Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Anorexia in Rabbits

Anorexia in rabbits is when they have a loss of appetite. There is something similar to this called pseudo-anorexia which is when the rabbits still have an appetite but are unable to chew or swallow their food. Dental disease is the common cause of it. They both lead to drastic weight loss.

Symptoms:


  • They refuse to eat
  • Their fecal pellets are small in size and amount 
  • They have lost a lot of weight
  • They have pain when they swallow
  • They have pain when they are eating
  • They have chronic bad breath
Causes:

Here is a list of some common causes (just remember that it won't be all of these, most likely just one):


  • They have stomach ulcers
  • They have dental diseases
  • A metabolic disorder (such as kidney failure)
  • They have cardiac failure
  • They have an infectious disease
  • They have a respiratory disease 
  • They have a neurological disease
  • Tumor growth
  • They've had poisoning
  • There has been environmental or dietary changes
Pseudo-anorexia can be caused by any disease which affects their swallowing ability such as gingivitis.

Treatment:

They will need to be taken to the vet to figure out what caused it to know how to treat it, the sooner it is sorted, the sooner they will be eating again. Sometimes you have to change what they are eating to make them eat again, and you want to make sure they are getting lots of water to drink.

The vet may prescribe a medication, and therefore you will need to make sure that they are having it.

Prevention:

I have heard that it is hard to know how to treat this as of the many different causes for it. Although you will want to keep them out of stress situations and a clean hutch with a nice healthy diet. With their diet you will want to give them some fruit and vegetables which they like (but not too much) and make sure not to give them the same all the time as they will become bored of what they are eating and possibly not eat.

I hope this post on anorexia in rabbits was useful for you.

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Monday, 7 January 2013

Kidney Failure in Rabbits

Kidney failure in rabbits (also known as renal failure) is much like how humans suffer from it. They produce much less urine and don't go as much as they become dehydrated.

Types:

There is two types, acute and chronic.

Acute - This is when it can happen suddenly as of the accumulation of toxins in the kidney's, or it could be as a result of an electrolyte imbalance.

Chronic -  This is when it progresses slowly, it can take over several months.

Symptoms:

Here is a list of the symptoms which your bunny may have:


  • Depression
  • Unable to eat
  • They have a fever
  • Diarrhoea 
  • Seizures 
  • Lack or inability to produce stools
  • Heart complications
  • Painful or tender kidneys
Causes:

The causes of this can vary, acute can happen from shock, trauma, stroke, extreme stress, heart failure or blood infection. 

A urinary tract obstruction or infection which has spread to their pelvis, can cause either form of kidney failure in rabbits. Some other common causes are ageing and diabetes. 

Treatment:

If they have the acute type, then they may need to have immediate fluid balance therapy which should prevent any more injury from happening. The vet will tell you what you need to do and if you need to feed them anything in particular. They may also provide a medication. 

After this you will need to make sure they have lots of rest and and a good balanced diet. Make sure that they are having plenty of fluids and I have heard green vegetables are good fr helping them as well. But before you do anything, check with you vet.

I hope this post on kidney failure in rabbits helped.

Have a look below if you are interested! 

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Pyoderma in rabbits

Pyoderma in rabbits is a  bacterial skin infection. This usually happens when your bunnies skin has broke or teared or if the skin is exposed to moist conditions. This alters the flora found within. Normally, its healthy bacteria which lives in their skin, but this can easily be altered to harmful bacteria which will overgrow.

Symptoms:

The symptoms can depend on the type of bacteria infection in which they have, but here are some common symptoms:


  • Obesity (weight gain)
  • Muscle pain.
  • Diarrhoea.
  • Nasal and eye discharge.
  • Urinary tract infections.
  • Redness and crusting around the infected area.
  • Their fur becomes matted.
  • sanitation and personal hygiene is poor.  
  • A dental disease - they will have bleeding gums, be slobbering, as well as loose and decaying teeth.

Cause:

This mainly occurs when the skin has been broken, mainly happens when their is poor environmental conditions, which could be moisture. It could happen if they have an injury, or poor blood circulation. Its a very common occurrence so if your bunny has it, don't freak out.

