Common Rabbit Health Concerns


Below are several of the most common illnesses we see in rabbits. Rabbits can also get a vast array of other illnesses just like other species. They are also prone to neurological disease (tilted head, paralysis etc), which can look dramatic but often responds well to treatment.

Because they are a prey species, rabbits do not like to show any signs of illness until they are very sick. Because of this we need to be extra vigilant for any changes in behaviour, eating, toileting, posture or discharge. 


 Common Diseases of Pet Rabbits




Symptoms Prevention Tips Treatment
Dental Disease   

Drooling, difficulty chewing, change in eating habits, dropping pieces of food.



Correct diet, providing safe wood to chew (branches from fruit trees, wooden chew toys from pet shops). Early detection of the problem is important.


May require medication and a dental trim or dental surgery. Contact your vet.


Gut Disease   

Changes in eating habits, very firm or very soft faeces, bloating, generally unwell.



Correct diet. Early detection is important.


Depends on underlying cause. May require medication or hospitalisation. Can be fatal. Contact your vet immediately.



Sneezing, discharge from eyes or nose, changes in eating habits, generally unwell.



Using low dust bedding and litter. Early detection is important.


Varies. May require a long course of medication or even hospitalisation, contact your vet immediately.



Limping, difficulty standing or walking.


Ensure housing is safe. Ensure the rabbit is held correctly and safely. Teach children safe handling techniques.



Depends on cause of injury. May require medication or surgery.



Smelly wet skin and fur often around the tail area, with fly eggs or larvae (maggots) present.



Keep rabbit and cage clean and dry at all times. Get diarrhoea or urine leaking health issues checked out quickly.


Depends on severity, medication to kill the larvae, fluids for rehydration, antibiotics etc. Contact your vet immediately.



Sudden death or severely ill with neurological signs like seizures.


Vaccination (click here more more information)


Intensive veterinary care or euthanasia. Unfortunately, around 90% of infected rabbits will die.



Skin Parasites 

Itching, hair loss, ear irritation.


 Regular checking of the coat and ears at home for any     abnormalities. Early detection of problems.


Over the counter products are available at the clinic in many cases, call or pop in to talk to your vet.




If you have any concerns at all about your rabbit's health please call us as soon as possible, to discuss your rabbit's needs.