About animals

Rabbit diseases


It is beneficial for farmers to breed rabbits, because their meat is considered dietary, and skins are highly valued by tanners. Under favorable conditions, farming would be quite profitable if it were not for one “but” - rabbit disease. These animals get sick more often than others, and any health problem can take their lives in a matter of days. Having decided to start breeding rabbits, the farmer should get an idea of ​​what diseases are most often found in eared animals, by what signs it can be determined that the pet is not well.

What does a healthy rabbit look like

Breeding rabbits is not uncommon in our time. It is handled by both large farms for industrial purposes and small households for their own needs. And in certain circles, decorative animals are also popular. They have a pleasant appearance and a calm disposition, thanks to which they successfully replace pets.

A timely examination helps to identify pathology in a timely manner. It is carried out before mating, before and after okrolya and systematically as a preventive measure. This is especially true for a pregnant female and in the period after birth, rabbits, which are observed every day. After all, only a healthy individual is able to fully lactate and feed offspring.

The health of the fur-bearing animal affects its appearance. In the absence of a pathological condition, he can be given the following description:

  • shiny fur with thick undercoat,
  • the absence of opaque and abundant secretions on the mucous membranes,
  • breathing at a rate of about 60 times per minute,
  • measured heart rate 120-160 beats in 60 seconds,
  • body temperature between 38.5-39.5 ° C.

Such a rabbit has a normal appetite, he is vigorous and has a strong physique.

The main signs of a sick rabbit

Each pathology has its own characteristic symptoms, according to which it can be detected. They can occur some time after infection or not make themselves felt at all.

There are a number of common signs that express the soreness of the rabbit, among which:

  • depressed, lethargic appearance, inability to stand on one’s feet,
  • partial or complete paralysis,
  • lack of response to external stimuli,
  • diarrhea or constipation, palpable bloating,
  • troubled state, fright,
  • crumpled, dull, shedding wool,
  • seizure in separate parts or the whole body,
  • lack of appetite, excessive thirst,
  • rapid surface breathing,
  • a heartbeat of more than 150 beats per minute,
  • purulent discharge from the eyes, nose or vagina,
  • skin ulcers
  • the presence of fleas and lice,
  • blood impurities in urine and feces,
  • light liquid stool,
  • temperature readings above +39.5 ° C.

These and other manifestations will help to timely identify the disease and prevent infection of other animals in the herd.

Types of Rabbit Disease

Pathologies that are observed in rabbits are divided into three types:

  • Invasive are caused by parasites that enter the body or are found in the coat. Due to their reproduction, various tissues and organs are affected. This causes a deterioration in the health of individuals and a decrease in their number.
  • Infectious diseases pose the greatest danger to life. They develop when the body is infected with viruses, bacteria. Even after recovery, there is a risk of illness in other pets.
  • Non-infectious are not contagious, respectively, threats to surrounding rabbits are not carried. They arise due to improper nutrition, violation of the conditions of detention and temperature, injury.

Some pathologies, having the same manifestations, can be assigned to any of these categories. This refers to the common cold, in which the animal begins to sneeze, then a runny nose and a dried crust appear at the nose, redness of the eyeballs. The reasons for this are:

  • viruses and bacteria
  • allergy to dust, pungent odors, synthetics,
  • weak immunity, along with hypothermia.

You can also note peritonitis, in which the inner walls of the peritoneum become inflamed. According to the etiology, it can be caused by:

  • infections that are accompanied by swelling of the abdominal and chest cavity, fluid accumulations in them,
  • helminths with liver damage by cestode larvae,
  • non-infectious factors, including enzymes of the pancreas, accumulation of blood, bile, urine with ruptures of internal organs.

The external manifestations of peritonitis include lethargy and weakness of an individual, and an accurate diagnosis can be made after opening.

In addition, renal failure and the like are infectious and non-infectious.

Parasitic diseases

There are two types of parasites with which rabbits can become infected:

  • Helminths and simple organisms that enter the organs are referred to endoparasites.
  • Among ectoparasites are lice, fleas and ticks that parasitize in the woolen and subcutaneous layer.

With some of them, animals live to old age, infecting other individuals. They can be carriers all their lives, and outwardly this will not manifest itself. These include coccidia that cause coccidiosis.

