How to Tell if Your Rabbit Is in Pain

Rabbits make great pets, but, being prey for many animals, they have to hide their pain so they don't get attacked. As rabbit owners, this can make it harder to tell if your rabbit is in pain. This article will go through some steps to help you figure out if your rabbit is in pain.


  1. 1
    Feel your rabbit. Check your rabbit to see if there are any bumps, protuberances, broken or dislocated bones, etc. If your rabbit had a recent injury, s/he is probably in pain. Has s/he lost lots of weight unexpectedly? If you find anything odd or wrong with your rabbit, take him/her to the vet as soon as possible.
  2. 2
    Watch your rabbit's physical behaviour. Is s/he reluctant to move? Not being curious and inquisitive to the environment? Is one of his/her feet limp? Is s/he leaning back on his/her hind feet? Is s/he being more aggressive than normal or hiding in a corner of the cage? Is s/he being more territorial? Is his/her head tilted to one side with a loss of balance? Is your rabbit squinting in pain? These can all be signs that your rabbit is in some pain and should be taken to a vet.
  3. 3
    Listen for teeth grinding. A light grinding can mean that your rabbit is content, but if s/he has loud, "rough" teeth grinding, that is one of the most common signs that your rabbit is in pain.
  4. 4
    See if your rabbit is breathing more heavily than normal or more rapidly. This is also one of the more common signs that a rabbit may be in pain after an accident or injury. Rabbits may breathe heavier when outdoors because there are many smells. This is not a problem- but if it's coupled with any thing else, it can be a sign of pain.
    • If a rabbit is hot (and their ears are pinker/red in colour) they will breath more rapidly to try and cool down.
  5. 5
    Observe how much food and water your rabbit is consuming. A rabbit in pain or one that is sick will not have a big appetite or thirst. As well, the rabbit's pellets will be either small, wet (diarrhea) or none. The urine (if consuming little or no water) will be very concentrated in colour. If any of these are the case, take your rabbit for a checkup at the vet.
  6. 6
    Take your rabbit to the vet. Even if you aren't sure if s/he is in pain, take your rabbit to the vet.



  • Once you have determined your rabbit is in pain, they should be taken to the vet for a checkup as soon as possible to see why they are experiencing the pain.
  • Rabbits that are in pain may kick, bite, or scratch more, so be careful when handling them.

Article Info

Categories: Rabbit Health