Are wasp stings dangerous for rabbits?
Wasps are useful, albeit annoying, animals in the garden and cause many a biped to flee quickly.
But can they also harm rabbits and even pose a danger to their lives?
Whether a wasp sting is dangerous for your rabbit and what you can or should do in case of a sting you will learn in this article.
In addition, we will tell you how to recognize a wasp sting in a rabbit.
Introduction: Why do wasps sting?
As a rule, the insects only sting when they see themselves, their nest or a food source in danger.
Since they do not lose their sting in the process, unlike bees, they can attack repeatedly.
In doing so, they inject a secretion that can cause mild to serious discomfort.
Rabbits do not hunt the insects or intentionally attack their nests. So, for these reasons, stings are misunderstandings. Nevertheless, they can become dangerous for your rabbits and cause significant discomfort.
Risks for wasp stings
You certainly know it yourself: You’ve just sat down comfortably in the sun-drenched garden with coffee and cake, and the first wasp is already buzzing around your sweet snack with pinpoint accuracy.
Annoying? No question about it.
But as long as you’re not allergic and you check your food and drinks before every sip and bite, the insects don’t pose much of a threat.
It’s a different story if you:
disturb the nest or even try to get rid of it
step on a wasp while walking barefoot
start wagging or hitting the insects.
It is the same with rabbits.
If they step directly on a wasp, if they accidentally “chase” it while playing or lawning, or if the insects are on fruit, they may get stung. The same is true if the wasp nest is on or even in the rabbit hutch and your pets sniff or scratch it.
Where do rabbits get stung by wasps?
Because of their thick and dense fur, rabbits are comparatively well protected against wasp stings.
At least that is how it appears.
Unfortunately, however, it just means that the insects look for vulnerable places to sting.
Eyes and eyelids
In short, everywhere where there is little to no fur, the risk for a sting is particularly high. This is also due to the fact that the sting of the wasp usually does not reach through the fur of your rabbit.
However, the areas listed are very sensitive, which intensifies the discomfort.
In the case of the respiratory tract, i.e. the nose and mouth, the risk of life-threatening progressions is particularly high. Therefore, you should know exactly how to recognize a wasp sting and how to react.
So read on to be fully prepared.
How can I recognize a wasp sting?
You will rarely see your rabbit stung by one or more wasps.
Especially since rabbits rarely make any sounds.
Behavior and symptoms afterwards are therefore important clues that you need to know.
The former include:
sudden and frantic running
rubbing and scratching
sparing a paw
Avoidance of touch
Since wasps do not lose their sting when stung, it is no longer in the wound. Thus, visible evidence is found only in the aftermath of the injury and the injection of the venom.
sensitivity to touch and pain
Development of wheals
If the respiratory tract is affected, meaning the sting was directly in the nose or mouth, your rabbit may also have trouble breathing. A raspy breathing, gasping for air and an accelerated heartbeat are the possible consequences.
In this case, you must immediately consult a veterinarian, because there is a danger to life.
Shock condition due to wasp sting – is it possible?
Unfortunately, a state of shock due to wasp venom is also possible in rabbits.
Not only small or young animals are affected.
Provided that there is an allergy or the organism is already weakened by other factors, several stings have occurred or the air supply is restricted, any animal can suffer a shock.
Signs of this include:
very rapid breathing
accelerated, irregular heartbeat
rabbit appears apathetic and weak
animal falls over
As with respiration, a veterinarian must be sought immediately. The condition is life-threatening and can deteriorate rapidly.
Even then, if there is no respiratory distress, allergic reaction, or shock, problems can develop after the wasp sting.
Therefore, you should know how to behave and what to do.
What to do with your rabbit after a wasp sting?
If your rabbit has been stung by a wasp, or at least you suspect this – but there is no danger to life – you should first clean the wound.
A disinfectant that can also be used on mucous membranes is well suited for this. This removes or kills the germs that have entered the wound and reduces the risk of infection.
For it is precisely these that pose a danger even in the case of otherwise harmless stings.
Bacteria and viruses can enter the organism through rubbing, scratching and the puncture site. From here they can spread and not only cause a localized infection.
Therefore, in addition to repeated disinfection, you should also cool the wounds. This will relieve the itching and swelling. Cooling can also have a reducing effect on pain.
If the symptoms persist for more than one or two days or even worsen, you should still consult a veterinarian. For sensitive areas, such as the eye, this may be advised from the beginning.
The vet can prescribe antibiotics if necessary, use ointments and give tips for aftercare.
Preventing wasp stings – what can I do?
Ideally, of course, you should prevent wasp stings in the first place. In the garden this is not easy and requires some effort, but it is possible.
To do this, you should follow the steps below:
1: Secure the run
An insect net or mosquito net over the run can prevent wasps or bees from being in it.
It will also keep flies out during the day and mosquitoes out at night.
However, it will also limit ventilation, as well as your rabbits’ view. Therefore, it is favorable to choose a larger distance and a black version. The distance between the outlet and the net favors air movement.
The black color allows a better view.
2: Regular checks
Before the rabbits are allowed in the run, you should check it thoroughly.
If there is a hutch inside and the rabbits live outside all year, regular inspections are also important.
Wooden hutches can provide material for nesting. On the other hand, the hutch itself can be used for nest building. So when you clean and change the bedding, you can check directly to see if insects have spread inside.
If you come across a nest, remember to take the appropriate precautions and first remove your animals from the barn and run. To avoid putting yourself in danger, have the nest professionally removed.
3: Beware of fresh food
Food with a high sugar content, such as apples, bananas and berries, is also tempting to wasps.
Therefore, it is best to give it only when the rabbits but not the insects are active.
Ideal is the morning and evening twilight. For the wasps it is then still too cool or too dark.
Remove food remains directly and thoroughly afterwards. This way you can avoid attracting the insects. Bees and ants can also be kept away in this way.
4: The right location
If it’s a coopless run that can be easily relocated, you should check the soil before each relocation.
Wasps living in the soil, while usually harmless, can also feel threatened and sting.
5: Apartment keeping
In the apartment, prevention is much easier.
Here, it is sufficient to install fly screens on the windows. This will keep the wasps out and your rabbits safe.
My name is Mark and the senior editor
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