Another simple organism is the spore-forming microsporidia Encephalitozoon cuniculi, which causes encephalozoonosis. She in some cases does not make itself felt, but in others it leads to poor health, crank and death of the individual.

Worms in the body provoke nematodosis, passalurosis, trematodosis, cysticercosis, fascioliasis. They occur in individuals that are contained in pits and enclosures with an earthen floor. Transmitted with water, food, through the skin.

The following drugs are used for therapy:

  • Tibenzene from nematodes in the calculation of 100-200 mg / kg once a day,
  • Gamavit is administered subcutaneously for the first couple of days,
  • Albendazole 2 times a day is taken on its own or is administered subcutaneously after Gamavit,
  • Levomizole in the form of injections and powder for oral administration,
  • Hexa-chloroethane 0.2 g / kg is given every other day three times.

The most common external parasites include fleas that live in the undercoat and become carriers of many serious diseases. Among their manifestations are redness of bite sites, the presence of larvae and dark grains of insect excrement.

For treatment can be used:

  • Shampoos Neguvon and Bolfo for weekly washing,
  • Advantage, Front Line are dropping at the withers every 2 months,
  • solution of 0.5% Brommocyclin for swimming.

If treatment is started prematurely, more serious measures will not be needed.

Diseases of non-viral etiology and treatment methods

Non-infectious pathologies arise for various reasons. Among them, injuries, bone fractures and other mechanical injuries are more common. They can cause inflammation of the tissues, vestibular syndrome and other complications.

With improper breeding of animals, the diseases shown in the table appear.

TitleFeaturesTreatment methods
Rhinitis, laryngitis and bronchitisInflammation of the nasal mucosa, larynx and bronchi with hypothermia, dusting of air and ammonia vapor, from which the animal begins to suffocate.Flushing the nose and mouth with potassium permanganate, furatsilinom, salicylic acid.
PneumoniaA complication of catarrhal processes, in which the lungs become inflamed, the temperature rises to 40-41 ° C, a cough with wheezing is observed.Injections of sulfa drugs, antibiotics.
Sun or heat strokeDuring the walk under the scorching sun or when kept in a cramped cage.Cool, cold compress on the head and ears, watering.
Frostbite of earsThey blush and swell, transparent blisters swell. At the last stage, tissue necrosis begins. Often possible in winter.Fat or camphor ointment on the affected areas and opened bubbles. Cut off the dead parts, grease with iodine and bandage.
ConjunctivitisInflammatory eye disease manifests itself when dirt, branches or stems of grass get in them. Tearing, redness of the eyelids and their clumping due to pus, molting on the face are noted.It can be treated with a solution of boric acid, 2-3% boric ointment. In the presence of pus, an iodoform cream is applied.
SubdermatitisMechanical damage to the legs with their swelling, bleeding, the formation of corns.Antiseptics are applied, in the presence of pus, Vishnevsky ointment or Levomekol.
Depletion, vitamin deficiency, ricketsImproper nutrition, lack of vitamin D, phosphorus, calcium and other substances.A balanced diet and increased servings of food.
PoisoningIt is accompanied by diarrhea, decreased appetite, thirst and severe salivation.Warm enema and milk instead of water.
Qatar intestinesSour with gray-brown feces and frequent bowel movements.Sintomycin, Tannin, Disulfan.
Alkaline with rare bowel movements and dark feces.Manganese solution, Salol.
Catarrhal.Biomycin, Penicillin, Furacilin.
FlatulenceAccompanied by the formation of gases and indigestion.Ichthyol solution 10%.
TympanyThe intestines swell due to the fermentation of legumes, hay, rotted waste.Enema, ichthyol 10% or lactic acid 3-5%.
Stomatitis, pharyngitisLip swelling, wet muzzle and lumpy hair on it, mouth ulcers with a white coating.Rinsing the mouth with 10% potassium permanganate, penicillin, vitriol, streptocide.
GoiterAn increase in the thyroid gland due to the use of a large amount of feed.Introduction to grain ration, nutrition balancing.
CystitisThe bladder becomes inflamed, pain is felt during urination.Cell heating, diet, increased drinking regimen. Taking antibiotics, Furosemide, Movalis, Sterofundin and other drugs.
KetosisMetabolic disorders due to obesity and lack of movement. It is more common in primiparous rabbits.The introduction of glucose.

