What diseases can rabbits have?

Diseases of rabbits arise regardless of breed, conditions, age. Most cases of rabbit disease occur due to the fact that animals lose immunity, and this weakens their natural defense and resistance to bacteria and viruses.

Varieties of diseases in rabbits

All those involved in rabbit breeding are simply obliged to understand pet diseases in order to recognize alarming symptoms in time and begin treatment of rabbit diseases. We will talk about what symptoms and treatment can be, why rabbits get sick and how dangerous rabbit diseases are.

Symptoms of rabbit disease

It is possible to suspect that something is wrong with the pet by the presence of certain signs and symptoms. This is typical for infectious diseases of rabbits, and for viral. The danger is that the symptoms do not appear immediately: precious time can be lost and treatment is not started on time. It is important to understand how to treat rabbits.

There is a list of generally accepted symptoms that should alert and cause a call to the veterinarian. Among them:

  • Diarrhea (loose and frequent stools) or constipation.
  • Frequent urination (this indicates that he has kidney problems, such as cystitis).
  • Shiver.
  • White uncharacteristic discharge from the eyes or nose (may indicate a common cold).
  • Unusual, too active or passive behavior.
  • Unquenchable thirst.
  • Intermittent and heavy breathing (this may indicate the development of encephalozoonosis or tympanum - the most severe pathology of the heart).
  • Cough or hoarseness.
  • The appearance of sores, rashes or wounds on the skin.
  • Change in the quality of the coat (it becomes rare and dull).
  • Signs of the presence of parasites.

A list of rabbit disease symptoms

Even one of the above signs can be a bell that the rabbit suffers from a dangerous disease that threatens the entire livestock. It is necessary to carefully monitor the slightest deviations in the behavior and well-being of the animal in order to take measures in time.

First of all, the animal is placed in a separate cage or aviary, after which the veterinarian is invited for consultation. He will choose the right treatment and prescribe the right dosage of drugs. It is recommended not to self-medicate, since it is extremely difficult to make the right diagnosis on your own at home and choose the right dose of medication.

Rabbit disease groups

There is a generally accepted differentiation of rabbit diseases. Usually they are divided into 3 groups:

  • Diseases caused by infection (mycoplasmosis, listeriosis, myxomatosis and so on).
  • Noncommunicable diseases (non-communicable).
  • Parasitic lesions.

The first group is the largest. There are infectious diseases of rabbits that cannot be treated either at home or in the clinic. Such animals are slaughtered, and their corpses are disposed of.

There are diseases that can be transmitted to humans, so it is important to follow all necessary precautions. Even if the rabbit received the necessary treatment and no longer shows any painful signs, this does not mean that he is not a carrier of the virus.

The second group combines the diseases that arise, because the owners of the pussies neglect the conditions of detention and basic care. The plus is that such diseases are not dangerous for other animals and are not contagious. Breeders associate the presence of noncommunicable diseases with the fact that rabbits are quite picky animals, especially if they belong to ornamental breeds.

The third group includes diseases caused by parasites. Such ailments are also called invasive. On rabbits, protozoa, helminths and some insects can parasitize, and both the skin and internal organs can be affected.

Infectious Disease Group

Infectious diseases are considered the most dangerous, as they develop quickly and rapidly affect the rabbit's body. In many cases, the success of recovery depends on whether the owner was able to understand in time that something was wrong with the pet, whether the treatment was timely. We will talk about the most common ailments and describe their symptoms.


Listeriosis is a disease that relates to infectious diseases, while the rabbit's liver is affected. Not only an animal can become ill, but also a person caring for him. The direct causative agent is Listeria, which can survive for quite a long time in the natural environment: on leaves, grass, earth or water. The most susceptible rabbit infections that are in position. Often in parallel with listeriosis, rabbits develop rabbit mastitis, endometritis, and other genital ailments.

Symptoms may not appear within a month, the incubation period is so long. However, after this there is a sudden paralysis of the hind legs of the rabbits, as well as trembling and cramps throughout the body. Unfortunately, at the moment there is no cure for listeriosis, so in most cases the animal dies itself or is killed, so as not to prolong its flour. This is also necessary in order to minimize the risk of infection of other animals and people in contact with a sick individual.

There are several forms of the course of listeriosis: acute, super-acute and chronic. If in an acute course there is still a chance to cure a rabbit, albeit a miserable one, then in an over-acute stage, there is no chance at all. The chronic stage is another matter: in this case, the female has a chance of cure, although the rabbit cannot be saved from a deadly disease. However, you can no longer use such a female for breeding, since there is a high probability of cannibalism or the birth of the dead rabbits.


