Do you notice your bunny’s ear getting hot all of a sudden?
When you notice that your rabbit’s ear feels hot, it could be a cause for alarm. In some species of rabbits, this may indicate fever or they are just overheated, but what does an increase in a bunny’s ear temperature means?
In this article, we would let you know why your rabbit’s ears could get hot and possible remedies for it.
Why Is My Bunny’s Ear Hot?
The primary reason why rabbits have warm ears is that that is how they regulate their body temperature.
Most of the time the warmness of your rabbit ear is not what to worry about.
The only scenario to be worried about is if your bunny has a warm ear accompanied by other symptoms and a behavior change, which could indicate that they have a fever or other illness.
Below are some changes that might indicate that your bunny is sick.
- Lack of appetite
- Limited movement
- Runny nose
- Excessive hay chewing
- Constant sneezing
- Breathing difficulty
Rabbits are not like other pets like cats and dogs that are capable of regulating their body temperature.
Rabbits can’t sweat. For instance, dogs are capable of expelling heat through panting even cats do this as well. The case is not the same with rabbits.
Bunnies have a special mechanism for expelling heat from their system. They expel heat through their ears using large blood vessels.
These blood vessels will constantly contract and expand quickly to expel and maintain warmth. This is the primary reason why your bunny ear is always hot from time to time.
The Ideal Temperature Range for Bunnies
Even though bunnies do regulate their body temperature through their ear, when you notice that their ear is extremely hot, this may indicate illness.
And medical checkups should be carried out on them by a vet as soon as possible.
The normal range of a rabbit’s body temperature is within the range of 101°F and 103°F.
Bunnies’ temperature can be checked with the help of a thermometer inserted into their rectum. We suggest that you allow your vet to do the checking for you, maybe with a fee though.
You can also check your bunny’s temperature by touching it alone. If you notice that their temperature is getting too hot, consider taking them to a vet for a proper check-up.
Signs That Your Bunny Could Have a Fever
Apart from the hotness of your bunny’s Ears, there are other signs to consider before concluding that your bunny has a fever.
You will need to observe the following.
- Your rabbit’s physical behavior
- Your rabbit eating habits and
- How long do they lay in one place?
- Sudden lethargy
- Loss of appetite
- Other unhappy characteristics.
If your rabbit’s ears are warmer than usual, coupled with other mental, physical, or eating changes, then a visit to a vet is inevitable.
Only the vet will properly check your rabbit to determine if they have a fever or other type of Illness.
One way to help control the warmth of your rabbit’s ear is to ensure you have the right floor for your bunny’s enclosure.
Why Are My Bunny’s Ears Cold?
It’s normal for your rabbit’s ears to feel cold, it’s not something you should be concerned about.
Having an ear that feels cold, is it normal for a bunny when they are not expelling heat?
If you observe your bunnies eat during the winter, you would notice that their ears are cooler than during the summer.
The reason is that they are trying to conserve heat during the winter months.
Is it necessary to regulate the temperature in your rabbit enclosure or cage? While there is no perfect temperature, it is advisable to keep their room within the range of 55 and 70°F.
Also, make sure to provide your bunnies with a blanket in their indoor enclosure, this will help prevent them from getting cold during the winter months.
When you expose your rabbit to low temperatures for too long, there is a tendency for them to suffer from hypothermia, which can be fatal.
In summary, your rabbit regulates their body temperature through large blood vessels on their ears, which constantly contradict and expels heat and this process will make your rabbit’s ear warmer or hotter during the summer months.
If you notice any strange sign accompanied by the warmth of your rabbit’s ear, you should take your rabbit to a vet who will do a proper check-up on them.
It is perfectly okay for your rabbit ear to feel cool, especially during the winter months, this is because they are not expelling heat
We hope this article helped you know why your bunnies’ ears may be hot sometime. If you have any other questions, please comment below.
- Liang ZL, Chen F, Park S, Balasubramanian B, Liu WC. Impacts of Heat Stress on Rabbit Immune Function, Endocrine, Blood Biochemical Changes, Antioxidant Capacity and Production Performance, and the Potential Mitigation Strategies of Nutritional Intervention. Front Vet Sci. 2022 May 26;9:906084. doi: 10.3389/fvets.2022.906084. PMID: 35720853; PMCID: PMC9201964.
- Makishig e ASANO , Chiyoj i OHKUB O an d Akihik o SASAKI. Department of Physiological Hygiene, the Institute of Public Health, 4-6- 1 Shirokanedai, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108, Japan. A Modified Rabbit Ear Chamber and an Example of Its Application for Intravital-Microscopic Study on Acute Effects of Topical Thermal Stimulation. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S002151981943182X/pdf?md5=b7d8b24665f8713e3544ffc2f93ab152&pid=1-s2.0-S002151981943182X-main.pdf
- Michigan State University. Summer Rabbit Care. https://www.canr.msu.edu/uploads/234/43182/2014_files/4H1440_4-H_RabbitTracks_SummerRabbitCare.pdf