One of the most important concerns of every rabbit owners is to know when their pet is cold and the best way to prevent it. In this article, we will discuss how you can find out if your rabbit is cold, the signs you should look out for and how to keep your pet warm at home without paying expensive veterinary bills.
So, How to know if your rabbit is cold?
To answer this question, you must first understand the impact of cold climate on rabbits. Winter is a difficult time for several animal species, including rabbits. But with proper care, you can be sure that your rabbit will stay healthy in cold weather.
Rabbits do not adjust well in bad weather; most of them surrender to heat during the hot summer months. In winter, they tend to die of cold or suffer from cold-related diseases. The following are some tips to find out if your rabbit is cold.
Breathing with the mouth
Breathing through the mouth is an indication that something is wrong with your pet. This is because rabbits normally breathe through their nose, so when breathing with their mouth, they may be in pain and need to see the veterinarian immediately.
Loss of appetite, looking depressed, fewer or no droppings
Just like humans, rabbit’s can catch colds. As with people, their symptoms also include depression, loss of appetite, fewer or no or dropping and sneezing. Although cold is not that severe, you should place the infected rabbits in a separate cage, as the cold can be transmitted and can be passed on to other rabbits. Most of the time, the cold lasts for several days and can be cured on its own without medical intervention. But if it continues, consult your veterinarian for proper treatment.
Blood from the bottom, nose or in the urine
From time to time a rabbit’s urine can be red in color, even when the Pet is not feeling fine. If so, don’t worry, maybe he has consumed something like beetroot. However, blood spots in the urine, may be associated with straining, can point to serious problems in the urinary tract. Any bleeding from the nose or down should be taken seriously as it can be life-threatening. It is a symptom of viral hemorrhage in rabbits that must be vaccinated against all rabbits.
Painful, red and runny eyes; or swollen eyes lids
These signs may indicate that your pet has a cold. Although wet red eyes with milky secretion are frequently the indication of underlying dental problems in rabbits. Swollen eyes may be a mild infection but it is also a symptom of Myxomatosis. It is a disease that must be vaccinated in all rabbits because it is deadly.
This is a screaming noise that rabbit makes when it is upsetting. Although there are a lot of reasons why rabbits make this noise, one such reason is when your pet is having a cold. If you experience this noise, there is a reason why your rabbit should be taken to the vet urgently because it is likely that it is in pain.
Sitting hunched up without moving around
This is a sign that your rabbit is catching cold and it can also be an indication of many different problems in your rabbit. There may be nothing else to see, however, your bunny needs veterinary care because many cases are deadly if not treated quickly.
How to Care for your rabbits during cold weather
Rabbits are not comfortable with extreme temperatures, make sure their housing is calm and warm, and protect them from the elements. They don’t lie dormant. Therefore if your pet looks limp or tired and does not respond to anything, you should take him to the vet quickly. If you just bring your rabbit home and he has been kept indoor or if your rabbit is a baby, don’t keep it outside until the weather conditions gets warms up. This is because a sudden change of weather can kill your pet.
Make use of Snuggle safe Heat Pad
If your rabbit is an indoor pet, it should be fine during cold weather, as the temperature inside is likely to be regulated. But make sure that their living space is not in a state of drought, and if the temperatures are too low during the night, you can give your pets a Snuggle safe hot pad for some warmth.
Changes in the body of your rabbit during the winter months
Rabbits consume more during winter because they think the food will become scarce. The additional food also gives them more fat insulation; however, this alone does not keep them warm enough. Their coat will get a bit thicker, but again, it will help them a bit and they will always count on you to keep warm and safe. Don’t forget rabbits in the wild live underground in dry burrows; snuggle up with other warm groups of rabbits.
Move its cage somewhere warmer
If possible, take your rabbits indoors during winter or transfer their cage to a shed or an unused garage. Don’t put the cage in the garage if you park your car in because the exhaust is dangerous for your pets. If you don’t have a garage or shed, move the cage to a protected area, like some trees, sheltered from the wind. If you live in unsafe climatic regions, it is best to try to move your rabbit in a barn or garage. It doesn’t have to be a heated facility. Your rabbit will really appreciate and flourish in an unheated area. The main function of housing is to avoid breezes and winter disorders that could make your rabbit stressed and cause cold just like in humans.
If you can’t bring your rabbit is into a structure, you need to provide some form of wind protection. You may have to change your rabbit cage to the south side of the building or windbreak you have available. To further break the wind, using Plastic sheeting stapled on both sides of your pet cage help prevent the wind from your bunny and has the extra benefit of allowing sunlight to enter the cage, which naturally warms your rabbit. If you use plastic sheeting or other types of wooden side coverings for your cage, be sure to run it down near the ground to prevent drafting from under. The reason for this is to leave space for the rabbit to breathe fresh air. In addition to drafts, closing the rabbits up too tight is the next big mistake owners make in cold weather.
Rabbits need fresh Air
Whatever form of construction material you use on the outer cage must have at least one space to allow fresh air to reach your rabbit. This is because closing rabbits off too tight will lead to a lot of colds and respiratory problems as leaving it out in a draft. You can achieve this by running plastic to the ground on one or two sides and leaving about 6 inches or so of circulation space on the other sides of the cage.
Similarly, rabbits transferred to barns or garages need to have fresh air circulation through the winter. They are often kept in restricted facilities with an extremely high concentration of rabbit’s population to let natural ventilation reach them. If a barn or garage is used for any number of rabbit, arrangements should be made to evacuate the old air outside and bring fresh air into the facility. This can be done in small areas with a box fan or kitchen exhaust fan which is fixed to blow outside. Also, leaving the garage door or barn door slightly open will allow the needed fresh air to circulate.
How cold is too cold for rabbits?
This is one question that many rabbit owners keep on asking, depending on the type of climate in which you live. Rabbits are designed not only to survive but also to thrive in cold weather. In cold weathers, people used to turn their thermostats up, overstating the difference between outdoor and indoor temperatures. Therefore, we suggest reducing the indoor heat for a moment before exposing your rabbits to the cold air outside. Many owners report that their rabbits like to romp in the snow. This is safe as long as your rabbits remain active, but they should not be left unattended in extremely cold weather.
What temperature is too cold for rabbits?
Notwithstanding their frail appearance, they are very tough when it comes to dealing with cold weather. A rabbit always prefers to be cold rather than hot. The average body temperature of a hale and the hearty rabbit is around 101 to 103 degrees Fahrenheit. This can continue at outside temperatures of 32 degrees Fahrenheit and even a little lower.