Dwarf rabbit heatstroke (causes and remedies).
Heat can be one of the worst enemies of your rabbit. Rabbits, in fact, are very susceptible to heat stroke. Much more than human beings. So, if you are already feeling hot, imagine your rabbit friend.
Symptoms of heat stroke
But how can you tell if your rabbit is suffering from the heat?
Here are the symptoms:
- reddening of the ears
- labored breathing
- lethargy, apathy
- excessive drooling
- slow movements
- confused movements
The remedies: what to do and not to do
If you recognize one or even several symptoms listed above, I suggest you keep your rabbit’s ears moist by spraying them with fresh water and call the veterinarian.
On the other hand, you should absolutely not let your rabbit take a bath in cold water under any circumstances. This sudden change in temperature could be dangerous, if not deadly.
How to prevent heatstroke
But how can you prevent a possible heat stroke during the summer period? There are several solutions, here are some:
- Organize the area where your rabbit will stay away from direct sunlight. Shade will make a difference in the perception of temperature.
- Choose, if possible, an area with tiles instead of carpet or wood. Tiles will provide a nice feeling of coolness to your rabbit. Most likely, he will take advantage of it by lying down completely belly-down with his hind legs stretched outwards.
- A diffuse air conditioning system, without exaggerating with low temperatures, can help. But you should not risk the opposite effect.
- Open the windows and let the air flow to create a light air movement that relieves discomfort.
- Brush your rabbit. Removing excess fur, if he does not have much strength and willingness to do it because of the heat, will be of great help to him.
- Freeze a couple of water bottles and place them near your rabbit, but not in direct contact. He will enjoy walking around them as they emit coolness and probably lick the condensation when they start to thaw.
- Water, water, water. Make sure the water bowl is always full of fresh water. It should never be missing!
- Spray him lightly with fresh water. In particular, choose the area around the ears. Rabbits, in fact, use their ears to regulate body temperature. Spray water constantly but without exaggerating, to make them damp and lower the temperature.
- A wet towel can be another useful solution. Like cold bottles, the towel should not be in direct contact, but should be placed in his area.
- Vegetables, vegetables, vegetables. Give your rabbit plenty of vegetables, more than usual. It will help him to rehydrate.
Do rabbits prefer cold or warm temperatures?
Rabbits are comfortable in a wide range of temperatures from -18 to 31 degrees Celsius. But let’s not deny it, they prefer the cold without a doubt. While some rabbits may adapt to their environment and survive temperatures above 35°C for at least a few days, the vast majority of domestic rabbits do better in cooler temperatures.
What is the maximum comfortable temperature for rabbits?
Rabbits do much better in cold weather than in hot weather. But why? Since they don’t sweat, they rely on temperature exchanges between the warm blood vessels in their large ears and the relatively cooler temperature of their environment.
The vast majority of rabbits do well indoors at around 29 degrees Celsius. Indoors, there is often less circulating air. Outdoors, temperatures of up to 31 degrees Celsius are fine, but only in situations where there are currents of air that help keep the environment cooler. These are the maximum temperatures up to which it is not necessary to cool rabbits. In reality, it is important to closely observe rabbits once temperatures rise above 27 degrees Celsius.
By following these instructions, you should have no problem, and heat stroke will not be an issue. In any case, take note of the symptoms; it is always better to know them to intervene immediately if they occur.