Rabbits are unique in the diverse animal kingdom, they have different mannerisms and they’re built differently. As such, we will be looking at one of the peculiar attributes of their offspring.
At what age do baby rabbits open their eyes?
Baby rabbits, though typically born blind, open their eyes for the first time after about 10 to 12 days. Baby rabbits differ, some open their eyes quicker than others, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Just stay calm and enjoy the ride.
Baby rabbits are born with their eyes closed for a plethora of reasons. They include but aren’t limited to the following:
To help the mum
Pregnancy takes a significant toll on mother rabbits, they are incredibly weak during this period. As such, they make easy prey for the most sinister of predators. To help keep Mom alive, Mother Nature decided to speed up the gestational process by channeling the mother’s energy into creating and fostering proper tools for the babies to live outside her body.
Eyes are not that important for life in a warm nest, so baby rabbits are born blind. The mother’s body focuses on growing more important body functions and organs instead. Following this period, the baby rabbit gains its eyesight and ability to hear while the mother recoups her strength to tend to the newborn and herself.
To protect the baby bunny
Baby bunnies are born in litters and that could be pretty problematic. Rabbits are known to be pesky scratchers and that’s even worse when they’re young. Nature built them in a way that will prevent certain injuries to their eyes. Their blindness helps them to avoid unfortunate events to their eyes.
Not just that, bright lights are hurtful to their underdeveloped tissue. Even the slightest breeze can be detrimental. That’s why it’s quite helpful that their eyes are sealed shut in the first place.
We understand that it could be a worrisome sight to notice that one baby bunny out of a litter still hasn’t opened its eyes after the usual two weeks waiting period. Plus, we get that you might want to take the laws into your hands and force its eyes open.
There’s one thing we got to say about that though. Please desist from trying this, it could lead to a lot of horrible consequences such as injury, scarring, blindness, and even death.
If you have any worries about such you should consult with your veterinarian as he’s the one in the best position to sort out the issue. This might not be as big a deal as you think.
The vet will probably tell you one of these.
Scenario 1 – A bit of conjunctivitis
This is quite common in baby bunnies and your veterinarian is likely to have seen his or her fair share. All the vet will do is wipe away crusty bits, rub a special antibiotic lotion, and tell you to take the bunny home for further monitoring and care.
Scenario 2 – An eye infection
In this scenario, the veterinarian would direct you to apply the antibiotic lotion all by yourself instead of burdening him or her with the basic task. You would be instructed to do so daily and properly.
Every day just apply a bit of the lotion on your toddler bunny’s eyes. Keep it up for a few days. Before you know it, the bunny will open its eyes and you’ll forget about the worrisome days.
Scenario 3 – Genetics
Some bunnies are just built differently from their bunny peers, that’s why their eyes take a bit longer to open. In this case, they do not need any lotion or sensitive care.
All you need to do as an owner is to ensure that they aren’t bullied by their peers in the litter. After a few extra days, they’ll get their eyesight.
Rabbits are quite vulnerable when they are young, the slightest mistake could lead to a bunny funeral. It would be smart of you to take the necessary precautions. So, how do you protect baby rabbits from infant mortality?
Just in case the mother passed on or is fairly distant from her toddler bunnies, you should feed it with ample quantities of colostrum. This is the nutrient-heavy first milk that baby bunnies need.
Consult a vet for the right quantities of colostrum needed and make sure you observe proper hygiene to avoid infecting the rabbit.
Treat it delicately
Baby bunnies are as fragile as eggs, one small mistake could hurt them. That’s why we advise that you take care of baby bunnies with delicate care especially if the mother is seemingly distant or negligent.
Clean their habitats properly and avoid any dangerous practices. This isn’t the time for your children to start messing around with the toddler bunnies.
Since this is a period when they’re blind, anything and everything can happen. Ensure that they are properly monitored and if you notice any weird mannerisms ensure that you call the veterinarian.
That way you’ll be sure that the baby bunnies are getting additional professional care. Never forget, it’s better to be safe than sorry and sad.
Rabbits are mammals just like us humans. But, they are remarkably different in many aspects. Their mothers act super weird, as they abandon their young for large periods. Rabbits are born blind, and let’s not start with their possessive streak.
However, as a rabbit owner, your job is to monitor these creatures and treat them on their own merits. They differ from bunny to bunny and what works for one rabbit might fail spectacularly for the other.
Just follow the tips above and don’t hesitate to add yours, remember, it’s all for the good of your furry buddy.