Preventing Rabbit Disease In Rabbitry

Preventing Rabbit Disease In Rabbitry
Preventing Rabbit Disease In Rabbitry

Rabbit health is an essential part in running a successful rabbit farming business. Most rabbit disease can be prevented with proper hygiene and careful observation of the animals.

The term ‘prevention is better than cure’ cannot be overemphasized. Rabbits tend to hide their symptoms making it hard to diagnose and oftentimes, late detection can lead to mortality.

Rabbits are wonderful fur mammals that are prey to some animals such as owls, snakes, foxes, cats and dogs. Rabbits, domesticated or wild, are related with both having many similarities regardless of their breeding environment. They tend to hide the fact that they are unwell until it’s too late due to their prey nature in the wild.

Preventing Rabbit Disease In Rabbit Farms
Preventing Rabbit Disease In Rabbitry

Rabbit farmers are therefore advised to observe their animals closely, play with them and ensure they do not miss any vaccinations. These are the only means of preventing and detecting ailments in rabbits before it is too late.

Causes of Rabbit Diseases

Many rabbit diseases can be prevented with some precautions and prevention measures put in place. Good hygiene, proper feeding can extend a rabbit’s life and keep more money in the rabbit farmer’s purse. Major causes of diseases in rabbits include:

Diet: Rabbit meals should be high in fibre for overall dental health. This makes them grind their meals and exercise their teeth to avoid dental diseases. Diet can also cause protein poisoning, constipation, etc.

Heredity: some ailments are hereditary passed on from parents to their offsprings. Diseases such as epilepsy, cataracts are hereditary in rabbits as well as in humans.

Accidents: injuries from the cage or bite from other rabbits can make them fall sick especially the open wounds that become infected. The type of accident can affect any part of the body such as jaw dislocation, partial blindness etc.

Poor Hygiene: this is the major cause of illness in rabbits. Rabbit houses regardless of the type should be cleaned at least once in a week and left over food taken away. Infected rabbits should be isolated so that such rabbit disease would not spread.

Preventing Rabbit Disease In Rabbitry
Dirty Rabbit House

Preventive Measures Against Rabbit Diseases

Prevention is usually the best way to keep rabbit disease at bay. Other preventive measures include:

  1. The breeding stock must be in good health so that disease would not be passed down.
  2. Avoid overcrowding by all means.
  3. Nutrition goes a long way in maintaining the rabbits health and preventing rabbit disease. Rabbits should take about 75% hay, dry food and protein should be reduced.
  4. The rabbit house should be well ventilated.
  5. Rabbit houses should not be placed or constructed directly under sunlight but they need sunlight as well. There should be some rays but not so hot.
  6.  Feeding troughs, water containers should be kept clean.
  7. Rabbit care givers should put on an overall when performing their duties to reduce the chances of spreading rabbit disease.
  8. Quarantine infected animals till they are fit to join others. Isolating infected animals saves other animals from getting infected too. Separate items belonging to them as well.
Preventing Rabbit Disease In Rabbitry
Preventing Rabbit Disease In Rabbitry

Common Rabbit Diseases And Treatment


Symptoms include loss of appetite, swollen stomach, weakness, constipation and diarrhea, rough hair coat, and drowsy eyes are all symptoms of coccidiosis.

To prevent this disease, 30 ml of Sulmet is combined in 4 liters of water and given for two days, then 15 ml of medication in 4 liters of water is given once a month for four days.

Some drug can be administered at 1.5 ml per kg body weight for 2 days, then 0.75 ml per kg body weight for another 4 days for curative purposes.


Ear canker, often known as mange, is caused by mites that assault the inner ear, producing inflammation and extreme discomfort. The persistent scratching of the ear causes the animal to become restless.

Preventing Rabbit Disease In Rabbitry
Ear Mites In Rabbit

Inside the ear, necrotic tissues might be discovered. Crusts and scales are removed with wool, and Butox or Loraxne lotion can be administered as a therapy. Body mange and ear canker are also treated with ascabiol.


Snuffles, pneumonia, otitis, conjunctivitis, and abscess are among the illnesses caused by Pasteurella multocida in rabbits. Snuffles are characterized by a thick, sticky white discharge from the nose, as well as continuous sneezing.

With its forelegs, the animal sweeps the fluids away. It is not a dangerous condition, but if left untreated, it can progress to pneumonia. A combination of 400000 IU Penicillin and 0.5 grams Streptomycin injected intramuscularly can successfully cure snuffles and pneumonia. Antibiotics can also be used to effectively treat conjunctivitis and abscesses.


It occurs mostly due to feeding of concentrate feed stored for long time, preferably in damp or moist places. The disease is characterized by loss of appetite, distended abdomen and abortion in pregnant animals.

It causes high mortality. When the affected animal is shaken with both hands it gives a distinct gurgling sound. For prevention of this disease fresh and dry feed should be offered to the animals. Feed should not be stored in damp places and molded feed should be discarded.

Preventing Rabbit Disease In Rabbitry
Preventing Rabbit Disease In Rabbitry

Rabbit Predators

Predator attacks cause direct loss of investment with no means for damage control. Rabbit predators include snakes, ants, cats etc; it is important to protect the rabbits from predators.

Locking the gates, ensuring the hutches are firm and putting them in fenced parts can prevent predators from gaining entry.

Preventing Rabbit Disease In Rabbitry
Snake: A Rabbit Predator

Ants gain entry through food items, dead animals, this still boils down to proper hygiene. The use of insecticide can cause more havoc to the rabbits than destroying insects.

Predators causes direct harm, whereas insects including house fly increases the chance of diseases so sufficient care to control both should be taken to enhance the productivity and reduce the spread of disease.


Prevention is better than cure works just fine in rabbit farming; many rabbit disease can be prevented with proper diet and hygiene.

Rabbits are prey animals that do not show their vulnerability or ill health until when it is late causing more loss for the rabbit farmer.

Preventing Rabbit Disease In Rabbitry
Preventing Rabbit Disease In Rabbitry

It is important for rabbit farmers and care givers to observe them closely and watch out for any sign or symptom different from their usual outlook.

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