What Causes Hiccups in Rabbits?
Hiccups in humans are quite bizarre. Hiccups in rabbits are even more peculiar. There has been no confirmed cause of hiccups in rabbits, but there are some theories which we will elaborate on. If you have a pet rabbit and are concerned over their constant hiccupping or shaking, do not stress. The good thing is there is nothing serious to be worried about. Keep reading, as oneHOWTO discuss what causes hiccups in rabbits?
Can rabbits get hiccups?
In humans, hiccups are caused by a spasm in the diaphragm. We are told to hold our breath to get rid of them because this calms the diaphragm muscle. Although rabbits have diaphragms too, it seems like trapped gas is likely the main problem.
Rabbit hiccups are very quick and constant and are often mistaken for seizures. Baby rabbits frequently get hiccups. These are normal and happen often for babies that are 2 weeks and younger, especially after eating. Certain adults can also be prone to these but it is rare. If the rabbit hiccups do not last for hours and hours, usually they will go away on their own and are harmless.
Hiccups for an extended period of time (hours to days) should be examined. It could be a sign of something else. A vet can do an x-ray to see if there are intestinal problems or gas balls in the stomach. Rabbits which were not weaned appropriately as babies can also be more prone to these as they get older (as well as other digestive problems).
Furthermore, your rabbit may be shaking rather than having a hiccup episode. Touch the rabbit all over on their stomach, nose, ears and back to try and diagnose the problem. They breathe fast, so you must be able to recognize their normal breathing pattern.
Symptoms of hiccuping in rabbits can include:-
- Unable to go to the toilet
- Lack of appetite or unable to eat and drink
- They could show pain (grinding teeth, for example)
How to treat hiccups in rabbits
It is quite hard to understand your rabbit in general. Because hiccups in rabbits has not been thoroughly researched, it is also hard to be certain on which methods are best to treat it.
Perhaps applying some positive pressure to the diaphragm for a few seconds can alleviate some trapped gas.
You could also give them a small dose of baby gas-x infant drops to get rid of trapped air that has built up inside the stomach. Just follow the instructions on the bottle for the appropriate dosage.
The food you may be feeding your pet can also be an issue. Provide them with more greens and less pellets to test if that is the issue. If so, be prepared to change their diet completely.
If they have bad abdominal bloating and a hard stomach, please take them to the vet. However, if your rabbit can eat and drink with ease you should not have anything to worry about.
If you found this article informative, check out our Animals section for more tips and advice.
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