Temperature, Heart and Respiration Rates

A rabbit’s temperature, pulse rate and respiration rate are all indicators of whether he or she is healthy. You should certainly have a plastic thermometer as part of your rabbit’s emergency medical kit, and should ask your veterinarian to teach you how to take your rabbit’s temperature rectally.

For the respiratory rate, count the number of breaths your rabbit takes in 15 seconds and then multiply that number by four.  Either watch for each rise of the chest wall or place your hand in front of the nose and count each exhale that you feel.  Pulse rates can be taken by feeling for a pulse over the femoral artery in the upper inner thigh.  Alternatively, place your hand on the lower, left side of the chest and feel for the heartbeat.  Again, count for 15 seconds and then multiply by four.

  • A rabbit’s heart rate should be 120-150 beats per minute.
  • A rabbit’s respiration rate should be 30-60 breaths per minute.
  • A rabbit’s temperature should be 101.3-104F.