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Rabbits suffer allergies too, says Michael Gordon

April 14, 2018

Have you ever felt your rabbit looks like it might have hay fever? The chances are it is allergic to something, although most likely NOT hay – that would be nature at its harshest.

Rabbits produce symptoms that are clear signs of an allergic reaction and there are methods of both prevention and cure that you can talk to head nurse Kate at Bayswater Vets about. Contact us and the team will be happy to advise or book your pet in for a check-up.

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If you notice any of the following symptoms in your rabbit, it could be having an allergic reaction to something in its cage or in your house.

Signs that your rabbit may be suffering from allergies include:

  • Red eyes
  • Clear discharge from nose
  • Excessively touching its nose and face with paws
  • Rubbing its face on the ground repeatedly

Lengthy exposure to allergens could leave your rabbit with rhinitis and bronchitis and they are also prone to respiratory infections, so it’s important to find out what’s causing the irritation and remove it from your pet’s environment.

Common irritants to rabbits include:

  • Carpet cleaning products
  • Fabric and air fresheners
  • Strong scents – if something smells overpowering to you, imagine how it must smell to your rabbit
  • Fireplace fumes – ensure your house is well ventilated so carbon dioxide fumes are properly dispersed
  • Dust
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Mites and fleas can also cause an allergic reaction, which is often treated with cortisol

Kate’s advice is to use the same preventative measures that you would if you yourself was suffering from an allergy – for example, use a fan to circulate fresh outside air. Of course, there’s only one sure-fire way to stop the allergy and prevent you rabbit from developing a more serious problem, and that is to stop using the offending product or remove the source of the allergy from your rabbit’s cage or your home.

We can tell you whether your rabbit has an infection or is suffering from allergies by administering a simple blood test when you bring it in for a check-up.

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