Myxomatosis is another dangerous infectious disease in rabbits. Outbreaks of the disease usually occur in the summer. Blood-sucking insects (mosquitoes, mosquitoes, gadflies, etc.) carry it, and not only rabbits and other domestic animals can get sick, but also those that live in the natural environment. These facts affect the fact that myxomatosis spreads extremely quickly and rapidly. The positive point is that it is still possible to defeat the disease, despite its insidiousness.

The incubation period usually lasts about 2 weeks and up to a month, after which the first symptoms appear. If cones, tumors or balls appear that are swollen and filled with fluid on the rabbit's body, they become noticeable, which is a swollen form that cannot be defeated. If the body has developed many small nodules, and not abscesses, then a quick treatment is likely to help and be effective.

Rabbit Infectious Diseases

What other symptoms indicate myxomatosis in rabbits:

  • increase in body temperature to 42-43 ° C;
  • a change in the nature of breathing;
  • pus secreted from the nose and eyeballs;
  • general weakness and muscle atony;
  • swelling;
  • the presence of nodules of fibrous tissue.

If you suspect the presence of myxomatosis in animals, do not postpone the visit to the veterinarian, because treatment should be started immediately. It is advisable to do this as quickly as possible. After slaughter, the meat of rabbits with myxomatosis during life cannot be eaten. It is recommended to timely vaccinate against myxomatosis and give a complex of vitamins, for example, citrovin, to rabbits: this will develop immunity to the pathogen and prevent infection.

Hemorrhagic disease

Viral hemorrhagic disease of rabbits can be put in first place, based on danger and treachery. The fact is that, having become ill once, even after the entire population of rabbits has been destroyed and disposed of, it is likely that the virus will survive and cause damage to new individuals. Even the well-known chloroform and methylene are not able to destroy the virus, which is in the room or in the natural environment. To get a little rabbit, 1 minimum contact is enough.

Who is at risk? Young rabbits, starting at 2 months of age, and adult rabbits up to 6 years of age, are most susceptible to disease. However, pregnant and lactating rabbits are most often at risk.

The disease can be in a dormant state for 2-3 days, like rabies, after which the first alarming symptoms will appear, rapidly growing. It will be possible to notice disturbances from the respiratory system: the mucous membrane turns blue, red blood discharge from the nose, anal opening, genitals and mouth will certainly appear. In this state, the rabbit lives 2 days, after which death occurs.

The actual cause of death in HBV is pulmonary edema. Sometimes, when the disease takes on an acute form, the rabbit dies instantly. It looks something like this: an absolutely healthy animal suddenly freezes for no apparent reason, falls on its paws, convulses, bangs its front and hind legs and dies. Only vaccination developed by the famous Soviet veterinarian V.V. Mosin.


Causes pasteurellosis of pasteurella, which survives poorly in the environment and is easily destroyed with traditional disinfectants. The danger lies in the fact that a person can get pasteurellosis, having become infected during contact with a sick rabbit or during the cleaning of cells and aviaries. Despite the fact that pasteurellosis is not deadly for humans, the outcome for rabbits is predetermined in 60% of cases.

If the course of the disease is super-acute, the rabbit dies without showing symptoms of the disease. If it is an acute form, the symptoms are as follows:

  • The temperature rises to 42-43 ° C, then a sharp drop to critical levels.
  • The characteristic symptoms of acute respiratory infections are sneezing, snorting, coughing and nasal discharge.
  • Deterioration of the quality of the coat: it falls out and becomes dull, the skin peels off.
  • A shaky and uncertain gait, the rabbit's paws are moving apart in different directions (this may be a symptom of a plague).
  • Redness of the mucous membranes of the eyes.
  • The loss of appetite, the rabbit refuses water.
  • Vomiting

The duration of symptoms is 5-10 days

Despite the fact that it is possible to treat pasteurellosis, in most cases rabbits nevertheless die. Eating the meat of such an animal after slaughter is strictly prohibited, since its composition has been changed by the disease and can be dangerous to humans.

It is important to carry out prophylaxis in time in order to protect individuals who did not show symptoms, that is, are either healthy or suffer from latent pasteurellosis. Also, do not forget about timely vaccination.

Infectious conjunctivitis

Such a simple disease as conjunctivitis is also caused by bacteria or viruses, but most often the causative agent is adenovirus or maximosis. What symptoms arise in this case:

  • The eyes of the rabbit are tearing, pus is secreted.
  • Persistent irritation appears, the blood vessels of the vowel burst.
  • The conjunctiva swells and turns red.

