How to recognize, treat and avoid heat stroke in rabbits or guinea pigs?

Heat stroke in rabbits or guinea pigs is not uncommon, as these animals are sensitive to high temperatures. How to recognize it, treat it and especially avoid it in summer?

In this summer weather, there are many tips to protect your dogs from heat stroke. But we must not forget the rabbit and guinea pig, which are becoming increasingly popular Nacs.

In addition, these are small animals, very sensitive to heat. This condition causes severe hyperthermia, which can lead to coma and death. When heat stroke in rabbits or guinea pigsyou have to react quickly to cool down these little beasts.

Rabbits and guinea pigs don’t sweat like we do; they don’t drink an ice cold drink to cool down… Their small size, special thermoregulation and even lifestyle make them potential victims of heat stroke.

Rabbit and guinea pig: Nacs are very sensitive to heat

Rabbits and guinea pigs have very few sweat glands. They are located at the level pads but very insufficient to ensure the regulation of the internal temperature.

These small animals exchange heat with the external environment. skin levelpredominantly at ear level. This is why desert-adapted wild rabbits have large ears: it allows them to lose more heat in the process.

Rabbits and guinea pigs can also lose heat due to nasal mucosa. Moreover, when it is very hot, it can be seen that your rabbit’s nose is moving faster ; this allows it to cool down.

Unfortunately, these control possibilities can be quickly exceeded in case of extreme heat. Please note that in the wild, these animals live mainly in burrows where it’s cool. Temperature above 25°С therefore, it will be difficult for rabbits and rodents to tolerate them.

How to recognize, treat and avoid heat stroke in rabbits or guinea pigs?

Them small size is an aggravating circumstance. From long hairholding even more hot, or dark color can also increase the phenomenon. Indeed, in the case of exposure to the sun, a rabbit or guinea pig with dark hair accumulates sun rays faster and heat strokes develop faster.

In addition, rabbits and guinea pigs are often trapped in their cage. The sun turns, and here it is in full sun through the glass, with no possibility of escape. Exposure to sunlight through a window can quickly become dangerous for Nacs.

Symptoms of Heat Stroke in Rabbits and Guinea Pigs

Heat stroke is an increase in internal temperature. The temperature of a rabbit is normally between between 37°5 and 39°. In case of heat stroke, it can exceeds 41° or even 42°. This will lead to many defeats, primarily to brain levelthen in whole body.

Heatstroke usually starts in the animal breathe fast. Then he goes lie on one sidebecome soft and stop responding. He may have diarrhea.

fast, and coma begins with possible convulsions. Without treatment, the condition moves inexorably towards death. Death comes from insufficiency of internal organs. Too late the cure may be gone neurological consequences.

How to recognize, treat and avoid heat stroke in rabbits or guinea pigs?

Treatment and prevention of heat stroke in rabbits and guinea pigs

The treatment for heat stroke in rabbits or guinea pigs is to cool the animal until its body temperature returns to normal. below 39°. It is important to act quickly and start cooling your home.

If your rabbit or guinea pig has mild heatstroke (he’s conscious), you can bathe him in cool (but not icy) water. If he’s in a coma, wrap him in wet laundry and take him to the vet without delay; he will need infusion. You can also post ice pack wrapped in tea towel between her thighs.

How to recognize, treat and avoid heat stroke in rabbits or guinea pigs?

Here are some tips and tricks to avoid that dreaded rabbit or guinea pig heatstroke:

  • Place the cage in cool room
  • close the shutters
  • Use fan (not directed towards the cell)
  • Wet or fog often Coat (especially ears)
  • put one down ice block wrapped in cloth in a cage
  • Always make sure the bottle containsfresh water
  • Providing waterlogged fresh fruits and vegetables (watermelon, lettuce, cucumber, tomato…) but no frills if your Naki are not used to this diet

How to recognize, treat and avoid heat stroke in rabbits or guinea pigs?

And for rabbits and guinea pigs who are lucky enough to have a garden: always shady corner in hulls.

>>> Can you let your rabbit live in the garden without risk?

Of course, as with dogs, you will never leave Nac in a parked car! When traveling, be careful with the rear shelf, the sun’s rays can hit it hard even with air conditioning.

By following these precautions, your rabbit or guinea pig will have a great summer and won’t get heatstroke!

Isabelle Viksage
veterinarian

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See also: Should dwarf rabbits be vaccinated?

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