Consider the temperature at which the rabbits live and how the temperature increase affects the vital activity of the animal.
Temperature for growing rabbits
The temperature of the content of rabbits, at which they feel well, is + 12-18 ° C. The normal temperature in a rabbit's cage should fluctuate within ± 5 ° С. Rabbit breeders often care about the question: what is the maximum temperature that rabbits can withstand? Adult animals are able to withstand temperature peaks of ± 30 ° C for several days, but they require additional care. Outside these temperatures, animals die. It should be remembered that rabbits do not tolerate sharp fluctuations in temperature, increased or decreased air humidity and drafts. The optimum humidity for their content is 60-75%. On strong drafts the animal can catch a cold.
How does high temperature affect rabbit health?The rabbit's body temperature is regulated mainly through the ears and breathing..This process is much more complicated due to the lack of animal sweat glands. At a temperature of 20-25 ° C respiratory rate increases, and at 30 ° C shortness of breath appears. As a result of the evaporation of moisture from the mucous membranes of an animal, its body is partially cooled. Large rabbit ears are important in the thermoregulation of the body. The blood vessels on the ears dilate.
To cool them, the rabbit spreads his ears to the sides, thus increasing the area of contact of the vessels with air. Such a mechanism works well if there is air movement in the cell, caused, for example, by a fan. In normal healthy condition, the rabbit's body temperature is 38-40 ° C. At a temperature of 41.5 ° C the respiration rate decreases, but it becomes deep and convulsive.
It is important to monitor animals and Do not allow the temperature in the cells to rise to critical values. High air temperatures adversely affect the frequency of food intake by animals, increasing the need for moisture. Freshness of the water must be monitored daily. Rabbits do not like to drink warm water, so on hot days it can be changed several times a day. To avoid heat stroke, rabbits consume more water and are almost not moving. It should be noted that in natural conditions animals do well at critical temperatures. They hide in earthen holes.
How to lower the temperature in the cells in summerDespite the fact that the rabbit may be subject to sunstroke when exposed to direct rays, sunlight plays an important role in the life of the animal. Within daylight, the animals need natural light. In hot weather, when kept open, it is necessary to monitor the condition of the animals and take measures to lower the temperature in the cages. To do this, the roof of the cells is covered with straw, hay, mowed grass, sheets of undulating slate - all that has a low thermal conductivity and protects rabbits from heat stroke.
Cold-water bottles wrapped in cloth, tiled or stone slabs from which coolness emanates can be put into the cells. Rabbit gladly lies on his stomach on these plates, because the wool on it is not so thick. The best shelter in hot weather is a street enclosure located in the shade. The temperature of the earth remains low due to cooling by rather deep layers. It is recommended to provide windows in the design of closed rabbitries. For good ventilation, their area should be 8-10% of the floor area.
The first signs of a rabbit getting a heat or sunstroke
When the temperature rises, the animal first behaves excitedly. It is torn, looking for a cool place. Later the rabbit becomes lethargic, lies, having spread its legs on the floor, does not get up and does not eat. After a while, rapid breathing goes into shortness of breath. As a result of heat stroke, the temperature control mechanism of the animal is disturbed, and this leads to heat stress. The animal's body gives out less heat than it absorbs, it leads to an increase in body temperature, disruption of the central nervous system and in severe cases can lead to coma. As a result, blood circulation is disturbed, leading to respiratory arrest.
How to give first aid to a rabbit in heat or sunstrokeTreatment procedures should be carried out without delay. First, the animal must be transferred to the shadow. You should know that the body of the rabbit must be cooled gradually. Sharp temperature fluctuations can adversely affect the weakened body of the animal. It is necessary to cover the rabbit with a towel moistened with cool water, wet the feet and the neck.
If the animal can not drink, you should pour cool water into the mouth with drops. To bring the animal's blood circulation to normal, need the help of a veterinarian. For this purpose, a dropper with saline may be used. The doctor must, as an animal, prescribe treatment. Sometimes even broad-spectrum antibiotics are used. Control of body temperature should be mandatory. If help is provided on time, then the pet will quickly stand on its feet, otherwise it is in mortal danger.
To prevent overheating of animals, it is necessary to provide good ventilation and cell cooling on hot days and provide animals with sufficient water.
Rabbits and heat - concepts difficult compatible
First, a few words about why rabbits tolerate heat so poorly. These animals, like most others, do not sweat. Their only way of cooling is the ears that give off heat to the environment, but this is too little. In the wild, rabbits live in burrows, and in the heat they do not even get out of their shelter. And we provide them with cramped cells, where you cannot hide from the stuffiness, from the heat generated by your own body and the body of “fellows” ...
Heat for rabbits is dangerous not only by heat or sunstroke. At this time, the immunity of animals totally decreases and the rabbits start to hurt. In the heat, chronic diseases manifest themselves, eared ones easily “hook up” everything that mosquitoes, flies and ticks carry. Therefore, in addition to fighting the high temperature in the rabbit, which will be discussed below, it will not be superfluous pierce rabbits with immunostimulants (Katozal, Vitozal, Gamavit, etc.)
Also in the heat of the rabbits dry mucous membranes. - they begin to sneeze, rub their noses, snot can begin. In this case, lubrication of rabbits with glycerin in which iodine is diluted (10 drops of iodine per vial) helps well.
