Drooling in Rabbits
- Healthy rabbits don’t drool/dribble - if you notice your rabbit drooling, it’s likely that something is wrong.
- Often, the drooling itself isn’t obvious - keep a look out for wet fur and hair loss around their mouth and chin.
- Contact your vet if you notice your rabbit drooling.
- Make an emergency appointment if your rabbit appears unwell, or has stopped eating and/or pooing.
Healthy rabbits don’t drool/dribble - if you notice your rabbit drooling, it’s likely that something is wrong. Common causes include:
- Dental disease. Any painful problem inside the mouth can cause drooling.
- Something toxic or bitter. Rabbits often drool if they eat something toxic or bitter.
- Middle/inner ear infection. Ear infections can damage the nerves around the face, which can cause a one-sided droopy face, a head tilt and drooling.
- Burns inside the mouth. Rabbits like to chew, and it’s not uncommon for them to suffer electric shock burns (inside their mouth) if they chew electrical wires. If you have indoor bunnies, you will need to ‘rabbit-proof’ your house before they can roam free.
- Something stuck inside the mouth. If your rabbit gets something stuck inside their mouth, they are likely to drool excessively until it’s removed. It’s not easy to examine a rabbit’s mouth because it is so small, your vet will use a special instrument to check your rabbit.
- Kidney disease. Kidney disease can lead to sores inside the mouth (due to a build-up of toxins in the blood), which cause drooling.
Published: August 2019
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Written by vets and vet nurses. This advice is for UK pets only.
Illustrations by Samantha Elmhurst