Thursday, August 10, 2017

Senior Bunnies

Post from Minnesota Spay Neuter Assistance Program
Rabbit FAQ: Senior Bunnies


Life expectancy for a house rabbit is between 8 and 14 years. But when do rabbits become seniors? There is not an exact age when it happens; however, sometime between the ages of 5 and 8, a rabbit becomes a senior. How quickly a rabbit ages is partly based on the size, genetics, the quality of care he’s received throughout his life, and even whether he has a loving bond mate.

What are the signs of aging?
• Slowing down, sleeping more
• Changes in fur coat (coarser, sparser, more gray hair)
• Changes in nails (thicker, turn outwards)
• Changes in mobility
• Changes in eyesight and/or hearing
• Calluses on hocks
• Increased sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
• Weight loss or weight gain
• Muscle wasting/loss of muscle tone
• Difficulty maintaining hygiene
• Increased health issues (dental, bladder or kidney are common ones)

Preventative care to keep your aging rabbit healthy!
• Proper diet is number one (see links at end for proper diet information)
• Spaying female rabbits virtually eliminates uterine infections and reproductive cancers
• Regular physical exercise and activity
• Mental enrichment with toys, games and interaction with you
• Companionship of a bonded rabbit friend
• Regular veterinary check-ups and blood work

Aging is a natural process. A well-cared-for house rabbit can age gracefully and enjoy many golden years. Your rabbit may need some level of nursing care at some point in her life. Expect this and know that she will be grateful for your loyalty and love. Caring for our elderly companion animals is part of the commitment we make to them that honors the years of love and friendship we share.

Resources
The Importance of Hay
Feed A Diversity of Greens
Senior Rabbits
Older & Healthy, The Care of Geriatric Rabbits (A PDF download)
Elderbuns

Thanks to MN SNAP for the post and permission to re-post it here.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017