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Turmeric for rabbits

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Vet Talks: 5 Common Diseases in Rabbits

Vet Talks 7 min read
Vet Talks: 5 Common Diseases in Rabbits

We have lots of room in our hearts for all kinds of pets, cats, dogs, ducks, guinea pigs, etc. Lately, we have been getting lots of questions about RABBITS and something that many of our #NHVpets family don’t know is that our supplements are also good for our bunny buddies! We put together a list of the 5 common diseases in rabbits and how to treat them to help these cuties’ pawrents all over the world.

1 – Trichobezoars/Hairball in Rabbits

Rabbits are extremely concerned with hygiene, just like cats. Both use the tongue to clean their hair and spend most of the day in this task. Due to their habitual cleaning, parents to a rodent or feline generally don’t need to worry about bathing their furkiddo. However, there is a problem that arises with constant self-grooming: the hairballs.

During the grooming session, several hairs stick together on the rabbit’s tongue, which will stop in the stomach.

During the grooming session, several hairs stick together on the rabbit’s tongue. These hairs will stop in the stomach and, in large quantities, form the famous hairballs. To eliminate them, cats can vomit, but the rabbits cannot expel that way. Such impairment can lead the ingested hairballs to become a major health problem.

Causes

  • Improper nutrition: lack of fibers in their food
  • Dehydration of the stomach contents
  • Metabolic diseases
  • Discomfort
  • Stress

Symptoms

  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal discomfort and distension
  • Firm ingestible material found in the stomach
  • Sounds coming from the stomach
  • Constipation
  • Decreased activity
  • Teeth grinding, hunched posture
  • Weakness or collapse

Diagnosis

  • Hydration level
  • Blood panel
  • Fecal examination
  • Radiograph
  • Ultrasound

Treatment

Emergency surgery, if the gastrointestinal tract is obstructed.

Prevention

The best way to avoid hairballs – and dental problems – is by offering foods with sufficient fiber. Limit the amount of food and always leave fresh hay available.

Pineapple may also help to treat the accumulation of hairs. The fruit has an enzyme, called bromelain, which helps to digest the hair, facilitating their passage through the digestive system. Most rabbits do not like to eat pineapple because of the smell, so they need to be administered directly in the mouth. A syringe or pet-friendly herbal supplements can solve this obstacle.

Lastly, regular brushing is important to prevent the buildup of hair in the body – especially longhaired species. When brushing, all dead hair will come out, decreasing the likelihood of ingestion during rabbit hygiene. Also, consider trimming your pet — if the hair is too long, it will help a lot.

Supplements

NHV Maris can be very helpful for your rabbit. It is an herbal formula for constipation that promotes bowel movement and soft stools, relieves congestion and inflammation, and helps support good colon and gastrointestinal health.

NHV Hairb-Ez can also be really helpful for eliminating small hairballs. Hairb-Ez contains herbs that have natural properties that help to dissolve ingested hairballs, encourage healthy bowel movements, help reduce constipation, discomfort, bloating, and discomfort.

rabbit-white-brown-om-the-floor

2 – Snuffles in Rabbits

Although it sounds cute, the snuffles are a common bacterial respiratory disease in rabbits.

Causes

  • Chronic bacterial infection (Pasteurella spp or Staphylococcus spp) in the tear ducts and nasal sinuses
  • Dental problems — when the teeth become overgrown, the roots push upwards and can obstruct the tear duct allowing the bacteria to grow
  • The build-up of fumes from urine or from certain types of wood shavings, e.g. cedar, may cause irritation to the eyes, and possibly trigger snuffles

Symptoms

Many infected rabbits will initially develop a watery nasal discharge followed by sneezing and then a thick, whitish to yellowish nasal discharge. These infected rabbits will often make a loud snuffling or snoring sound due to the fluid and mucous in their nasal tracts. Because rabbits groom their faces with their front paws, infected rabbits will often have discharge and mats on the inside of their forepaws. The disease can also travel to their eyes causing conjunctivitis and a resulting discharge, or it may travel to their ears causing ear infections.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is based on the symptoms and sensitivity tests to discover which bacterium is causing the problem.

Treatment

A common treatment is an antibiotic therapy. If the Snuffles are being caused by problems with the teeth, such as abscesses found because of an infection, the problematic teeth may need to be removed.

Prevention

The best way of preventing your rabbit from snuffles is to ensure that its teeth are healthy and this may require changes to your rabbit’s diet — they need a high fiber diet. It is also important to make sure that the rabbit is in a well-ventilated area and their cage is regularly cleaned out to prevent the build-up of fumes from urine.

Supplements

NHV Matricalm helps reduce stress and anxiety in pets. Stress can make the Snuffles worse and Matricalm may help rabbits to breathe better while also having a calming effect. While many rabbits respond best to vet-prescribed antibiotics, others respond very well to the components that Matricalm has.

NHV Resp-Aid supports respiratory health and function. It helps pets to breathe easier, fight respiratory infections, and relieve shortness of breath. Resp-Aid contains herbs that naturally have anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties.

rabbit-nose

3 – Lung Cancer in Rabbits

Thymoma and thymic lymphoma are tumors that arise from the thymus, an organ that is part of the immune system and is found in the cranial mediastinum (a portion of the chest cavity). They may occur alone and remain local, or they can affect many different organs of the rabbit’s body as cancer metastasizes, spreading to other tissue in the body.

