In summer we often get visits from concerned rabbit owners in Whitchurch, Ludgershall and St Mary Bourne whose pets are struggling with heat, humidity, fleas and flystrike, among other seasonal troubles.
Fortunately, as our head vet Simon explains, these can often be dealt with by taking a few simple steps. However, if you have any concerns about your rabbit, especially in the hot weather, why not book a summer health check with one of our team.
Why heat is bad for rabbits
Rabbits suffer heatstroke in hot weather because they retain too much heat with their thick fur coats. This may explain why your pet is lethargic, unsettled or distressed. If the atmosphere is also humid, panting can make them feel even worse.
We recommend keeping occupied rabbit hutches out of the full summer sun – and you must ALWAYS make sure your pet has enough water. If you suspect your rabbit is overheating, move them to a cooler area out of the sun and if you can leave them with a bowl of melting ice cubes.
If your rabbit appears very distressed, don’t delay – bring them to us or call us immediately.
Deadly summer bugs
Rabbit fleas can help spread the bunny-killing disease myxomatosis. So in summer, when flea lifecycles speed up, it’s crucial that you groom your rabbit regularly, particularly looking for fleas around the head, neck and ears.
Plus, there are rabbit flea treatments available which are highly effective in preventing and treating existing flea infestations. Drop by and we’ll be happy to show you what we suggest and how to apply it.
Finally, it’s EXTREMELY important to vaccinate your rabbit to protect against myxomatosis, so give us a call if you haven’t yet done this or if you’re not sure.
Strike back at flystrike
Flystrike is an infestation of maggots and can be fatal to rabbits – and it’s very common in summer. If individual pets are overweight, prone to diarrhoea or bladder infections, or have bad teeth, they may have trouble keeping themselves clean of the urine and faeces that attract egg-laying flies.
You can help by making sure your pet’s diet contains enough fibre and looking daily for signs of grime. If you spot anything that concerns you, book an appointment so we can offer advice.