Common Diseases & Illnesses in Rabbits

Whether you’re a new bunny owner and doing your research before or during your bunny journey, or if you’re experienced, it’s important to know of common illnesses & diseases amongst rabbits, the causes of them and the best ways for you to prevent them! Rabbits are usually quite healthy animals, and in many cases you’ll only have to bring your rabbit to the vet for their annual check-up, but there are still precautions you need to take in order to keep it that way!

It can be difficult to detect when a rabbit isn’t feeling well, as they’re very good at hiding any weaknesses, so it’s important to learn your rabbit’s behaviours and usual every-day moods when they’re healthy, and just common signs in general, so that when the time comes, you’ll recognise when they’re not well and when it may be time to take them to the vet.  


It’s good to do regular health checks of your rabbit at home. Things to check for are:

  • Check for Sore hocks on their back feet/ “heel”. This usually looks like a red or pinkish lump on the back of their back feet.
  • Check their teeth that they’re not over-growing
  • Familiarise yourself with their stomach sounds before and after food. This can be a good thing to be aware off, so if it ever comes to it, you’ll know if anything sounds unusual.
  • Familiarise yourself with how your rabbit’s tummy feels. As well as stomach sounds, it’s good to know how your rabbit’s tummy usually feels before and after food, so that if it ever comes to it, you’ll know the difference between their usual healthy self, to when their stomach is bloated and potentially in need of a vet visit (bloating can indicate GI Stasis).
  • Recognise when they are acting lethargic or huddle up/ loaf in a corner where they don’t usually relax, as this can be one of the signs of a more serious illness such as E-cuniculi, GI Stasis, Myxo or RHD/V.
  • Check their ears for crust around the edges of the ears. This could indicate ear mites.
  • Feel their ears that they’re not too hot or too cold. A rabbit’s ears can indicate their temperature, and a nice normal cool to “luke-warm” feel is normal for healthy rabbits. Too hot can indicate heatstroke in the summer.
  • Check if their nose is runny or have any unusual colour discharge. A rabbit’s nose should be dry or have clear shine (like after drinking water). Any unusual discharge can indicate snuffles or other illnesses.


Here is a list of common diseases amongst rabbits that we will be covering throughout this blog post!

  • GI Stasis
  • RHD/V
  • E-Cuniculi
  • Myxomatosis
  • Sore hocks
  • Overgrown teeth
  • Ear Mites
  • Snuffles
  • Heatstroke (Can be seasonal in UK)



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