Symptoms of conjunctivitis in a rabbit

It is not recommended to treat conjunctivitis yourself, for this you need to seek the help of a veterinarian. This must be done because the disease spreads rapidly among the entire animal population. Similar symptoms occur with keratitis in rabbits and hares.


Trichophytosis, or ringworm in rabbits, is common enough. Recognizing its presence is simple: the animal is balding, areas with fallen hair appear on its skin, which are covered with a dense, dry crust, dandruff may appear.

The onset of the disease marks a red spot on the rabbit, which subsequently grows and becomes larger. It is especially dangerous that other rabbits and humans can become infected. What causes the disease? This is a mushroom called trichophyton. It is difficult to remove it, because it is resistant to standard disinfectants.

The carriers of lichen are small rodents. Infection manifests itself in areas with fallen hair on the body, usually this is the area of ​​the eyes, cheeks, chin and neck, ears and paws. There are corns, the disease passes to the nails.


Infectious stomatitis often affects young rabbits, starting from the age of 2-3 weeks, ending with three months. Mokrets, or stomatitis, is a dental disease, although its symptoms are somewhat unusual. The rabbit increases saliva, and the nose becomes excessively wet. These same symptoms may indicate that the rabbit develops ear diseases.

In the jaws of the pet, there are many ulcers, including in the tongue. Cones grow on or near the nose. The behavior is also likely to change, the animal will become passive and motionless, weaken. Appetite worsens or disappears completely.

Despite the fact that the disease is highly contagious, stomatitis in rabbits has been successfully treated with antibiotics (most often used are Baykoks for rabbits, baytril, cyprovine, penicillin, bicillin or analogues) and is not dangerous for humans.

Non-Infectious Rabbit Disease

As mentioned earlier, a group of non-communicable ailments combines those types of diseases that are caused not by viruses or bacteria. These include disorders in the digestive system, disorders of the musculoskeletal system, for example, torticollis, as well as non-infectious rashes on the skin.

Diseases of the musculoskeletal system

This group includes all types of pathologies associated with the work of muscles, joints, bone structure, etc. If we are talking about muscle tissue, then the first disease worth mentioning is myositis and myopathosis. The first ailment is muscle inflammation, which develops as a complication after a viral or bacterial infection. The second variety, myopathy, is an acquired dysfunction of the contractile function of muscle tissue, which appeared due to the fact that the rabbit was forced to stay in the same position for a long time. The lack of vitamins in rabbit nutrition may indicate the development of rickets.

Noncommunicable Diseases of the Rabbit

As for bones, they are affected by diseases such as osteitis, periostitis, bone necrosis, osteomyelitis, etc. All these conditions occur because a purulent process develops in the bone. The cause of this condition can also be trauma or vitamin deficiency in the rabbit, if you do not drink it in time with vitamin complexes or mineral solutions.

Joints may suffer due to the animal being injured, sprained, dislocated, subluxated, or, much worse, arthritis or arthrosis. All these diseases can be easily diagnosed independently, for this you need to carefully monitor the health of the beast, pay attention to the gait and appearance of the joints.

Gastrointestinal diseases

This subgroup is quite common in rabbits, regardless of breed, color, age, and content. The root cause of malfunctions on the part of the gastrointestinal tract is poor-quality feed or its imbalance. What symptoms prevail in the intestinal group:

  • Diarrhea, loose frequent stools, possible mucus.
  • Constipation, that is, the absence of feces for several days.
  • The rabbit has become less active and mobile.
  • The appetite was broken.
  • Flatulence and bloating: the stomach swells so that it is visible to the naked eye

It should be noted that the list did not have such a symptom as a fever, which most often indicates that the rabbit has an infection or virus. For example, intestinal enteritis. Despite the harmlessness of the symptoms, rabbits quite often die from a common eating disorder. The immediate cause of death is dehydration and exhaustion.

Skin diseases

Any rash or neoplasm on the skin of a rabbit is easy to notice during an external examination, which should be periodically performed as a prophylaxis against rabbit diseases. The following symptoms can be noted:

  • Hair loss.
  • The coat changes appearance, becomes dull and loses its luster.
  • Roughness and spots, wounds and irritations appear on the skin, which can be treated by treating with wound healing local remedies, for example, iodine solution.

The cause of this condition is most often mechanical injuries and effects: burns, hypothermia or trauma. The latter include bruises, sprains, fractures, as well as mechanical eczema and dermatitis.

Dental diseases

Rabbits very often suffer from diseases related to teeth. This is the most common reason a farmer visits a veterinarian’s office. The fact is that untreated teeth sometimes cause much greater problems: suppuration of the gums and even inflammation of the bones of the jaw and skull. Dental problems can be either acquired or congenital, although this information will not affect the course of treatment.

