Advice on noisy fireworks and rabbit behaviour from Clarendon Street Veterinary Surgery.
September 21, 2020
Can rabbits be ‘scared to death’ of loud noises like fireworks and thunder? The short answer is, yes. Rabbits hear sounds more clearly than humans and loud noises can terrify them, sending their adrenal glands into overdrive, and their heart racing. Some rabbits can literally die of fright.
With firework season just around the corner, head nurse Sarah has the following advice on noise and behaviour in rabbits, starting with checking for signs of distress:
7 signs your rabbit may be scared:
- Temporary motionless or ‘fright-paralysis’, can look deceased
- Trying to run away or escape, intensely gnawing their hutch
- Stamping their hind feet
- Being aggressive
- Abnormal appetite
- A change in their litter box habits
- A loud scream
Rabbits can make a range of noises, such as clucking and tooth purring to signal contentment, and honking or muttering to show their annoyance. If your rabbit makes a loud screaming noise, much like a small child would, they are in immediate pain or fear and it’s best to check them over and stay with them for a few hours.
If they don’t stop screaming, or injure themselves through their skittishness, give the team a call on 01223 359021.
Here are some things you can do to keep your rabbit calm and comfortable during firework displays, thunderstorms, construction work, and loud parties:
- Move their hutch indoors or create an enclosed space for them in your house.
- Add blankets, some of their bedding, food & water bowls, and toys for comfort and familiarity.
- Close windows and curtains to block out some of the noise.
- Use soothing music or white noise from a TV, radio, fan, or air conditioning to distract them.
- Interact with your rabbit if they come to you (stroke them or play games) as this can alleviate fears, encourage bonding, and distract them too.
- Not all rabbits like to be held, so you can just sit quietly with yours and they’ll bond in their own way.
- If your rabbit wants to be left alone, leave them be, and don’t stress them further.
Get your rabbit’s health checked before the fireworks start. Contact us.