This is worse in unhealthy or obese bunnies, and can become trapped in matted fur.

Treatment:

Most will need to have a bath (I would recommend letting a vet do this) and will need to be dried very well, especially the affected area's. If the infection is really bad, you will need to have the area around it shaved, and you may also be prescribed some anti-biotics or something to apply to these areas.

Prevention:

You need to keep feeding your bunny a balanced diet. By you preventing obesity, you are preventing some further infections from occurring within their skin folds. You need to keep their fur well groomed and not matted. This can prevent bacteria from being close to their body.

I hope this post about pyoderma in rabbits was useful to you

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Saturday, 5 January 2013

Fleas in Rabbits

Fleas in rabbits can become a large issue, yet if found when they first have them, it can be solved quicker and harms your bunny less. They feed on their blood and reproduce quick, as of a loss of blood , they could get anemia. That is more likely to happen in younger bunnies.

A normal reaction to this is excessive scratching, as this can cause lesions on the suface of the skin and skin infections. This won't happen in all cases though.

Symtoms:

In some bunnies, its hard to tell if they have fleas or not, they will show either few signs or none at all. Yet, here are some commonly found symptoms:


  • Constant grooming including: scratching, biting, licking and chewing
  • Bite maks on their body, or some trace that fleas have been on them (like a larvae) 
  • Fur loss
  • Scaling on their skin
  • Pale mucus membranes
  • occasionally seen is secondary bacterial infections
Causes:

There are seasons when they are more commonly found, but can affect an animal at any time i the year. They can also jump from pet to pet, so if you have two in the same hutch and you think one has fleas, it's very likely that the other one has it too.

Treatment:

All of your animals will need to be treated (if you have more than one) as they can spread fast, and they probably all have it so its safer for all of them to be treated. You will need to spray your house and outside, to kill any larvae's which may be there, but you want to do this when no one is there as some products are toxic.

I would check with your vet to see what is best to use as there are many products which could potentially help, but you will want the one which will help the best.

Make sure to check with your vet the way to use what they have given you, as some may be harder to use than others.

Have a look at these products below if you are interested!

Friday, 4 January 2013

Cloudy eye in Rabbits

Cloudy eye in rabbits (aslo known as cataracts)  is when the bunnies eyes have or develop a cloudy film on the lens of an eye. It could be completely cloudy, or only partially.


Types:

Immature - This is when the lens of the eye is only part cloudy
Mature - This is when the lens of the eye is completely cloudy
Hyper-mature -  This is when the lens of the eye starts to liquify


Symptoms:

Lens of eye is partially or fully opaque
The eye produces a discharge
The iris swells


Causes:

Most commonly occurs at birth, and can suddenly become worse.
Normally related to bacterial infection
Can happen from nutritional deficiency
Can also develop with no known cause - could be from older age

Treatment:

The primary method would be to have surgery to remove it.
There is also various medications which can be prescribed.

Prevention: 

There isn't a certain way to get rid of this, as there is no known cause and is always changing.

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Thursday, 3 January 2013

Hair Loss in Rabbits

Hair loss in rabbits is also known as alopecia. It is when there is a complete/partial loss of hair where there is normally hair on your bunny. This isn't something they can get on its own, its caused through something like an infection, trauma or immune disorder. Also any rabbit as the same chance of this happening, no breed/age is worse than another.

The number one sign of alopecia is hair loss. The symptoms can all be different, but the one thing which is trying to be worked out is if it is a condition that is primary or secondary. Primary is when it happens on its own and could be something like a genetic descendant (passed from mum and dad to bunny, but they both had no signs of it - were carriers of this) and secondary is when it is caused by something else, like if your bunny had an infection, then started to loose their fur.

Causes:

Disruption to hair follicle growth - from parasitic infection, infectious disease, nutritional defect or neoplastic causes.
If there is multiple areas of loss of fur, then its most frequently associated with bacterial or parasitic infection.
Can result to a behavioural problem called 'barbering' (where a dominant bunny will pull out its cage-mates hair) fur loss here, normally appears on their flanks.
Can occur from normal shedding patterns as well.

