As well as a quick checkup once a day, most owners choose to give their mets a more thorough examination once every few weeks. It will be helpful to familiarise yourself with what a healthy rabbit looks and feels like. Have a look at our healthy rabbits section for more information.
It is also a good idea to look at our illness section first, so you have a basic idea of what potential health problems you should be on the lookout for. The following list contains some information on what you should check.
This rabbit is having a thorough health check
Set a towel on your lap and place the rabbit on top of it, give it a stroke and wait for it to calm down a bit.1.How is it breathing?
One of the most important indicators of health is breath. If your rabbit is having a hard time breathing, or if they are wheezing or sneezing, then there may be a problem.2.Check the eyes and nose
Is there any discharge? Are the eyes clear and bright? Is there anything stuck in their eyes? Is there nose twitching like it normally does?3.Check the mouth
Is your rabbit dribbling? Are there any sores around the mouth? Are their teeth straight and fully intact?4.Check the ears
Your rabbit's ears should be free of any scabs or sores, brown material or waxy buildups. THey should be clean and in good shape.5.Check the Body
Is your rabbit’s skin free of any lumps, scratches, cuts or swellings? Does your rabbit squirm in pain when you touch a particular part of their body?6.Check the Rear
This area should always be clean,if there is a build up of faeces this should be cleaned to reduce the chance of flystrike. Is there any swelling, redness or inflammation? 7.Check the coat
Part the fur with your fingers and check for any white flakes, brown material, sores, wounds and insects.8.Check the legs and the feet
Have a good look between your rabbit’s toes and check that they are free of any lumps and that dirt isn’t building up. Check that the fur on the base of their feet is free from matting, and that their heels aren’t red or swollen. The nails should also be short and not cracked.9.Check how it moves and behaves
Once you have set your rabbit down, take a while to look at how they move and behave. Are they walking properly, or do they have a limp? Is it retreating to a corner? Is it lying down, or hyperventilating?