Why are rabbits dying and what to do?

The body of a domestic rabbit does not tolerate diseases well, especially if they are caused by exposure to a virus. As a result, yesterday a completely healthy animal dies for no apparent reason. therefore the condition of the rabbits must be monitored constantly, in order to notice the symptoms of the disease in time and isolate it from its relatives, as well as do everything possible to cure it. In this article, we will look at common diseases that cause rabbits to die, why they appear and what to do in such cases.

Why rabbits are dying: causes of death

A common cause of illness and subsequent death in rabbits is violation of sanitary standards during maintenance. Untimely cleaning of cages, drinking dirty or spoiled water, all this negatively affects the health of the livestock. It is especially bad for an unbalanced diet, which further weakens the animal's immunity.

Rabbits also die in an attentive owner, who provides his wards with good feeding, timely cleaning and disinfection of cages. The reason for this is viral and infectious diseases, which are common in the summer, since they are transferred not only from a sick animal to a healthy one, but also through insect bites.

The most common diseases of adults and young animals

  • VGBK;
  • myxomatosis;
  • pasteurellosis;
  • coccidosis;
  • flatulence.

HBV (fever) - viral hemorrhagic disease of rabbits, when to get vaccinated

The abbreviation stands for - rabbit viral hemorrhagic disease... This disease is the cause of the death of rabbits. Animals are susceptible to diseases from two months. VGBK, or in simple words, fever, is very contagious, it is transmitted not only through the wool, meat and feces of infected individuals, but also by air. Mortality occurs in 90% of cases... It is not always possible to notice that the animal is infected, since HBV can pass in an asymptomatic form. In the acute form, rabbits completely refuse food, behave restlessly, very quickly lose strength and become inactive, but at the same time they convulsively twitch their paws and throw their head back.

The animal is in pain, therefore, it periodically emits a squeak, blood discharge through the nose is possible. Death occurs from 24 to 72 hours from the moment of infection... The disease affects and destroys the animal's liver, and also causes pulmonary edema, which often becomes the cause of death, as the body picks up oxygen.

In order to protect your livestock, you need to use a special the vaccine given to rabbits at 45 days of age... Adults can be administered at any time. The vaccine is valid for one year, after which revaccination should be carried out. Treatment of the disease has not yet been developed, and the reasons for the recovery of individual individuals have not been established.

Myxomatosis (distemper), visible symptoms

Disease transmitted by insect bites and produces profuse mucus from the nose and eyes. An infected animal can live with these symptoms for a long time, while infecting its relatives. Myxomatosis, common plague, very dangerous for young livestock, in which mortality occurs much faster than in adults.

In addition to secreting mucus, infected individuals have swelling or nodular swellings in the nose, ears, and eyes.

The incubation period lasts from 2 to 20 days, after which visible symptoms appear.

After the onset of symptoms, the disease develops rapidly and leads to the death of adult animals in about 10-14 days, and young animals in 7 days.

Myxomatosis spreads very quickly, and if one infected rabbit is found on the farm, then most likely the rest are already infected. The disease has no effective treatmenttherefore vaccination is needed to prevent it. Possible use of the associated vaccine, which has in its structure the strain of myxomatosis and VGBV, which eliminates the need to inject the animal with a syringe twice.


Infectious a disease that can cause a massive death of livestock in just 2 days... Visible symptoms are a runny nose, sneezing, and lack of appetite. Unlike the above diseases, which appeared relatively recently, pasteurellosis has been known for a very long time.

The disease is fatal, but on a much smaller scale than the former. Death occurs in 15-75% of cases. The better the feeding and sanitary conditions, the lower the death rate.

The disease can pass in an acute form or develop into a chronic one. In an acute course, the temperature of the animal rises to 41 degrees, after which shortness of breath, runny nose and sneezing begin. After a few hours or days, such a rabbit will most likely die. In the chronic form, the animal shows all the signs of rhinitis and conjunctivitis., which complicates timely diagnosis. The patient's stool becomes liquid, the appearance of purulent abscesses under the skin is possible, which open after 1.5-2 months. Fortunately, this ailment can be cured with medication.


The disease is caused by parasitic protozoa unicellular organisms. Parasites infect the liver and intestines... Every rabbit is a carrier of coccidosis, but the clinical form is rare.

Coccidosis manifests itself vividly, which helps with its diagnosis. So a sick animal has bloated belly and emaciated body, while there is no appetite. The disease is transmitted by coccidial oocytes, which are present in food and water. Healthy animals with strong immunity can independently resist the development of coccidia to a painful clinical form.

