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Rabbits

 

What behaviors should we consider for rabbits?
Rabbits are prey animals and have a flight response. Therefore move quietly and slowly around them. Use caution as they can scratch and cause injury.


Cool Rabbit
Rabbit kept cool with frozen water bottle

What environmental conditions should we consider for rabbits?
Rabbits burrow, and prefer a dark, cool and quite environment, away from predators. To help keep rabbits cool provide them with a frozen water bottle. Make sure rabbits have clean fresh water and food and a clean environment, free of ammonia.

comfortable rabbit
Rabbit with fresh food and water

What is the proper way to hold or restrain a rabbit?
Hold the rabbit’s head under your arm and support the rabbit’s body weight on your arm. When turning a rabbit over, place your right hand on the rump and with your left hand, place your thumb under the jaw and wrap your fingers behind the ears. Gently roll the rabbit over, restrain the rabbits head as this usually keeps the rabbit immobile. Do not hold the rabbit by the ears.

burrow the bunny in your arm
Rabbit restraint

What should we look for to identify a sick rabbit?
Observe the rabbit in the cage looking for panting suggestive of heat stress.  Check the head for nasal or eye discharge.  Check the ears and part the fur looking for external parasites and fungus. Run your hand over the body feeling for lumps or abscesses.  Check the hind end for diarrhea. Change your gloves or wash your hands before moving onto another group of commingled animals.

Part the rabbit hair
Part the fur looking for abnormalities