Rabbits/Head Scanning


I have a 9 month old Sable Holland Lop with ruby colored eyes. I have only had him for a week. I adopted him from a dog and cat shelter who doesn't know anything about rabbits. His first checkup is scheduled for Monday of next week.

I noticed that he doesn't seem to see very well. Like if I am feeding him I have to put his food directly under his face or he just searches and searches for it. I know he can see because if he sees me with a treat he comes running.

But the big thing is he "scans" meaning when he is sitting still his head moves back and forth slowly. I used to have rats and I know when they have red or ruby eyes they scan. Is this the same thing in rabbits?

Hi Josephine,

That is normal in some ruby eyed rabbits.  Since sable is not a full color gene and they do have some removal of the pigment in the eyes that is probably why he is doing it.  We have had a lot of white and himalayan colored rabbits that scan.  I have never seen it in a rabbit that only has a ruby cast but it is not really a big deal.  I am sure the vet will check his eyes and if there is nothing wrong with them I wouldn't worry about it much.

Good luck



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Paula Murdock-Briggs


I am a licensed American Rabbit Breeders Registrar. I do not show rabbits anymore nor do I breed them. I do believe it is important that people that chose to breed rabbits do so with only purebred and genetically sound animals or that they have a thorough understanding of genetics prior to breeding. I have chosen to keep my registars license to help the 4H youth in my area. I do stay current on all breeds, varieties, show rules, regulations of the ARBA. I have spent the past 8 years focusing on rescuing and caring for PET bunnies who were no longer wanted. I am the current CEO of Little Angels Animal Sanctuary, Inc. I was appointed CEO of the rescue organization and sanctuary in 2008. We gained our 501(c)3 IRS tax exemption status in 2012. We have taken on the task of rescuing unwanted PET rabbits as well as some farm animals. I teach genetics and health to the local youth as well as register and promote the breeding of only purebred and genetically sound animals. I rescue PET rabbits. These are rabbits that lived in peoples homes and were either surrendered to us or sent to the auction for meat. While I believe that all bunnies should be pets, I understand that people raise them for other reasons. I will answer questions from anyone, regardless of their purpose. I will reject any questions that are considered unethical or inhumane.

Little Angels Animal Sanctuary.

President and CEO of Little Angels Animal Sanctuary, Inc. I have over 10 years of experience working closely with a veterinarian that treats rabbits. We have studied and treated nearly every illness that can affect rabbits.

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