Rabbits often make weird sounds while eating. It may move its head up and down and make noises other than its distinct chewing sound. You might think that these are hiccups and may be curious about how to treat such situations. Even though hiccups are not rare in bunnies, you need to develop a keen eye to understand everything.
Do rabbits get hiccups? Yes, rabbits do get hiccups. The sound of your bunnies hiccup will resemble your hiccup sounds but in a lower tone. Often their hiccups are inaudible.
If you find your rabbit bobbing its head, it is having hiccups without making a sound. In general, hiccups for a few minutes are not dangerous for bunnies and are normal.
How do rabbits get hiccups?
Hiccups are audible sounds when a bunny gets a diaphragm muscles spasm. For example, if a bunny irritates its diaphragm, the air will get blocked. Then, a rabbit might make the “hic” sound to release the air from their diaphragm.
Since rabbits cannot vomit, they need to hiccup to pass the trapped air from the diaphragm.
Rabbits get hiccups due to fast eating. If a rabbit eats fast, it will eat too much at once. But, they also inhale a lot of air during such fast eating. The extra air irritates their diaphragm. Hence, the hiccup!
On the other hand, rabbits often do not chew properly during eating at a fast pace. This also irritates their diaphragm, resulting in hiccups.
Fast eating is more common in baby rabbits or new pets. Due to their nature, rabbits often suffer from insecurity due to food.
A rabbit will try to eat as much as possible if they fear that their food will be taken away. It happens mostly in the case of young rabbits.
Besides that, if you feed your rabbit pellets, they often eat a lot. Since pellets are easy to eat, rabbits may not even bother to chew the pellets properly. This can also cause hiccups in any rabbit.
What to do in such cases?
It is better to not approach your rabbit while they are giving hiccups. They are already distraught due to the hiccups. Your approach can scare them, further worsening the situation.
In general, hiccups usually go down within a few minutes.
You need to give time to your rabbit for binging. With time, it will gradually bond with you and trust you fully.
It will understand that you will not take the hay or pellets away and will not cause it to starve from hunger.
In general, rabbits start to eat at a slower pace after they bond with their owners completely. It also tends to get hiccups less with time.
But, that is not enough always. A rabbit may get frequent hiccups if you introduce a new vegetable or leafy green in their diet. It may irritate their diaphragm.
Rabbits may get hiccups if their diaphragm is irritated repeatedly. It often happens due to fast eating or eating too much at once. Every rabbit will get bouts of hiccups a few times in its lifetime. Hiccups are quite normal in bunnies and are a temporary discomfort for rabbits. Hence, you do not need to worry a lot.