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A Rabbit’s Unlucky 7 - Critters USA

These seven ailments most often cause problems in rabbits.

By Sari Kanfer, DVM

A Rabbit's Unlucky 7Longhaired or short, lop-eared or not, rabbits are extremely cute. Their sweet personalities grab hold of our hearts, and their leaps and naughty antics make us smile. But when our beloved rabbits become sick, it can be very scary. Rabbits are quite delicate, and can become deathly ill within just a few hours.

Many rabbit illnesses occur secondary to improper diet and housing. When caring for any pet, consider its biology and physiology in order to provide proper nutrition and meet the animal’s environmental needs.

Rabbits are herbivores with specialized teeth and a unique intestinal tract that allows them to transform plant material into nutrients via a symbiotic relationship with good bacteria in their gut. Because rabbits are so specialized, feeding a diet with insufficient fiber (hay) causes many problems. Intestines slow down, good bacteria may die and bad bacteria may overgrow, teeth won’t get worn down properly, and rabbits can become obese.

**For the full article, pick up the 2009 issue of Critters USA or click here to buy the issue.**

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