Rabbits, being sensitive animals, can become afraid even with small things. When a rabbit is experiencing shock, quick treatment is crucial.
There are two primary steps you can try to relax the rabbit. First of all, provide warmth to the rabbit. The second step is to talk with the rabbit with a gentle and soft energy. In extreme cases, shock can be dangerous. Take the rabbit to the veterinarian as soon as you can. After treating the pet, the vet will check if there is anything more drastic than shock.
Let’s know more about what shock is and what you can do to treat it in rabbits.
What Is Shock In The Pet Rabbits?
When a rabbit is too afraid, it tends to go into shock, and its body will close down. The rabbit’s body temperature will fall, and organs might stop functioning. Sometimes the pet’s heart would stop pumping blood. Your rabbit can not respond and goes totally into an unreactive state.
Many rabbits will recover from the shock. In extreme situations, it becomes too dangerous if the rabbit does not get crucial supervision and treatment.
When the rabbit gets sacred due to sudden things, it will have a heart attack. It is not a regular incident but tends to occur more in young rabbits. Though heart attack is different from shock, there are high chances of your rabbit dying because of sudden panic.
What Causes Shock In The Pet Rabbits?
As rabbits are sensitive creatures, many things will make them go into shock. Even a slight change or new environment can make the rabbit go into a shocking state.
The rabbit can experience shock if there are many pet animals in your home or because of loud dog barking noises. Some other reasons include kids dealing with the rabbit, loud and unexpected noises, and even a sharp light flash. Sometimes other rabbits might also be the reason for your pet going into shock. Everything that is startling and new changes in the rabbit’s schedule can also be the potential reasons.
Bug infestations and serious medical problems can also make the rabbit go into a shocking state. If your pet is suffering from other illnesses, it might also be the reason for the shock.
But, shock does not often occur as it sounds. If the rabbit is afraid, it will run away and hide from the scary thing. It comes out of the hiding place only if it feels safe and comfortable. Rabbits can go into shock, and you need to understand what are the potential symptoms. But you have to remember that not every doorbell or loud knock will make your furry pet pass out.
Symptoms Or Signs Of Shock
Remember, shock does not always occur. But you must know its symptoms and what it looks like in the pet. After learning the signs, you can take immediate action for treating your rabbit if it goes into shock.
- Weak or limping rabbit. You can notice this when the rabbit is not reacting to your touch, and it looks lifeless.
- Quick breathing. Sometimes the rabbit’s organs stop working, and short breathing is an indication of shock.
- Hypothermia. When the organs blackout, the pet’s temperature will decline. When it is in shock, you have to know how to improve the rabbit’s temperature.
- Thin gums. Examine the rabbit’s gums. If the gums are not pink in color, the blood circulation decreases in the pet’s body.
- Frigid ears. Touch the rabbit’s ears. If it feels cold, your rabbit might go into shock.
- Weak pulse. Keep your forefinger and thumb near the large vein in the rabbit’s ears to check its pulse. If the beating rate is low or uneven, it is a sign of shock.
- Glossed-over eyes. Your rabbit looks dull and does not focus on anything particular.
If you can not determine whether the rabbit is in shock or not and if its condition is severe than the above signs, go to the veterinarian.
How To Deal With Shock In Two Steps
Though there are two steps you can use to treat the rabbit in shock, it is crucial to bring the rabbit to the veterinarian as fast as possible. But be cautious during the drive to the veterinarian. Sometimes the journey might add more stress to the rabbit and make the condition dangerous. It is better to steady the rabbit’s situation before going to the clinic.
If you want, you can contact the veterinarian to ask if you should normalize the rabbit’s condition or take it to the clinic.
Warm the rabbit. You can provide warmth to the rabbit in many ways. If one method is not working, you can try another way.
- Warm towel. Warm a towel in the dryer. Encircle the rabbit with this warm towel, but not hot cloth. Consider NOT TO cover the rabbit. If you wrap the rabbit totally, it will feel stressed and uneasy.
