’s diet since too much calcium may lead to bladder stones and sludge.

#11: Enlarged stomach


Because of gas and fluid, a bunny may experience an enlarged stomach. It is one of the alarming rabbit sickness symptoms. Hence, you must identify why your pet’s abdomen is bloating. This condition does not only cause pain, but it can also compromise breathing. Without medical attention, the bunny could die.

The primary cause of bloating is trichobezoar, also known as the hairball. The furs that the bunny ingested blocked its intestine, preventing average circulation. Other causes of bloatedness are intestinal cancers and post-surgery adhesions. It is also possible that your pet has ingested foreign objects stuck in its stomach.

#12: Frequent ear scratching


As clean pets, rabbits love to groom themselves. They would even scratch their ears to remove the earwax build-ups. However, if it frequently scratches its ears, it can be one of the rabbit sickness symptoms. Severe scratching is a condition called pruritus. Parasites, dry skin, allergies, or infections may cause it.

Fur and ear mites are highly contagious. Thus, isolate the sick bunny to prevent the parasites from spreading. You can also prevent lice and flea infestation by freezing bedding and food from the pet store. The vet would also give medication to rabbits suffering from contagious parasites.

A bunny suffering from ear mites and skin disease

Frequently Asked Questions



What are the rabbit sickness symptoms of gastrointestinal stasis?


Rabbit health symptoms of GI stasis are teeth grinding, hunched posture, and lethargy. Your bunny may also experience gas pain, soft tools, and diarrhea. Gastrointestinal stasis must be treated immediately since it can be life-threatening for rabbits. 


Is aggressiveness one of the rabbit sickness symptoms?


A friendly bunny that becomes feisty is one of the rabbit health symptoms. Your pet can be experiencing pain, making it aggressive towards you. If you notice that your pet has changed in its behavior, it would be better to consult the vet.


What should I do if my bunny has rabbit sickness symptoms?

If your bunny has rabbit sick symptoms, it is best to bring it to the vet. Some conditions, such as respiratory, heart, and digestive diseases, need immediate medical attention. You should not give medicine if unsure of your pet’s illness since it may only worsen the condition. 

rabbit sickness symptoms



Rabbit health symptoms should be detected to treat your pet immediately. Changes in your bunny’s behavior and habits may indicate that your pet is ill. You must not ignore these signs since some conditions require immediate medical attention. Bringing your bunny to the vet can help so it will get the treatment it needs.

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