My Rabbit Has Cold Ears: Taking care of rabbits or any pet isn’t an easy task. It’s natural to be worried when you see any unusual activities in their behavior. If a rabbit has cold ears, there is nothing to worry about. Sometimes, the rabbit’s body temperature drops, and their ears get cold. It generally happens during winters. You should keep track of your rabbit’s body temperature. If it changes drastically, then your rabbit may have some health issues. Rabbits are prey animals, but they have excellent vision with commendable hearing skills. They have fragile body structures with brittle bones. It is crucial to keep them healthy and safe to live a good life. We will discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatment options if a rabbit has cold ears. Please keep reading to know more about it.
What do Rabbit’s Ears indicate?
Being prey by nature, rabbits need to keep themselves safe from predators. Rabbits who live in the forests need to be attentive and alert all the time. Rabbit has long and wide ears to detect and avoid predators. There are many breeds of rabbits having different sizes, colors, and traits. Apparently, these pet animals can hear much better than any human being. Rabbits’ inner, pouter, and middle ear muscle plays a vital role in detecting the predator.
The outer ear is known as the pinna, and it represents a fair part of the body surface area. Next, the middle ear muscle has three bones known as ossicles, and the outer eardrum separates it. The three bones (ossicles) are the hammer, anvil, and stirrup. All these bones help to decrease sound before it hits the inner ear.
Finally, the inner ear fluid is the endolymph, and it receives sound energy. When the rabbit’s endolymph receives sound energy, the inner two parts (cochlea and vestibular apparatus) utilize sound waves and manage the rabbit’s positions according to the movement.
Temperature and Illness
The process to maintain an optimal body temperature regardless of external conditions is known as thermoregulation. Apparently, this process is carried out by the pinnae (outer ear muscle). The optimal body temperature of a rabbit is around 38.5-40°C. Remember, if the body temperature exceeds or drops, rabbits may suffer from various health issues. Ears are used to control the core body temperature of rabbits through constriction and dilation of blood vessels. You must know that the rabbits can stretch their pinnae during hot weather. However, rabbits fold their ears in cold weather to decrease the surface area to the ambient air. It also drops the body temperature of your rabbit.
What to do if a Rabbit has cold ears?
If your rabbit’s ears aren’t warm enough or cold, then it means their body temperature is down. It usually happens in the winters, when the weather is too cold. Rabbits have a fur coat on their body that helps them be warm during the winters. But when the temperature is too low, it becomes difficult for them to survive. If you have a rabbit, you need to be careful when there is a drastic change in the weather. You should try to keep the body temperature of a rabbit normal. Otherwise, it can lead to various other health issues.
What do hot and cold ears indicate in Rabbits?
Every movement of rabbits or animals indicates something, and being aware of it is crucial for their owner. When you know things about your pet, it becomes easy to handle them and take care of them. As mentioned earlier, rabbits regulate their body temperature with the help of their ears. The very hot and cold ears of rabbits indicate changes in their body temperature. It could mean that their body temperature dropped if they had cold ears. But if their ears are comparatively hot, they may be having fever or any other health issue.
Remember, In both conditions, you are requested to seek a veterinarian. Consulting a veterinary doctor would tell you what’s wrong with your rabbit. Tell all the early symptoms you have noticed in your rabbit earlier. It would help the doctor to diagnose. Do whatever the vet suggests you do and be careful with your rabbit while struggling.
Do a Rabbit’s ears get cold after being Spayed?
After being spayed after the first couple of days, your rabbit may seem a bit tired. Your rabbit must take proper rest after the surgery. Remember, it is normal to have a low body temperature right after the surgery. You don’t have to worry about that. It is happening because animals are given anesthesia before the treatment. Keeping the rabbit warm after being spayed is important. You can identify the body temperature though the ears don’t always work out. But you can consider it as a sign. If the body temperature is low for a long time and your rabbit doesn’t seem fine, then you should update the vet.
What is Ileus, and is my Rabbit suffering from Ileus?
Ileus is a health condition in which the intestine of a rabbit stops moving food throughout the colon and finally from the rectum. It is also known as gastrointestinal stasis. You must know that your rabbit may suffer from this health issue if it stops eating or defecates. Both the things need to be balanced, and if not, then the bacteria inside their intestine will start producing excessive gas.
You should know that the gastrointestinal or Ileus can be fatal if not treated timely. Rabbits spend most of their time chewing things, and if it stops doing that, it’s an indication that something is wrong. When you observe anything like that in your rabbit’s behavior, you should immediately consult the vet. Tell the veterinary doctor about the cold ears and loss of appetite simultaneously. You should do whatever the vet suggests keeping the rabbit healthy. Here are some symptoms, diagnoses, and treatment tips you should know about.
