The Dwarf Papillion Rabbit
Species: orictolagus cuniculus
This breed is very popular in Europe, mostly in such countries as Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic and the UK. In Russia it is not as common though some specimens are kept in Moscow and in Irkutsk.
The body of the Dwarf Papillion Rabbit is squat, cylinder-shaped, with wide and rounded hind part. The head is short and big. The front legs are medium long. The ears are rounded and covered with fur. The coat is glossy. The rabbits are usually bicolor: black and white, blue and white, white and brown or tricolor: white and black and yellow. According to European standards, these rabbits should weigh 1.4 – 1.8 kg.
Dwarf Papillion Rabbits normally have peaceful and gentle personality, are not very skittish and children love them due to their cute appearance and unusual coloration.
Rabbits are gentle and sensitive critters and should not be stressed. You should never grab their ears or the nape of their necks. The rabbit is well-behaved if you play a lot with it.
The bottom area of the cage should be at least 70 cm. It shouldn’t be placed in draughts, in too cold or too hot premises. The cage should be located far away from radiators, air conditioners, windows and doors. The best place for it is a low table or cupboard. You should clean and disinfect the cage once a month.
Your rabbit will need bedding made of wood cuttings, it has to be changed twice a week. It is best to set for your rabbit a shelter with a mat. Rabbits are nocturnal animals, they usually rest at daytime. You should wash the rabbit as often as it is needed; rabbits groom themselves every day. The food bowl for dry food should have a lock. The hay is kept in a hay rack. The water in a bowl has to be changed every day.
You should cut the rabbit’s claws every month. It is recommended to check the rabbit’s teeth every month since it is their weakest spot.
Proper diet is a crucial factor in rabbit care. The staple of the rabbits’ menu are seeds and grains. Juicy food is a treat. It is recommended to feed your rabbit with specialized commercial food: they are ideally balanced in nutrients and vitamins. You should also give to the rabbit small amounts of herbs every day, e.g. a shoot of parsley or fennel.
The Dwarf Papillion Rabbit quickly becomes a part of the family and everybody’s favorite. But you should be careful if there are small children in the family: they shouldn’t squeeze or snuggle the pet too much.
A healthy rabbit is active, playful and has good appetite. Its coat is glossy, silky and soft. Кал здоровой особи тёмно-коричневого или чёрного цвета, моча густая.
If the rabbit is ill, it loses appetite or gets diarrhea. It becomes sluggish and lethargic, sometimes it can get discharge from the nose and eyes, the coat becomes dull.
Other specific symptoms include shallow and frequent breathing, fever (normal temperature for a rabbit is 38-39,5°С), high pulse rate (over 160 a minute).