Spring Dangers for Rabbits
Knowing how to keep your rabbit safe and happy in Spring can make sure you both enjoy this gorgeous time of year.
As anyone who has owned a rabbit will tell you, they are curious creatures and are happy to give most things a go! This inquisitive nature can cause problems.
The warming weather over Spring, while a welcome change from winter, also brings other potential dangers. Knowing how to keep your rabbit safe and happy in Spring can make sure you both enjoy this gorgeous time of year.
If you believe your rabbit has been exposed to any of the dangers below then please contact your local Vets4Pets practice immediately.
Lots of flying insects appear as the weather warms. Although most are harmless, some, such as the bottle fly, lay their eggs inside rabbit fur. The flies are attracted to dirt and dampness found on the back end of rabbits. The eggs hatch into maggots, which burrow into the skin, causing shock and rapid death.
You can learn more about how to prevent flystrike here at Vets4Pets.
Easter brings many chocolatey treats, and as with all household pets, chocolate is toxic to rabbits. Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine, as well as caffeine, and these make chocolate potentially deadly to our rabbits.
Remember to contact your local Vets4Pets practice immediately if your pet has consumed chocolate.
Breeding like rabbits
Rabbits breed all year round, but they are especially fertile in Spring and Summer. Rabbits can reproduce from four months of age, so this should be considered when planning to house opposite-sex pairs. You may want to consider neutering to avoid having additional bunnies.
Rabbits are reintroduced to the garden in Spring. Whilst grass is great for digestive health, and exercise is important, a sudden change in diet can cause any pet some tummy troubles. You should introduce your rabbits to the new fresh grass gradually.
And it is important to note that grass trimmings from a lawnmower can start a fermentation process and should not be fed to your rabbit.
Garden cleaning can involve the use of slug pellets, herbicides, fungicides and fertilisers. Although these products can help our gardens look great, many of them contain substances that are toxic to rabbits.
Slug pellets may contain an ingredient called metaldehyde. This is extremely poisonous to pets and causes drooling, twitching, fever, seizures (fits) and even death. Glyphosphate is another common ingredient, seen in weed killers, and can be an irritant to the skin and the tummy if consumed.
Rabbits are big eaters and are often on the lookout for food. Rabbits determine how edible something is by chewing them which means that they are exposed to plenty of hazards, typically garden plants.
Visit the pet poisons advice page for common toxic plants to look out for, and remember to contact your local vet immediately if your rabbit has eaten something it shouldn't have.