Mini Lop Care
Domesticated rabbits live for an average life span of 6-8 years and can live as long as 12-18 years.
The most common health and lifespan problems which effect Mini lops are caused by incorrect diet. (refer to rabbit diet)
It is very important to keep your Mini Lops hutch clean as this will keep parasites and other insects away which may infect your Mini lop.
Mites/Ear mites can be common in Mini lops, particularly as their long ears can collect dust when kept indoors. If you see your Mini Lop scratching its ears with its back foot then this may be an indicator that your rabbit has mites. Mites may cause baldness and sever infestations of mites can lead to infections which can kill your rabbit. You can treat your Mini lop for mites with a drug called Ivermectin which is sold under different brand names depending on your area.
To protect your Mini lop from fleas you can use a flea treatment for cats which can be used every 4 weeks but avoid Frontline flea treatment as it has been known to harm rabbits. It is best to use brands such as Advantage or ask your local vet. It is a good idea to regularly disinfect your rabbit hutch when cleaning to avoid flea infestations from occurring.
Mosquitoes and rabbit fleas can also cause problems as they can carry myxomatosis, which is a fatal disease for all rabbits which cannot be vaccinated against in Australia. To protect your rabbits it is important to screen hutches to protect against insects and use flea power if your rabbit is exposed to wild rabbits. Myxomatosis effects rabbits by causing their lungs to fill with fluid and eventually drowns the rabbit.
It is also ideal to use a hanging water bottle rather than a water bowl as this can avoid water contaminates from your rabbit defecating in their water bowl or insects laying eggs in the water bowl which when swallowed can be harmful to your Mini lop.
Calicivirus is another rabbit disease which was introduced into Australia to control wild rabbit populations. Calicivirus causes a rabbit’s organs to bleed and then eventually bleeds them to death. You can vaccinate your Mini Lop against Calicivirus which is a Rabbit Haemorrhagic disease if this disease is a problem around your area.
Heat/Cold & Pasteurella multocida
Mini lop rabbits whom are kept permanently outdoors and are exposed to extreme heat or cold may suffer fatal circumstances; it is important to make sure your rabbit’s hutch is sheltered, well ventilated and protected from the hot summer heat. Providing your Mini lop rabbit with a clean, well ventilated hutch or living area can also protect your rabbit from other common infectious respiratory diseases such as Pasteurella multocida which is seen in rabbits whom are kept in draughty or poorly ventilated areas or conditions.
Coccidiosis & Enteritis
Other diseases to protect your Mini lop from include Coccidiosis; which is a protozoan parasite in the liver or intestine and Enteritis; which is a condition which may be fatal to your Mini lop and is caused by sudden changes in your rabbits diet.
It is important to check your Mini lop’s nails monthly and possibly clip them if they have not been worn down. Rabbit’s nails are like cats or dogs and contain blood vessels and nerves, so when clipping your rabbit’s nails it is important to identify where the blood vessels are located so they are not cut, as this will cause bleeding and is painful for your rabbit.
Unlike humans Mini lops like all rabbits have teeth which constantly grow. This is why it’s very important that your Mini lop is given something to chew to keep its teeth the proper size. Branches from fruit trees, non toxic wooden toys or other non poisonous wood can be a good means of wearing down teeth. However, some rabbits have misaligned or malocclusion teeth which means their teeth never wear down. If this occurs teeth can be clipped, however this can be stressful and very uncomfortable for rabbits and can provoke stress induced illnesses.