We share advice on caring for your rabbit during summer.
Keep An Eye Our For Signs Of Heat Stroke
- Rapid breathing or panting, open mouthed breathing
- Trembling or shaking
- Laying stretched out
- Acting confused
- Collapse or convulsions.
How Can I Keep My Bunny Cool?
Caring for your rabbit during summer is important. Ensure that there are plenty of shady areas. Move the hutch out of the sun and if they have a run, ensure that there are also plenty of shady areas. Move the hutch or run around if necessary.
- If you have house rabbits you could set up a fan to circulate cool air by them. Ensure this is not directly on them so they don’t get too cold and that the electric cable is kept away from them.
- Place a ceramic/marble tile in their hutch or run for them to lie on. Make sure this is kept out of the sun or it will heat up, or fill a water bottle up and freeze it, then wrap in a towel so they can lie next to it.
- Place some ice cubes in their water to keep it cool for longer
- Increase the amount of grooming they get to remove excessive fur.
- Spray their ears with a little water to help cool them.
Be Aware Of Flystrike
Flystrike is another problem common in the summer months and can be deadly if not caught early enough.
Certain flies become attracted to rabbits (usually around their bottoms), especially if soiled with urine or faeces. They will then lay eggs which within 24 hours can hatch into maggots. These maggots will then eat into the rabbits skin and release toxins and will soon make your rabbit very poorly.
What Are The Signs Of Flystrike?
- No eating/drinking
- Irritation especially round their back end
- Strong smell coming from them.
Are Any Particular Rabbits More Susceptible To Flystrike?
Yes, rabbits with bladder problems (where urine dribbles out) and those with conditions that prevent rabbits grooming i.e. obesity, dental disease, arthritis, dirty living conditions. All these will attract the flies and make Flystrike more of a risk.
How Can I Prevent Flystrike?
- Check your rabbits multiple times through the day to ensure they are clean and dry
- Keep their hutches cleaned out every day
- Keep them on a balanced diet to prevent loose faeces
- Netting could be put in front of the hutch to reduce the amount of flies
- Preventative treatments such as ‘Rearguard’ can be applied. Although they will not repel the flies, they will prevent the maggots developing. One application will last for 10 weeks.
Is it also important to ensure that your rabbit’s vaccinations are all up to date both for Myxomatosis and Viral Haemorrhagic Disease 1and 2.