Do Rabbits Get Rabies? Exploring Disease Risks in Bunnies

HomeHealthDo Rabbits Get Rabies? Exploring Disease Risks in Bunnies

Rabbits can get rabies, but it is extremely rare. It is more common for wild animals to carry and transmit rabies than domesticated animals. It is still important to ensure that your pet rabbit is up to date with its vaccinations and to take any necessary precautions to avoid contact with wild animals.

Let’s Talk About Rabies

You may have heard of rabies, but do you know what it is? Rabies is a virus that’s carried in the saliva of mammals and affects the nervous system. It’s most commonly found in wild animals like raccoons, skunks, bats, and foxes, but can also affect domestic animals such as cats and dogs. Although it’s rare for rabbits to be infected with rabies, any warm-blooded animal – including humans – can get it if they come into contact with an infected animal’s saliva.

Rabies has been around since ancient times, but effective prevention methods, such as vaccinations, weren’t developed until the 19th century. Since then, there have been tremendous advances in pest control technologies that help reduce the spread of diseases from animals to humans. These include traps to catch wild animals carrying rabies, so they can be safely removed and tested for the virus.

One of the key indicators of whether or not an animal has rabies is its behavior: animals infected with rabies often display strange behaviors, such as aggression or loss of fear towards humans or other animals. They may also appear disoriented or exhibit unusual vocalizations (e.g., howling). If you see an animal exhibiting any of these behaviors near your home and suspect it might be rabid, call a professional wildlife control expert immediately to handle the situation safely and efficiently.

It’s important to take steps to protect yourself from exposure by avoiding contact with wild animals and taking precautions when dealing with pets or livestock that could possibly carry the virus. This includes vaccinating your own animals against rabies if needed. Remember: rabies is a serious illness that can cause death if left untreated. Therefore, it’s important to stay informed about prevention methods so you can keep yourself safe!

Risk of Rabies in Rabbits

Risking rabies from rabbits is an unlikely but possible scenario, so it’s important to be aware of the signs. Rabbits can contract rabies through contact with a rabid animal, such as another rabbit or other wild animals that are known to carry the virus. The risk of infecting pet rabbits increases if they are allowed outdoors or come in contact with unvaccinated wildlife. Fortunately, rabbits rarely show any symptoms and typically don’t develop full-blown rabies.

Risk Factors Signs & Symptoms Prevention
Contact w/ rabid animal Fever/Agitation Vaccination
Outdoor access Drooling/Biting Avoid exposure
Unvaccinated wildlife Paralysis Regular checkups

Though the risk of contracting rabies from rabbits is low, there are some health concerns to consider when breeding them. Breeding should only take place between healthy rabbits that have been vaccinated against the disease and kept indoors away from wildlife that have not been vaccinated. It’s also important to keep up with regular vet check-ups for your pet rabbit and make sure their vaccinations are up-to-date in order to reduce any further risks of infection. Additionally, avoiding contact with wild animals is key in preventing potential diseases in your pets.

Though rare, it’s important to be aware that rabbits can still contract rabies or other illnesses through contact with a rabid animal or unvaccinated wildlife. Taking steps towards prevention by vaccinating your pet rabbit and avoiding risky outdoor activities can help keep them safe and healthy for years to come.

Symptoms of Rabies in Rabbits

Rabbits suffering from rabies can exhibit some unmistakable symptoms, so it’s crucial to be on the lookout for any signs of infection. The primary symptom of rabies in rabbits is a sudden change in behavior. Rabbits may become more aggressive and bite more often than usual as well as show signs of restlessness and confusion.

It’s important to note that these changes are not just limited to the rabbit’s behavior and may also include alterations in its dietary needs or even its sleeping patterns. Stress prevention is key when dealing with a potential rabies infection, as this will reduce the likelihood of further behavioral changes due to stress-induced aggression.

In addition, if your rabbit develops any kind of paralysis or has difficulty moving certain parts of their body, then you should take them for an immediate checkup by a veterinarian. Paralysis associated with rabies is usually accompanied by drooping eyelids, which can give away an infected rabbit’s condition easily.

If the vet suspects that your pet has contracted rabies, they will likely order blood tests to confirm their diagnosis and provide appropriate treatment afterwards. Another common symptom seen in rabbits with rabies is excessive salivation or frothing at the mouth, which could indicate that your pet has been infected by a rabid animal such as another rabbit or bat.

If you notice this strange behavior in your rabbit then it’s best to contact a veterinarian immediately since there is no known cure for this disease once it has set in fully. Finally, it’s important to remember that although rabbits can get rabies, it’s still an extremely rare occurrence so try not to panic too much if you suspect your pet might have contracted the virus – instead make sure they receive all necessary medical attention right away!

Prevention and Treatment of Rabies in Rabbits

Vaccinating your rabbit is the most effective way to prevent rabies. Make sure to consult with a veterinarian for guidance on when and how to vaccinate your pet, as well as what type of vaccine would be best suited for them.

If your rabbit does happen to contract rabies, it’s imperative that they receive medical care immediately in order to have the highest chance of survival.


Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect rabbits from the rare risk of rabies. Humane vaccinations are a safe and effective way to protect your pet rabbit from contracting any form of rabies, as they provide long-term immunity against the disease in rabbits. The vaccine should be administered by a licensed veterinarian who has experience with vaccinating rabbits and other small animals.

