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Photos of rabbits in heat distress

Diagnosing and treating rabbit ailments. *Caution! These threads may contain graphic content.*
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Re: Photos of rabbits in heat distress

Post Number:#16  Unread postby dayna » Sun May 12, 2013 2:06 pm


What about rubbing alcohol? I know its used in seizing kittens whose temps have gotten up too high. And since it evaporates quickly, it cools them quickly.

Here I don't think spraying with water will help as our humidity levels run around 80-99%

I am going to freeze some bottles though, these last few days I've noticed the rabbits getting hot, we've not had much of a breeze and the daytime temps are getting in the upper 80's.

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Re: Photos of rabbits in heat distress

Post Number:#17  Unread postby AnnClaire » Sun May 12, 2013 2:27 pm


Also, Lowes and other contractor supply houses have the commercial fans on sale ... some are low to the floor, but some are on stands. With an outdoor electrical cord, they would work to move air in rabbitries.

You can also look to misting garden hoses ... laid along the top of a line of cages to provide moisture for the fan to blow around will also provide cooling.

And, a spritz from a water hose can also be used when there is still enough daylight for them to groom themselves back to dry :cheesysmile:
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Re: Photos of rabbits in heat distress

Post Number:#18  Unread postby mystang89 » Mon May 13, 2013 8:15 am


Thanks for this post MSD and those pictures. I think I've been very fortunate and never had to worry about heat distress as of yet but those pictures are very helpful.

What I've done for the summer heat in Kentucky (94 - 100) and the high humidity that comes with it, (which by all standards aren't nearly as bad as other places,) is to take frozen water bottles and but them in the cage with them along with a fan under the car port to try to keep them cool. It also helps that they are under the car port I think which keeps the sun and even the glare of sun off them.

Also, a question. I think I remember reading or hearing somewhere that if a rabbit starts to have heat distress that it is more susceptible to it and heat stroke in the future. I don't know if that is true but I do know with humans that if a person suffers from heat exhaustion or heat stroke that they ARE more susceptible to future bouts with it.

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Re: Photos of rabbits in heat distress

Post Number:#19  Unread postby MamaSheepdog » Mon May 13, 2013 8:35 am


Miss M wrote:
Marinea wrote:I would suggest a temporary sticky maybe, until we get through the summer heat.

I agree, with the summer coming on. I changed it. :)


Oh boy! :P That takes my sticky count to THREE!

Thanks for the vote, Marinea! :lol:

dayna wrote:Here I don't think spraying with water will help as our humidity levels run around 80-99%. What about rubbing alcohol?



I think that is an excellent option for humid regions! Great idea! :clap2:

mystang89 wrote: I think I remember reading or hearing somewhere that if a rabbit starts to have heat distress that it is more susceptible to it and heat stroke in the future. I don't know if that is true but I do know with humans that if a person suffers from heat exhaustion or heat stroke that they ARE more susceptible to future bouts with it.


I don't know the answer to that question.

:secret: Please don't tell Hubs or my "pups"- they will be sorely disappointed that their "walking encyclopedia" was stymied! :roll:

However, I believe the animals with larger mass for their breed are more susceptible... a few weeks back, I had a doe die, and it was only in the eighties. She was the largest of her litter, and was my "keeper". :(

Culled by Mother Nature. *Sigh*

Hubs bought some screen a couple years back to repair the window screens on the house- and it is woven more closely and with larger strands than standard screen. Anyway, he hates it because you almost can't see through it, so he said I could have it for the buns. :) I also bought misters at Home Depot yesterday.
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Re: Photos of rabbits in heat distress

Post Number:#20  Unread postby OneAcreFarm » Mon May 13, 2013 9:05 am


We have been so blessed this year to not have hit 90f yet! Supposedly, we won't until later in June....:) My plan is to get some larger fans this year, a sprinkler system for the roof of the barn to cool it periodically during the hotter parts of the day and some shade cloth for the ends of the barn.
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Re: Photos of rabbits in heat distress

Post Number:#21  Unread postby lissapell » Mon May 13, 2013 1:24 pm


We are really humid here but misters still work great. Obviously they work better on days the humidity is below 70 but it still helps as long as the water you are misting with is below the outside temp. You can always add a slush to the mister to get the water cooler.

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Re: Photos of rabbits in heat distress

Post Number:#22  Unread postby AnnClaire » Mon May 13, 2013 7:51 pm


92 here today and a couple of buns in the buckling cage line looked like they were starting with heat distress, so I put the sprayer nozzle on the finest mist and doused them all ... not very happy about it, but it did break them out of it!

