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Adopting an Older Rabbit

November 1, 2020
November is Adopt An Older Pet Month. Many of the articles and posts you’ll see about this are focused on dogs and cats. However, many senior bunnies also need loving homes. These guys are super cute and lovable pets! In this article from Westside Animal Hospital, a Savannah, GA vet offers some advice on adopting a senior bunny.

Setup

A comfy cage is a definite must. The cage should be big enough for Floppy to hop around, play, stretch, and use her litterbox without tripping over her things. Speaking of litterboxes, get one with low sides. This will be easier for Floppy to get in and out of. You’ll also want to add a thick layer of hay. We also recommend getting a hidey-hole with a soft bed in it for your furball to doze off in. 

Petproofing

Just like with any other bunny, you’ll need to do some petproofing. This means removing or covering pretty much anything at bunny height, including baseboard, furniture legs, wires, cords, and anything small or sharp. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Hopping

We all know that rabbits like jumping. An older bunny may not be able to jump as high as a younger one could. Set out footstools or solid boxes for your pet to use as stairs. 

Health Concerns

Just like any other pet, rabbits sometimes develop health issues in their golden years. Floppy will need to see her vet regularly. Bunnies often get stiff and sore, and can be prone to injuries on their back paws. Keep an eye out for limping or other signs of arthritis. Other warning signs to watch for include weight loss, lethargy, breathing difficulty, constipation or diarrhea, lack of appetite, and unusual posture or vocalization. Call your vet right away if you notice any of these. 

Flooring

Floppy may have trouble getting good traction when running or jumping. Setting out carpets or runners may help with this. You can also gently give her a lift if you see her about to jump.

Nutrition

A proper diet is crucial! Ask your vet for recommendations. Hydration is also very important in older bunnies. You may want to give Floppy with both a bowl and a bottle, so she can choose which one she wants to use.  Do you have questions about caring for a bunny? Contact Westside Animal Hospital, your Savannah, GA vet clinic, today! 

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