torsdag den 30. januar 2014

Giving your Rabbit a Health Check

Every 1-2 weeks I do a full health check on both Aiko and Raion, and I truly recommend every rabbit owner to do the same. By doing so, you have a better opportunity to catch any disaeses before they become too serious, and that might end up saving your rabbit's life.

A great thing to remember while checking your rabbit, is that you need to keep an eye out for anything that's unusual. Also remember that I am NOT a vet, and if one small thing has changed since your last check, that doesn't necessarily mean that something is wrong.
If you think something might be wrong with your rabbit, then get your vet to take a look!
Here's what I do:

Are the ears nice and clean? Are they dry as they're supposed to be? Any sores og bumbs?

Eyes:Are the eyes clear, clean and completely free of any discharge? If the eyes are running, that could be a sign that something might be wrong, so make sure to check the fur around the eyes, to see if it's wet or anything like that. Also check if there's any colour changes in the eye.

Anything unusual here? A rabbits nose should be clean and dry at all times (some rabbits get wet noses after drinking from a bowl, which obviously is not dangerous, but I still recommend to keep an eye out!), and also check for any injuries.

Is the mouth nice and clean? Some rabbits are messy eaters, but they should be able to clean themselves pretty quikly again after eating, so if your rabbit often seems dirty around the mouth, you should probably see a vet! Also remember to check the teeth. You can only check the front teeth on your own. Check if the teeth are too long and if anything has changed since you checked them the last time. Raion once broke a small piece off, of her upper teeth. I took her to the vet but luckily it wasn't serious and she wasn't in any pain. Rabbit teeth grow all the time and they were quikly back to normal.

When checking the feet, I always start with their toes. Are they nice and straight? Is the nails too long?
How about the rest of their feet? Are they covered with fur? A lot of rabbits lose the fur on their hocks if they have hard og rough bedding. It's ok if they loose the fur, but then you need to keep an extra eye on their hocks! If the hocks have a light pink colour then it's ok, but if it gets red and irritated, then you need to see a vet. Sore hocks is a very serious and painful condition that needs treatment. Many rabbit owners treat sore hocks themselves if it isn't too bad, but if you don't know what you're doing then ALWAYS contack your vet!

How does the fur an skin look? Any small animals? Is it more dry than usual? Any unusual lumps? How about any bald spots? You should also check for sores and bruises. 

Are they clean and dry? Anything unusal at all? Are they bruised, swollen or anything like that? Also check the scentglands to see if they need to be cleaned. So far I haven't needed to clean the scentglads on Aiko and Raion, but I always check them out just to be on the safe side.

Is (s)he breating normally? Struggling in any way? Listen for any sounds that isn't usually there.

Weight:Keep an eye on your rabbits weigth! If your rabbit is ill in any way, it will most likely show on their weight. If your rabbit suddenly starts loosing weight, then something is probably wrong. I personally keep a weight diary for the girls, just to make sure that I check any differences. It can also come in very handy for your vet if something is wrong.

Other than all of these things, I have a yearly vet check-up on both of them.

I also want to remind everyone that if you notice any changes in your rabbits behavior, you should probably be keeping an extra eye on her/him. The same goes for any changes in their pee or poops and their eating habits.
I hope you found this useful!

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