Why Is My Rabbit Lying On Side Not Moving? (And What To Do!)

Why is my rabbit lying on side not moving?

Rabbits will often lay on their side when exhausted, sleeping, and/or dealing with a medical issue. If this is combined with heavy breathing or lack of eating, it may have to do with a serious medical condition that needs to be checked out immediately.

It’s highly recommended to seek medical assistance in situations such as these especially if the rabbit isn’t breathing.

This might end up causing the rabbit to deal with additional symptoms that worsen if you don’t respond.

The reasons include:

  • Lack of Energy
  • Not Eating Enough
  • Scared

Each situation is going to be different when it comes to the rabbit’s health. If you notice the rabbit isn’t moving at all and has just flopped in one place, this may be a sign something is wrong.

In general, there are some rabbits that do this when they are feeling happy and safe. This just means they don’t care if they are exposed because a rabbit wouldn’t do this in the wild unless it was feeling confident.

However, the average rabbit isn’t going to do this regardless of what’s happening around it!

Your first thought should always be to check whether or not the rabbit is breathing properly. If yes, you can observe the rabbit’s movements to see whether or not it is injured.

This guide will take a look at the reasons for a rabbit lying on side not moving and what to do about it as a rabbit owner.

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Reasons for Rabbit Lying On Side Not Moving

1. Feeling Relaxed and Safe

It’s normal to assume something is wrong and to panic.

You may seen a rabbit lying on side not moving and assume it is dealing with a health issue. Yes, it is possible there is a health concern to deal with, but it doesn’t always have to be true!

There are situations where a rabbit is just flopping around because it is at ease with the setting.

Experts Say...
While rare it is possible for a rabbit to feel content with its surroundings and begin flopping around for short periods as it feels safe.

With rabbits at home, it is quite possible for this to be a reality. It is recommended to make sure your rabbit is actually sick before moving forward.

If there is a situation where the rabbit is uneasy then it might be time to look at other solutions.

Otherwise, the average rabbit that is happy and flopping around will get back up after a few minutes.

rabbit lying on side not moving

2. Underlying Medical Condition

Is there a medical condition the rabbit is dealing with?

This is one of the more common reasons for a rabbit lying on side not moving. They will have an infection and/or similar injury that is causing them to flop.

If you notice there are breathing issues the rabbit is dealing with then it might be time to speak to a vet right away. This could become a matter of urgency if you are not fast enough in noticing what is happening!

Many rabbits will lose energy when they are dealing with a medical condition leading to a symptom such as this one accompanied by heavy breathing.

Don’t ignore the problem and assume it is going to go away.

You have to take action and ensure the rabbit is in good health. This is the only way to help a rabbit that is in trouble.

rabbit lying on side not moving

3. Temperature or Environmental Concerns

Is it too hot inside the house? Is it too cold?

There are certain conditions within a property that can lead to serious issues over the long-term. This means you have to take the time to create a stable environment for the rabbit to rest in.

Otherwise, the rabbit isn’t going to stay healthy at all and these symptoms will pop up!

If you are aware of these problems, it makes sense to take action as soon as you can. First take the rabbit to the vet and then make sure adjustments are made to the house.

Final Thoughts

With a rabbit lying on side no moving, your goal should be to determine what is going on right away.

The safest option is always to head to the vet and see what’s going on. Otherwise, you can observe from afar for a few minutes and see whether or not the rabbit is breathing heavily.

If it is breathing heavily then you will know there is definitely a medical issue on hand. The best thing you can do in a situation such as this is to take the rabbit to a vet.

The vet will know what to look for and is going to help assess the rabbit’s underlying health.

Here is more on how to care for a rabbit – helping rabbits with hiccups, learning how rabbits mate, seeing a mother rabbit with its babies, and rabbits coughing a lot.