- Warm water bottle. If possible, heat one or two water bottles in a microwave. It is better to prepare them warm enough but not too hot. Keep this warm bottle beside the rabbit. Make sure NOT TO drown the rabbit in the warm water because it is dangerous. Remember, the crucial thing in this situation is to give comfort to the rabbit but not adding stress.
- Heating pad. Keep the heating pad on a downward area beside the rabbit. Make sure NOT TO place the heating pad on the rabbit because it damages the pet’s sensitive skin.
First of all, it is crucial to stabilize the rabbit’s temperature. Make sure that you are neither cooling nor overheating the rabbit. The ideal rabbit temperature is between 101 and 103 degrees Fahrenheit (38.3 and 39.4 degrees Celsius). If the pet’s temperature is 100 degrees Fahrenheit or below, the rabbit tends to get into shock.
If possible, it is best to examine the rabbit’s temperature. By knowing the pet’s temperature, you can determine if the condition is severe or ordinary. When the situation is worsening, you can take it to the veterinarian. Here is a video that shows visual instructions for checking the rabbit’s temperature if you are not aware of the process. All you need is a vaseline bottle and a working thermometer.
Some rabbits will hide while going into shock. Be cautious and make sure that the rabbit’s temperature is not falling below 101 degrees Fahrenheit.
Try your best to talk slowly to the rabbit. Calming down the rabbit is the primary idea for treating shock. When the rabbit is getting warmth, hold and speak smoothly with the pet to reduce the stress.
It is better to bring the rabbit into a dark area and make sure there are no loud noises. Speak smoothly and do your best to comfort and calm your rabbit.
If you are rabbit-sitting the pet while it goes into shock, make a quick call to the owner for treating the rabbit. Calming down the pet is beneficial for owners or others that are familiar with the pet. But, if the rabbit’s owner can not come, talk to them to know how to treat and comfort. In case of severe conditions, go to the veterinarian.
Indications Of Recovery
If the rabbit is coming back to its usual behavior, it is a sign that shows the improvement of the rabbit. Sometimes, the rabbits start to chew, jump around, or run to their safe spot. If you are carrying the pet, it might take effort to come down. When the energy levels and their body temperatures increase, it is a crystal-clear sign of the rabbit’s recovery.
After the rabbit experiences shock, it is better to check its body temperature. The temperature of a rabbit should stay between 101 and 103 degrees Fahrenheit (38.3 and 39.4 degrees Celsius). If you see any decrease in the temperature level, call the veterinarian. Follow the vet’s instructions and treat the rabbit.
For a few days following the shock, your rabbit might act a bit more nervous than usual. Be cautious and pay attention to the pet. Going into shock is frightening, and the rabbit will be more aware of its surroundings.
Tips On How To Prevent Shock
Now, you know what shock is, its causes, and how to treat it. This section tells about what you can do to prevent shock in the rabbit. You can follow the below methods to avoid shock, which comes in handy in future emergencies.
- Introduce other pet animals to the rabbit but take it slow. If you have other animals, such as cats or puppies, your rabbit will be afraid. As these other pets are predators, rabbits will come under stress. First, restrict their interaction, and sometime later, introduce other pets one by one. It helps the rabbit to feel comfortable and safe.
- Support your rabbit so that it can be more confident. A few rabbits suffer from anxiety. You need to help these rabbits to stay comfortable with new surroundings and your presence. By following a particular routine, you can reduce the rabbit’s anxiety. Also, it is good to play with the rabbit and allow them to reach you. Stimulate the rabbit to roam around and show hiding places.
- Keep the pet rabbit indoors. This tip reduces the chances of your rabbit suffering from bug infestations. It also prevents other unusual and dangerous situations.
- DO NOT make the rabbit wet. You do not have to bathe the rabbits. Your rabbits will get into shock if they fall or have unusual contact with water. Besides that, making the rabbit wet might result in hypothermia. The rabbit’s fur is not easy to dry quickly. You should prevent hypothermia as much as possible.
- Go to the vet with the rabbit for regular check-ups. For a few times at first, the rabbit will feel scared while going to a veterinarian. It is better to go to the veterinarian with your rabbit from time to time for regular check-ups. It prevents the rabbit from going into a shocking state.