Rabbit Behavioral Problems: Digging

Introduction

A rabbit habit that can quickly become a problem is digging. Rabbits that are kept indoors still have the instinct to dig, even if that means tearing up the carpet. Owners can take a few simple steps to prevent rabbits from damaging the flooring of a home.

rabbit and boy 3

Predisposing Factors

In the wild, rabbits create dens by excavating dirt and rocks. This behavior is based on the fact that rabbits are trying to provide shelter for themselves. Domestic rabbits still …

Rabbit Behavioral Problems: Chewing

Introduction

Like wild rabbits, domestic rabbits have the tendency to chew on objects. Rabbits that are kept indoors will chew on anything from carpet to wooden table legs. Owners must take care to rabbit-proof their home to prevent a rabbit’s normal behavior from becoming a major problem.

rabbit brown lop

Predisposing Factors

Chewing is a natural rabbit behavior. In the wild, rabbits regularly chew on different plant materials that range from abrasive to soft. Rabbits’ teeth grow continuously throughout their lives and must …

Rabbit Behavioral Problems: Barbering

rabbit ear tattoo2

Introduction

Grooming is a normal aspect of rabbit behavior, but occasionally rabbits may develop unwanted grooming habits. Barbering is a form of grooming in which a rabbit repeatedly plucks the hair off itself or another rabbit. Barbering may be caused by several factors, ranging from dominance issues to nutritional deficiencies. Barbering can escalate to the point where rabbits that are housed together may need to be separated.

Predisposing Factors

Barbering can be caused by a variety of factors:

  • Pregnant females

Head Tilt (Wry Neck) in Rabbits

Introduction

Some rabbits develop a condition that causes their heads to tilt to one side. This condition is also referred to as wry neck, or torticollis. Head tilt can be caused by a variety of factors. One of the most common causes of wry neck is inner ear disease caused by a parasitic or bacterial infection.

rabbit with boy

Causes

Ear mites are common external parasites of rabbits that irritate the lining of the ear and cause watery discharge. This discharge eventually …

Gastrointestinal Stasis in Rabbits

Gastrointestinal (GI) stasis is the term for lack of movement through the digestive or gastrointestinal tract of a rabbit. This disease is often difficult to recognize and treat. It can commonly occur in rabbits that are stressed or have sudden changes to their environment or diet. If not recognized, rabbits may quickly enter into a downward spiral and may die if untreated.

rabbit eating

Gastrointestinal stasis occurs when movement in the digestive system slows down. It decreases the appetite of the animal …

Rabbit Behavioral Problems: Introduction

A rabbit needs to express normal species-specific behaviors regardless of the environment it is kept in. Rabbits are prey animals and naturally live in social groups. Because rabbits are prey animals, they tend to be on alert for danger at all times. They may hide or mask signs of illness so as not to draw the attention of predators. In social groups, rabbits regularly participate in a variety of different activities. One example is the excavation of burrows to alleviate …

Housing for Indoor Rabbits

Introduction

Finding the correct cage is one of the most important factors of rabbit ownership. Providing your rabbit with a comfortable living space will help ensure a positive attitude in your rabbit.

Rabbits that are kept indoors need a familiar place that functions similar to a burrow. An indoor cage should be a place to rest and relax. Cages allow the rabbit to be unsupervised. When rabbits are allowed to roam freely around a house, they should be supervised at …

Urinary Tract Diseases in Rabbits: Urinary Tract Infections

Introduction

One of the most common urinary tract ailments is a urinary tract infection, also called cystitis. Cystitis is characterized by the inflammation of the urinary bladder caused by a buildup of bacteria. Most rabbits with this condition will have discomfort while urinating. Regular observation of your rabbit’s elimination behavior and proper husbandry will help prevent the development of an infection.

rabbit brown and white

Causes

Some rabbits have abnormal urinary tract structures that can predispose the animal to infections. Abnormal structural change can …

Urinary Tract Diseases in Rabbits: Kidney Disease

Introduction

Kidney disease is a condition also referred to as renal disease that occurs in rabbits. Renal disease is characterized by the inability of the kidneys to maintain normal function. Kidney failure is normally a result of poor husbandry and a diet high in calcium. Other causes such as severe trauma and stroke may lead to acute development of the disease.

rabbit at fair

Causes

Older rabbits are particularly prone to this condition; however, younger rabbits can also develop the disease. Often symptoms …

Urinary Tract Diseases in Rabbits: Introduction

The urinary system of a rabbit includes the kidneys and bladder and is responsible for removing waste from the body. Because of this function, it can also be referred to as the excretory system. The kidneys are responsible for maintaining acid/base balance, adjusting electrolytes, and altering urine metabolite concentrations. The urine produced in the kidneys travels to the bladder through two muscular tubes called ureters. The urine is then stored in the bladder until it is excreted out of the …