Photos of rabbits in heat distress

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MamaSheepdog

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It is 94F here today, and some of the rabbits are showing signs of heat distress. They have now been sprinkled down with the hose, but I snapped some quick photos so everyone will know what to look for.

Notice the upward tilt of the head, and the saliva on the mouth and chin:

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Both the opal doe and the blue buck are in distress. Note how they are stretched out, and the upward tilt of their heads:

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Rabbits that die of heat stroke will have matted fur around the mouth and chin, sometimes extending far down the neck.
 

ottersatin

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GREAT photos,
wish you didn't have the opportunity to take them.
I hope you saved the rabbit!
Ottersatin. :eek:ldtimer:
 

MamaSheepdog

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They are feeling fine now, OtterSatin. :)

Here they are trying to get their fur back in order:

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Beach Bunny

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That is one of the worst scenes to come out to. Last summer we found one of our bucks like that and thankfully got him to cool down. Now we use half gallon tea bottles for freezing so they last a bit longer .
 

AmysMacdog

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Thank you MSD for starting this thread. I've been looking around on here for ideas on what to do this summer.
When mine get to hot I use a washcloth and a bucket of water and rub them down but the hose would probably be better and faster. How wet do you get them? They sure are grooming themselves after their shower! LOL

The lady I got my Americans from said she uses frozen gallon jugs and puts the jug inside their box to stay cool. I may try something like that. Don't have a big enough freezer. Wish I did! :)
 

MaggieJ

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Great thread! Thanks, MSD!

We don't have major problems here, but I keep a spray bottle to mist the rabbits when it gets really hot. It might not be enough in warmer climates, but here a box fan and occasional misting keeps the buns cool enough.
 

Miss M

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GREAT pictures! Thank you for having the presence of mind to take them!

Our herd sire, Thumper the minilop, was found listless one day a few years ago. I do not remember if he had the saliva around his mouth, or if his head was up like that.

ILoveBunnies found him, and once we realized it was due to the heat, she remembered something that she had read in a book. She went and got two ice cubes, and pulled Thumper out and set him on her lap. She wrapped his ears around the ice cubes (since the ears are the radiators for the rabbit) until he perked up.

He was fine a short time later. :)

Glad you were able to rescue your bunnies! :clap:

Misting may not work as well in high humidity. Too much water in the air won't allow the water on the bunny to evaporate, which is what would cool it.
 

MamaSheepdog

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Hay Fever":35vmrw9i said:
That is one of the worst scenes to come out to.

Yes, it is. Thankfully these weren't too bad. I have seen their heads almost vertical. :eek:

AmysMacdog":35vmrw9i said:
I've been looking around on here for ideas on what to do this summer.

Misting systems, fans, fabric draped on the cages which can be wet down, ceramic tiles, or better yet terra cotta tiles or pot saucers which can be pre-soaked, and boxes of wet sand are some of the ideas I have seen here on RT in addition to the frozen bottles already mentioned.

AmysMacdog":35vmrw9i said:
How wet do you get them?

It depends on how hot it is and their level of distress. Someone mentioned that wetting Rex too much actually causes them to retain heat- I think if the water penetrates too deeply in the coat it starts to hold more body heat than is lost to evaporation. The most important thing is to get their ears wet.

Some people will submerse them in a bucket of tepid water. It is important not to change their temperature drastically, or they will go into shock and likely die.

MaggieJ":35vmrw9i said:
Great thread! Thanks, MSD!

Thanks, Maggie! I try to offer constructive posts betwixt my bouts of silliness! :p

MaggieJ":35vmrw9i said:
We don't have major problems here, but I keep a spray bottle to mist the rabbits when it gets really hot.

I need to get a misting nozzle. All of the ones we had eventually "died", so the rabbits are getting pretty wet with the sprinkler attachment I am using now.

Miss M":35vmrw9i said:
GREAT pictures! Thank you for having the presence of mind to take them!

I wouldn't have taken the time if they had been in dangerous distress, but I am pretty familiar with this condition after last year.

Miss M":35vmrw9i said:
She wrapped his ears around the ice cubes (since the ears are the radiators for the rabbit) until he perked up.

I remember that! Good job, ILB!

Miss M":35vmrw9i said:
Misting may not work as well in high humidity. Too much water in the air won't allow the water on the bunny to evaporate, which is what would cool it.

Good point. Humidity is NOT a problem here. Sometimes it feels like you could toss a cup of water in the air and it would evaporate before hitting the ground!
 

Marinea

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One of the reasons I LOVE this site is posts like this!

Thanks for the pics MSD. I would suggest a temporary sticky maybe, until we get through the summer heat. The time it might save someone from having to find it could make the difference.
 

AnnClaire

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If you have the room and resources, I have found that my buns do much better in the runout pens than in their cages. I have moved them into them 24/7 now that it has warmed up and only cage them when it rains heavily.

I don't have any problem with cocci or other worms, and now that kitty Tuffy has grown up, between him, the fence and the dog, other roaming pets cannot get to the pens. My only issue is does ready to kindle ... they simply have to go in their cages, and that is when I lost the doe last week. However, her surviving kit is doing well and had it's eyes open at 7 days!
 

Miss M

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Marinea":23emxxh9 said:
One of the reasons I LOVE this site is posts like this!

Thanks for the pics MSD. I would suggest a temporary sticky maybe, until we get through the summer heat. The time it might save someone from having to find it could make the difference.
I agree, with the summer coming on. I changed it. :)
 

jollysrabbits

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I don't have any pictures, but I was talkng to the owner of a decent sized rabbittry (always listen to the older experienced people) and she said her husband and herself had a rather large setup and the electricity went out,mshe dunked the rabbits up to their ears in (keep nose and eyes clear) a bucket of water. And save %93 of her stock. She also said to use ice cubes on their ears (the ears help regulate temp). I got to test tnis theory out last year when my pup tore down the tarp creating shade, it fell against the cages creating an oven, out of 30 rabbits I only lost 2 and they were kits. These guys were on their death bed. It sucks but boy am I glad I spent the extra 20 minutes on the phone talking to that lady.
 

zee

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Great post! Thanks for sharing this MSD. Now I know what to look for. :)
 

dayna

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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.
 

AnnClaire

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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:
 

mystang89

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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.
 

MamaSheepdog

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Miss M":2ekhc7mg said:
Marinea":2ekhc7mg said:
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":2ekhc7mg said:
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":2ekhc7mg said:
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.
 

OneAcreFarm

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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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