Rabbits have recently become an increasingly popular pet. They are relatively low-maintenance as they don’t need to be taken on long walks or require frequent vet visits.
However, if you decide to keep a rabbit as a pet, you should know how to take basic care of it. This includes checking your rabbit’s temperature to ensure it falls within the normal range.
If you want to learn how to check a rabbit’s body temperature, you’re at the right place. Let’s get right to it!
How to Check My Rabbit’s Temperature
It is extremely important for you to know how to take your rabbit’s temperature. This is because rabbits can be quite sensitive to temperature changes in their bodies.
If their temperature falls out of the normal range, they can quickly develop hypothermia or hyperthermia. Both of these conditions can prove to be life-threatening for your little bunny.
Also, it is best not to wait until a crisis before you learn how to take your rabbit’s temperature. When your bunny isn’t feeling well, you are likely to be worried and in a state of panic.
Trying to learn how to take its temperature at that moment will delay your bunny’s treatment. So, always be proactive about knowing how to care for your pet.
All you will need is a plastic rectal thermometer as well as some animal-safe lube.
- You should start by gently cradling your bunny on its back. You can do this on your lap or on soft padding to ensure that it feels comfortable.
- The bunny’s head should be held firmly against your abdomen and its back curled into a ‘c’ shape with its feet facing upwards.
- Once your bunny is positioned, ask a family member or roommate to lubricate the plastic thermometer well.
- Gently insert the thermometer into your bunny’s rectum, and be sure not to go deeper than an inch. The movement should be smooth and quick to ensure no discomfort for your rabbit.
- Keep talking to your rabbit softly, so it feels comfortable and safe. This can be a scary moment for it, so you need to offer it support and love.
- Leave the thermometer in for about 10-15 seconds to get an accurate reading. Then, remove the thermometer and check its reading.
- You can now slowly let go of your rabbit. Pet it and give it lots of love and treats for being brave and letting you check its body temperature.
Important Note: It might take several tries until you’re able to take your rabbit’s body temperature. Go slow and allow it to feel comfortable during the entire process.
If you experience any resistance while inserting the thermometer, stop and try again. Never force anything, as you could risk hurting your bunny.
How to Interpret Your Rabbit’s Body Temperature
Now that you’ve learned how to take your rabbit’s temperature, you should also be able to interpret it.
By knowing what different temperature levels mean for your bunny, you will be able to take the best care of it.
- The normal temperature for pet rabbits lies in the range of 101 *F to 103 *F. This is considered a safe average range.
- A body temperature above 103 *F means that your rabbit has a fever.
- A body temperature below 101 *F means that your rabbit is hypothermic. This is a highly dangerous condition that can prove to be life-threatening for your bunny.
It is important to remember that both too high and too low temperatures are dangerous for your rabbit.
If its body temperature rises above 106 *F, it develops a high chance of experiencing seizures. It can even turn into brain damage and prove to be life-threatening for your precious bunny.
Therefore, it is important to keep a close eye on your rabbit. Make sure it is comfortable at all times. If you notice the slightest signs of odd behavior, you should take its temperature immediately.
This will help you stay on top of things. You will be quickly able to identify when your bunny isn’t feeling well and can get medical attention and support it needs to get better!
Ways to Warm My Hypothermic Rabbit
Did you take your bunny’s rectal temperature, only to find that they are hypothermic? As mentioned above, hypothermia is an extremely dangerous condition that can risk your rabbit’s life.
Hypothermia is most commonly observed in pet rabbits during the winter months.
It can also turn into frostbite if your rabbit is living outdoors since it usually occurs due to exposure to freezing temperatures.
Moreover, hypothermia can happen if your rabbit has wet fur during a cold, windy day. Exposure to the chilly air can lead to its body temperature rapidly dropping.
That is why vets recommend not bathing your rabbit during the winter months.
If you do decide to clean up your rabbit using water, make sure to dry its fur well using a hair dryer using the ‘warm’ setting. This prevents its wet fur from being exposed to cold air.
Here are some signs that will help you identify hypothermia in your rabbit.
- Constant shivering
- Pale gums and lips
- Low energy levels and uncoordinated movement
- Extremities become cool to touch (including their limbs and ears)
How to Treat Hypothermia in My Rabbit
Once you’ve identified that your rabbit is suffering from hypothermia, you will need to act fast. You have to take important steps to ensure their body temperature doesn’t fall any further.
Here are the best steps you can take to make your rabbit feel comfortable. Once you’ve done these, make sure to head to the emergency vet and get your bunny some much-needed medical attention.
- Put some hot water in a water bottle. Wrap a small towel around it and place your bunny against it. This will help it feel warm.
- Get a microwavable bunny warmer and heat it up. Put it against your rabbit.
- You can also heat up a bath towel in the microwave. Leave it for 30 seconds, and then check if it is warm and not too hot. Wrap the towel around your bunny.
- Use a heating pad for your bunny. You will have to pay close attention to ensure it doesn’t chew on the electrical cords.
When you’ve taken action to warm up your bunny, the next step is to reach out to the nearest vet. If your rabbit’s regular vet isn’t available, that’s okay.
Just head out to the nearest emergency vet and explain the situation to them. They will know how to best take care of your bunny and ensure maximum chances of survival for it.
Ways to Cool Down My Overheating Rabbit
If you took your bunny’s rectal temperature and found that it is hyperthermic, you need to act fast.
Rabbits can’t sweat or pant, so they have no means of releasing excessive heat energy from their body. This can be quite a health risk for your bunny, especially if it has a thick coat of fur.
Hyperthermia, or overheating, is a dangerous phenomenon in rabbits. It can even become life-threatening if your bunny doesn’t receive urgent medical care.
Here are some symptoms of hyperthermia that will help you recognize its early signs. Using these, you can proactively identify hyperthermia in your bunny and get medical attention from the vet.
- Warm ears and feet
- Open-mouth breathing
- Refusing to eat
- Restlessness and uncoordinated movement
- Dull and unresponsive behavior
- Blue-tinged tips of the nose and mouth
How to Treat Hyperthermia in My Rabbit
Have you noticed any of these signs of hyperthermia in your rabbit? If you act quickly, you will probably be able to save it.
For starters, you should take your rabbit’s rectal temperature using the steps mentioned above. Next, it is important to reach out to your vet and inform them of the temperature.
While you’re speaking to your vet, be sure to mention all the signs and symptoms of hyperthermia that you noticed. This will help your vet get a better understanding of the severity of the situation.
If it can be handled at home, your vet will advise you on the best ways to take care of your bunny. On the other hand, if your rabbit requires medical treatment, the vet will ask you to pay them a visit.
While you’re on the way to the vet, make sure you do the following to keep your bunny comfortable:
- Keep it in a cool, well-ventilated space. Turn the AC on and ensure that its jet box isn’t too warm.
- Use a soft, damp cloth to wet its ears. You should also blow air over them gently using a fan to keep them cool.
- Spray his back legs and belly with a gentle stream of cool water. Be sure to use slightly cool water instead of icy cold water, as it can cause further discomfort and even lead to shock.
Best of luck in checking your rabbit’s temperature and taking the best care of it!