Pet Information > ASK Experts > Exotic Pets > Rabbits > Rabbt developing the flopsies

Rabbt developing the flopsies

22 9:49:17

Patty the rabbit
Patty the rabbit
My 7y.o. female rough lop cross "Patty" has developed what I call the "flopsies" as of late. She's been to a rabbit-qualified vet we've been told she has a clean bill of health. She doesn't curl into her "bunny ball" posture to sleep or relax very often anymore, and seems to prefer flopping onto her side with her head down. She is otherwise active and behaving normally, eating well and has no problems using her letter box. One of my contacts at the Rabbit Rescue Association said she might have arthritis and flopping down on her side may alleviate some of her symptoms. Can rabbits get arthritis? How can I tell if she is in pain? I know rabbits can live to their teens, doesn't 7 seem a bit young for arthritis? Any other possible diagnoses?


Dear Carrie,

When I see a rabbit "flop" I know that this is One Happy Rabbit.  Rabbits in pain generally do not flop onto their side to sleep or relax.  It means they have a sense of safety and wellbeing, and are confident enough to expose their vulnerable body parts to you.  It's kind of weird that she's started doing this only now...but who knows?  Maybe she's been doing it when you weren't looking before.

So I'd consider it a great compliment.

As long as she is moving normally, eating well, and drinking and urinating normally, I would not worry about her flopping.  I'd enjoy its cuteness.  :)

For tips on how to tell if your bunny is sick, please see:

I hope this helps.