While Summer brings in sunshine, day trips at the beach and happier tanned faces, it also brings the real risk of heat stress to rabbits and guinea pigs. These little mammals are very sensitive to heat stress.

It is not uncommon for outdoor rabbits in the sun to be rushed into the veterinary clinic especially if there has been a lack of shade, lack of ventilation, and lack of drinking water. Heat stress results in hyperthermia, lethargy and wobbliness, and may lead to heart arrhythmia, seizures, collapse, coma and death.

Please ensure that on hot days (when environmental temperature exceeds 25 degrees) you bring your pets inside where there is cooling and fresh drinking water available.

If you suspect that your rabbit or guinea pig has heat stress, please immediately organise a consultation at your nearest vet clinic. Bring them inside, and gently wet your pet with water or with cool damp cloths (especially cool the rabbit’s ears) before transportation. Have the air con on in the car, and try to reduce stress and noise levels as best as possible.