Signs of stress may include: appearing nervous (freezing, hunched up with ears flat against the body) being excessively jumpy and watchful (bulging eyes) being aggressive to people or other rabbits, particularly if the behaviour is unusual.
Warm your rabbit
If you notice symptoms of your rabbit going into shock, the first thing you want to do is warm up your rabbit. Wrap your rabbit in a towel and place them next to a heating pad or hot water bottle (but not directly on top of the hot items since that can burn a rabbit's sensitive skin).
While it's important to try to keep bunnies away from stressful stimuli as much as possible, vet visits are an essential part of their care, and medications like gabapentin can be a helpful tool to keep anxiety at bay when you have to take your pet to the vet.
Rabbits will usually tense up if they are stressed or worried. They might go into a crouched position, or flatten themselves against the ground – like they're trying not to be seen, but are also ready to run if they need to.
To survive, they have to be constantly wary and use their keen senses of sight, hearing and smell to detect potential predators. Your pet rabbits have the same instincts. Any fast or sudden movements, loud noises, unfamiliar smells or larger creatures – including their owners – can trigger a fear response.
Grunting: Grunting noises are angry reactions towards another rabbit or a person and should be heeded as a warning to back off; otherwise the rabbit might escalate by scratching or biting. Rabbits grunt when they feel threatened or territorial. Thumping: Thumping is an attention getting behavior.
Can rabbits have anxiety? Anxiety can be a common problem among pet rabbits. Their ancestors in the wild they had to constantly be on the alert for predators and dangerous situations. Pet rabbits still have these wild instincts and can become chronically anxious even when they live in a safe environment.
Bunnies are super-soft, and many will love cuddling with you as much as you love cuddling with them. Once a bunny is comfortable in their new home, they may claim you as their own by rubbing their chin on you to mark their territory. They might even groom you with little bunny licks to show you love!
Signs of pain include: > grinding teeth > rapid and shallow breathing > pulling hair > decreased grooming > hunched posture > lethargy > increased thirst and urination > a reluctance to move > bulging, strained, staring, or unfocused eyes.
Abnormal rabbit behaviour
Signs to look out for include biting the bars of their hutch, nipping at you, fur pulling or reduced grooming, changes in eating, drinking or toilet patterns, aggression, circling their run, sitting hunched up and hiding more than normal.
The common end point of dehydration, shock or sepsis is a weak floppy rabbit, often with cold ears. They tend to sit hunched in a corner and 'feel funny' when you pick them up. Wrap them up warmly and get to the vet ASAP.
Licking: Licking is a way bunnies groom each other. If your bunny licks you, it's a sign of affection as you'll often see pairs of bunnies grooming each other this way. A bunny lick is a sign of a bond.
In contrast to red, blue is cooling. It calms and soothes and acts as an antidote for too much red. The characteristics of the color mean that it should not be used with a rabbit who is already depressed or suffering from a chronic condition.
Scare them away. Lights, shiny aluminum pie tins, and motion scare devices can be enough to ward off rabbits, at least for a time. Dogs and cats running free in the yard are a great deterrent, too.
Smells. Rabbits don't like the smell of predators or death. That's why many gardeners swear by everything from sprinklings of human or animal hair (get it from your hairdresser or animal groomer) to human urine (easier to for men and gardeners with fences to apply).
Rabbits enjoy being around people and can usually recognise their owners by sight and sound.
Like lots of pets, bunnies need plenty of exercise and stimulation. While it's often necessary to cage your rabbit when you're gone or sleeping, confining it to a cage all day is detrimental to its well-being; it denies your rabbit vital exercise, prohibits socialization, and increases boredom and lethargy.