October 7, 2023
If your bunny’s heart is not functioning as it should, then the rest of their body will become affected. Our Veterinary Surgeon Laura Sulsh has put together information on the most common heart conditions that can affect rabbits and also tips on how you can improve their heart health below.
We’re hoping to raise awareness amongst West Sussex rabbit owners, so please do share our article on your social media pages.
Our vets have also put together a factsheet to help you Spot Rabbit Heart Problems at Home
Portland Vets wants to spread awareness of what conditions can potentially affect your rabbit. Have a read of the points below and if you have concerns about your own pet, book an appointment with our experienced team of rabbit loving vets at our East Grinstead surgery.
Cardiomyopathy is a type of heart disease that can lead to impaired heart function. It more commonly affects larger rabbit breeds, but all are susceptible. Laura advises that early diagnosis and treatment is key to keeping your rabbit’s quality of life – book a rabbit health check now.
Congestive heart failure in rabbits occurs when the left ventricle of the heart is malfunctioning. This means the heart is then unable to pump blood effectively, leading to a build-up in fluid.
Hypertension is when your rabbit’s blood pressure becomes elevated which then puts stress on their organs. According to Laura, stress is the major contributing factor which is why at Portland Vets we treat all our rabbit patients in quiet and calm consultation rooms.
Symptoms of heart problems can be difficult to spot in rabbits, especially as they hide signs of pain and illness on purpose – a natural instinct to protect themselves from predators in the wild. You may be able to spot some signs at home. Take a look at our Rabbit Heart Symptoms Fact Sheet.
If you notice any of the symptoms in our fact sheet in your pet, contact us immediately on 01342 327799 as your rabbit may need emergency treatment.
Routine examinations with our rabbit vets will help to provide early diagnosis for many heart conditions.
It is essential your rabbit has access to clean, fresh water constantly. They also need a constant diet of good quality hay and fresh vegetables. Rabbit pellets and fruit should be limited in your rabbit’s diet and avoid excessive treats which could lead to obesity.
To prevent obesity, alongside a balanced diet you need to ensure you rabbit has plenty of space and opportunities to exercise. As naturally active mammals, physical activity will get their blood pumping and keep their heart healthy. You also need to provide enrichment – use toys and play tunnels to stimulate your bunny’s brain.
Keep their living space as stress-free as possible.. Also, reduce their exposure to air pollutants and avoid smoking around your rabbit.
Rabbits thrive in companionship. They are naturally social animals so a bonded companion will help promote their overall wellbeing.
Monitoring your rabbit for any changes in their health is essential in ensuring they receive prompt treatment if they do become unwell. Breathing rates and behaviour will help indicate if they need to see Portland Vets’ team of experienced rabbit vets. Contact us on 01342 327799 and remember to share this article with other rabbit owners in West Sussex.
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