Rabbit Focus

Does Rabbits Get Hiccups?

A bout of hiccups is never a good thing for humans. This is a condition that results from spasms in the diaphragm. All you have to do is hold your breath to remove your spasms since this can help settle down the diaphragm. But how about your cute bunnies? Do rabbits get hiccups, too?

Does Rabbits Get Hiccups?

Yes, adult rabbits do get hiccups, but it is less common than it is in younger bunnies. Rabbits that didn’t get sufficiently ablactated when they were still babies attend to experience more hiccups and other digestive issues.

Baby rabbits, specifically those around two weeks of age or younger, are more prone to getting hiccups, mainly after eating. These babies often devour their food really fast and as they do so, they swallow lots of air that end up trapped in the diaphragms.

Signs of Hiccups in Rabbits

You might find it very distressing to see your rabbit exhibiting some unusual behaviors. But there is often nothing for you to worry about if your rabbit is getting hiccups, especially if these only last for several minutes because they will just go away by themselves.

However, if you want to put your mind at rest, it would be best if you are familiar with the signs that you should watch out for to know if your bunny is hiccupping or not. A bout of hiccups that can last for several hours must be diagnosed since it may be a sign of an underlying respiratory or digestive problem.

Here are some of the common signs of hiccupping in bunnies that you should keep an eye out for:

  • Signs of distress
  • If your bunny is showing signs such as grinding of teeth that imply that the animal is in pain, your rabbit might have some gas trapped inside its diaphragm.
  • Lack of ability to go to the toilet
  • It is another common sign of a rabbit that has a case of hiccups.
  • Lack of appetite

Many rabbits suffering from a case of hiccups will exhibit an increased lack of appetite despite having a voracious appetite in the past.

If you are unsure if your rabbit really has hiccups or is only experiencing the shakes, you might want to touch your pet all over its body to examine it closely.

Why Do Rabbits Get Hiccups?

Several different factors can cause hiccups in rabbits, and some of them are the following:

Extreme Activeness

if you have a very active bunny that loves to play a lot outside, this poses your animal at a higher risk of swallowing lots of air which can potentially lead to hiccups.

Rushed Eating

Rushed eating is among the main reasons why gas gets trapped inside the diaphragm of a rabbit. In particular, younger rabbits often eat as quickly as you can since they are not used to you yet and are possibly afraid that you are going to take away their food even before they are finished eating. However, don’t worry since this is perfectly normal and soon enough, they will learn to trust you with their food.

Specific Type of Food Eaten

When you have confirmed that your rabbit is not eating fast but is still getting hiccups, you might need to check the specific kind of food you are feeding your pet. Certain foods can irritate the diaphragm of rabbits so when your notice that your bunny tends to hiccup more after eating a particular type of vegetable or food, it would be best if you don’t give that food to your pet.

How to Stop Hiccups in Rabbits

If you noticed that your bunny is getting hiccups, the best thing you can do is relieve the gas that causes the discomfort. To remove the trapped gas, find the diaphragm of your rabbit using two of your fingers. The diaphragm is located under the heart of your bunny right on top of the liver. After you find the diaphragm, push it gently with your two fingers.

Just be careful to do it as lightly as you can because rabbits never like it if you touch their underside. By pushing against your rabbit’s diaphragm properly, you can get rid of the air trapped there, provided that the case of hiccups is not that severe.

Never hold the nose of your rabbit in an attempt of holding its breath because this will only terrify your pet. When this happens, you will find it difficult to make your bunny trust you once again. Similarly, it is also not a wise idea to make your bunny jump to shock and stop its hiccups because it will also frighten your pet.

This method will always address the hiccupping issue and will only end up distressing your rabbit, particularly if you have younger rabbits. It is important to note that certain respiratory issues can also cause hiccups in rabbits. These conditions are known as scuffles that lead to hiccups when your bunny is trying to breathe in air in an attempt of clearing its sinuses.

The following are the common signs of respiratory diseases in rabbits:

  • Unwillingness to be picked up and general weakness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Release of discharge from the nose and eyes of the rabbit
  • Sneezing
  • Tilting the head back to try clearing the air passages

Certain digestive problems can also make rabbits get hiccups. You should never take these problems lightly because these may result in deadly consequences. When your bunny cries every time that you touch it or the belly feels hard when you touch it, you might want to call the vet right away. Hardness in the belly combined with hiccupping implies that there is a blockage in the stomach of your rabbit.

Are Hiccups Unsafe for Rabbits?

Hiccups in rabbits seldom pose any substantial risk or harm to these fluffballs, especially when the hiccups don’t last for more than several hours. Just like in humans, hiccups are not an issue except if they don’t lessen over a few hours or days.

When you notice that your bunny has hiccups lasting for a long time, make sure you take him to the vet for an examination right away. This step is important to rule out underlying intestinal or digestive issues that your bunny might be suffering from.

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