Do you know the lion head rabbit ? It is a dwarf rabbit and in fact its weight hardly exceeds 1.8 kg. Sensitive and affectionate, he needs a diet rich in fiber. Let’s see why.
The lion’s head rabbit has been known in Europe since the early Eighties , while in America, this breed is almost a novelty, as it was officially recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA), only in 2014, as a fruit of a genetic mutation.
Lion’s head rabbit: typical appearance
Straight ears, alert eyes, long hair present in different colors. It is the lion’s head rabbit, a small pet that does not exceed 1.8 kg in weight.
Like all rabbits, this specimen too has a 190 ° view with a single blind spot at the nose.
Its name derives from the fact that its fur appears thicker around the neck and cheeks , almost forming a lion’s crest.
The classic specimen has a golden cream colored fur, but there are also white rabbits with blue eyes , chocolate , seal , and piebald blue point and tortoise .
Lion head rabbit: character
Sweet, sociable and outgoing , he becomes attached to his family after a few days. In fact, he must gradually get used to his presence. The first few days house him in the cage and talk to him but don’t take him.
The important thing is to leave him free to explore, trying to respect his times , and never force him into interactions, but rather reward him, every time he takes a step forward (even metaphorical). And never stop talking to him.
Being very docile, it is the ideal companion animal for a family with children . As long as they are not too small, as violent or abrupt gestures could compromise his health, given the fragile bones.
He loves being in a group, so it won’t be difficult for him to immediately recognize his master and treat others as his companions. The sympathy with other animals is less immediate. The lion’s head rabbit will calmly get used to both a dog and a cat.
But it is generally not recommended to leave them alone as both could hurt him by playing with them. The dog breed that best suits this animal is the Cavalier King .
Similar speech for other examples of lion’s head rabbit. Always get used to them a little at a time, before putting them together in the same cage and keep in mind that rabbits give birth a lot (3/4 specimens at a time) and generally already after 4/7 months of age .
Through teeth, legs and ears, the lion’s head rabbit is able to communicate his moods . When he grinds his teeth, for example, he may be sick or restless, while when he makes sounds with the help of his front teeth, he is basically purring.
If he snorts or blows he is nervous, while when he hits his hind legs on the ground he is worried or tense . Small taps of the muzzle on the hand are instead a sign of affection , and often accompanied by a lick.
Lion’s head rabbit: care
If well cared for, the lion’s head rabbit can live up to 10 years . Like all rabbits, it has very sensitive ears, which absolutely must not be pulled. Her teeth grow constantly, so it is important that her diet is varied and high in fiber to avoid malocclusion.
Fiber is also important in warding off gastrointestinal complaints, obesity and stones. A diet based on hay , grass , fresh vegetables and pellets is generally recommended . The foods that must absolutely be avoided, however, are carbohydrates, as they involve the birth of bacteria in the intestine.
Food must never be lacking, as lacking it could upset it. It is also important not to let him wander around the house unattended, and to periodically keep an eye on his teeth, his weak point, as they are likely foci of abscesses or infections.
It is also necessary to pay attention to the ears, eyes and hair, which must be combed once a week to avoid the formation of knots but also that your rabbit ingests it in excess. Once a day, however, during the moult.
Remember, however, at the same time, not to always leave him in the cage. The council is a social animal so it is good to spend as much time as possible with him outside the cage, as soon as you return home. Excessive time spent in captivity will turn him into a nervous, unhappy and obese dwarf rabbit .
The lion’s head rabbit can be housed both in the apartment and outside , as it is particularly robust; the ideal would be a house that allows him to live in complete safety both indoors and outdoors , so that he can enjoy the grass and the sun but sheltered from predators.
Diseases and health problems of the lion’s head rabbit
In any case, the cage should always be wide enough to allow your pet to be comfortable and move around. Never use softwood (such as pine and cedar) for bedding, as it can cause respiratory problems . A good trick could be to use a soft cloth.
Mange, which causes lesions to the skin around the eyes, ears, and nails, is a condition that also affects rabbits . But it can be easily cured with an acaricide. Be careful because if neglected, it can lead to death.
Treat your rabbit with a pesticide also to avoid flea attacks . Particularly dangerous as it can cause Myxomatosis and Viral Hemorrhagic Disease. The first is incurable but is avoided with vaccinations; the second is almost asymptomatic but also fatal.
Make sure its back is always clean as feces may attract flies that like to lay eggs in its fur. Symptoms that your pet is in a state of discomfort are dental crowding, shiny eyes, bumps on the skin and diarrhea .
Finally, always check that the lion’s head rabbit has eaten, as if it is fasted for 24 hours , its intestines become blocked causing a slow and dangerous decline.
Lion head rabbit price
The cost of a lion’s head rabbit is not particularly high , but it is important to keep in mind, before buying one, what the ancillary costs could be. In addition to the cage, the material for the bed and the food, the expense for his physical well-being must be evaluated, for example for toilet and veterinary care.
More than in shops, we recommend getting a lion’s head rabbit from rabbit shelters or breeders . Often, in fact, the specimens present in the shops have undergone a long and exhausting transport, which can expose them to the risk of stress and disease.