In addition, tumors can be observed in animals, in particular wen. A violation of bleeding can lead to dropsy or strokes, which can cause death.

Infectious diseases

Rabbits can be infected with various infections, which are divided by type of pathogen:

  • bacterial
  • viral
  • fungal.

Some of them are transmitted to humans, so eating meat from an infected animal can be dangerous.

Each individual will carry the disease in different ways, so for treatment it is worth contacting a veterinarian. He prescribes antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, immunomodulating drugs.


Myxomatosis is one of the most infectious and dangerous pathologies that is transmitted through direct contact or through an insect bite. Among the specific signs are swelling and bumps on the body, muzzle, in the anal and genital organs.

A fatal outcome occurs within 7-10 days, and therapy is not provided. At the first signals, you need to contact the veterinary service, eliminate the infected and carry out disinfection. For preventive purposes, timely vaccination will help.


Pasteurellosis or hemorrhagic disease (HBV) is caused by pasteurella, which affects the lung tissue. It is characterized by blood poisoning, miscarriage in pregnant females. Depending on the form of development, death can occur both within a few hours with an ultra-acute pathology, and in a week. Only with a chronic course is a positive outcome possible.

For this, a 2% solution of oxytetracycline is introduced at a dosage of 1 ml per kilogram of live weight. Twice the use of biomycin with an interval of 10 hours, or the use of chloramphenicol.

Monovalent prophylactic vaccination is used on the 28th day of life, then revaccination once every six months.

Read more in the article about pasteurellosis.

Another rabbit scourge is coccidiosis (eimeriosis), due to which a whole livestock can die. It is provoked by the simplest parasitic organisms of coccidia, which are distributed in water, with mother's milk or through food.

It is caused by the growing of a large number of animals in close conditions, the wrong diet. In therapy, 2.5% Baykoks are used for collective drinking (1 ml per 1 liter of water), 5% Baykoks suspension (0.2 ml / kg body weight), Solikoks, iodine solution (100 g 0.01% per day).

Scabies can be of several types:

  • Aural mites provoke mites, which are localized in the shells and the area behind them. The animal combs its ears, they become hot, red and swollen. A large amount of sulfur is released in them, an unpleasant smell is noticeable. Therapy involves the introduction of pre-warmed oil preparations against ticks - Phenothiazine, Bentocide, Theophid, or a mixture of turpentine with vegetable oil.
  • Demodecosis - iron scabies caused by itching. It is transmitted through surrounding objects, especially young animals susceptible. The tick is located in the hair follicles, sweat and sebaceous glands in the area around the eyes, outside the ears and on the back of the head. In these places, scales form, thickening of the skin, its suppuration and death. They are lubricated with acaricidal agents.
  • Acarose - itchy scabies that occurs on the face, neck, stomach, legs. In the affected areas, sores, gray crusts, scabs are noticeable. Insects move in the inner layer of the skin, causing itching. To eliminate the use of neocidol 0.2%, bentocide, activated creolin, turpentine or birch tar.

Some of the diseases that the crawl can get are presented in the table.

RabiesIt affects the nervous system. Outwardly manifests itself in aggressiveness, the release of saliva and foam from the mouth.The euthanasia and burning of carcasses, since rabies is not treated. Only preventive vaccination is possible.
Candidiasis, or thrushThe causative agent is a fungus of the genus Candida. On the shells of the gastrointestinal tract and genitourinary tract appear cheesy formations.A solution of brilliant green, antimycotic substances.
ColibacillosisIt is caused by Escherichia coli and is characterized by indigestion.Biomycin or Levomycetin 25-30 mg / kg, Furazolidone or Furagin 30 mg, Synthomycin 0.2 g / kg.
Spirochetosis (treponemosis)It is noted in the external genitalia, rectum and on the adjacent skin of males and females.Injections of 6% Novarsenol or Neosalvarsan, bismuth salicylic acid, erythromycin for oral administration of 10 mg / kg.
Epizootic enteropathy, or intestinal paralysisPathogens - Clostridium venom and E. coli. There is an upset, bloating, jelly-like feces.Bacitracin is added to water, tilmicosin inside and for the prevention of tiamulin.
FibromatosisOncological proliferation of connective tissue and internal organs. Caused by a DNA virus.Not foreseen.
PyelonephritisBactericidal inflammation of the kidneys. Determined by chills, high temperature, symptoms of damage to the digestive system.Diet, a course of antibiotic, antispasmodic, painkillers, antipyretic, cardiac and diuretic medicines, herbal remedies.

