Why is My Rabbit Breathing Fast?

Why is My Rabbit Breathing Fast?

Are you showing an interest to find out why is my rabbit breathing fast and what could you possibly do to control it? This post will help you get the latest info to your queries relevantly.

There can be a variety of different reasons that can make your rabbit to breath fast. In this article, our editors have explained detailed causes and management for rabbits, when they are breathing fast.

Your rabbit may be breathing fast when he is hungry, anxious, in fear, blocked nostrils, and respiratory tract infections. You should always check your rabbit temperature when he is breathing fast. 

Why is My Rabbit Breathing Fast?

Imagine when you come home having a mind to play with your rabbit, but suddenly when you see him breathing fast, this can pose a serious threat. As a pet owner you be aware of the rabbit’s conditions, hat he east, when he sleeps, plays, and keeps monitoring its movements.

Respiratory problems are quite common in rabbits and this can only happen when their nasal breathers get obligated, which means they only breathe from their nose.

A blocked up nose can be extremely distressing and lead to rapid health decline in rabbits. This is the reason many rabbits owners can recognize the signs that the rabbit is breathing fast.

Some might even think this is due to a hot day. It is very important for you to seek vet help because a rabbit’s health is in danger.

What are the causes of the rabbit breathing fast?

All rabbits are nasal breathers and any unusual nasal structure or physical deformity can certainly result in higher-pitched (stridor) or lower-pitched (stertor) sound emanating from the nose.

No one can surely be seen from where rabbit sudden breathing get faster, but based on some facts here are common causes you must know including,

  • Rhinitis and sinusitis
  • Elongated teeth
  • Abscesses
  • Bacterial infection
  • Allergies and irritation from dust, insects, or inhaling pollen
  • Tumors develop in the airway of the nose
  • Trauma affecting the nose region
  • Bites from insects or other animals
  • Facial nasal
  • Edema and swelling in the upper respiratory system
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Inflammation of the palate or throat in the voice
  • Dysfunction of the neuromuscular system

Identifying baby rabbit breathing problems:

As you have read above a normal respiration rate in an adult rabbit is 30 to 60 per minute. But some still breathe faster when they are stressed or hot. But what about baby rabbits why they are breathing fast and loudly?

You will notice that baby rabbits tongue and lips with turn blue-tinted when your bunny is not getting enough oxygen.

Fast breathing in baby rabbits triggers more than adults. You will see when his head is slightly tilted upwards. This is a clear sign of an inability to breathing. Let’s take a look at some of the sings such as,

  • look for nasal discharge
  • Just pay attention to congested noises while breathing
  • sneezing or coughing
  • look for dirty paws and face
  • try to inspect the rabbit’s eyes
  • Unusual reaction and head titling
  • look for a change in its posture
  • change its appetite and pay attention to he eats or not
  • Not cleaned cage (it can lead to a high level of ammonia)

What is an average respiration rate in the rabbit?

To find out a rabbit’s respiration breathing, temperature, and pulse rate when he is in a healthy condition. You should have a plastic thermometer as part of a rabbit’s emergency medical kit and learn how to use it.

This will help you identify a rabbit’s temperature rectally. For the respiratory rate, you can count breathes he is taking in 15 to 20 seconds then multiply it with four.

You can also watch his every size of the chest wall or even place a hand in front of the nose to count the exhale you feel.

Pulse rates can be determined with feel over the femoral artery in this inner thigh. All you need is to place your hand on the lover side of his chest and feel the heartbeat for almost 25 seconds and then multiply it with four.

A) Rabbits respiration should be 30 to 60 breaths per minute

B) Rabbits heart rate should be 130 to 160 beats per minute

C) Rabbits temperature should be from 103.5 – 107F

How you can prevent fast breathing in rabbits?

There are many ways you can help your rabbit who is breathing faster with effective and guaranteed methods. All you need is to pay attention and follow these instructions for both baby and adult rabbits:

Treatment for fast breathing in rabbits

This one includes providing him supplement oxygen when it is appropriate, it will give the rabbit a calm cool, and quiet environmental effect to live. A rabbit will have unobstructed airways.

It will help keep the nasal cavities and ears clean from debris. Also, it will help to combat harmful bacteria and infection preventing them from developing.

Just add more leafy greens to its diet plan.


This can help to control bacterial rhinitis and sinusitis or any other infection. Using these antibiotics can reach to steroids and reduce nasal swelling or inflammation.

It can lower the worse bacterial infections and should only be used when necessary and under the direct care of a veterinarian.

Living and management:

As of this moment, you should know that stridor and stertor are only related to airway obstruction. There are many serious complications when they arise.

Fluid retention, pulmonary edema in the lungs is such common examples. Therefore it is important to take a closer look and monitor rabbits living area and space. Take him for regular checkups during the recovery sessions.

Discussion with a Vet

You can’t diagnose a rabbit’s fast breathing condition as the only expert can do it. When you come across with this thing, never try to treat them yourselves just take him to a local vet he will examine his condition with these testing.

If the problem is in the upper respiratory tract, the vet will swab the nose to get a sample of discharge material to send to the lab for testing. This can help the vet to select the right antibiotic to use and kill an infection.

If the problem is in the lungs, then the vet gently places the rabbit in an X-ray place and examines the chest. The picture of the lungs indicated the whole nature of the problem from tumors, fluids, or inflammation. This is among the top reasons for fast breathing in rabbits.

In other complex cases, the vet will x-ray the skull of the rabbit to look for some more complicating issues from tooth roots growing in the nasal cavity or infection in the inner ear.


These are some real facts about why is my rabbit breathing fast, all these treatments and methods can help prevent and you can use them in emergencies. It is never late for a rabbit and you can his precious life right away.

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