Most suffer from the heat rabbit - nursing or sukrolnye, so try to minimize the number of okrols in the summer.
What to do in the heat of the bunnies?
Unfortunately, there is no miraculous pill for heat, therefore help to the rabbits will consist, rather, in a complex of measures for creating comfortable conditions. Things like “build rabbit-makers on the north side”, “put portable cells in the shade” - and we will not write other things for granted. We will not rebuild the rabbitks, all that is possible, has long been removed from the scorching sun, but it does not save the animals.
So, rabbits and heat: what to do?
- Plastic ice bottles . Water - in bottles, bottles - at night in the freezer, and then in a cage of 1-2 pieces. You need to change the water bottles as the ice breaks up. The intense heat, fortunately, lasts only a few hours, so 2-3 “batches” per day will be enough. Do not worry, rabbits will not get sick and do not overcool - on the contrary, you will be surprised when they lie down near this bottle or try to press down with their belly. In the cells with newborn babies, you can also put such bottles, just away from the rabbits, and their nursing mother, who is at risk, such a measure can save lives. And this is not an exaggeration.
- Cold accumulators . If someone does not know - these are small containers filled with a special substance with a high heat capacity. They are often used in portable refrigerators, taken on the road, so that food and drinks stay fresh longer. They are of different volumes, but for rabbit needs it is better to take small ones - 200-400 grams each, since you will often freeze them (and rabbits with your body will defrost). There are such devices (approximately) from 30 to 80 hryvnia (70-200 rubles) depending on the volume, manufacturer and filler. The principle of operation is the same as that of the bottles, but they keep the batteries cold much longer. Animals literally fall on their tummies on saving batteries and lick their tongues with frost. Of course, an expensive method, and working with freezing will add to you, but the effect really is.
- Water treatments. Water helps the rabbits from the heat, a wonderful feature of which is to cool the surface from which it evaporates. People use it - in a hurry in the summer in the river or under the shower, but the rabbits are deprived of this opportunity because of fears - they say, stress, cold water ... But pay attention - rabbits often turn over containers with caged water directly to themselves, prying the bowl with their front legs. Therefore, in addition to hanging wet tissue in the rabbit or on the cages under the open sky, you can directly "process" rabbits in the heat water:
1)Bathe them in not too cold water.. At the same time, all the body and ears of the animal can be immersed in water, so that only a muzzle remains above the surface. 2-3 minutes of cooling baths will be enough to ease the eared life
2) spray rabbitsmainly - ears
3) hose the cage, but only if they are not in the room. In the rabbit from such irrigation on the floor quickly forms a swamp - a paradise for the larvae of mosquitoes and other insects. A less radical way with a hose is to attach a nozzle for drip irrigation to it, which is used by gardeners for watering. In this case, it turns out very fine spray.
- tile, cobblestones can be laid in the shaded parts of the cage - this is to a small extent will help the rabbits to overcome the heat. Not a very effective method, but better than doing nothing.
- rabbit fan . If there is such an opportunity - you can put the fan on the cold airflow. But remember that rabbits do not tolerate drafts badly, so try to keep air currents away from the animals.
- let's get more vegetables and water . In the heat, the body of rabbits suffers from dehydration, that is, dehydration. Succulent feed will significantly help to keep the water balance normal. And, of course, the water in the rabbit cages should always be fresh and cool - change it several times a day, use more volumetric containers than in the cold season (an adult rabbit can drink 1-1.5 liters of water per day!)
- move the rabbits to the outdoor enclosure . Aviary should be shaded - trees, awning. You can dig a few small holes for rabbits - animals will hide in them from the heat. But, despite the apparent simplicity, this method has its drawbacks: rabbits can pull out “tunnels”, where they are difficult to reach, remove rabbit feces, food debris from holes, is problematic, and in the heat this stinking rot can become a hotbed of disease. You should not abandon this method - just need to study it in more detail (for example, here).
- Shear rabbits . Rabbits that have reached 4 months of age can be cut in the heat, especially if we are talking about downy breeds. During the autumn molt the fur will grow back, but in the summer it will significantly help save the rabbits from the heat. It is easy to cut rabbits: comb the animal, and with the help of a comb and scissors with not sharp ends, begin to cut from the back, then the sides, the stomach (in females they do not cut the stomach). You can still trim the tail and "chubchik", ears and face do not touch.
Heat stroke in rabbits: symptoms and first aid
In the heat of the rabbits stretched to their full length, collapse on a flank - this is a familiar picture. But if you notice that the breath in the animal is shallow, very frequent, the mouth is open, the mucous is reddened around the eyes, it reacts weakly to external stimuli, - rabbit heatstroke. We urgently need to save him.
Inadequate behavior may precede this: the rabbit is excited, scouring the cage, trying to find a comfortable place, then calms down, after which it begins to run and worry again, eats badly. Such a rabbit needs to be quickly placed in a cool room.
But if heat stroke in rabbits happened, we take urgent measures, otherwise his heart will not stand. We transfer the sick animal to a cooler room (but not radically, not to the cellar), place it on a damp cloth and begin to cool the head with a cloth dipped in cool water. Now the main task is to cool the brain. We moisten a rag every three minutes, we moisten ears. You need to water the rabbit. If he does not want to drink or can not - drink water from a syringe. A rabbit can be considered saved if his body temperature has dropped to 39 degrees, and his breathing has normalized.