Summer care for yourrabbits
by US House Rabbit Society – www.rabbit.org It is very important tokeep an eye on yourrabbit during thesummer months.Rabbits do not tolerateheat well and can diefrom being overheated.Each rabbit will tolerateheat differently and it isimportant to observeyour rabbit daily.
How do I keep my rabbit cool?
Make sure bunny is out of the sun. If they are confinedto a cage or small room for part of the day, be sure thatthere is plenty of shady space for the bunny to rest.
Set up a circulating fan that will breeze past your rabbitwithout blowing directly on him all day. You can alsodrape a damp towel over part of the cage so the fan willblow through the towel and create cooler air. Be sure tobunny-proof the fan cord!
Place a ceramic tile or marble square in the cage or inbun's favorite place. The marble or tile stays cool forthem to lie on.
Place a few ice cubes in their water crock so the wateris tempting and they can also lie against the cool crock.
Mist the rabbit's ears. Rabbits dissipate heat throughtheir ears and misting them will help keep the rabbitcool.
Brush out excessive fur. Who wants to wear an extrafur coat in the summer? If you have a long hairedrabbit, consider cropping your bunny's coat short forthe summer months.
Fill 1 or 2 liter soda bottles with water and freeze them.Once frozen, put the frozen water bottle in Bun's cageso he can lean against it to keep cool. Keep a few ofthese on hand in your freezer.
Be sure Bun is getting his fair share of veggies to helpkeep him hydrated.
Be especially watchful of rabbits over 5 years old orones who are overweight or incapacitated. Theserabbits tend to be more sedentary and may not get upto drink water if they are too hot. This can quickly leadto dehydration which can lead to death or other healthproblems.
What do I do if my rabbit experiences heatstroke?
DO NOT submerge him in cold water. This could place therabbit in shock.Dampen his ears and body with cool water.GET HIM TO YOUR VETERINARIAN OR EMERGENCYCLINIC IMMEDIATELY. DO NOT WAIT!
What other concerns arise in warmweather?
Fly StrikeAs the weather warms, flies can strike and kill a healthyanimal who has temporary loose stools, but at particularrisk are aging, disabled, long-haired or overweight rabbitswho are not able to clean themselves.Within 24 hours, rabbits can enter a terminal state of shockdue to maggot infestation. Moisture, warmth, and odorattract flies.If open sores are present, or if thick fur is dampened withurine or feces, flies will head toward these warm incubationareas to lay their eggs.The chances are greater if the rabbit is outside, but it onlytakes one fly indoors to do the damage.Maintaining a watchful eye, keeping your bunny dry and (ifneeded) short-even-shaved are the most criticalpreventative steps.
What do I do if my rabbit experiences flystrike?
Don’t try & remove the maggots yourself.GET HIM TO YOUR VETERINARIAN OR EMERGENCYCLINIC IMMEDIATELY. DO NOT WAIT!
Bring your bunny indoors on hot days.If you are hot outside, so are they!