Heat stroke in dwarf rabbits

The heat shock in rabbits  dwarf is an elevation in body temperature that is generally associated with exposure to excessive heat.

Rabbits during the hot season need specific care to preserve their good health.  In general, these adorable pets tend to get used to temperate or cold climates more easily.

What is heat stroke in dwarf rabbits?

Rabbits tend to withstand cold much more than heat. Most rabbit breeds come from places with very cold winters.

Heat stroke is the common name for hyperthermia. A rise in the temperature of our rabbit to a point where it can suffer many damages, sometimes as serious as death.

Rabbit fur is not prepared to withstand high temperatures. Let’s imagine that we wear warm clothes in places where temperatures rise above 28ºC. Would you be hot? That is what happens to these little animals. The  normal body temperature  of rabbits varies between  38ºC and 40ºC, and the optimal temperatures for their development should be between 18ºC and 24ºC. If the environmental temperature exceeds 30 ºC, the rabbit does not have an environment with shade and fresh water, or it is directly exposed to solar radiation, its body temperature will rise and symptoms of heat stroke may appear in rabbits.

Symptoms of heat stroke in rabbits

During the summer months it is normal for our rabbit to be more listless. But we should be concerned about the following symptoms since they can be the beginning of heat stroke in rabbits:

  • Panting
  • Excessive salivation
  • Soft spot
  • Reddened ears
  • Stretch leaving the belly in contact with the ground
  • Muscle tremors
  • Tachycardia
  • Lethargy
  • Slow movements
  • Wobbles
  • Dizziness
  • Seizures

When identifying any of these symptoms in your rabbit, it is essential to act quickly and consciously to apply the necessary first aid to save the life of our pet, avoiding sudden death from cardiac arrest.

First aid for heat stroke

Before teaching you first aid in case of heat stroke in rabbits, we must remind you that it is an emergency measure to temporarily stabilize the animal’s health picture. However, it is essential to take the rabbit to the specialized veterinarian as soon as possible to verify its state of health and to verify the need to apply some treatment to prevent the symptoms from returning.

  1. To lower the rabbit’s body temperature, we will start by taking it to the coolest area of ​​our house.
  2. Then  we will apply a little fresh water – not cold or ice – on the armpits, on the head and on the animal’s pads.  For this we can use a clean cloth, gauze or cotton.
  3. If we observe that the body temperature is still very high,  we can spray a little water on its fur . The goal is not to bathe the rabbit, just slightly dampen its fur to refresh it.
  4. We will also leave fresh water available to the rabbit, but we must not force it to drink it.
  5. Meanwhile, we will strive to refresh our bunny’s environment so that he can be calm and comfortable.
  6. If our rabbit does not react, it will be essential to seek emergency veterinary attention.

How to prevent heat stroke in rabbits?

Preventing heat stroke in rabbits is not only possible, but it is necessary to maintain the good health of your pet.

  • Do not leave your rabbit locked up: In closed and unventilated places, temperatures rise more easily and the rabbit is more susceptible to heat stroke. Remember to always provide a shady place with good ventilation for your rabbit.
  • Leave clean and fresh water always at your disposal: on the hottest days, it is very important that you pay attention to your rabbit’s water, as it can heat up quickly and your rodent needs to always have fresh and clean water at its disposal. Hydration is a key care to preserve the good health of rabbits during the hot season. In addition, to  complement the feeding of the rabbits during the hot season, we can offer them lettuce and fresh fruits. These foods provide your body with water and help keep you well hydrated.
  • Regular their mealtime: Remember also give you a feed complete and balanced to supply their nutritional requirements.
  • I prevented obesity: obese animals are more susceptible to heat, in addition to being able to more easily develop some pathologies associated with being overweight and / or sedentary. In addition to providing them with a balanced diet, remember to respect the amount of food that is appropriate for its size, race, age and health, as well as to provide them with opportunities to exercise and express himself freely.
  • Preventive medicine : We advise you to make a preventive visit to the vet before the arrival of summer or in the first days of the season to certify that your rabbit is healthy and take advantage of it to update its vaccines and antiparasitic treatments.
  • If the rooms in our home are very hot in summer we can place a fan. In this case, the air must not be directed at the rabbit, but must be spread throughout the environment to refresh it. Another effective option is to  freeze water in a  plastic bottle and leave it in the cage for him to lie close to if he wants. You can also put some  ice cubes in the water your rabbit has to drink to prevent it from getting hot.
  • Combing our rabbit is also a very important factor since it helps to eliminate excess hair and thus prevent it from going through so much heat, especially in rabbits with thick or long hair.
  • Finally If we want our rabbit to enjoy a time of probation in the garden or in the park, we will do it first thing in the morning or late in the afternoon.

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