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Signs That Your Rabbit May Be Sick

Your rabbit cannot tell you when it doesn’t feel well. If you want to keep your rabbit healthy, it’s important that you keep an eye on them and their behavior. When you notice any sudden changes, that’s when you know that they may be sick.

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Signs That Your Rabbit May Be Sick

Rabbits are habitual creatures, and if you have had your bunny for years, you will know their schedule well. The main thing to look for is any potential changes in behavior.

Eating Habits

This is true for many animals, too: if you notice any changes in eating habits or appetite, this is a warning sign that something is wrong. Of course, eating habits apply to water consumption, too—if they are not eating or drinking, call us right away.

Don’t forget about other forms of stomach trouble, either. Any instances of diarrhea, blood in the stool or significant changes in the smell, are problematic and need to be handled right away. Also, you may notice bloating in the stomach.

Hair in the Stool

Your bunny should not be passing stool that is small, dry and connected by hair. This is a sign of digestive issues and could be something as simple as needing a change in their diet. Brushing them will also help with this problem, but if you are concerned or have no idea how to adjust their diet correctly, we will be able to help.


Your bunny is usually a ball of energy—most rabbits are. So, your rabbit being lazy and not wanting to play or not responding to stimuli could mean that there might be a problem. Of course, this could be something simple, such as having sore hocks from uncomfortable flooring, but it is still worth checking out.

Teeth and Mouth

You might overlook this one, but if your rabbit is grinding their teeth, this habit is usually done as a distraction from other pain. This is something that would be an emergency clinical sign, so you should bring them to your vet right away.

You may also notice some drooling or swelling of the mouth. After all, your bunny cannot tell you if it has dental pain, but this is a common sign.

Specific Behaviors

Certain behaviors are uncommon in rabbits and may be signs of a more significant problem. This can include your rabbit tilting its head, a sign potentially indicating infection, cancer, or trauma. It can be treated if you get them checked out in good time.

You might also want to get your bunny checked out if they are making a lot of vocalizations, which is not a common behavior. While it may be nothing, you will want to just make sure.

The same is true if you see your bunny feeling lonely or sad. Rabbits need social interaction, and if they are trying to avoid you, you should check their health condition.

Respiratory Infection

Your rabbit sniffling isn’t the same as when people do because rabbits do not catch colds. So, if you notice a runny nose or runny eyes, this might be an indication of a respiratory infection. In this case, you will be better off getting this checked out.

Speaking of respiratory infections, you should keep an eye on any respiratory clinical signs. This is a serious warning sign if your rabbit is coughing, sneezing, wheezing or is displaying labored breathing.


If your rabbit isn’t feeling well, you should notice some signs. It may be louder or might eat less, or may start some behaviors that you have never noticed before. You may even notice your rabbit being angrier, which makes sense if it doesn’t feel well.

Once you notice any of these behaviors, bring it in to see us to ensure that it is not a sign of something more serious.

Author: Santiago Diaz
As a veterinarian focused exclusively on avians, exotics, and wildlife, Dr. Díaz has lectured widely, including at a National Veterinary Conference, the Merck Merial Conference, the Morris Animal Foundation Conference, and at various veterinary technician schools throughout Florida. ​