Prevention and vaccination

In order not to lose the livestock of rabbits that are bred, it is worth taking care of preventive measures:

  • immediately after acquisition, keep individuals separate for at least 3 weeks,
  • regularly inspect livestock and measure key indicators,
  • observe the frequency of vaccination,
  • carry out the deposition of sick animals,
  • treat cells with a blowtorch, creolin, bleach,
  • scald equipment with boiling water, hot liquor, lysol, creolin,
  • ventilate the premises
  • clean feeders, drinking bowls several times a month,
  • protect against drafts, humidity and freezing,
  • eliminate rodents and insects,
  • to cover the slatted floor to eliminate waste and air circulation,
  • clean cells from waste and dirty particles,
  • to buy feed from areas safe in VGBK,
  • cover the roof with straw or branches, whiten to avoid overheating,
  • feed your pets in accordance with the norms.

For the purpose of disinsection from parasites and microbes, solutions of bleach, ash base or formaldehyde are used. Processing is carried out at least once a year, after each replenishment of the herd and upon detection of a sick individual.

Before vaccination, preventive measures are taken against coccidiosis with Baykoks or Solikoks, Dirofen Pasta is used for helminths. Then they are vaccinated for the following diseases:

  • From myxomatosis and HBV, animals are vaccinated at 1.5 months, with a booster dose of 6-9. Use Nobivak Myxo-RHD, Lapimun Gemiks, RABBIVAK-V.
  • Rabbits are vaccinated against pasteurellosis at 28, 35, 70 days, and then the Czech PASORIN-OL vaccine is administered twice a year.

Now vaccines are used that can protect the body at the same time from several pathologies. They are not intended to cure sick individuals, but as a preventive measure are introduced everywhere.

Types of diseases and their classification

All diseases of rabbits can conditionally be divided into 3 groups:

  • non-contagious
  • infectious (infectious)
  • invasive.

Non-communicable diseases include various pathologies of health that are not transmitted to other individuals, for example:

  • allergic reactions
  • violations of the digestive tract,
  • subdermatitis
  • animal overheating or frostbite,
  • injuries.

Infectious diseases pose a serious danger to the entire population: they quickly spread to healthy individuals and are able to destroy all animals on the farm in a short time. Such diseases are caused by viruses, fungi and bacteria. These include:

  • pasteurellosis
  • myxomatosis,
  • rabbit hemorrhagic disease,
  • rhinitis,
  • infectious stomatitis
  • ringworm.

Invasive diseases are also contagious, but they have a different origin. They are caused by parasites: worms, ticks, fleas. Coccidiosis also refers to invasive infectious diseases.

Common signs of malaise in rabbits

Determining that the rabbit is sick is not difficult. The main thing is to be attentive to the pet. The deterioration of the condition of the animal can be judged by the signs:

  1. Oppression. The animal does not play, often lies motionless in the corner of the cage.
  2. Tooth grinding.
  3. Loss of appetite.
  4. Discharge from the nose or eyes, sneezing.
  5. The coat is ugly, disheveled.
  6. The stomach is bloated.
  7. Diarrhea.
  8. The rabbit does not go to the toilet.
  9. Bumps on the body.
  10. Scarves on the wool.

Attention! Noticing at least 1 sign of malaise, it is worth measuring the temperature. The normal value in a rabbit is 39.5 degrees.

Gastrointestinal diseases

Digestive problems are a common problem for long-eared pets. Rabbits often suffer from flatulence or poisoning. Symptoms of the disease are:

Rabbit digestion problems

  • lack of feces,
  • rounded belly
  • lack of appetite,
  • depressed state
  • with poisoning, excessive salivation, nerve manifestations are possible: convulsions, tipping of the head, lack of reaction to various irritants.

