Abcess Wound Care and Flushing

Abscesses sometimes require flushing to allow the wound to be cleaned. This article provides some basic and general advice on this however it is best to follow the specific recommendations provided by our vet.

Anaemia in Rabbits and Guinea Pigs

Anaemia is a decrease in the red blood cells in the body. A rabbit or guinea pig with anaemia
will generally show signs of being lethargic, off their food and a decreased exercise tolerance.

Bladder Stones, Sludge and Grit

Bladder problems involving stones, sludge and grit develop when there is a collection of excess calcium which builds up in the urinary tract.


Osteoarthritis, commonly referred to as arthritis, is a common cause of urine scalding, underlying pain or general lethargy in some older animals.

Cardiac Disease

Cardiac disease is a broad term used to describe any disease condition affecting the heart.

Cataracts in Rabbits

A cataract appears as a slightly hazy to white opacity within the pupil of the eye. This is caused by a change in the nature of the lens of the eye.

Bloat (Gastric Dilation) in Rabbits

Gastric dilation (commonly known as bloat) in rabbits is commonly caused by gastrointestinal

Chest Masses in Rabbits – Thymoma

The thymus in rabbits sits in front of the heart in the chest cavity. This is often the cause of
masses in the chest.

Cheyletiella Parasitivorax – Rabbit Fur Mite

Cheyletiella parasitivorax is the most common mite that we see in rabbits. It is a non-burrowing mite which is just visible to the naked eye or as “dandruff” on your rabbits fur

Chronic Gut Stasis in Rabbits

Some rabbits experience intermittent or chronic gut stasis. It is often difficult to manage these rabbits as there can be a number of different factors at play

Coccidia in Rabbits

Coccidiosis (infection with coccidia) is a disease of rabbits caused by a class of single-celled organism known as a protozoa.

Dacryocystitis – Weepy Eye

A blockage, inflammation or infection of the nasolacrimal (tear) duct. The tear duct in the rabbit runs from the eye to the nose as in most species.

Incisor Malocclusion

Rabbits have six teeth at the front of their mouth as well as twenty two ‘cheek’ teeth at the
back of the mouth.

E cuniculi

EC is a parasite belonging to the protozoa family that generally affects the central nervous
system, eyes and/or kidneys.

External Ear Infections

Lop eared rabbits are very susceptible to developing external ear infections (otitis externa) as any
changes that result in increased humidity and or temperature within the ear canal will encourage overgrowth of bacteria or yeast (commonly already present within the ear canal), which results in inflammation.

Facial Nerve Paralysis

The facial nerve controls the muscles of facial expression – muscles of the eyelids, lips, ears and
noses as well as some parts of the glands within the neck region, the tongue and ear.

Floppy Bunny Syndrome

It is described as the sudden occurrence of a group of varied symptoms in an apparently healthy
rabbit. Onset of symptoms has been described from 1-12 hours.

Fly Strike

Fly strike (infestation with maggots) occurs commonly in the warmer and more humid months
of the year.

Geriatric Rabbits and Guinea Pigs

So your little furry friend is getting older… As with any older animals, geriatric critters require an increase in hands on care and observation.

How to Nurse your Rabbit at Home

Rabbits are prey animals that can pick up on stress quite easily. Staying as calm as you can does often help to keep their stress levels low.

Dental Disease in Rabbits and Guinea Pigs

Correct dental alignment and wear is so important in both rabbits and guinea pigs. The reason
for this is that their teeth are constantly growing throughout their lives.


Myxomatosis (infection with the Myxoma virus) is a highly contagious disease seen in rabbits.
In Australia wild rabbits act as a reservoir host for domestic rabbits.


Nebulisation is a technique used in both human and veterinary medicine to treat patients with
respiratory disease.


Paresis (Weakness)

Paresis may be seen as the decreased use of limbs, incoordination or limb weakness. Often other signs such as urine scalding, knuckling, or falling over are seen prior to loss of function of
the hind legs.

Splay Leg in Rabbits

Splay leg is a descriptive term for a clinical condition in which a rabbit lacks the ability to bring one or multiple legs underneath their body, instead their leg or legs splay outwards.

Rabbit Syphilis

Rabbit “Syphilis” is caused by a bacterium called Treponema Cuniculi. This bacteria adheres to
the rabbit skin cells particularly around the face, nose (most commonly around the nose rather
than the corner of the lip) and genital area.

Renal Disease

Kidneys work as filters in the body removing waste, regulating hydration and in rabbits and
guinea pigs they are also a big part of helping the body to remove excess levels of calcium.

Retrobulbar Problems in Rabbits

Seeing your rabbit’s eye suddenly protruding out further than it used to can be very
confronting. Below is a discussion on what can cause this problem and what we can do about.

Ringworm in Rabbits, Guinea Pigs, Ferrets, Rats and Mice

Ringworm is a term that is commonly used for a fungal infection of the skin. Despite the name,
there are no ‘worms’ involved. The name came about as the fungus often causes a ‘ring’ shaped red lesion on the skin

Rabbit Dental Procedure – What to Expect

Rabbits have 28 teeth in total. There are 4 front teeth (incisors), two on the top and two on the
bottom. There are two small peg teeth sitting behind the upper incisors.

Upper Respiratory Disease

Upper respiratory tract disease is very common in rabbits and can be caused by a number of
different reasons.

Urine Scalding in Rabbits

Urine scalding, or wetting of the skin and fur around the bottom area with urine, can be a frustrating condition to treat in rabbits.

Uterine Cancer

Uterine cancer is unfortunately very common in female rabbits with up to 80% of rabbits developing cancerous changes in their uterus from 2 years of age.

Uveitis – Eye Inflammation

Uveitis is a term used to describe inflammation within the eye, it is most commonly caused by
damage (ie. A nasty scratch) or in rabbits the Encephalitozoon cuniculi (EC) parasite.

Vestibular Disease in Rabbits

Rabbits are unfortunately prone to developing vestibular disease, a syndrome where they
suddenly develop a ‘head tilt’ and become very unbalanced.


In simple terms it is the development of pressure sores on the feet of the rabbit’s and guinea pigs and most commonly occurs on the heels of the hind feet, although the front
feet may also be affected.


Rabbit and Guinea Pig Bladder Stones

Rabbits and guinea pigs commonly suffer from problems with urinary stone formation.
As vets we call this problem urolithiasis and it relates to the formation of urinary calculi in the kidneys, ureters, bladder, or urethra.


Rabbit Ear Diseases

Rabbits are a very popular pet seen at The Unusual Pet Vets, for a variety of reasons. Some come in for their routine vaccinations or a check-up, where others can be seen for serious conditions such as hindlimb paralysis or head tilts.


Gastrointestinal Bloat in Rabbits

Rabbits have a complex gastrointestinal (GI) tract, particularly when compared to other species like dogs and cats.