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Rabbits: Healthy rabbit check list

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Summertime, usually a slower time of year for shows, now is a good time to look at your routine for checking the overall health of your rabbits; now is the time to make any changes that may help you become more successful for the up-coming show season.

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Set up a routine, that fits your schedule, to go through this check list on each rabbit. Early detection is important to catch and cure any ailment your rabbit may develop; this is also a great way to involve everyone in the family, and for each member to become, familiar with every rabbit in your herd.

  • Overall Look - Rabbits usually sit hunched up and act lethargic when they are not feeling well. Does your rabbit act or look sick? If your rabbit is exhibiting behavior that is not normal for them then there is, most likely, a problem that needs further attention.

  • Feel Hold, or at least run your hand over, your rabbit every day. Feel for signs of weight loss; check them over good looking for any signs of lumps or injury.

  • Droppings -Their droppings should be dry and hard except for the night droppings. Check for Diarrhea, mucous, blood, and worms in the stool.

  • Body - Check from head to toes.

  • Nose - should be clean, with no discharge.

  • Ears - check for mites or injury, if ears are dirty clean them with a Q-tip dipped in a little cooking oil or baby oil.

  • Eyes - should be bright and clear; no discharge.

  • Teeth - check for brakes, chips and abscesses. Check to make sure teeth are aligned properly (top over bottom).

  • Fur - should be healthy feeling and shiny. Look for hair loss caused by fur mites. It is normal for rabbits to go through a molt, periodically; loosing old hair and growing new.

  • Legs - check for injury; check bottoms pads for signs of open sores.

  • Nails - Check length and clip if necessary; look for injury.

  • Genitals - look for redness, swelling or signs of infection.

  • Belly - Check for abscesses, lumps, or swollen mammary glands.

If any of these steps do find evidence that there is a problem you should take corrective action and/or contact your veterinarian.

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