Some of the symptoms are easily noticeable, while the others are not. But to keep your pet rabbit healthy, you must be attentive around them. Otherwise, your slight negligence can cost the life of your beloved pet. Here are some signs that would tell you if your rabbit is enough or not.
- Weight Loss
- Refusing to eat
- Staying in their cage for longer than usual
- Changes in the poop
- Teeth grinding
- Decrease in the activity level
When you observe any of the signs mentioned above, you should consult the vet. It’s better to notice the signs and symptoms earlier as situations can get under control with slight medication and treatment. Several other symptoms you may notice in the rabbit when suffering from Ileus are overgrown incisors, Eyes or Nasal drainage, and Tumors or abscesses. These visible symptoms can instantly let you know if the rabbit is sick.
Diagnosis and Treatment
We understand that guardianship isn’t easy for any pet owner, and you need to be careful and attentive all the time to keep it safe from any mishap. Knowing the causes, signs, and symptoms in such situations becomes very helpful. You can predetermine the signs, and it helps the vet treat the condition at an early stage. That’s why you should be aware of the prospective health issues your rabbit might face.
Don’t be afraid while dealing with your rabbit’s condition, as it may be stressed because of being sick. The vet may recommend IV fluids or other hydration options to get something inside the rabbit’s body. Along with that, your rabbit might be force-fed with the help of veterinary-grade products. During the treatment process, the vet will also find the cause of the loss of appetite. Other than that, the vet may also run some tests to find this health condition. So, the bottom line is you need to take your rabbit to the vet wherever you see any ileus symptoms.
What should be the ideal body temperature of a Rabbit?
Keeping the body temperature normal is very important as if it gets too cold or too hot, it may cause severe health issues. If you don’t know the optimal body temperature of a rabbit, then it should be 101° F – 103°F (38.3°C – 39.4°C). So, if your rabbit seems too cold, check its body temperature, and if the body temperature is below normal, then bring your rabbit to the vet.
Neither should the body temperature of your rabbit be too high as it can lead to hyperthermia or overheating. In both conditions, you should consult the vet. Otherwise, your pet might suffer some severe health complications. Rabbits in winters need to be in a warm environment; otherwise, they will get too cold and might not bear it for long.
How to create a warm environment for Rabbits during winters?
You can’t fight the weather, but you can take precautions to be safe in it. Staying healthy is a difficult task during winters, not only for animals but also for humans. Keep your rabbit inside to keep it safe from extreme cold weather. When you observe that your rabbit’s ears are cold, you should contact the vet first. To avoid any mishappening, you should keep the rabbit warm enough, so their body temperature doesn’t drop down from their optimal temperature. Here are some ways you can use to keep your rabbit warm during winters.
Adjust your Rabbit’s cage or hutch
The rabbit can neither control too hot nor too cold weather. You must make seasonal changes in the place where your rabbit lives. When winter approaches, you should keep your rabbit inside the house. If you keep your rabbit’s cage or hutch outside the house during summer, then bring it inside. Other than that, you can also move the cage to a more safe and warm place. Avoid any open place as your rabbit would not be able to handle the cold weather. Make sure the rabbit has all the necessary things nearby.
Cover the hutch from top and back
After moving the cage inside the house, you can cover the upper and backside with a blanket. You don’t need to cover the whole cage and leave the front side open so the rabbit won’t feel suffocated. An open cage can be helpful during summer, but it might be a bad idea in winter. Grab a blanket that can keep the place warm and cover the upper and backside of the hutch.
Provide a warm bed
Once you cover the cage, you need to make a warm bed for your rabbit. You can also cover the lines and walls of the bed with the newspaper as it would keep the bedding of your rabbit warm enough. Additionally, you can stuff the sleeping area with a lot of bedding material. You shouldn’t offer a blanket in the bedding of your rabbit. Rabbits have the habit of gnawing and chewing on things, and they would probably end up gnawing the blanket you have stuffed in their bedding. You can also buy ready-made bedding for your rabbit.
You might not know, but straws are warmer than hay. So, instead of stuffing the bedding with the hay, you should try straws. You can also use a mixture of both hay and straw. Ensure the things you are providing for your rabbit are safe and clean. Place the straw inside the cage mixed with hay as whenever your rabbit feels hungry, they would have hay to eat. It is crucial to change the straw occasionally because if your rabbit sleeps in the wet or urinated straw, it will get sick.
How to help a Rabbit who gets too cold in Winter?
Summer gets too hot sometimes, and winters get too cold. In both situations, we need to keep our pets safe. They should have an appropriate environment with all the basic needs. Generally, people shift the hutch or cage of their pets outside the house, but it’s not a good idea during winters. Rabbits and your other pets should be inside the house, properly safe from the excessive cool weather and snow. Along with that, here are some other tips that would help you if your rabbit is getting too cold during winter.