Similar health problems arise if a rabbit eats wet grass, a poisonous plant, swallows its hair, as well as with a sharp change in diet or feeding the animal with prohibited foods.

Heat stroke and frostbite

Overheating and severe hypothermia can kill a rabbit. That is why these animals need to provide comfortable conditions. The temperature in the room where the eared horns should not rise above 27 degrees or fall below +8 degrees. Symptoms indicate heat stroke:

  • the animal lies on its side and often breathes,
  • mucous membranes are red and dry,
  • the nose is hot.

Attention! The cage where the pet lives should not be in direct sunlight, and the room should be ventilated if the weather is hot.

Hypothermia is especially dangerous for newborn rabbits. They are born without fur, completely naked. If the rabbit has not plucked down for the nest, the babies will die. Help is required from the farmer: you need to pinch the mother's fluff as quickly as possible and put the cubs in it.

Rabbits in a nest of down

Adults suffer from frostbite if they are in the cold for a long time. Signs of frostbite - swollen auricles, ulcerations on the skin, redness of the ears.

An allergic reaction in a rabbit can manifest as sneezing and a runny nose. Irritants can be chemicals, dust, mold. Signs of an allergy:

  • sneezing
  • runny nose (discharge is predominantly transparent),
  • tear,
  • redness of the mucous membranes, including genitals.

Allergy is dangerous, although not contagious, because the animal’s immune system suffers. The treatment is to eliminate the source of allergens. A sick animal is recommended to give antihistamines.


This disease is most often affected by weighty individuals with unrefined paws. An additional provoking factor in the development of pododermatitis is the content of the pet on the mesh floor.

  • foot baldness,
  • redness of the lower extremities,
  • cracks, ulcers, crusts on the legs.
  • the animal does not get up due to pain in the extremities or moves lying.

Attention! If you ignore the problem, infection will penetrate into the wounds, which threatens suppuration and blood poisoning.

For treatment, disinfectants and healing ointments are used. The grating floor in the cage should be covered with a sheet of chipboard or other smooth material and lay on it a plentiful litter.

Mechanical damage (injury)

If rabbits are cramped, there is a high risk of injury. Allowed cohabitation in one cage no more than 5-7 individuals. It is worth considering that males often fight for the right to own territory. They bite and injure each other with claws, cause other injuries: fractures, dislocations. Scratches and punctures of the skin are not always able to be detected on time due to thick coat. If an infection gets into the wound, the rabbit may form an abscess, which is dangerous for his life.

Attention! Having discovered abrasions and wounds, the animal should be put in a separate cage, and the lesion sites should be treated with iodine and ichthyol ointment.


The causative agent of the disease is Pasteurella wand. The disease manifests itself in the form of general depression, apathy, conjunctivitis symptoms appear, purulent exudate is released from the nose, body temperature rises to 41 degrees, digestive upset - diarrhea is observed. Such signs accompany the typical form of pasteurellosis.

An atypical form of the course is characterized by the appearance of abscesses in the head and back. In this case, the chances of survival are higher. Purulent cones are opened within a month and a half, then the rabbit recovers, but remains the carrier of Pasteurella. For the treatment of the atypical form of pasteurellosis, intramuscular antibiotics are used - Biomycin, Terramycin.

Rabbit hemorrhagic disease

This disease is also called fever and necrotic hepatitis; it is caused by a virus. The incubation period lasts from several hours to 5 days. Most often, the ailment proceeds rapidly, so it is impossible to notice alarming symptoms. Rabbits die, frantically twitching limbs. In some cases, the following symptoms of HBV are present:

  • oppression,
  • complete rejection of food and drink,
  • cramps
  • the animal squeals and groans,
  • blood comes out of the nose (before death).

Hemorrhagic disease treatment has not been developed. Vaccination helps prevent infection, it is carried out when rabbits are 45 days old.

Infectious rhinitis in rabbits develops against the background of a general weakening of the immune system. The source of infection is sick animals. For viral rhinitis, discharge from purulent contents is characteristic of the nasal passages. Scratches appear in the nose, because the animal is trying to remove crusts with its paws. The pet looks depressed, eats poorly.

Attention! If transparent mucus is secreted from a pet’s nose, it’s probably not an infectious rhinitis, but an allergic or catarrh.