When an infected rabbit is slaughtered, point light growths in the form of nodules are observed on the liver and intestines. In addition, the liver will increase 5 times. The disease is treated with antibiotics, but first of all, it is necessary to improve the conditions of detention, preventing the accumulation of dirt and overpopulation of cells.


Flatulence or bloating, a common cause of death. Since the intestines of a rabbit are sensitive, it is difficult to restore its work if it fails, and sometimes it is impossible. The cause of flatulence is a sharp change in the flora of the digestive system.... This can happen if the food was very moist or juicy, which was unusual for the animal.

With flatulence, the rabbit falls into apathy., he suffers from colic and refuses to eat. This leads to fermentation in the intestines of the eaten food, since it is not pushed out by new food. As a result, bacteria develop in the digestive system, which begin to destroy the intestinal walls and lead to the death of the patient.

Other reasons due to which the livestock dies

In addition to the common causes of the death of rabbits, there are several more rare, but also dangerous diseases.

Rabbits are susceptible to scabies mites infestationthat parasitize in their ears. Ticks eat into the skin of the animal and drink its blood, causing severe itching. Scabs appear in the ears, the hair falls out on them. The exhausted animal gradually withers, it refuses food, loses strength and dies after long torment. These parasites can be killed with modern drugs, so the rabbit can be cured.

Females during lactation are prone to the appearance infectious mastitis on the nipples... The cause of the disease is the wounds received from the rabbits' sharp teeth. These bites are natural, but if they are poorly kept in a dirty cage, an infection begins to develop on them, which spreads throughout the body, infects the blood, which is fatal. Therefore, the cages with rabbits feeding young animals must be especially clean.

The reasons for the death of little rabbits

Rabbits under the age of one month are not susceptible to disease, since they have strong immunity obtained from the mother's milk. But strong immunity is not able to protect them from everything. Most frequent the reason for the death of young rabbits is the low temperature in the nest... They freeze to death even in hot summer, if they are not in the nest with bedding and mother's down.

The next reason is hunger. Lack of mother's milk in the early days, becomes an insurmountable obstacle for kids. The control of the milkiness of the female can be carried out by weighing the rabbits. By measuring their total weight before and after feeding, you can determine how much milk they drank. In case of its lack, it is necessary to improve the feeding of the female, or to remove part of the offspring to another rabbit who has children of the same age and who does not have a lack of milk.

Treatment and prevention of diseases at home

Diseases such as VGBK and myxomatosis are not treated, and mortality among infected individuals is very high. At the same time, they experience severe torment, so it is better to kill the animal. The only panacea is vaccination, which is given every year.

Pasteurellosis can be treated with antibiotics and B vitamins, especially at the initial stage of the disease. Coccidiosis is eliminated under the influence of drugs:

  • Trichopolum;
  • Sulfadimezin;
  • Khimkokcid.

Thus, it is important to monitor the well-being of the rabbits, and periodically conduct a detailed examination. Vaccinations should not be avoided at least against incurable diseases.... Good nutrition and hygiene will eliminate the possibility of developing most non-viral diseases.

Why do chickens die and how should they be treated?

Many farmers breed chickens on their plots. It happens that chickens begin to die suddenly. In this case, it is necessary find out the reason as soon as possible this, since you can lose all livestock. Poultry can get sick from contagious and non-contagious diseases. Let's consider in more detail why the chickens are dying and what needs to be done in this case.

  • At what age does mortality usually occur?
  • Non-communicable diseases
    • Hypothermia and hyperthermia
    • Indigestion
    • Gizzard atrophy
    • Avitaminosis
    • Poisoning
  • Infectious diseases
    • Typhoid
    • Salmonellosis
    • Pasteurellosis
    • Smallpox
    • Coccidiosis

Non-communicable diseases

In addition to diseases of infectious origin, there are non-infectious ailments that also lead to the mass extinction of the livestock.


The cause of flatulence in rabbits is improper nutrition (excess fresh grass, moldy food, poor quality feed). The disease causes an imbalance in the intestines, which leads to severe bloating of the animal's abdomen and can cause death.

To prevent flatulence, a balanced diet of rabbits should be done. To alleviate the condition of the animal, you need to transfer it to dry food and reduce the daily rate by 2 times.

It is advisable to replace water with calcined chamomile infusion.

To relieve spasm, antispasmodic and sedatives are used. In the future, anti-fermentation drugs are used to prevent the deterioration of the animal's condition. In the absence of positive dynamics, injections of glucose and cardiac drugs are performed. Pain relievers are used to relieve pain, for example, No-shpu.