Wrap them up
Rabbits chew on blankets, so you should avoid covering them in such cloth. So, instead of wrapping the body of your rabbit in a blanket, cover the cage they live in. Leave the front side uncovered and cover the rest with a warm blanket. Make sure the blanket is out of the reach of your rabbit. Otherwise, you may find it in pieces after some time. If you don’t find this option convenient, you can use anything larger than your rabbit’s size; a nest box or hutch.
Keep them cozy with the straw
When the nest, cage, or even hutch get ready from the outside, you need to prepare it from inside. As mentioned earlier, straws are great options to prepare comfortable and warm bedding for your rabbit, and a warm place would keep your rabbit’s body temperature normal. While preparing the bedding, you also have several other options, such as ready-made beddings. If you purchase it, make sure it is slightly nigger than your rabbit size. Otherwise, the rabbit might feel a little congested.
Watch their water
During winters, if the temperature is too low, the water in the bowl may freeze. When the water is freezing, rabbits won’t drink from it. Remember the water should be normal, neither too cold nor too hot. Not only water, but you should also remember to take off their whole diet. Not drinking enough water and improper eating can lead your pet rabbit to multiple health complications.
Be careful during extreme cold and hot weather. The way you feel the weather, your pets may feel it the same way. So, whenever there is an unexpected change in the weather, you must know that your rabbit will also feel the same as you do. The best option is to change their living space according to the season.
How to prevent any mishappening while keeping the Rabbits warm?
Precautions are necessary for every situation, whether weather, feeding, drinking, or living. So, when you prepare your rabbit during winter, you need to be careful. The motive here is to keep the rabbit safe from the cold weather, so they don’t struggle to live a good life. Here are some tips that would help you keep your rabbit warm and away from any trouble.
Be careful with the blankets
If possible, don’t use the blankets to cover the rabbit and its bedding. You can use the blanket or even a towel if your rabbit is wet to soak the water from its body. You are free to cover an open cage from the blanket as long as it is out of your rabbit’s reach. But you shouldn’t stuff the bedding of your rabbit with the blankets. Or else, you can use the blanket with the hay or straw. However, the straw is a great option to keep your rabbit warm.
Keep the baby Rabbits indoors
During winters, baby rabbits are at higher risk, and not paying attention to their activities can be a huge mistake. Whether it’s a baby or an adult rabbit, you should keep it indoors most of the time. You can let your rabbit freely roam inside the house but don’t let it go outside. It would be best if you kept your rabbits (baby or adults) under your supervision. As you know, rabbits are very playful and like to chew on things. So, it would be better to keep your rabbits nearby when they are playing.
Make sure your rabbit is doing exercise
You must know that exercising on a cold day can make your body warm. So, when the winter approaches, you need to make sure that your rabbit is doing proper exercise and playing as well. Along with that, keep a check on its diet. Don’t let them skip any meal and water. When the rabbits would eat and drink enough, they would be healthy. Doing exercise with that diet would keep them energetic and fit.
Watch for signs of health problems
Observing them is the only way to know if your rabbit is troubling something. So, make sure you have a good bonding with your pet as it becomes easy to know how they feel when they are closer to you. You should also watch for the signs and symptoms of your rabbit’s behavior. If you think they aren’t fine, you should immediately consult the vet. Sometimes, when the body temperature of the rabbits drops, their ears appear to be cold. While consulting the vet, you should tell how your rabbit has been doing for the past couple of days. Tell them briefly all about it and do whatever they suggest.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q.1) Are rabbit ears supposed to be cold?
It is normal to have cold ears when the body temperature of your rabbit drops. But if it is happening for a long time during winters, you should consult the vet. A rabbit has cold ears when surrounded by the air cooler than their body temperature.
Q.2) Should bunny ears be warm?
You must know that rabbits regulate their body temperature through their ears. Neither should the ears of a rabbit be too hot nor too cold, and both the conditions may indicate fever or other health complications.
Q.3) Can my Rabbit have a blanket?
Yes, you can give your rabbit blankets and towels. But you should avoid wrapping your rabbit in the blanket, and rabbits chew or gnaw on things. So, you need to make sure that your rabbit doesn’t swallow large amounts of fabric.
That was all about why a rabbit has cold ears and how you can help your rabbit deal with it. I hope you find this article helpful in leading a good life for your rabbit. You should be aware of your rabbit’s health when the weather is too cold or hot. Rabbit’s ears also indicate the body temperature. So, whenever the rabbits get too cold or hot, you should take them to the vet. If you have anything to add, you can do it in the comment section.