Rabbits are fast becoming one of the favorite animals to be adopted as house pet. Just like any other pets, rabbits require that you take care of them and to bond with them. Rabbits can be affectionate animals and considered easy to take care compared to other pets. However, as they are at the bottom of the food chain, as they age, they could develop quite a few problems. The problems faced by more senior rabbits differ according to breed and the quality of their life during their younger days. The first sign that tells you that your beloved bunny is aging is the level of activeness.
Senior rabbits are not as active compared to younger bunnies. In fact, they will spend considerable time resting. Do not expect your senior rabbit to be playing, running or doing the binkie jump the way they do when they are younger. Caring for an older rabbit require that you be affectionate and patient with them. The most important thing that you need to provide them with is a comfortable housing. If you have been keeping your rabbit in rabbit cage with wired floor, then it is serious time to consider providing soft mat or a towel for them to rest on.
Rabbits that have been kept indoor and running around on concrete floors may easily cause their limb to be weaker. In many cases, rabbits may develop splay leg situation. Splayed leg is a condition where rabbits leg became splayed to the site. It can be very painful for rabbits to move around with splayed legs. As the situation worsen, they may not be able to move around at all, i.e. becoming partially paralysed. It is more frequently for rabbits to develop splayed legs on the front limbs.
When you find that your rabbits are exhibiting splayed legs or are having difficulty in moving around, try to get a rabbit savvy vet to check on their legs. When a rabbit become immobile, their quality of life will decrease and along with it, they will develop many other problems. They may wet themselves with urine and may get urine burn. Unless you are able to spend time frequently with them, it is difficult to care effectively for a rabbit that is immobile. Rabbits may get depressed quite easily and because of their condition, they will develop other illness too.
Tilt neck is another condition that can develop in elder rabbits. Rabbits who are suffering from tilt neck will not be able to hold their head the way a healthy rabbit does. They may also have difficulty in moving around in proper manner.
When you have senior rabbits in the home that is developing problems as highlighted above, then, other than the housing, it is also serious time to think about the provision of suitable rabbit food and water. The food tray and the water tray has to be low enough so that the rabbits do not need to labor themselves to eat or drink.
As mentioned above, rabbits that develop physical condition may quickly deteriorate in many other aspects. However, each rabbit is different, and we have experience of a rabbit that have developed splayed leg condition that had continued to live and enjoy quality life for many more months before their death.
Other than physical care, senior rabbit's emotion should also be looked after. Senior rabbits seemed to get more affectionate compared to younger rabbits as the younger ones have more activities to keep themselves occupied with. Spend sufficient and quality time with them every day.