If the norms for keeping rabbits are not followed (tight cages, large holes, protruding nails, etc.), the animals suffer injuries. This includes fractures, dislocations, lacerations, which can lead to infections and death.

Attention should also be paid to the inside of the cells. The walls should be even, smooth, the nails well bent, the holes in the cage small so that the rabbits cannot stick their limbs.


Lack of vitamins in the rabbit's body leads to serious illness and death. The development of this condition occurs through a lack of balanced nutrition or a violation of microflora due to the uncontrolled use of antibiotics.

Experts have identified several types of vitamin deficiency that are most common in rabbits:

  1. Lack of vitamin A. It affects young animals, leads to growth retardation, pathologies of the development of bone and epithelial tissue, as well as disturbances in the organs of vision. Signs include conjunctivitis with pronounced symptoms. When neglected, the risk of death increases significantly. To eliminate symptoms, it is necessary to increase the amount of carrots, alfalfa and clover in the diet. In the cold season, use high-quality hay, silage, kale and carrots. Additionally, you can add fish oil to the diet.
  2. Lack of vitamin D. It occurs exclusively in young individuals due to disturbances in the exchange of phosphorus and calcium. Leads to pathologies of bone tissue. Signs are various bone curvatures and a general lethargic state of the rabbit. This type of vitamin deficiency can also lead to death. For treatment, fish oil, feed chalk and phosphorus meal are introduced into the diet of rabbits.
  3. Lack of vitamin E. With this variety, mortality reaches more than 80% of young rabbits. Symptoms are practically absent, newborn animals die in the first two weeks of life without signs of illness. Young animals become lethargic and lose their appetite. Lack of vitamin E leads to infertility in females. For prevention, it is recommended to add food rich in vitamin E (alfalfa, sprouted grain, clover) to the rabbits' diet.

You can find more information about essential vitamins for rabbits here.


Rabbits are very sensitive to temperature extremes. In the cold season, at temperatures below 15-16 ° C, hypothermia occurs, which leads to colds in animals. Symptoms include swelling and redness in the ears and lethargy in the rabbit.

In case of hypothermia, it is necessary to put a bottle of warm water next to the animal, having previously wrapped it with a cloth. Experts do not recommend transferring a frozen animal to a warm room, since a sharp temperature drop can lead to death.

Heat or sunstroke

Too high room temperature leads to thermal shock. Symptoms are rapid breathing, fatigue, and rabbits lying on their sides.

This condition is accompanied by redness of the mucous membranes and is aggravated by convulsions that lead to death. And first of all, the animal should be provided with fresh air and a cool place. It is possible to apply a cold compress, and in severe cases, the use of homeopathic and homotoxicological preparations is recommended.

Causes of death of young rabbits

The milk of the female supports the immunity of the young. After weaning, it does not last long. The small organism is still weak, so the rabbits die often.

Infectious diseases

Cubs and juveniles are one of the most vulnerable groups of animals. Any, even adults and strong, rabbits are afraid of germs, infections. This is perhaps the most common cause of death. For young rabbits, the threat is increasing.


Juveniles sometimes suffer from infection with purulent foci, blood poisoning. This is staphylococcosis, from which many animals also die. The disease affects not only rabbits, but also other animals, humans.

Juveniles are most often infected by congeners. Pathogens are found in nasal discharge, urine, feces, pus. They often get through damaged skin, mucous membranes. Infection is also airborne.

Rabbits are more susceptible to staphylococci. Disease on farms often appears just after childbirth.The disease is provoked by unsanitary conditions, crowding, improper care. Staphylococci can accumulate on the farm.


Young animals often suffer from "biting midge". This is also called stomatitis. The disease is caused by a virus. It is inherited from parents or through the oral mucosa.

Most often other rabbits suffer from stomatitis, feeding or already separated from the mother cubs. Symptoms appear 2-3 days after infection:

  • tongue becomes inflamed
  • a lot of saliva
  • white bloom, film, sores with pus in the mouth
  • wet face
  • hair in the area of ​​the head, abdomen, paws are glued together
  • weakness, loss of appetite
  • diarrhea
  • because of the itching in the mouth, the animal constantly chews.

There is a mild form of stomatitis with subtle symptoms. The disease goes away in 1–2 days by itself. In the acute form without treatment, the baby rabbit dies in 4–5 days.

Lowering the temperature

The cubs need special conditions. The body is not yet able to normally regulate its own temperature, to maintain heat. As a result, rabbits sometimes freeze even in summer.

