With the extension of the circuit breaker, we will be spending a lot more time at home than we are used to. Naturally, pet owners will take the opportunity to bond with their pets. They might come up with new ideas to decorate their playpens, revise their diet, practise grooming etc.
However, some vet clinics have reported a surge in rabbits falling sick! Many of these rabbits showed signs of stress and their blood panel readings were through the roof. Some were tested highly positive for E Cuniculi. According to Dr Cathy Chan of The Animal Doctors, Singapore, this trend is likely a result of owners spending more time at home and disrupting the usual routine of their pet rabbits.
Domesticated rabbits are crepuscular which means they are most active at dawn and dusk. A typical rabbit will wake up with the dawn and forage, dig, groom and play until mid morning. They will then find their favorite hiding place and start snoozing until early evening when they will emerge to munch on hay and use their litterbox. For the rest of the night, they stay active, interacting with their humans or even enjoy a snuggle and a head rub.
With the rising number of owners working at home, the rabbits are now forced to be more active during their resting time. As a result, they couldn’t get enough sleep and start to lose appetite, lose weight, and lose enjoyment. This can negatively affect their immune system and in some rabbits, result in an EC outbreak.
While there is absolutely nothing wrong with bonding with your pets, we hope that owners are reminded that rabbits are creatures of habits. They need to adhere to their routine and any disturbance can be a stress inducer. So as we spend more time at home, let’s be considerate and leave our rabbits alone. When they rest well, they will feel better and be healthier. Let’s give them more ‘me’ time!