Worried about your rabbit drooling? There can be many reasons behind this. Keep reading to know more!
While it’s true that animals drool over delicious foods just like humans, if the drooling is excessive, it is no longer due to the same reason. If your bunny is drooling excessively wetting her fur and housing, know that something is wrong with her. Further, if your bunny is sick and drooling is accompanied by weight loss, it may be a sign of ptyalism. Ptyalism is a lot more than a normal rabbit slobber that happens to all the bunnies. It is a disorder that lasts for a long time.
There can be many reasons behind hypersalivation or drooling in rabbits. Some of these include poor dental health and overheating.
Hypersalivation is a sign that your pet is experiencing pain. It mostly occurs when a bunny is dealing with issues like congenital malocclusion, gingivitis etc.
Moreover, excessive drooling or ptyalism can also occur if your rabbit has ingested some toxic substance by accident.
In this article, we will discuss all the possible reasons behind excessive drooling in rabbits. We’ll also share the ways in which you can prevent and treat this condition. So, without any further delay, let’s start!
What Are the Signs of Drooling in a Rabbit?
As we have discussed above, excessive drooling occurs due to a variety of health-related reasons. Therefore, most of the time, drooling is also accompanied by a few signs depending upon the cause.
Here are a few important signs and symptoms to look for :
- Wet fur
- Wet mouth/chin/dewlap
- Lack of grooming
- Irritated skin
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Signs of stress
- Signs of discomfort and pain
- Watery eyes
- Nadal discharge
- Teeth grinding
Apart from these signs, you may also notice a small lump or swelling around the jaw bone of your bunny. This is a sign of teeth infection. Further, gum infection may also result in the similar symptom.
Main Causes Behind Drooling In Your Rabbit
If you’re noticing any or all of the above-mentioned symptoms, move on and try to find the root cause of excessive drooling in your rabbit. Below are possible causes behind rabbit drooling :
The first and perhaps the biggest reason behind drooling in bunnies is poor dental health. While dental problems are very common in rabbits, some breeds are more prone to dental issues than others. These include lop-eared bunnies and dwarf bunnies.
If you can find out the genetic history of your bunny, then finding the root cause of hypersalivation will get much easier. For example: if your bunny’s parents have a history of dental issues, then there are good chances that she will also suffer from them.
Further, rabbits who don’t consume enough fiber, specifically hay and grass have a higher chance of experiencing dental issues. Dental problems can also be a result of teeth or mouth injury.
If your bunny has accidentally hit her face onto furniture or any other obstacle, he might get injured. This injury may cause her pain to swallow and hence she starts drooling.
This is another major issue with rabbits. Their teeth outgrow very rapidly. However, rabbits keep trimming their teeth by chewing on grass and other fibrous foods. Different types of grass, hay and other vegetables help bunnies to trim their teeth. In the case of pet rabbits, they trim their teeth by chewing on toys, edible wood and a few other safe objects.
However, if your bunny isn’t getting enough grass fibrous veggies and chew toys, his teeth may become overgrown and result in drooling and other problems.
These days, most rabbit owners rely on commercial rabbit pellets that don’t offer enough jaw movement to the bunnies. And the lack of jaw movement can cause their teeth to grow excessively, which is a painful experience for a rabbit.
The overgrown teeth are known as spurs, they tend to cut the delicate tongue and cheeks of bunny causing an immense amount of pain and discomfort. This pain can prevent a bunny from eating and hence result in weight loss and poor appetite.
Apart from outgrown teeth, malocclusion is also a common dental disorder in rabbits. This means the bunny is born with misaligned or crooked teeth. This poor jaw alignment can also cause a rabbit to drool too much. However, this doesn’t happen all of sudden. If your bunny has misaligned teeth, then she is very likely to drool from her birth.
If you suspect that your bunny is dealing with overgrown teeth, look for the following signs :
- Watery eyes
- Weight Loss (because they feel pain while eating)
- Poppy butt (the poorly digested food sticks to their tail and butthole.
- Lack of grooming
How to Prevent Overgrown Teeth in Bunnies?
The good thing is, overgrown teeth can be prevented and treated easily. Here are a few tips to prevent and treat outgrown teeth problems in rabbits :
Offer A High-Fiber Diet
The best way to prevent and treat overgrown teeth in rabbits is by supplying them with a fibre-rich diet. About 80 percent of your bunny’s diet should be made from hay and fresh grass. This will keep him munching all day and hence trimming down those overgrown teeth. A high-fibre diet not only prevents overgrown teeth but also helps bunnies to deal with a lot of problems.
Regular Vet Visits
If your bunny is suffering from overgrown teeth, then without wasting a lot of time, take him to your vet. An experienced rabbit vet will trim down the teeth or may extract if needed. Regular vet visits are very important in order to maintain the good health of your pet.
Enough Chew Toys
Provide your bunny with plenty of chew toys. Wooden toys, natural cardboard, fibrous vegetables like celery can also be given as edible chew toys.
The next common cause of drooling in rabbits is heatstroke. If you’re a rabbit owner, you should know that bunnies get overheated very easily due to their thick fur coat. Overheating not only result in drooling but also result in a number of health problems.
That’s why it is very important to pay attention to overheating issues in bunnies. But the deal is, bunnies are very good at hiding their stress and pain. They tend to hide themselves to avoid showing signs of weakness.
