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Recognising Pain in Rabbits

Diagnosing and treating rabbit ailments. *Caution! These threads may contain graphic content.*
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Re: Recognising Pain in Rabbits

Post Number:#16  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Sat Oct 22, 2016 5:53 pm


michaels4gardens wrote:Rabbits hide their pain very well, People not very familiar with this can be misled into thinking that a rabbit is not in pain because they exhibit no "drama"
A rabbit will sit quietly and look calm and peaceful until a few moments before they die from the pain.

Look for
"hunched up" body posture
teeth grinding
listing back and forth
eye squinting or closed eyes
ears laid back against the body [in rabbits that usually have ears up]

JMHO
it is an important part of responsible animal husbandry to make sure your animals do not suffer needlessly.
If an animal is considered "breed stock", or is terminal [ie: produced for food] there is no reason to nurse it back to health when it is not going to be suitable for either purpose when / if it recovers. The suffering it goes through while you are "trying to save it" is needless suffering.


I agree with Zass,
I probably was not very clear in the above statement, - I do believe in "nursing" a rabbit back to health from an injury if it seems there is a "good" chance the rabbit could heal up and be suitable for either purpose.

-- Sat Oct 22, 2016 3:53 pm --

grumpy wrote:A good precursor is keeping an eye on their feed intake, too. :D
That's a sure sign of problems not yet noticed.

Grumpy.



This is a good example of why "free feeding" of rabbits "may not" be a good idea, -- I always feed a prescribed amount to my animals-- precisely because-- -- I can notice immediately if an animal is "off feed". --- as Grumpy pointed out--low/ no feed intake it is almost always a sign of a problem you have not noticed yet. and-- in my experience-- often it is the only sign you may get in time to "do something about it".
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Re: Recognising Pain in Rabbits

Post Number:#17  Unread postby TornadoRed » Sun Jun 25, 2017 6:20 pm


I am new to rabbit raising, I was blessed to go from 0 to 6 in one day. I have 2 bucks and 4 does. One of the bucks has looked 'off'. (Since they were practically free, I didn't fuss.)

He looks unkempt - IMHO he was too skinny when I got him 3 months ago. He has put on weight but looks shaggy/unkempt. He almost seems 'tense' his eyes are bright, but sometimes half open. He is not chomping his teeth, he moves around the hutch. He eats the greens and pellets. (I have been reading here that I should not free feed, so I will make adjustments.) However, he does seem to eat fewer pellets than the others, i.e. they run out of pellet feed before he does. He eats as much of the greens as the others.

I feed them all garlic leaves, comfrey (occasionally) borage, sage, thyme, purslane, coltsfoot, strawberry leaves, raspberry leaves, and weeds and flowers I recognize as safe. Basically, whatever is growing now. They get hay as needed.

Everyone else seems happy and in good shape. I live in zone 8, and it has been hot for creatures in permanent fur coats.

Any thoughts? If he is suffering, I want to take care of that.

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Re: Recognising Pain in Rabbits

Post Number:#18  Unread postby KimitsuKouseki » Sun Jun 25, 2017 6:25 pm


TornadoRed wrote:I am new to rabbit raising, I was blessed to go from 0 to 6 in one day. I have 2 bucks and 4 does. One of the bucks has looked 'off'. (Since they were practically free, I didn't fuss.)

He looks unkempt - IMHO he was too skinny when I got him 3 months ago. He has put on weight but looks shaggy/unkempt. He almost seems 'tense' his eyes are bright, but sometimes half open. He is not chomping his teeth, he moves around the hutch. He eats the greens and pellets. (I have been reading here that I should not free feed, so I will make adjustments.) However, he does seem to eat fewer pellets than the others, i.e. they run out of pellet feed before he does. He eats as much of the greens as the others.

I feed them all garlic leaves, comfrey (occasionally) borage, sage, thyme, purslane, coltsfoot, strawberry leaves, raspberry leaves, and weeds and flowers I recognize as safe. Basically, whatever is growing now. They get hay as needed.

Everyone else seems happy and in good shape. I live in zone 8, and it has been hot for creatures in permanent fur coats.

Any thoughts? If he is suffering, I want to take care of that.

Give us a few pictures, we might be able to see something or even a video of behavior you feel is "off"

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Re: Recognising Pain in Rabbits

Post Number:#19  Unread postby TornadoRed » Tue Jun 27, 2017 7:38 pm


good idea, brb :D

-- Tue Jun 27, 2017 7:38 pm --

OK, finally I got a pic to upload. It's the only one I can get that is small enough, the rez is not good I am sure. He just looks shabby to me, the other rabbits' coats are smooth and shiny, his is rough and dull. He is matted on his haunch, this is new. I checked (he hated that) there isn't a sore.

I can't upload the video to show you how he moves, but it doesn't look different (i.e. no limp or struggle) from the others.
bun1.png
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Re: Recognising Pain in Rabbits

Post Number:#20  Unread postby KimitsuKouseki » Tue Jun 27, 2017 7:44 pm


He looks fine to me, he probly just has a different type of fur for some reason. You should cut off the mats or pull em off gently if he lets you. Also considering his fur type you might want to consider brushing him from time to time.

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Re: Recognising Pain in Rabbits

Post Number:#21  Unread postby shazza » Tue Jun 27, 2017 8:25 pm


him seeming tense is likely because he is now in unfamiliar surroundings and is adjusting. his coat looks normal to me, though he looks like he's about to moult. some of my rabbits get that kind of scraggly bleached out look right before they moult and they look way better in a few weeks.
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Re: Recognising Pain in Rabbits

Post Number:#22  Unread postby TornadoRed » Tue Jun 27, 2017 8:28 pm


Ok, thanks for looking.

I will try to pull off the mats, but he was not enamored of my last inspection...I am not sure he'd go for brushing. Perhaps special treats after he lets me handle him. Maybe he will change his mind.

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Re: Recognising Pain in Rabbits

Post Number:#23  Unread postby ladysown » Wed Jun 28, 2017 10:41 am


And i look at him and read what was written and think... Rehome or cull. He doesnt look or sound like one I'd want in my herd
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