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Caring for an Older Rabbit

Is your bunny aged 5 or older? If so, Floppy is officially a senior! Your furry friend will never stop being adorable. However, you may need to make a few tweaks to her care regimen over the next few months. As your local Marion, IA area veterinarian, I offer tips on caring for a senior rabbit below.

Grooming

Brushing Floppy regularly is helpful in several ways. For one thing, it will remove dead fur and dust from her coat. This is also a chance for you to check your pet for bumps, bruises, lesions, and other signs of illness or injury. Last but not least, it’s a good way to spend quality time with your pet!

Mobility/Playtime

Your pet will still need free time every day. Make sure she has a safe, bunnyproofed area. This should have soft surfaces, such as carpet, for her to play on. Floppy may not be able to jump onto things as easily as she once did. Set out footstools or ottomans for her to use as steps.

Traction

Floppy may have a hard time getting good traction on slippery surfaces. Put non-slip rugs down on floors in spots she likes to hang out in. If your furry pal uses a litterbox, add extra hay or litter to make it easier for her to get in and out of. You may also want to get a litterbox with low sides.

Veterinary Care

Floppy may need to come in more often as she ages. I recommend that rabbits be examined thoroughly once a year, starting at or before age 5. In between appointments, watch for potential signs of illness. Some common ones are lethargy, unusual posture or behavior, teeth grinding, change in appetite, diarrhea, and unkempt fur. Call your vet right away if you notice anything wrong.

Beds

Floppy may sleep more than she used to. Make sure that your bunny has plenty of comfy beds to snuggle up in!

Buddies

Do you have a bonded pair of senior rabbits? You may find that one passes away before the other. Losing a companion can be very hard on Floppy! If this happens, be sure to let your pet say ‘goodbye.’ You may then want to consider adopting another bunny.

Do you have questions about caring for an older rabbit? Please reach out to me, your local Marion, IA area veterinarian, anytime!

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