Symptoms

  • Presence of a space-occupying mass in the chest
  • Shortness of breath
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Open-mouth breathing
  • The eyes may appear to bulge out of the skull
  • Neck, head, and forelimb edema

Diagnosis

  • Thoracic radiographs
  • Computed tomography
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Ultrasonography
  • Biopsy

Treatment

  • Surgery
  • Radiation therapy

Supplements

NHV ES-Clear is our recommended supplement for pets fighting cancer. The herbs in this blend may help reduce tumor growth, purity blood, and help detoxify vital organs. It helps to support the immune system and improve quality of life, vitality, and energy levels.

NHV Natures Immuno is a blend of mushrooms known for their extensive health benefits. Together they help to support the immune system and help fight against viral infections. Natures Immuno can be beneficial as anti-cancer and anti-tumor support.

NHV BK-Detox supports the immune system and is a detoxifier for the vital organs and the blood. BK-Detox helps to improve and protect the immune system, especially for pets with compromised immune systems.

NHV Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and nutritive properties that increase overall vitality while helping to support a variety of health conditions such as cancer, heart issues, and arthritis.

NHV PetOmega 3 is a fish oil to enhance overall health and wellbeing. Omega-3 fatty acids are helpful in supporting cardiac health, coat conditions, joints, kidneys, and overall cancer support.

NHV Resp-Aid is an anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, and healing formulation that helps with upper respiratory congestion, helps fight infection and relieves shortness of breath.

grey-rabbit-on-the-sofa

 

4 – Kidney Issues in Rabbits

Rabbits can also suffer from renal problems. This causes them to produce less urine and is infrequently due to cases of dehydration.

Kidneys have several important functions; they get rid of the waste products that are created when food is transformed into energy. They also maintain the correct balance of water and electrolytes (salts) within the body cells. Another key function is the production of hormones called erythropoietin and renin, which are important in maintaining healthy blood pressure, producing blood cells, and absorbing salt correctly. Finally, the urinary system processes vitamin D which is essential for absorbing calcium and promote bone growth.

Types of Kidney Issues

  • Kidney degeneration is the most common cause and is often related to age — leads to kidney failure
  • Acute kidney failure (renal injury) leads the kidney to start shutting down very fast

Causes

  • Shock
  • Trauma
  • Stress
  • Stroke
  • Heart failure
  • Blood infection
  • Urinary tract obstruction
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Aging
  • Diabetes

Symptoms

  • Depression
  • Inability to eat
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Seizures
  • Lack of stool or inability to produce stool
  • Heart complications
  • Uncomfortable or tender kidneys

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is based on symptoms, laboratory tests, radiographs, and CT scans or ultrasound.

Treatment

  • Intravenous fluid balance therapy proceeded by a veterinarian
  • Glycoprotein
  • Balanced diet

Supplements

NHV Tripsy is a soothing formulation that helps to control infection, has a demulcent effect for urinary calculi, and supports the health of kidneys and bladder.

NHV Milk Thistle helps to detoxify the liver and kidneys by removing toxins that can build up in a pet’s system when taking pharmaceuticals or from chemical-laden foods. It helps to improve liver and kidney function, supports regeneration of the liver, and supports overworked kidneys.

NHV Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and nutritive properties that increase overall vitality while helping to support many organs in the body including the kidneys.

NHV PetOmega 3 is a fish oil to enhance overall health and wellbeing. Omega-3 fatty acids are helpful in supporting cardiac health, coat conditions, joints, kidneys, and overall cancer support.

white-with-dots-rabbit

5 – Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD) in Rabbits

Degenerative Joint Disease is a chronic condition of the joints in rabbits. It occurs when the cartilage or cushion between joints breaks down leading to discomfort, stiffness, and swelling.

Causes

  • Trauma
  • Joint instability
  • Aging
  • Obesity

Symptoms

The animal may show lameness, a stiff gait, and restricted motion.

Diagnosis

It is based on symptoms, physical examination, radiograph, and analysis of the fluid surrounding the joints.

Treatment

Rabbits with DJD can be treated by limiting exercise and administering prescribed medications. In some cases, surgery is recommended to fix the unstable joints.

Supplements

NHV Old Timer is a herbal formulation with anti-inflammatory and restorative actions. It helps to alleviate arthritis, muscle, and joint discomfort and improves energy levels

NHV Yucca is a powerful anti-inflammatory with nutritive properties that can be used to support arthritic and joint problems. Yucca also helps boost the appetite and reduces unpleasant odors in urine and feces.

NHV Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and nutritive properties that increase overall vitality while helping to support a variety of health conditions such as arthritis.

NHV PetOmega 3 is a fish oil to enhance overall health and wellbeing. Omega-3 fatty acids are helpful in supporting cardiac health, coat conditions, joints, kidneys, and overall cancer support.

brown-rabbit-lying-on-the-floor

If your rabbit has been diagnosed with any of these diseases and you’re having doubts about the course of treatment, our pet experts are always here to help! Just contact us and we’ll guide you through this difficult time. We’re always here to support you and your furmily!

For general well being and preventive care, we always recommend giving your furry baby Turmeric and Milk Thistle!

Dr. Amanda Nascimento DVM, MVSc, PhD

Dr. Amanda Nascimento DVM, MVSc, PhD

Dr. Amanda completed her undergraduate degree in veterinary medicine in 2010 and graduate studies in veterinary pathology (MVSc. 2012 and PhD 2016) at the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of São Paulo. She completed her post-doctoral training at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine – University of Saskatchewan in 2018. Dr. Nascimento will be hosting her own blog series and sharing her knowledge with our extended NHV family.

Published: March 13, 2020

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