Diagnosis: 

To see if there are any bacterial, parasitic or fungal infections, a skin scraping and biopsy will happen.
Other tests which may be done are urine and blood sampling and x-rays.

Treatment/Prevention:

If it is some sort of bacterial infection/other infections, medication will be prescribed, and if it is more serious, as in your bunny having a tumor, chemotherapy will be done, but only if necessary.

The recommendations to try to keep this away is to keep them on a balanced diet, and a healthy lifestyle, yet not all can be prevented.

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Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Homemade Rabbit Play Box

Here is another homemade rabbit toy which I find that its a very good play box for your rabbit to enjoy playing in and eat at the same time. Below is a list of materials and step by step instructions for you to follow to create your own homemade rabbit toy for your bunny to enjoy!

Materials:

  • A box - make sure its low enough for them to jump into it, and big enough for them to hop and turn around in. 
  • a few sheets of newspaper
  • a few handfuls of hay or straw 
  • some sort of treat - i.e. carrot pieces - for them to eat and find


Instructions:

Step 1: Have a box ready and either cut off the flaps, or fold them into the box and put in your sheets of newspaper scrunched up but not very much so the few sheets fill about half of the box (like below).

Step 2: Chop up your chosen fruit/vegetable (unless your using a treat) and cut it into small pieces (it doesn't have to be like the pictures below, however you want to)

Step 3: Add it into your box and mix it into it (like below).

Step 4: Add in your hay or straw into this mixture as well (like below) I used straw.
Step 5: Give this to your bunny (in his hutch or run) and leave him to it!

If you have made this, I would love to hear about how your bunny played with it!

WARNING: if you have given them some fruit or vegetable which can go off, i would make sure to clean out this box daily to make sure that there isn't anything mouldy in there. Also make sure to only give them small amounts of whatever you are giving them as this could cause obesity so make sure to not overfeed your bunny, give him around a handful.

video


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Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Epilepsy in Rabbits

Epilepsy in rabbits (also know as seizures) is similar to what humans can have. This happens once certain neurons in the brain reach 'hyper excitability', leading to involuntary body movement or function in the bunny. You have to be VERY careful with them as these seizures can cause brain damage to your bunny.

Types:
It could be an epileptic episode, or non-epileptic and caused by genetic malfunctions or lesions in the brain. Either way, they will have similar symptoms in the ways of which they will act.
 
Symptoms:
Here are some symptoms which are said to be quite common:

Rolling around and signs of distress
Paddling of the hands or limbs
mental confusion
blindness
head tilt
loss of muscle tone
pus in the ear
possible fainting (said to be a rare occurrence though)

Causes: 
Can be from their genetic background (having white or blue eyes is more likely to) or from being a certain type of breed. It is said that dwarf rabbits are more prone to this happening as they can have suppressed immune systems, causing them to be more exposed to an infection with encephalitozoon cuniculi which can cause the seizures. Lop eared rabbits are likely to have this as well (but you have to remember that not ALL of them have this) an it is a form of epilepsy.

other causes could be:
metabolic causes - low blood sugar
toxicities - exposure to heavy metals and other chemicals
cardiovascular diseases
A head injury, leading to brain damage
structural causes - brain lesions, bacterial infection or parasitic infection (this could be toxoplasmosis)

Diagnosis:
Laboratory tests will be taken to see if they have any of the causes mentioned above, like a brain lesion.  They could also be imaged with an MRI scan or CAT scan to see if there is anything connected to the central nervous system causing these issues.

Treatment:
Some bunnies will need constant supervision. This is a very severe case and if it is this bad, they will need to to be hospitalisation to be watched constantly and to help relieve attacks and prevent permanent brain damage from happening.

There is medication which can be prescribed to help slow down the seizure activity. Also antibiotics if there is an abscess contributing to the seizure. If the case is life threatening, steroid medication may be used, yet just under vet supervision. So if you think your bunny is having an epileptic fit, then make sure to take them straight to the vets so they can be treated. Also make a logg of all of the fits they have, how often, at what time and how long for, as it will help the vet to know what to do to help them.

Have a look at these products as they are some nice toys which you bunny may like: