Rabbit Nose: Why Do They Wiggle and Twitch? 5 Life-Saving Facts

Last Updated on May 31, 2023 by

House rabbits are becoming increasingly popular as pets, and for good reason. They’re affectionate, playful, and relatively low-maintenance.

Pet rabbits also have really cute anatomy such as their noses. Have you ever wondered what their noses look like? Also, did you know that those cute little noses can also tell us a lot about a rabbit’s health? If a pet rabbit’s nose is dry, crusty, or cracked, it could be a sign of illness.

This article will be going through all you need to know about bunny noses, and why it’s important that the warning signs that you should be watching for.

Rabbit nose
Source: pinterest.com

What Does a Rabbit Nose Look Like?

Pet rabbits have a healthy nose that is usually cool to the touch. The inside of a pet rabbit’s nose is pink and has many small blood vessels. The inside of a pet rabbit’s nose is also covered in a thin layer of mucus.

This mucus helps to keep the inside of the nose moist and prevents dirt and dust from entering the lungs. Pet rabbits also have whiskers on their nose which help them to feel around their environment.

The whiskers on a pet rabbit’s nose are very sensitive and can help the rabbit to avoid predators or objects that might hurt them.

Why a Good Sense of Smell is So Important for Rabbits?

Believe it or not, rabbits have an excellent sense of smell. This is due in part to the fact that they have a very large nasal cavity in proportion to their body size. This gives them plenty of room for a dense network of nasal passages and airways, which helps to trap scent molecules.

Additionally, rabbits have a pair of large nasal turbinates, which are thin sheets of bone covered in tissue. These turbinates help to increase the surface area of the nasal cavity, allowing for even more efficient scent detection.

A rabbit’s nasal passages and nasal cavity are full of scent receptors which allow rabbits to identify different smells. This is how they can tall whether food is fresh, or if a predator is nearby.

Nasal airways lined with mucus also trap airborne particles and debris. The mucus then moves to the back of the nose where it is either swallowed or expelled through the nose.

In short, a rabbit’s sense of smell is integral to their survival, as it helps them to avoid predators and find food.

Close Up Photo of Rodent and Person

What Happens When You Touch a Rabbit’s Nose?

When you touch a healthy rabbit’s nose, you might find that they wiggle it. This is absolutely normal, and if you ask me, absolutely cute as well.

What Does it Mean When a Rabbit Wiggles its Nose?

When a rabbit wiggles its nose, it’s usually a sign that the rabbit is happy and healthy. The movement helps to circulate air around the rabbit’s sensitive nose, keeping it cool and functional.

Rabbits also use nose-wiggling as a form of communication. For example, a happy rabbit might wiggle its nose to let its owner know that it’s happy and content. If you see your rabbit wiggling its nose, it’s generally a good sign!

Why Does a Rabbit Nose Twitch and Wiggle?

There are a few reasons why rabbits twitch their noses. For one thing, it helps them breathe easily.

Their long whiskers act as fillers, trapping dust and other particles before they can enter the Rabbit’s lungs.

In addition, their nose twitching helps to regulate their body temperature. When it’s hot outside, the blood vessels in their nose expand to help cool them down.

Nose twitching also helps to move air over their sensitive smell receptors, giving them a better sense of smell.

Finally, rabbits also use their noses for information gathering. By flicking their whiskers back and forth, they can get a better sense of their surroundings and identify potential dangers.

When You Should Pay Attention to Your Rabbit’s Nose?

No two rabbits are exactly alike, and that includes their noses. Some rabbits have dry noses while others may have runny noses. Some rabbits even have what’s called a “wet nose.” This is when the nose appears shiny or moist.

A runny nose in a rabbit is usually nothing to worry about and is often due to environmental factors, such as high humidity or a change in temperature.

However, if you notice that your rabbit’s nose is runny and there is also a discharge, this could be a sign of an infection and you should take your rabbit to the vet.

Nosebleeds can also be a cause for concern, as they can be a sign of an underlying health condition.

What Does it Mean When Your Rabbit’s Nose is Runny?

A snotty or runny nose in rabbits is relatively common and is often nothing to worry about. It can be caused by a number of factors, including allergies, cold weather, or even just a change in diet.

However, if your rabbit’s nose is excessively snotty or runny, it could be an indication that they are sick.

1. Upper Respiratory Infection “Snuffles”

Snuffles is a common name for an upper respiratory infection in pet rabbits. The medical term for snuffles is porcine pulmonary adenomatosis, and it’s caused by the bacteria Bordetella bronchiseptica.

Snuffles are relatively easy to catch and can be deadly for rabbits, so it’s important to know the symptoms. Snuffles usually start with a runny nose, which can then progress to sneezing, congestion, and difficulty breathing.

There is no cure for snuffles, but early treatment can help to improve your rabbit’s chances of recovery.

2. Lower Respiratory Infection in Rabbits

One of the most serious infections pet rabbits can get is a lower respiratory infection. These infections typically affect the lungs and airways and can cause difficulty breathing.

Symptoms include wheezing, coughing, and sneezing. If left untreated, a lower respiratory infection can be fatal.

Sneezing, nasal discharge, dyspnea, and sudden death in rabbits

Sneezing, nasal discharge, dyspnea, and sudden death in pet rabbits are all signs of a potentially serious condition called sneezing disease.

If left untreated, the sneezing disease can lead to pneumonia and other complications that can be fatal.

3. Nasal Discharge

Abnormal nasal discharge in rabbits can be caused by a number of things, including infectious causes like bacterial or viral infections, allergies, or even foreign bodies lodged in the nose.

Nasal discharge can be clear, white, or brown and may be accompanied by sneezing, snorting, or nasal congestion.

In some cases, the vet may recommend a course of antibiotics or other treatment. However, in most cases, simply keeping your rabbit’s cage clean and free of dust will help to prevent problems with nasal discharge.

4. Nose Bleeds In Rabbits

If you have a pet rabbit, you may be wondering why its nose is bleeding. Nose bleeds in rabbits, also called epistaxis, can be quite frightening. However, they generally do not cause alarm and can often be resolved at home.

While there can be several reasons why a rabbit’s nose might bleed, the most common cause is trauma to the delicate blood vessels in the nose.

This can occur from something as simple as a fall or from rubbing their nose too hard. In most cases, the bleeding will resolve on its own

However, nose bleeds can also be caused by infections, tumors, or dental problems. In some cases, they may also be due to a blood clotting disorder.

There are a few types of nosebleeds depending on the cause: capillary, venous, and arterial. Capillary bleeds are the most common and Arterial bleeds are the least rare but most serious type.

If your pet rabbit is experiencing nose bleeds it is better to take them to a vet to get them checked.

Common Causes That Affects A Bunny’s Nose

Like all animals, rabbits can be susceptible to a variety of health problems. One issue that can affect bunny noses is an infection. Bacterial or fungal infections are the most common culprits but tear duct problems and dental disease can also lead to a change in the appearance of a rabbit’s nose.

In some cases, a secondary condition may cause changes in the nose, such as tumors or polyps. If you notice any changes in your rabbit’s nose, it’s important to contact a veterinarian for an examination.

With prompt treatment, many bunny nose problems can be resolved without any lasting effects.

What Treatments Might be Necessary?

Rabbit nose discharge and bleeds can be caused by a number of different conditions, including rabbit snuffles, a runny nose, or even just a cold.

Treatments will vary depending on the underlying cause but may include antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medication, or even surgery.

In some cases, simply providing your rabbit with a warm, humid environment to help them recover may be all that is necessary.

If you suspect your rabbit has nose discharge or bleeding, it is important to take them to the vet for an evaluation as soon as possible so that the proper treatment can be administered.

How Do I Reduce the Risks of Infection To My Rabbit?

As any bunny owner knows, rabbits are susceptible to a number of health problems, including nasal infections. These infections can be caused by a number of factors, including bacteria, viruses, and even allergies.

In severe cases, nasal infections can lead to serious health complications, so it’s important to take steps to prevent them.

The best way to reduce the risk of infection is to create a healthy environment for your rabbit. This means maintaining a clean cage, providing fresh water and hay, and avoiding contact with other animals that may be sick.

You should also bring your rabbit for regular checkups with a veterinarian, who can identify potential problems early on and provide treatment if necessary.

Ultimately, prevention is the best way to reduce the risk of nasal infections in rabbits


Rabbits are susceptible to some infections. This can affect their respiratory organs.

Therefore, it pays to know a lot about their noses, in order to observe changes that may indicate an infection.

If you see anything out of the ordinary, please take your bunny to the vet for a check-up right away!