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Why Do Rabbits Shake? – Amazing Facts

If you are keeping a cute bunny, as a pet owner, you need to check out a few factors before you can live a peaceful and happy life with them. There are a few signs that you need to understand and make a  part of your life if you want to understand what it is trying to communicate with you.

A rabbit trembling or shaking is one of the common things that most of the pet owners come across and find a little difficult thing to understand. Why do Rabbits shake? There can be several reasons why a rabbit is shaking.

why do rabbits shake

What Makes Rabbits Shake?

Well, a rabbit is a prey animal in the wild. That would make a host of its body language instinctive in many cases. Understanding the exact reason may not be much easy.

A rabbit may shake because of any change in the environment. It may also shake when it is frightened because of any reason. In some cases, a rabbit shaking its body or head appears quite unusual and can be a huge worry for the pet owners. At times, a rabbit might also shake if he has fur mites or ear mites that need to be treated soon.

Let us understand the different scenarios one by one on why does the rabbit shake? And make an attempt at finding what is causing the issue.

Why Does My Rabbit Shake when I Hold Him?

Raising a pet is more complicated than raising a child. When it comes to rabbits, they are unique in their own right, and each of them has their own way of showing their emotions. As a pet owner, you would need to understand the behavior of your pet and meet the demands it may have.

Rabbits do not call out as cats or dogs do. They have their own instinctive behavior to communicate their feelings. You must have the necessary skill to find what the rabbit is trying to communicate to you.

If you find him shaking when you hold him, it may be because of several reasons. Heatstroke, fright, and stress or anxiety. The rabbits are, by nature, adapted to colder areas. That makes them stay happy in the cold. But, they fail to handle the heat. If the temperature in your area goes above 25 degrees C, that can be something rabbits would not be able to handle.

Yet another reason is anxiety or stress. If you are not caring enough, or go out of the house for long hours, leaving him alone, that can be one of the reasons why your rabbit is shaking when you hold him. You can make sure that you are caring ad loving enough. You can also give him a few toys that he can be free from stress. Shouting in front of your rabbit or playing loud music can be something that can induce this behavior.

Transitioning from one place to another can be one of the reasons why rabbits shake. It can happen when you changed your residence or when you have newly brought the rabbit from one of your friends.

Why do Rabbits Shake when It’s Hot?

Like we already stated, rabbits are adapted to the cooler climate. They can handle the cold quite effectively. But the heat really gets them. A mere rise in temperature above 25 degrees is not adequate for them and this is why the rabbit might shake when it’s hot.

The high temperature can make them suffer heatstroke, and they begin to shake. Just unlike us who can regulate the body temperature by sweating, rabbits cannot do so. They will instead begin dilating their blood vessels to counter the heat and regulate the temperature. This dilation occurs typically near the ears. This is why a rabbit shakes its ears or head and keeps running. This is done to regulate the temperature.

Treating heatstroke or such symptoms should b easy enough. The key is to bring down the temperature around. You can use an AC for the purpose. Yet another option would be to place a cool sheet or pillow near them. If the heat is the actual reason for their shaking behavior, they would reach out to the cold area and begin feeling better.

A word of caution – never use ice to cool them down. It can cause more harm than good.

Does Rabbit Shake when It Gets Hiccups?

Well, a rabbit does not shake when having hiccups, but it may appear to be shaking when in reality, it is just having hiccups. The hiccups can happen as a result of gastrointestinal issues, just as in the case of humans.

Of course, rabbits graze and thus do not eat faster to cause hiccups. The primary reason for a rabbit to begin having hiccups is because it has eaten too much or may have eaten something that it may not be comfortable with. Giving rabbits the type of food that is highly nutrient than actually needed can create issues with their digestive system. The upset stomach thus can bring up the issue of hiccups.

Caress your rabbit slowly when it is having hiccups. Touching their stomach, nose, and ears can help them regulate the respiratory system. Never hold it too tight when it is having hiccups. Hiccups can make it appear as if they are shaking their entire body. Make sure whether thy are having hiccups r shaking before taking up any measure to control it.

What Does it Mean When a Rabbit Shakes Its Body?

We have already made you understand the actual reasons why a rabbit is shaking. The primary reason for a rabbit to shake itself can be because it is not comfortable with something around it. It can be because of fear, anxiety, or even heat stroke, as we have already found out.

Rabbits are, by nature, prey animals. They tend to recognize the predators even before you do. They fear so much they just begin shaking and try to hide. They may begin shaking really badly enough and try to hide themselves in your hands.

Heatstroke and the ways that you can control it have already been explained above. Make sure you keep them as much cool as would be possible.

Till now we have tried to understand various reasons on why does my rabbit shake. Now, let us see what actually we should be doing in case the rabbit is shaking.

How Can You Take Care of Your Rabbit Shaking?

Shaking need not be a sign of any issue as such. Rabbits use shaking as part of their body language. That would mean they would shake even when they are healthy enough. Shaking for some time is not something you need to worry about. Differentiating between a healthy rabbit shaking and a case where there may be underlying problems becomes extremely necessary.

If you observe your bunny shaking for prolonged periods of time, it may be an indication that it has some sort of health issue. Check out the other symptoms to understand the situation. Checking whether it is eating or pooping well enough can be a key to understand the actual problem. It may also be necessary to check out a few other behavioral changes if any.

In case your rabbit shakes before lying down can be a serious concern. It may even indicate that the rabbit is dying. Consulting your veterinarian may be the right option to go with.

A few of the areas that you can control the shaking behavior can include checking out the following issues.

  • Make sure you are providing good food nutritious enough for the rabbit. Fruits and vegetables should be the right options. Leafy vegetables tend to be more beneficial to the rabbits
  • Keep them clean enough. Mites and parasites can be a huge issue and can cause a few issues, such as fungal infection in rabbits. Ensure their cage is cleaned up regularly.
  • There may be stress elements that may be bothering your rabbit. Removing such elements instantly can help prevent incessant shaking.
  • Keep them away from direct sunlight and similar high-temperature areas. They may develop heatstroke as a result of prolonged exposure to heat.

Offer love and care to your bunnies to the maximum possible extent. Handling them too much can also make them stressed out. Remember that while they may be your pets, they do have their own needs and private space.

Is Shaking in Rabbit a Serious Concern?

In many cases, shaking can be just a sign of its body language. You need to understand the actual reasons for shaking and remove them effectively. However, occasional shaking is quite common and reasonable, and we do not think it would need special attention of any nature as such.

There is no need to be too sensitive with a rabbit shaking if it is quite occasional and does not follow a regular pattern.  In fact, rabbits tend to breathe faster and shake occasionally. Unless you observe some sort of behavior that actually needs attention, you can follow our tips above, and that should be enough.

Conclusion on Why do Rabbits Shake?

Well, bunnies are cute babies, and they can indeed be a stress buster for us. Rabbits do shake for a variety of reasons, and we just assume that we have been of assistance to you in finding the right causes for your rabbit shaking if you are holding him or the weather is too hot. Unless there is a case of emergency, make sure you are providing the little bunny a lot of love and care to relieve it of its shaking behavior.

If you are the bunny owner and want to write to us on why does a rabbit shake, let us know the details in the comments section below.

 

 

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