Rabbits breathe way faster than humans. What looks to be rapid breathing could be your rabbit’s normal respiratory rate. Despite this, it’s crucial to remember that a rabbit’s rapid breathing can sometimes be a sign of disease. It’s usually useful to distinguish between healthy quick breathing and normal rabbit breathing habits.
Rabbits will take a breath every one to two seconds when they are at rest. High amounts of activity and hot temperatures might accelerate a rabbit’s respiratory rate. When fast breathing is accompanied by additional symptoms or when the breathing rate does not return to normal after rest, you should seek medical assistance.
Fast breathing in a rabbit is usually not a cause for concern. They frequently breathe so quickly that their entire body appears to be shaking or shivering. This is particularly true if your rabbit has a good time zooming around the room. Rapid breathing, however, along with wheezing or other seemingly unrelated symptoms such as a lack of appetite, can indicate a respiratory infection or a high degree of stress.
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How fast does a healthy rabbit breathe?
Rapid breathing in rabbits can indicate disease, although rabbits breathe faster even when they are not in trouble. When at rest, a healthy rabbit will breathe at 30-60 breaths per minute.
For context, we humans only take 12-16 breaths every minute. Even a sluggish breathing rabbit will take twice the number of human breaths. Rabbits also breathe four to five times faster than humans, taking one breath every second.
This typical rapid breathing might cause a rabbit to appear to shake a little. This is especially true with rabbits of smaller breeds. Many individuals who are new to rabbit care are startled when this occurs, although it is common and nothing to be concerned about.
Reasons why your Rabbit is breathing so fast
While a rabbit’s respiration rate is usually one to two seconds while they are at rest, there are times when you will notice your rabbit’s respiratory rate increase.
This can be concerning since rabbits can breathe very quickly, to the point where they appear to be vibrating. This isn’t always a problem, though.
The respiration rate of a rabbit can increase for a variety of causes, some of which are completely normal and others that can alert you to your rabbit’s condition.
Your rabbit is stressed
If you see a bluish color on your rabbit’s lips and tongue with its head inclined slightly, you should book an appointment with the veterinarian since this indicates that your rabbit is not getting enough oxygen.
Your Rabbit is in pain
Rabbits may also breathe faster as a result of pain. Even if they are at rest, you may notice them breathing faster if injured or suffering from another ailment. If your rabbit is breathing faster than it should for long periods, you should have them checked out by your veterinarian.
A rabbit’s respiration can be affected by respiratory diseases. It may lead them to breathe more quickly than usual, but you’re more likely to detect heavy breathing. When your rabbit breathes, you may hear a wheezing sound or see its mouth open.
These are indicators that your rabbit is having trouble breathing, and you should make an emergency appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Your Rabbit is feeling hot
The air that passes through the nasal tube of rabbits can help them control their body temperature. They can transfer heat into the tiny water droplets that they exhale. The faster a rabbit breathes, the more heat is expelled from their bodies, preventing them from overheating.
If your rabbit is panting heavily because they are hot, it is a good sign that you should move them to a cooler location. The more heated it gets, the less able a rabbit can control its body temperature. They become more prone to heatstroke, so if you observe rapid breathing on a hot day, move your rabbit out of the sun or into a cooler part of the home.
Your Rabbit is Scared
Fear, worry, and stress contribute to a rabbit’s increased respiration rate. They may appear to be hyperventilating as a result of their fear.
Because short bursts of anxiety or stress are practically hard to avoid, your rabbit is likely to exhibit fast breathing due to dread. There’s nothing to worry about as long as your rabbit recovers quickly and calms down. On the other hand, long bouts of stress should be avoided because they might make rabbits sick.
you may also notice the following when your rabbit is scared:
Alert body posture
Your rabbit is freezing
Feeling cold and floppy is a common endpoint of shock and dehydration in a weak rabbit, and this is one of the reasons why your rabbit is breathing quickly.
Your Rabbit is resting after intense activity
When rabbits are happy, they become lively and often have zoomies. They may be out of breath from running and bouncing and need to rest.
It can take up to 10 minutes to regain control of their breathing and return to normal.
If your rabbit is highly active or lively, it may be breathing excessively and resting down frequently during the day.
They are only allowed to rest until they can run again, not until they have completely recovered their breath.
If your rabbit is at ease in their surroundings, they may flop over onto their side in one move when they lie down.
While this is a positive sign because they only do this when they are safe, it can not be very comforting to see your rabbit flip over and start breathing heavily.
Rabbits’ rapid breathing will usually slow down to normal levels on their own within a short period. A rapid breathing rate caused by exertion, brief worry, or heat will usually resolve without medical intervention. However, because pain and disease can cause rapid breathing, there are times when you should seek medical advice.
A fast-breathing rabbit will usually calm down within 5-10 minutes. Even temporarily anxious rabbits will usually be able to relax a little after half an hour. If their respiration rate continues to be abnormally high for an extended time, you should consult your veterinarian.
Make an appointment for your rabbit to be examined to ensure no underlying ailments require treatment. Your veterinarian can also advise you on how to help a rabbit who is constantly stressed.