Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Signs of Illness in Pet Rabbits: Is my Pet Rabbit Ill?

Pet Rabbit With Signs of Illness

A new pet rabbit should first be taken to a qualified veterinarian for a check up. I say qualified veterinarian because some veterinarians choose not to see rabbits. Ask for a recommendation from a rabbit rescue, they should be able to give you a list of veterinarians to use. I cannot stress enough the importance of this first exam, you need to establish a relationship with a veterinarian. That way if the bunny is ever sick you have a veterinarian to make an appointment with. Veterinarians are busy; they will be more likely to squeeze in an emergency with an existing client over someone they don’t know.

Rabbits are sensitive and because of that fact owners should be on the look out for signs of illness. Signs of illness in rabbits include but are not limited too:

  • Changes in behavior or Lethargy – If your pet rabbits behavior changes call your veterinarian for an appointment. If the bunny seems less active (lethargic) or doesn’t want to play, doesn’t want to leave it’s bunny cage, etcetera, these are all reasons to contact the veterinarian.
  • Runny eyes or nose and sneezing – Runny eyes and/or nose and/or sneezing are signs of a respiratory infection.
  • Not eating – A rabbit that is off food and refusing treats could be ill.
  • Drooling – This is a symptom of a sore tooth. The rabbit might also be turning down crunchy food and treats.
  • Head tilt – Symptom of ear problems/infections.
  • Scratching/itching/shaking head – All symptoms of fleas and mites. These are a stubborn group and treatment needs to be begin immediately. Ask your veterinarian how to get rid of the fleas and/or mites. Rabbits are sensitive and the same products used on dogs and cats cannot be used on rabbits unless advised by a rabbit vet.
  • Lumps and abscesses – Rabbits are prone to abscesses so be on the look out for lumps on your rabbit. Antibiotics maybe necessary.
  • Stools – Watch your rabbit’s stool for changes in color, size, dry/hard, or wet. These changes could indicate whether or not your rabbit has a healthy GI tract.
  • Urine – Also watch for changes in the rabbits urine. Bunny urine can be yellow to orange depending on what is being fed. If you question whether or not the urine is bloody have your vet test a sample – better safe than sorry. Bunny can get urinary tract infection, bladder stones, and cancer.

If your rabbit is displaying any of the above symptoms contact your rabbit veterinarian immediately. To truly know when your rabbit is sick you need to spend time with your pet. Play with your bunny and handle it (if tolerated) often. That is the only way you’ll be able to catch illness early.

Image source: Bigstock.com

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Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Home Alone: How Do You Know if You Have a Lonely Pet?

lonely petIt’s easy to become consumed with fear or doubt when it comes to how your pet spends his or her time when you’re at work or school. To be sure, many animals relish the chance to spend as much time as possible with the people they love best. If it’s been a full summer, your pet may feel a bit lonely. With our guide to keeping a lonely pet fulfilled and content, you won’t have to worry when the fall calendar starts to fill up.

Keeping it Real

Many pets are well accustomed to their owner’s long absences. Other animals don’t cope well with being home alone, and they may exhibit some of the following behaviors:

  • Destructive chewing, scratching, or digging
  • Hiding
  • Barking or howling repeatedly
  • Over or under grooming
  • Pacing
  • Soiling inside the house
  • Obvious anxiety when you prepare to leave
  • Lethargy or loss of interest in activities that were previously exciting
  • Withdrawn and quiet
  • Aggressive
  • Eating or drinking less

Some pets suffer from intense separation anxiety that may require prescription medication. Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns about your pet’s behavior.

Setting Up for Success

Interactive toys are a great source of fun, entertainment, and productivity in your absence. Puzzle toys or treat toys can challenge your pet’s IQ and even tire him or her out. Check out toys hidden inside other toys or ones that talk or give some kind of stimulating feedback, such as lights, buzzing, or talking.

Don’t feel limited to chew toys (although they certainly have their place). Toys like Kongs are a great place to start and they give rewards to a curious/hungry pet.

The Lonely Pet Club

It might be a great time to adopt a friend for your pet. While this is a huge decision, an extra buddy for your lonely pet can provide loads of fun and companionship. Of course, only make this choice if you’re confident you and your pet are ready for such a big change.

Other Helpful Methods

Your lonely pet may also benefit from:

  • Training – Work on desensitizing your pet by repeating the pattern of leaving and returning home. Start with short intervals, increasing the time between leaving and returning when you’re sure your pet isn’t getting upset.
  • Breaks – If you’re unable to pop in at lunch or on breaks throughout the day, schedule a dog walker or pet sitter to stop by. Alternatively, doggie playcare or daily boarding facilities provide socialization, play, and stimulation while you’re separated.
  • Gotta go! – Doggie doors or pet flaps can offer a great sense of relief to a pet who’s home alone. If you have a secure fenced in yard, this may be a terrific option for you and your pet.
  • Sounds – Leaving the TV or radio on during the day can soothe a lonely pet. Some pets even have clear preferences for a certain show, character, or personality!
  • Exercise – Whenever you get back home, give your pet the opportunity to work out with you. Burn off extra energy that has built up throughout the day.

Our staff is always here for you and your pet. Please contact us with any questions or concerns.

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