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If you have a rabbit, you probably know that they are not always the best communicators. They always seem to behave normally, which makes it tough to tell if your bunny has pain! Since rabbits are prey animals, it’s in their best interests not to make a big scene when they are not feeling their best. Prey animals tend to hide pain (or other perceived signs of illness) as long as possible out of instinct. This protects them from predators but it can also make it tough to take care of them from an owner’s perspective. This is why you need to know what to look for when you have a bunny to care for. You need to know when your pet is not feeling well so that you do not miss the early signs of pain and can seek veterinary care.
Once you know what to look for you can detect some key signs of a bunny in pain with ease. . Being armed with these tools can help you to spot signs of health problems before your rabbit needs emergency medical care.
Signs to Look Out For
Bunnies can be in pain for many reasons, such as infection, injury, diet related issues or even tumors. You might not know why your rabbit is in pain, but the vet can help you to diagnose and verify what is going on so that you can make sure your bunny gets back to feeling its best.
You will need to be careful when you handle a rabbit that is in pain so that they do not nip at you or try to run away and hide. Moving slowly and being careful where you place your hands can make a big impact on your ability to handle a rabbit that might be suffering from a painful condition.
1. Grinding Teeth
Rabbits often grind their teeth when they are in pain. This is something that can be a little bit less obvious than other symptoms If your bunny looks like it is chewing when it has not picked up anything to eat, this can be a sign that something is causing them pain. Tooth grinding can also be linked with other issues, such as anxiety.
2. Rapid or Shallow Breathing
If your rabbit’s sides seem to be heaving or they are panting, they might be in pain. This can be more common with severe injury and in instances where something severe like internal bleeding or respiratory disease is present. This can be a sign that something is very wrong, and you should take your rabbit to a veterinarian right away.
3. Hunched Posture
Hunched posture is a common symptom in rabbits that are in pain. Rabbits that are hunched and uncomfortable looking might also be unwilling to move or might sit in a corner without eating or drinking. The hunched posture symptom can be linked with injury, but it can also be related to internal pain from a variety of different possible causes.
4. Decreased Energy or Lack of Grooming
Animals with ongoing pain problems commonly will be off their food and might not move around much. They might also stop grooming and appear to be disinterested in their surroundings. This kind of general malaise is really common in rabbits that are in pain. If your rabbit seems to be very still and quiet and has stopped interacting with other rabbits in their habitat or with you, they might be in pain.
5. Bulding or Staring Eyes
Rabbits usually look around them with bright and intensely curious eyes. If your rabbit’s eyes look dull, unfocused, or they seem to be bulging, your rabbit is probably in pain. You will need to look closely at your rabbit in some cases to spot this symptom, but it can be a key sign that there is something very wrong with your rabbit’s health.
6. Posture Changes
When there is pain connected with a more serious problem, some rabbits will press their bodies toward the ground and make their necks as long as possible. They might also lie on their chest and pant (breathe rapidly). You will need to look for abdominal breathing that does not move the chest as well, which looks more like panting in these positions. This can be a sign that your bunny is in severe pain and that they might also be dehydrated.
VEG is Here if Your Bunny is in Pain
The more attentive you are to the actions of your rabbit, the more likely you will notice when they are in pain. Rabbits are prey animals, and they will try to hide their suffering from other animals out of safety. You might need to observe your rabbit carefully for a while if you think that something is not right. Being sure that you can recognize the warning signs of pain in your bunny can help to prevent long-term or avoidable health issues.
Bunnies that are in pain need to see the vet for a diagnosis. It is hard to be sure why your rabbit is in pain without the assistance of a vet. Make sure that you have a small animal or exotic vet in your area who can see your rabbit for routine care and when they are not well. Not every vet will work on small animals like rabbits as it requires a different kind of expertise to care for them. . Knowing where to take your bunny for care is just as important as knowing when they need help.
VEG has a large number of locations nationwide, and we are dedicated to providing high quality emergency care to every pet that comes through our door. All of our locations are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including on weekends and holidays. We will be there every step of the way if your bunny is in pain, and we’ll help get to the bottom of what’s causing the pain to be able to provide the best treatment options.