As a pet owner, you wonder and probably ask yourself −why is my rabbit breathing fast?
Rabbits are fun and adorable to play with, but sometimes they develop respiratory problems that cause them to breathe so fast when you play and bond with them.
Rabbits are prey animals prone to survival mode and tend to hide their illnesses, so you have to make sure that everything is fine with your pet rabbit.
This article talks about why is your rabbit breathes fast and how to take care of them when this emergency comes up.
Normal Respiration Rate For A Rabbit
A healthy and calm rabbit should take approximately 30-60 breathes per minute. Rabbits should have clear eyes, clear nose enough to breathe silently without real effort.
Here’s how to check your bunny’s breathing rate:
In 15 seconds, count the number of breaths and multiply the total number by four.
I suggest that the best way to count the rabbit’s breath is by watching the rise of its chest because this is what I do with my bunny Thumper.
Much better if you will put your hand in front of its nose and count the breath each time it exhales.
In addition to that, 101.3 to 104 F is the average temperature for a rabbit.
As a pet parent, you have to keep a thermometer to check their temperature regularly or ask the vet who could give an accurate reading and teach you the right way to take the rabbit’s temperature.
Factors Why Your Rabbit Is Breathing Fast
Naturally, a rabbit breathes faster than a human.
But when your bunny’s breathing became more noticeable, better to check its respiratory rate to make sure that your rabbit breathes normally.
These are the following causes why is your rabbit having some breathing issues:
#1. Your rabbits may be stressed
Your bunny may have difficulty breathing if it is stressed and feeling hot.
If you notice that its lips and tongue are blue and its head slightly tilted, this means that your pet rabbit is not getting enough oxygen and need veterinarian treatment.
#2. Your pet may be experiencing severe diarrhea
Baby bunnies are more likely to have severe diarrhea.
They are very high risk because they are too small and don’t have enough energy, and could be dehydrated quickly, which could cause them hard to breathe.
#3. Your rabbit has been attacked or is having an uncontrollably bleeding wound
If you ever leave your pet bunny alone with a dog or cat, they might be ending up attacking and fighting each other that could cause a too uncontrollable bleeding wound. learn more here: how to stop rabbit from fighting?
I suggest you put direct pressure on the wound and immediately call the vet because the attack would cause shock and trauma to your bunny and the start of a breathing issue.
#4. Your rabbit may have broken limbs or skeletal injuries
These injuries may occur if your pet rabbit dropped and fall from a height.
Spinal and skeletal injuries could cause severe limb paralysis and fast breathing of your bunny, and it could also experience internal injuries.
Treating with steroids would help your bunny, and this limits the swelling of the spinal cord.
#5. Your rabbit is feeling cold
One of the factors, why your rabbit is breathing fast, is feeling cold and floppy; this is the common endpoint of shock and dehydration of a weak rabbit.
#6. Your rabbit is in extremely pain
If your bunny is sitting hunched up while its eyes were half-closed and are reluctant to move or even grinding its teeth; this could mean that your lovely bunny is in extreme pain, and that is very dangerous for rabbits.
Pain may be a common trigger for a potentially lethal condition such as gastrointestinal stasis.
For you to know, gastrointestinal stasis is a deadly condition in which your rabbit’s digestive system slows down or stops altogether. learn more here how to tell if baby rabbit are dead
If you think your rabbit may be sick and not as jolly as another day, then seek the vet for treatment immediately.
#7. Your rabbit losing appetite
For dogs, skipping a meal is not that a big deal, but for rabbits, this indicates severe trouble.
About what I have mentioned earlier, a rabbit who skips a meal for a day or several days may be suffering from gastrointestinal stasis, GI stasis, or stop eating because of pain due to a dental problem.
And if your rabbit stops eating entirely, call the doctor right away to seek some advice.
My bunny, Thumper, once skip a meal, she still eats but with reduced enthusiasm. She eats some tasty pellets but not that amount she usually eats, so I wait for more days to see that she’s okay.
#8. Your rabbit may have a flystrike
Flystrikenis a common condition called myiasis. This occurs when a blow-fly lays eggs on rabbits who have moist and soiled fur, and these eggs hatch into maggots in just a couple of hours.
Do you know that maggots can eat a rabbit alive, and this might trigger the rabbit that could cause shock, severe infection, and fast breathing?
If you ever see maggots on your rabbit, immediately get your bunny to the vet so they could give a treatment to your lovely pet.
#9. Other factors why rabbits experiencing breathing issues
Rabbits could have severe breathing issues also because they are unable to breathe to their mouth, which means the mess-up nose makes breathing very difficult.
Also, they protect themselves from hiding their illness that could not be noticed by their owner.
You probably asking– why is my rabbit breathing fast?
A rabbit likely to have respiratory infections, and one of those infections is the Pasteurella mutocida bacteria, also known as snuffles, because bunnies make a sniffling noise when they are sick.
This causes rabbits to have nose infections, ear infections, pneumonia, and conjunctivitis.
This bacterial infection could spread from its sinuses to its bones, blood vessels, joints, and organs. Learn here how many nipples do rabbit have
Aside from that, this could cause pneumonia and bone failure, and worst, if the infections spread up to its blood, the rabbit might be shocked to death.
These may vary to the immune system of the rabbit if it is healthy or too weak.
Symptoms of the Pasteurella bacterial infection are; dizziness, trouble in breathing, fast breathing, drooling, swelling of the face, nasal discharge, loss of appetite, tilting of head or shaking of the head, swelling of the skin. leran more here why do rabbit shake
And as an owner, give the full attention they deserve.
If you ever find something that does not seem normal to your bunny, such as fast and heavy breathing, just contact the vet right away to give them proper treatment.
Now that you all knew the answer to your question– why is my rabbit breathing fast.
Reading is learning, and I hope that you learn something about this article. Thank you for spending your time!
Maria Schultz is a talented writer and a passionate animal lover who brings her expertise in the pet industry to the Petcosset team. With a degree in English and years of experience writing for various pet-related publications, Maria deeply understands the latest news and products in the pet industry. She is dedicated to providing pet owners with the most accurate and up-to-date information to help them take the best possible care of their small friends. When she’s not writing about pets, Maria can often spend time with her beloved pets, including a rescue dog and several cats.