The most common dental disease in rabbits is malocclusion. This ailment is characterized by the fact that the rabbit's teeth grind incorrectly, sharp formations form, which subsequently injure the mucous membrane of the animal’s mouth. The treatment is as follows: under anesthesia, the rabbit's teeth are grinded so that they no longer harm him.

Invasive disease group

Заключительная группа недугов кроликов — инвазионные болезни, то есть те, которые вызываются паразитами. Однажды попав в организм кролика, паразит прочно и надолго в нем поселяется, высасывая все силы и энергию, ухудшая качество жизни посредством постоянных укусов. Самостоятельно избавиться от паразитов кролик не может, поэтому хозяин должен вовремя помочь питомцу. Внутри этой группы есть деление на подгруппы, а именно арахноз, энтомоз, гельминтоз и протозооз.


Эта подгруппа характеризуется тем, что кролик заражается подкожными клещами, питающимися кровью. Кроме того, что клещи доставляют определенный дискомфорт животному, они в свою очередь могут быть переносчиками других, более опасных заболеваний.

Клещей чаще всего находят на животе и спине кролика, внутри ушей или на груди. Если обнаружено паразитирующее насекомое, нужно срочно его удалить и обработать рану раствором йода. При этом важно сделать это правильно, так, чтобы не оборвать головку клеща и не оставить его гнить под кожей.

Профилактика и лечение кроликов

На слуху массе народных средств, якобы помогающих избавиться от паразитов. Ветеринары настоятельно не рекомендуют их использовать: они только ухудшат и без того опасную ситуацию. Чтобы извлечь клеща из тела кролика, нужно аккуратно подцепить его голову и выкручивающими движениями вынуть его против часовой стрелки, после чего нанести на рану раствор йода.


Возбудителем энтомоза являются мухи, блохи, вши, если точнее — их личинки и яйца. Заподозрить развитие энтомоза можно по тому, что на коже кролика появились участки без шерсти, кролик постоянно норовит почесать это место, расчесывая его до крови. Чаще всего поражаются ушные раковины и морда животного.

Если рассмотреть такое пятно вблизи на фото, будет видно, что под кожей или на коже присутствет масса мелких двигающихся черных точек, это и есть личинки и яички вышеперечисленных насекомых.

Чтобы помочь кролю, нужно начать противоинсектицидную терапию.


Гельминтоз представляет собой поражение червями или глистами, которые паразитируют внутри организма. Среди всех болезней, которые входят в группу инвазионных, данная занимает больше 60%. Наиболее очевидный признак — это зуд в зоне анального отверстия, а также нарушение аппетита и общая заторможенность.

Кроме дискомфорта и снижения качества жизни гельминты негативно влияют на иммунную систему животного, а также механически повреждают строение внутренних органов. Самое опасное заболевание кроликов, вызываемое гельминтами, — это цистицеркоз. Опасность заключается в том, что симптомов может не быть вовсе, а диагноз животному ставится уже посмертно, после падежа. После вскрытия тушки можно обнаружить скопление белых червей, цистицерков, которые заполонили грудную и брюшную область.


Протозооз — это поражение кроликов простейшими микроорганизмами, самым известным и распространенным примером является кокцидиоз. Это крайне тяжелое заболевание, которое становится причиной массового мора поголовья кроликов. Поражается печень и ЖКТ, как и при холецистите, что и становится непосредственной причиной смерти при отсутствии своевременного лечения. Какие симптомы могут наблюдаться:

  • Апатия, отсутствие физической активности.
  • Ухудшение аппетита.
  • Постоянная непрекращающаяся жажда, даже при отсутствии жаркой погоды кролик постоянно пьет, не стоит возбранять это.
  • Диарея, возможны примеси крови.
  • Выделения из носа, глаз и ушных раковин.
  • Пожелтение склер глаз, припухлость век.

Кокцидиоз, или эймериоз, может в некоторых случаях сопровождаться судорогами и общим тремором, иногда развивается полный или частичный паралич, когда отнимаются конечности. Даже если удалось спасти животное, на протяжении длительного периода оно будет представлять опасность для собратьев, так как будет оставаться носителей кокцидий. Для лечения используют такие препараты, как трихопол и пенициллин. При его использовании внутрь важно придерживаться правил, описанных в инструкции к применению.

Чтобы предотвратить заражение кокцидиозом, нужно вовремя проводить профилактику, то есть вакцинацию, вовремя пропаивать кролей растворами витаминов, особенно зимой, а также стараться содержать молодняк отдельно от взрослых особей.


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