Pet owners should also make sure to educate themselves on how to properly administer the vaccine, as well as what symptoms or signs may indicate that their rabbit has been infected with rabies.

Aside from humane vaccinations, it’s important for pet owners to stay up-to-date on all local laws regarding rabies vaccinations for domestic animals, and ensure that their pet is up-to-date on all recommended vaccines. Additionally, it’s essential for pet owners to monitor their rabbit’s behavior closely and immediately contact a veterinarian if they notice any changes in their rabbit’s health or behavior that may be linked to rabies infection.

Medical Care

Regular medical care is essential for rabbits to stay healthy and happy. This includes regular visits with your veterinarian, as well as monitoring the rabbit’s diet and grooming needs. A healthy diet should include hay, fresh vegetables, small amounts of fruits, and limited amounts of pellets. Also, it’s important to provide a variety of activities that allow the rabbit to engage in natural behaviors such as chewing and digging.

Grooming concerns are also important for keeping rabbits healthy. Regular brushing helps keep their fur from getting matted or tangled, while trimming nails can help make sure they don’t grow too long and cause injury or discomfort when hopping around. Rabbits are also prone to ear infections so regular cleaning is recommended to prevent any issues from arising. With proper medical care and attention, rabbits can live a long and happy life free of rabies or other illnesses caused by neglectful care practices.

Dietary Needs Grooming Concerns
Hay Brushing
Fresh Vegetables Trimming Nails
Small Fruits Cleaning Ears

What to Do if Your Rabbit is Bitten by an Animal

If your rabbit is bitten by an animal, it’s important to seek veterinary attention right away. Moving pets indoors can help reduce the risk of attack from wild animals, and pet owners should be aware that even indoor rabbits can get out unexpectedly. Outdoor rabbits should be supervised when they’re outside their cages, so that any potential threats can be noticed quickly.

It’s very rare for a rabbit to get rabies, but if the animal that bit your rabbit was a wild one, it may have been carrying the virus. It’s always important to take precautions and seek medical advice after any kind of bite or scratch from another animal. Your vet will check your rabbit for signs of infection and advise you on how best to prevent any further harm.

Here are three steps you can take in case your rabbit has been bitten:

  1. Contact a veterinarian as soon as possible and provide details about the incident.
  2. Monitor your pet closely for signs of infection.
  3. Clean the wound with antiseptic solution or mild soap and water, then apply a topical ointment such as Neosporin or Bacitracin twice daily until healed over completely.

It’s also important to keep track of other animals in contact with your pet, especially if there has been an encounter with a wild one, as these may need further treatment too. Rabbit owners should consult their veterinarian whenever they suspect their bunny might have been exposed to rabies or other infectious agents such as ticks or fleas, so that prompt action can be taken before any serious harm comes to them.

How to Keep Your Rabbit Safe

You can help keep your rabbit safe by avoiding contact with wild animals and monitoring behavioral changes.

Make sure to check your rabbit’s environment for any potential risks, such as predators, and keep an eye out for any signs of distress in your pet.

If you notice any changes in behavior or health, seek medical advice immediately.

Keeping these precautions in mind will ensure that your rabbit stays safe and healthy.

Avoid Contact with Wild Animals

Avoiding contact with wild animals is key to avoiding rabies, as even the rarest of risks can have devastating consequences. As a pet owner, you should take special care to ensure that your rabbits do not come into contact with any wild animals and should spay or neuter them if possible.

This will help reduce the likelihood of your rabbits coming into contact with any potentially infected animals. Additionally, it’s important to keep an eye out for signs of illness in your rabbit that could be indicative of rabies, such as changes in behavior or aggression.

If you suspect that your rabbit may have been exposed to a wild animal, seek veterinary advice immediately and consider taking additional steps to protect other household pets from potential exposure.

Monitor Behavioral Changes

Monitoring your rabbit’s behavior is key to recognizing potential signs of rabies, as even the slightest changes can be indicative of a larger problem. To help you keep track of any behavioral changes, create a chart with two columns: one for healthy behaviors and one for stressed behaviors. Then list five common interactions that your rabbit usually engages in on the left column and note any changes in those same activities on the right. For example, if your rabbit usually loves playing with toys or interacting with other rabbits but suddenly shows no interest in either activity, it could be an indication that something isn’t quite right.

Pay extra attention to social interaction as this is especially important for rabbits. If they seem withdrawn from their usual group or start displaying aggressive behaviors such as lunging or biting, it is best to look into the cause rather than ignore it. In rare cases, these could be signs of rabies so it is best to take precautions and contact a veterinarian immediately if you notice any major shifts in behavior or physical health.

Healthy Behaviors Stressed Behaviors
Playing With Toys Loss Of Interest In Toys
Interacting With Other Rabbits Aggressive Towards Other Rabbits
Eating & Drinking Normally Refusing Food Or Water
Grooming Regularly Abnormal Shedding/Lack Of Grooming
Moving Around Easily & Energetically Lethargic Or Uncoordinated Movements
Bryan Moore
Bryan Moore
I am Bryan, owner of I love all animals but find myself especially drawn to rabbits. I have been very lucky to be able to turn my passion into my profession, and I am grateful every day that I get to do what I love. It is my hope that through this website, I can help others learn more about these wonderful creatures and provide them with all the information they need to care for their own rabbit. View my Full Author Page Here

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