Rhinitis is treated by instillation of the nasal passages with Furatsilin solution, inhalation, as well as antibiotics. Their use is necessary so that the infection does not spread to the lungs.

Infectious stomatitis

Mokrets, or infectious stomatitis, affects mainly young animals (individuals up to three months of age). Its symptoms are as follows:

  • wet face
  • the appearance of a plaque in the tongue - at first it is light, later it darkens,
  • the appearance of sores on the lips,
  • salivation,
  • hair loss in the chin area, inflammation,
  • the animal is oppressed, cannot eat due to pain.

Important! In advanced cases, infectious stomatitis leads to inflammation of the upper respiratory tract, so treatment should be started as soon as possible.

To improve the condition of the rabbit, the oral cavity is treated with Streptocide. To do this, crush half the tablet into powder and sprinkle the inflamed areas. A solution of copper sulfate or potassium permanganate is also used. While it is painful for rabbits to eat, you need to feed them soft or liquid foods.


This disease causes a fungus. It penetrates the skin and multiplies there. As a result, rounded pink spots with a darkened rim form on the skin of the animal. The hair in these places disappears, it looks as if it was cut short. The lesions strongly itch, peel, crusts form on them.

Skin diseases in rabbits caused by trichophytosis or other fungi are treated with antifungal ointments:

In addition, the antibiotic Griseofulvin is used, as well as keratolic shampoos. You can prevent the disease with the Wakderm vaccine.

Invasive diseases

These diseases are also contagious, but they are not caused by viruses, fungi or bacteria, but by parasites that can live both inside the body of the rabbit and on its skin. Let's consider them in order.

Coccidia, the causative agents of this disease, are the simplest unicellular microorganisms. They affect the intestines (intestinal form of the disease) or the liver (hepatic form). Intestinal coccidiosis is more severe, it has the following symptoms:

  • oppression,
  • exhaustion
  • bloating
  • diarrhea alternate with constipation.

With liver damage, these signs are less pronounced, but there is another symptom - yellowing of the mucous membrane of the eyes.

For the treatment of coccidiosis, the following drugs are used:

  • Bycox
  • Sulfadimethoxin,
  • Norsulfazole.

Reference. Also, for prevention and treatment, iodine diluted in a certain proportion with water is used.

Discussing the invasive diseases of rabbits, one cannot but mention worms. Infection with them is possible through food. The main symptoms of infection are:

  • loss of appetite,
  • exhaustion
  • violation of the digestive system - delayed stool or diarrhea,
  • bloating (observed with ascariasis).

There are many types of helminths, but in most cases, treatment is carried out using drugs based on Albendazole.

Scabies (psoroptosis)

Continuing to consider rabbit diseases, we will focus on psoroptosis, a contagious invasive disease. It causes the so-called scabies itch. It is introduced into the ears of the animal, reproduces there. The parasite feeds on the blood of the animal, gnawing passages in the skin. Because of this, the rabbit itches and combs its ears and head. Symptoms

  • redness, ulcers, crusts appear in the ear area,
  • bubbles with liquid contents form inside the auricle,
  • in severe cases, pus is released from the ear.

Psoriasis is treated with anti-itch pruritus sprays: Psoroptol, Dicresin. A good result is achieved after using the Ivermek vaccine.

Skin parasites include not only ticks, but also fleas. Do not ignore their appearance in pets, as they often carry dangerous diseases. Since fleas feed on the blood of animals, depletion occurs in infected individuals, and immunity decreases. It is easy to detect parasites: it is enough to carefully examine the pet's hair. If black grains, flea excrement are found in it, then there are insects themselves. In addition, the animal often scratches itself, tearing the skin in the area of ​​the auricles.

Flea rabbits

To treat fleas, special shampoos and drops at the withers are used. The anti-flea collar is not recommended for rabbits for continuous wear, but for walking it can be used starting from 4 months.

Attention! To prevent re-infection, the cage and equipment must be disinfected, and the litter should be burned.

The article did not mention diseases of decorative rabbits separately, since the same ailments affect pets. The owner of the animals should be careful about their health. Having noticed signs of malaise, you must immediately separate the sick individual from the healthy ones living in the neighborhood, and consult a veterinarian. Diseases of rabbits are developing rapidly, so you can not hesitate.