Domesticated rabbits are a popular choice when it comes to indoor pets, especially since they have odorless fur and can clean themselves to a certain extent. Taking good care of your rabbit involves allowing them to graze in an outside area, providing them a clean litter tray and keeping them entertained. It is also important for owners to beware of common issues and problems in rabbits and staying abreast of essential grooming basics so they can be alerted of any health and behavioral change and prevent serious illnesses from developing.
Clean Coat Is Crucial
Rabbits may have odorless fur but that quickly changes if its coat is not thoroughly and consistently cleaned. In order to ensure that the rabbit’s urine doesn’t make contact with its skin leading to incessant burning, you will be required to fully wash his rear area with a shampoo specifically intended for rabbit use. If the urine has dried, gently massage the area so that even the more persistent remnants disappear. Although urine spots are not an unusual occurrence on a rabbit’s coat, frequent spotting can be associated with an ailment and veterinary attention is the best way forward.
A Healthy Set of Teeth
Pet rabbits need a high fiber diet in the form of oaten or grass hay with leafy greens as a small addition so they can constantly grind their teeth down and prevent their molar teeth and incisors from growing too long or craving inwards. Your rabbit will have immense difficulty eating food if it’s not able to close its mouth due to overgrown teeth. Once it begins regularly refusing food, its gut will stop working leading to its premature death.
Keep Your Eye On The (Hair)Ball
Another potential gut issue your rabbit can face is hairball formation due to a lack of fiber in its diet. When rabbits are self-grooming, they are involuntary forming hairballs in their stomach which need to be passed out through their gut. If this fails to happen naturally your rabbit will begin showing signs of lethargy and lack of appetite. Visit a veterinarian who will advise you on the proper treatment to get its gut working or else schedule a surgery to remove the hairball blocking the gut.
Watch Out for Ear Mites
If you see your rabbit constantly shaking its head, scratching its ears or find loss of hair and a thick, beige fluid around its ears, it’s most likely got ear mites. Although it is a common parasitic problem, if ear mites are left untreated, the lesions can become infected, causing severe irritation of the ear canal lining and can lead to loss of balance and eventually hearing. Regular ear cleaning, however, can alert you of any scaly, peeling skin around the ear and prevent this common problem from occurring in the first place.
Rabbits, just like any other pets, require adequate housing and diet in addition to a fair amount of love, care and attention. Every owner is responsible for keeping their rabbit healthy and happy and this includes ensuring their rabbit’s fur is parasite-free, teeth are spike-free, ears are crusty-free and gut is hairball-free.