I found my roll of leftover black weed cloth and will suspend that above the cage line ... at least I'll be able to wet that down for evap cooling.
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Re: Photos of rabbits in heat distress

Post Number:#23  Unread postby TerriG » Tue May 14, 2013 8:20 pm


I've been watching mine closely. We've been close to 90. Lots of panting type breathing, but no saliva or head raising. So glad I know what to look for (thanks to this thread).

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Re: Photos of rabbits in heat distress

Post Number:#24  Unread postby Miss M » Tue May 14, 2013 9:13 pm


MamaSheepdog wrote:
dayna wrote:Here I don't think spraying with water will help as our humidity levels run around 80-99%. What about rubbing alcohol?



I think that is an excellent option for humid regions! Great idea! :clap2:


I wouldn't spray alcohol, though, as it might get in the eyes or mucus membranes. Your rabbits would not thank you. :o

You could rub it on their ears with a cotton ball, or get some in the palm of one hand (gloved, if necessary), quickly smear it over both palms, and then quickly transfer it to the surface of the rabbit's coat.

This might work similarly in humid areas as misting with water does in dry climates -- I have yet to see alcohol NOT evaporate, even on a muggy day. It may take more time, but it will evaporate.

I remember Bunny-Wan Kenobi deciding he was going to help me cool off when I was gardening a couple of years ago. He drenched me with the water hose. Unfortunately, it was not only hot, but particularly humid that day. The water did not cool me, because it could not evaporate. I was just hot and soggy, instead of hot and damp. Yuck.

I would think that repeated applications of alcohol would be tough on the surface of the fur, but as long as you're not showing, it shouldn't be an issue.

This is all just theory swimming around in my brain, so reality may not work out so neatly. [/disclaimer] :lol:
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Re: Photos of rabbits in heat distress

Post Number:#25  Unread postby Kyle@theHeathertoft » Tue May 14, 2013 9:20 pm


I have to admit, I've never had rabbits outside during summer...my basement was their home and it was nice and cool, about 65 degrees F all summer. It's already peaking at 70 F here some days...I'm worried about the heat when it really warms up. :x Thanks to this post, I know what to watch out for!!! Hopefully I lose the same number of rabbits to heat this year as I did last year: ZERO. ;)
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Re: Photos of rabbits in heat distress

Post Number:#26  Unread postby luvmybunnys » Tue May 21, 2013 6:32 pm


It has been pretty hot here today in the low 80's. It is extremly humid. I have 21 rabbits and 1 of them was in heat destress when i got home from work today. I left frozen water bottles in all the cages before i left this morning. Im very glad that the other rabbits wernt in destress but why was it just the one rabbit? Is there something wrong with her? She has 7 kits that are 3 wks old now. I also have another doe that has 10 kits and she acted fine and she gets a little more sun than all the other rabbits. I hope there is nothing wrong with her she is a very good mama.

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Re: Photos of rabbits in heat distress

Post Number:#27  Unread postby MamaSheepdog » Tue May 21, 2013 6:55 pm


luvmybunnys wrote:why was it just the one rabbit?


I'm glad only the one doe was in distress and the others are okay. Some rabbits are just more sensitive to heat.

Many breeders will not breed during the hottest months because the increased weight and mass of pregnancy can make it more likely that the rabbit will overheat and die.

However, harsh as this sounds, if you want heat tolerant rabbits the only way to get there is to breed the does and keep the survivors and their offspring.
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Re: Photos of rabbits in heat distress

Post Number:#28  Unread postby luvmybunnys » Tue May 21, 2013 7:00 pm


Ok so that doe was probally born while it was cold outside? Thats why the kits would be mor aclimatied to the warm weather?

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Re: Photos of rabbits in heat distress

Post Number:#29  Unread postby MamaSheepdog » Tue May 21, 2013 7:11 pm


I'm not sure if being born when it is cold has anything to do with it. :thinking: That could be a factor as well.

But in the hot months, some kits will overheat and die, so the survivors are ones that have more heat tolerance.

The problem is, there is a possibility that you will lose a good doe if she is bred when it is hot. For those of us that have large herds, the risk is easier to take. If you only have a couple of does in production it can be a hard hit.

Of course, no one likes to lose a rabbit, especially when you know you are taking a risk... but if your goal is year round production, there isn't any other way that I know of to get there without doing so.
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Re: Photos of rabbits in heat distress

Post Number:#30  Unread postby luvmybunnys » Tue May 21, 2013 7:44 pm


ok thanks for the info!

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