Prevention and treatment of 06 most common diseases in rabbits

Rabbits have some common diseases that are preventable, and if you know what the signs of a healthy rabbit are and what are the warning signs that your rabbit is at risk, this article will guide you in spotting those signs.

06 most common diseases in rabbits

  1. Too-long teeth
  2. Sepsis (snuff)
  3. Intestinal obstruction (hairball)
  4. Uterine tumors
  5. Myxomatosis
  6. Calicivirus disease (rabbit hemorrhagic virus)
Prevention and treatment of 06 most common diseases in rabbits

1. Rabbit teeth grow too long

Rabbits’ teeth grow continuously throughout their lives, and if rabbits don’t grind their teeth regularly to eat fiber, rabbits’ molars can develop sharp spikes that damage their cheeks and tongues. This can cause pain and make it difficult or impossible for the rabbit to eat.

In severe cases, the front teeth at the front of the mouth can curl, which means the rabbit cannot shut up or eat. Once rabbits stop eating, their digestive system stops working and they die.

How to prevent?

To prevent your rabbit’s teeth from growing too long, you need to use 80-90% of your rabbit’s diet for fiber in the form of oats or hay. The rest of the diet should be green with little or no pellets and other foods.

How to Treat Rabbits for Excessive Teething

General anesthesia and tooth extraction are the only treatments that can correct overgrown teeth.

2. Sepsis (snuff)

Causes and signs of disease

Close contact with sick rabbits can easily transmit Pasteurella multocida to rabbits. Bacteria can affect eyes (discharge, redness, strabismus) and/or nose (sneezes, discharge). Pasteurella can also infect other parts of the body, including ears (causing the head to tilt), abscesses (called body lumps), and uterine infections.

Prevention of autologous bacterial disease in rabbits

Some bacterial strains remain dormant in a rabbit’s nasal passages until the immune system is under stress, such as when a new diet or pet is introduced, or if a certain condition arises. Reducing the stress of sick rabbits and isolating new rabbits is a great way to prevent disease entry or recurrence of symptoms.

How to handle a rabbit autopsy?

Treatment for this disease requires antibiotics and sometimes surgery if an abscess forms.

3. Trichobezoars or intestinal obstruction

Causes and Signs

When rabbits groom, they often find hair in their stomachs. However, since rabbits cannot vomit, the fur must be able to pass through the intestines. But if the rabbit’s fur is not removed, blockages and serious complications can develop. Balloons are so common that they should be considered a problem for any rabbit that is lethargic and refuses to eat.


If there is a problem with the digestive tract (intestinal obstruction) or if they are not getting enough fiber in their diet, the rabbit’s hairballs are more likely to be a problem, so a high-fiber diet is important. A good precaution.


Surgery is the only treatment if hairballs are causing intestinal blockage.

Rabbit common diseases

4. Uterine tumors

Causes and Signs

Whole female rabbits can develop a type of cancer called uterine adenocarcinoma, which should be suspected whenever an untested female rabbit becomes ill. Some of the more common clinical symptoms include bloody vaginal discharge, aggressive behavior, breast cysts, and coma.


Offer early refreshments when your child is 4-6 months old.


Taken out before the cancer has spread throughout the body.


5. Myxomatosis

Causes and Signs

Myxomatosis is a virus that is spread by mosquitoes, fleas, or close contact between infected and susceptible rabbits. It is identified by swelling and discharge in the eye, nose and anal area.


Unfortunately, there is no vaccine. The best precaution is to invest in a mosquito-proof rabbit cage or bring your rabbit indoors when the nose is most likely early morning and dusk. Control fleas and, when introducing new rabbits, isolate them for at least 2 weeks.


The disease is always fatal.

6. Rabbit hemorrhagic virus (formerly known as rabbit calicivirus)

Causes and Signs

Rabbit hemorrhagic fever virus (formerly known as rabbit calicivirus) is transmitted by mosquitoes, flies, and/or through indirect or direct contact with sick rabbits.

There are four RHDV strains (RHDV1, RHDVa, RHDV2 and RHDV1 K5). Rabbit bacteremia virus (RHDV) 1 K5 will be released nationwide in the first week of March 2017. The virus was released in Europe as a biological control agent for hare management.

In most adult rabbits, disease progresses rapidly from fever and coma to sudden death within 48-72 hours of infection. The incubation period for RHDV is one to three days. Most rabbits will not show outward signs of RHDV.

Clinical symptoms include loss of appetite, restlessness, coma, and fever. The disease causes acute liver damage with coagulation abnormalities. The disease can be fatal due to blocked blood supply to vital organs and/or internal bleeding. RHDV has a mortality rate of 70% to 90% in susceptible rabbits.


Vaccinate rabbits with RHDV1 and RHDV1 K5. But vaccination protects against RHDVa and RHDV2, while some rabbits do not.

Adult rabbits are vaccinated every 6 months. Adult rabbits past the expiry date or who have not been vaccinated before need to be vaccinated twice, one month apart. Kittens can be given monthly booster shots until they are 12 weeks old, and then every six months after that.

In addition to getting vaccinated, you should do the following:

Prevent direct and indirect contact between domestic rabbits and wild rabbits.

Avoid mowing and feeding if there is a risk of hare infection.

Wash hands with warm soapy water between contact with rabbits.

Good insect control is also important to help reduce the risk of calicivirus and myxomatosis entry. Insect control can include keeping insects in cages and keeping rabbits indoors.

Infected rabbits should be carefully isolated to minimize environmental contamination.


There is no cure for this disease.


Ok, I have covered 06 most common diseases in rabbits. Rabbits often experience small changes in behavior that can be clues to an ongoing disease process. If you notice any changes or are concerned about what your rabbit is doing, you should take them to the vet. The sooner a problem is identified, the better your rabbit’s chances of living a healthy life.

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