The Lionhead rabbit also has a woolly mane that encircles the head. This is reminiscent of the name of a male lion and this is where its name originates. Some other Lionhead rabbit characteristics include a high head mount, compact upright body type, short and furry 2-3 inch long ears, and they have a weight of 2.5-3.75 pounds.
Appearance and Temperament:
The Lionhead rabbit information states that this breed characteristically has a small and compact body. Their head is bold in appearance but it is not really round from all the sides. They are equipped with a well-developed muzzle. Their legs are of a medium length and their bone density is moderate.
Also, their ears never exceed three inches long. Their furry mane should be at least 2 inches long and it should form a full true circle around their head, and extend in a ‘V’ shape at the back of the neck. It should fall into a sort of fringe between their ears which creates the image of a “wool cap”.
These rabbits have a normal rolled back coat of moderate length that is present over the saddle, and some also have “transitional wool” present on their flanks. A few Lionheads have noticeably longer wool on their cheeks and chest region. The Lionheads have amazing outgoing personalities and are a popular pet in the United States and surrounding regions.
In most of the cases, the Lionheads are a friendly and well-mannered breed and they generally make obedient and playful pets. It is quite possible to train a Lionhead because they are very smart pets. They can also comprehend and follow some orders like come and play or eat. The Lionheads are also known for being extremely good with children.
Health and Concerns:
1. Spinal Injury Problems:
Lionheads are famous for having very delicate spines. A scared or shocked rabbit may suddenly kick out at people or objects with its hind legs, which generally causes spinal damage from the force of the action. Injuries also occur when a rabbit is badly handled or dropped. Symptoms include paralysis and lethargy.
The treatment generally depends on the severity of the fracture and the general health of the rabbit. Even though spinal trauma can’t be cured, there are a few procedures that help to correct an injury. Generally, though, rabbits that have suffered some kind of severe spinal fracture don’t feel pain at all.
2. Parasite Problems:
Parasites are a very normal problem in all breeds of rabbit. The “Cheyletiella mites” in particular can cause major itching and hair fall, but this condition can be easily treated using anti-mite preparations in the form of injections or on spot treatments. The parasite named E cuniculi can be a bit more difficult to treat safely. It’s communicated by spores in their urine and can even pass on to other rabbits which is dangerous.
Although some rabbits with this parasite do not show any symptoms, others are more sensitive and get sick easily. Symptoms include abnormal thirst and urination, problematic cataracts, head tilt and most important paralysis in the back legs.
Even though the parasite can’t be removed completely, the symptoms can be managed with some worming treatments. During warm or hot weather, rabbits may be susceptible to “flystrike” – this is a condition when flies lay eggs in their fur which leads to a serious maggot infestation. Lionheads are more prone to flystrike, as the eggs can easily stick to their fur or any tangles in their long fur.
With immediate intervention, the treatment can be effective. However, it’s important to address the actual reasons why the flystrike attack occurred in the first place. For example, the inability to groom in a proper manner due to a pre-existing problem like dental issues or diarrhoea or obesity or even prolonged periods of no activity.
3. Gastrointestinal Disorders or Problems:
Rabbits have a digestive tract that is very sensitive so they need a lot of fibre to help stimulate gut movements and maintain a good healthy digestive system. Conditions like “gastric stasis” can happen when the gut sort of stops working or is obstruct which creates a build-up of materials like gas and bacteria that are responsible for bloating.
This condition may lead to the release of toxins, which can turn fatal if it is left untreated. Even though it is relatively common in all rabbits, some breeds are more prone to gastrointestinal disorders than the other breeds.
Also Read: Rex Rabbits- The best animals to pet
The rabbits that are prone to dental problems, such as the Lionheads, and those breeds that easily stress out, may lose most of their appetite and thus not eat the fibre that needs to keep their guts functioning. Some symptoms include a loss of appetite and major lethargy with a hunched posture and reduced bowel movements which results in diarrhoea.
The treatment can involve the use of motility drugs which help to stimulate gut movement. And there is also pain medication to help alleviate the symptoms.
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