The chill is always compounded by dampness. The role of the heating pad is performed by the female. In the mother liquor there should be a dry warm litter, rabbit fluff. The design of the nest is also important. Otherwise, small rabbits die due to hypothermia.

Improper nutrition

Sometimes the offspring dies due to the diet. This happens if the rabbit has died and the farmer is feeding on his own. Mother's milk supports the immunity of the young. Artificial substitutes are inferior in this respect. As a result, the rabbits lack the necessary substances. They grow weak and die.

Cubs can also die in the event of a shortage of food, when the females have little milk.

Causes and symptoms

If a rabbit has a swollen belly, then veterinarians call this condition of the animal gastrointestinal stasis, abbreviated as GI stasis or tympania. A similar condition occurs after bowel contractions or through a blockage in food. The stomach begins to swell through a special device of the digestive organs.

The stomach of this animal is devoid of smooth muscles that could push food during digestion. In the animals under consideration, food pushing occurs as a result of the arrival of a new portion of food. The slightest interruption in nutrition leads to stagnation of feed in the intestines.

Under the influence of such a process, the animal's belly will swell like a soccer ball. If the breeder does not take measures to treat his pets, then sick animals can die in a couple of days.

The cause of the bloating in the rabbit and the treatment may be associated with the stressful conditions of keeping the animals. The rabbit's well-being may deteriorate as a result of changing food during the first time the pet leaves the cage, in bad weather as a result of transportation, as well as under the influence of other unfavorable factors.

Experts note that FSW is much more common in young rabbits than in adult animals. The reason may be a gradual transition from mother's milk to natural food. In addition, pets can get stressed while moving from the nest to the living space of the cage.

The quality of food also needs to be emphasized. Poor quality food covered with rot and mold is absolutely unsuitable for these animals. This is especially true for young rabbits with a sensitive stomach. A change in diet in the spring, that is, from dry hay to fresh grass, can also lead to fermentation of food. The hay should be of good quality, the grass is slightly wither in the sun before the summer cottage. Green food should be free of hard particles.

Foods that increase flatulence, in other words, gas production include:

  • legumes
  • cabbage of all kinds
  • alfalfa greens and hay
  • vegetables taken from the freezer.

Another reason for the disease in question is the limited movement of the animal. In an active animal, the gastrointestinal tract works much better than in a sedentary animal. If there is not enough space in the cages for the active movement of pets, they are released for walking, for this purpose you can make an aviary fenced on all sides.

A huge disaster for animals is considered to be the ingestion of wool in the stomach. Here, individual hairs accumulate in lumps and clog the free lumen in the intestine. The belly of the rabbits first swells to the maximum possible size, then the pets begin to die. Continuous cleaning procedures in the cages and changing the litter will help prevent this dangerous process.

The symptoms of the disease in question include:

  • refusal of animals from food
  • the sick rabbit is weakened, it usually huddles in the corner of the cage
  • bloated belly, bulging eyes
  • prolonged constipation
  • rapid breathing
  • temperature drop
  • gnashing of teeth.

Important! If several symptoms are detected, you should immediately contact your veterinarian. The doctor will examine the animal and give the necessary recommendations for its treatment.

Other reasons

Rabbits will die at home and from less common reasons.

  • Scabies mites live on the ears of lagomorphs, they feed on the blood of animals, while causing discomfort and severe itching. Scabs form at the site of the bites, the hair falls out. The rabbit gradually weakens, becomes exhausted and dies. But a good owner will not bring his pets to such a state. There are medications for ticks that will quickly fix the problem.
  • Sometimes females develop infectious mastitis during lactation. The condition is a consequence of dirt in the cage, when microbes penetrate the microcracks on the nipples damaged by the teeth of the cubs. As it spreads throughout the body, the infection causes blood poisoning.
  • Rabbits can die from improper nutrition.

Food without taking into account the peculiarities of digestion, poisonous plants can destroy a strong and healthy animal. What foods are bad for rabbits:

  • fresh bread and white cabbage cause bloating
  • indoor plants, celandine and buttercup, foxglove and hemlock, daffodils - poisonous plants
  • sweets, citrus fruits and nuts are harmful.

Pets should receive a fresh, balanced diet, and then there will be no digestive problems.

Photo gallery

Photo 1. The appearance of the animal with myxomatosis Photo 2. The muzzle of a rabbit affected by myxomatosis Photo 3. Livestock of rabbits that died from diseases

Watch the video: Dying bunny:

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