четвртак, 29. март 2012.

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Bunny Overheating | Bunnies and Heat

Introduction to bunny's temperature regulation | Can bunnies overheat?

Can my bunny cool himself? How does bunnies react to heat?

Bunnies are animals extremely sensitive to high temperatures. Actually, there are three main problems in these animals: malocclusion, gastrointestinal stasis (ileus) and overheating. Follow these link to read more about Bunny teeth care and malocclusion and Gastrointestinal stasis in rabbits.

Bunnies don't have ability to efficiently release surplus of energy, which is in this case in form of heat. Optimal temperature for rabbits is 10 to 20 degrees. They like cooler places, and lower temperatures. If thermometer shows more than 20 degrees, there is risk of overheating. This is important to know in summer time. Rabbits can not perspire like humans. They have small mouth, and small tongue, so they can't cool themselves by increasing respiration like dogs. Bunnies are covered by dense fur, which prevents cooling of the skin in the wind.
In short words, in hot days, your bunny is in danger. Bunnies and heat don't go along with each other.

Symptoms of Overheating (hyperthermia) in Bunnies

How can I tell if my bunny is overheated?

Whenever temperature rises above 20-25 degrees, you should start watching your bunny's body language more often. 
Heat can lead you rabbit to lethargy at first. Bunny is not in mood to cuddle, jump or even eat. You will see him lying in the corner, being extremely passive. Bunny will try to find some cool place, like floor tiles, to stretch out and let tiles absorb some of that heat accumulating in his body. You will also notice bunny is breathing really fast, trembling and possible shaking. 
Heat stroke, or overheating is state of emergency! Take your bunny to the vet ASAP!

Prevention of overheating (heat stroke, hyperthermia) in bunnies

What can you do to cool your bunny a bit, and easy a heat?

I need to mark one thing here: when your pet has heat stroke, don't try to apply preventive measures. Take him directly to vet.
But, there are preventive measures that can help you keep your bunny safe from heat. 

Keep you pet away from direct sun: it is the best to take him inside the house over the summer months, if you have outdoor rabbit. If it is indoor rabbit you have, then choose the coolest room to move you bunny to. I like to keep my Gary in hole, with lots of floor tiles  for him to cool on.
Spray his ears with water every few hours: this will help him lower body temperature for few degrees. Ears in rabbits are rich in blood vessels, and cooling them, will lower the blood temperature in whole body.
This is time to turn your air conditioner on!
Fans and hair driers (cooling) will do the trick. Be careful, and not point the fan or hair drier directly to your bunny. 

I hope this post was useful! Let me know!
Thank you for your visit!

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