Therefore, it becomes very important to know how heatstroke happens in bunnies and how can you deal with such situations. Here is how it happens :
If the temperature goes beyond normal, rabbits get heated quickly. Not a surprise, this problem is very common during hot summers when the temperatures become extreme. During these months, if you keep your rabbits outdoors, or if their housing is not proper, they can get heatstrokes which is a life-threatening situation.
You should know that rabbits can’t tolerate extreme temperatures. In simple words, they can neither live in too hot nor too cold environment.
When the temperature crosses 80�F, your rabbit’s organs may stop working. What’s worse? Your bunny may die on the spot!
If you suspect your rabbit is overheating, look for the following signs :
First things first, drooling is the biggest sign of overheating in bunnies. This happens because your bunny is trying hard to breath, so she forgets to swallow and hence start drooling. If your bunny is overheating, you’ll notice his saliva getting all over her fur and surface where she’s sitting or lying.
Check His Breathing
When a bunny is overheated, she finds it hard to breathe. So, look for any breathing problem your bunny might be having. Check if she’s panting or breathing heavily. She might be making hissing sounds due to the shortening of breath.
Are There Any behavioral Changes?
Next, check for any behavioral changes. When rabbits become overheated, they start behaving abnormally. You may notice your bunny hiding from you. She might seem stressed and uninterested. If your pet looks stressed, make sure to handle her with care, mishandling can make the situation even worse.
Check The Movements
Lastly, check your bunny’s movements. Generally, in the situation of overheating, bunnies don’t move a lot. They lie down in a corner and look disoriented. Some bunnies even start trembling and shaking when they get hot.
If you find anyone or all of these signs in your rabbit, know that it’s a heatstroke. Fortunately, you can prevent heat stroke by keeping in mind the following things :
- Provide your rabbit with better housing, especially during hot months. Make sure there is enough airflow.
- Make sure your bunny has free access to water all the time.
- Locate your rabbit house or hutch in shade where there is plenty of fresh air and no direct sunlight.
- Place a cooling pad, a frozen bottle or a ceramic tile to keep your bunny cool.
- Provide plenty of fresh grass and chew toys to your bunny, so that he won’t become stressed.
Drooling can also be caused by a medical issue your bunny might be dealing with. Although this is very rare, can be fatal if happens. Below are the medical situations that can result in drooling in rabbits :
- Respiratory issues
- Poisoning / Ingestion of toxic compounds
- Nervous system disorders
- Mental disorders
- Neurological disorders
- Fungal infections
Among all the above-mentioned issues, poisoning is quite likely in rabbits. The reasons is, the digestive systems of rabbits are very delicate. They can’t digest anything and there are a lot of things that might be safe for humans and other pets, but they’re toxic to a bunny. So, if your bunny ends up eating something which he shouldn’t, leads him to poisoning. Also, rabbits can’t vomit to remove the toxic substances, hence it results in hypersalivation.
Sadly, this situation can be deadly for a rabbit. Hence, it’s very important to prevent this from happening.
How To Treat Drooling In Rabbits
In order to treat the issue of hypersalivation, it’s very important to determine the root cause of it. Only after identifying the cause, you’ll be able to treat it. Whatever be the problem is, take your pet to an experienced vet. Don’t try any home remedies or DIYs to treat your rabbit.
If your bunny is drooling due to a fungal infection in her mouth, your vet will recommend a few antibiotics that will help to cut down that infection. Your vet may prescribe a few medicines or injections.
If your pet is drooling due to overgrown teeth, your vet may suggest extracting the tooth or may trim down the teeth altogether. Know that, dental problems can be very complicated and your vet may advise you to visit a specialist.
Next, if your little pet is overheating, try to cool him down and meanwhile book your appointment with a vet. Don’t waste a lot of time because this is an alarming situation and your rabbit may die if you delay. Be quick and locate your bunny to a cool and airy place and spray some cold water on its stomach and ears.
How Long A Rabbit Takes To Recover From Drooling?
Again, the recovery time depends largely on what is causing your pet to drool. In some cases, your bunny might stop drooling in a few minutes while in others, she might drool continuously for days.
So, before doing anything, take your pet to a vet and try to figure out the root cause
Once your rabbit stops drooling, it’s very important to help him recover and prevent this from happening again.
First of all, make sure your rabbit gets a high-fiber diet consisting of large amounts of hay, a portion of good-quality rabbit pellets, some fresh veggies and greens. Apart from these, provide free access to fresh water throughout the day.
Next, provide a lot of chew toys to your bunny so that she can keep her teeth well-trimmed. You can easily get chew toys from the market. Make sure to choose the ones that are safe and free from toxic compounds. You can also make your own chew toys using cardboard and wood.
Make sure your rabbit doesn’t ingest anything she shouldn’t. Well-research about the food that you’re providing your bunny and avoid offering excessive sugary and starchy treats.
Consider visiting your vet regularly so that any potential health issue can be spotted and treated in the early stages.
So, these were a few things that will help you in preventing and treating the drooling issue in bunnies.
Drooling in rabbits can be due to a number of reasons such as overgrown teeth, medical history, overheating and other dental issues. We have discussed how you can treat and prevent these issues in order to prevent hypersalivation in your rabbit. We hope this detailed article help you in taking care of your rabbit in the best possible ways.