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Hot weather advice for your rabbits & guinea pigs

 Caring for Your rabbits & Guinea Pigs in Hot Weather

Heat stroke 

·         Once the temperature in a shed/hutch or room reaches 25c it is too hot. Heat stroke can be fatal. Make sure the doors and windows, with fly netting, are open to allow a breeze to run through.

·         If they are outdoors, make sure they are in the shade at all times.

·         Keep water bottles topped up and change once or twice a day. Cover with a slit open kitchen roll holder, or special bottle cover to shade from sun. Bacteria in spouts/bottles multiplies a lot quicker with heat.

·         Crushed ice can also be added to the water.

·         Try to replace plastic hideaways with wooden. The heat intensifies in plastic.

·         Give them regular little snacks of cucumber, melon, or any watery veg on saucers of ice cubes to keep them cool and hydrated through the day.

·         Soaking old beach towels in cold water and laying over hutches/runs can bring the temperature down.

·         Frozen water bottles placed in runs so they can lie next to them will keep them cool.

·         DO NOT keep guinea pigs & rabbits in conservatories in hot weather. The glass will act like a greenhouse and cause the temperature to rise dramatically.

Heatstroke

Symptoms of heatstroke can include difficulty in breathing, dribbling/mouth open, inactivity, floppyness and obvious distress. You must immediately soak a towel in cool (not cold) water and wrap round the guinea pig until they show signs of recovering. Please don't give them anything to drink until they can stand and support themselves, then offer small amounts from a spoon, or syringe if you feel confident doing this. Monitor your guinea pig, and if you have any concerns whatsoever contact us quickly, especially if breathing with difficulty.

Flystrike

Flystrike can be a problem in the summer, with flies being attracted to hutches and cages, even your guinea pigs/rabbits bottoms, where they can lay eggs. This can be fatal. Cleanliness is always important, but in warm weather extra diligence is needed.

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