Signs of Illness in Rabbits

Have you recently brought a rabbit home? Congratulations on getting such a cute new pet! Bunnies are truly lovable animals, and make wonderful pets. Just like any other pet, they need a proper diet, a suitable cage, stimulation, attention, and health care. Part of being a responsible pet owner is monitoring your furry friend’s health, and consulting your vet as needed. With rabbits, it can be difficult to tell if they are sick, because they often try to hide any signs of illness. In this article, your veterinarian Poway gives some tips below on things that may indicate illness in rabbits:

Grinding Teeth

Bunnies always need to chew, but they should generally only be doing this when they actually have something in their mouths. If you can hear Bunny grinding her teeth, she might be in pain. That said, some rabbits will grind their teeth lightly when you are petting them. Getting to know your rabbit will help you distinguish between your bunny’s happy behavior and things that are out of the ordinary.


Healthy bunnies don’t usually drool, so if your bunny has a wet chin, she could be having dental problems. Tooth infections can become quite serious in rabbits, so you’ll need to check with your vet if you suspect your rabbit may have dental problems.


Bunnies use their ears to regulate their body temperature. If your bunny seems to be acting a bit off, check to see if her ears feel hot or cold. If her ears feel hot, she may be feverish. If they are cold, her body temperature may be too low.

Head Tilt

Normally, bunnies hold their heads pretty straight, so if your little buddy seems to be holding hers at an angle, something could be wrong. One reason bunnies sometimes tilt their heads is an infection of the inner ear.

Loss of Appetite

Generally, rabbits have pretty healthy appetites, so if yours doesn’t seem interested in her food, there could be something wrong.


Healthy, happy bunnies should be alert and fairly active. If your bunny seems to lack energy, appears listless, or has no interest in chewing, playing, or exploring, she could be ill.

Some other possible signs of illness in rabbits include changes in stools or urine, runny nose or eyes, poor grooming, wheezing, coughing, loss of fur, and aggression. As your vet clinic Poway, we are here to help. Please contact us if your rabbit displays any of these symptoms, and click here to read more pet care articles.

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