Rabbit Mag

when do baby rabbits open their eyes? – Reasons and Misconceptions

One of the most common questions people have about baby rabbits is when do they open their eyes?

The answer to this question can vary depending on the individual rabbit, but typically baby rabbits will start to open their eyes anywhere from 10 to 12 days after birth.

In some cases, baby rabbits may not open their eyes until they are several weeks old. So what can you do to ensure your bunny’s eye health? Keep reading for more information.

when do baby rabbits open their eyes?

The eyes of a baby rabbit open, on average, around 10 days after birth. However, this varies depending upon the breed and other factors such as weather change or stressful situations that may cause delayed development.

As a general rule of thumb, you can expect baby rabbits to open their eyes when they are between 10 days and three weeks old. Be aware that there may be a case in which a baby rabbit does not develop properly and will require veterinarian care in order to survive. In this case, it might take much longer for the rabbit’s eyes to open.

Why Are Baby Rabbits Born With Their Eyes Closed?

When a baby is born its eyes are closed because in most cases it would not be able to survive if they were open. Baby rabbits are not completely developed when they come out of the womb, and their survival depends on them being cared for by an adult rabbit until they can fend for themselves. Of course, there are always exceptions to every rule and each baby is different from all others. In some rare situations, a baby may even be born with its eyes open! There are mainly two reasons:

To protect the baby bunnies’ eyes from harm

Baby rabbits’ eyes are fragile and if their eyes were open while they were still inside the womb, there would be a greater risk of them getting injured. This is why baby rabbits’ eyes will always remain closed until after they are born and taken into the care of an adult rabbit.

Another reason is that baby rabbits are not completely developed at birth. Because of this, their eyes do not open until they are mature enough to survive on their own. This may happen several days after the babies are born or it may take up to 3 weeks before their eyes finally open. You can expect baby rabbits’ eyes to open when they are about 10 days old, but many factors can affect their development.

  • the breed of the rabbit
  • temperature and humidity in the room where they are kept can all influence when their eyes open. If your baby rabbits’ eyes don’t open by the time they are 3 weeks old, you might need to take them to a vet for an examination.

To Help The Mum

Pregnancy can be hard on rabbits in general, and in some cases, it can even be fatal. The last thing the mother rabbit needs is to go through the stress of finding food for her growing babies – this would not only make it harder for her but could also affect when her youngs’ eyes open.

In the wild, rabbits are busy animals and they have a very short window of time to produce their young. If a baby rabbit was born with its eyes open, it would be difficult for the mother to find enough food to keep all her kids alive. This is why in captivity, rabbits are given the best chance possible at survival by keeping them away from stress and allowing nature’s own timing to take place.

Clearing Misconceptions about Baby rabbit’s eyes

A common misconception about baby rabbits is that you should keep them in the dark until their eyes have opened because this helps with proper development. This is false, as long as your new bunny is warm and dry you do not need to cover the cage or anything else keeping their eyes closed will not impact how the rabbit develops.

The eyes of rabbits are different than human or cat eyes because they cannot move their pupils like other animals. Because of this, it is very difficult to tell what a rabbit sees when its head is looking in one direction. According to experts, rabbits do not see very well at all; they basically only sense light and dark. However, you should still be able to get your bunny adjusted to its new surroundings just by turning on the lights!

Before long your baby bunny’s eyes should open right up for you to see. This will be an exciting moment for you both! You can teach your pet about proper behavior during this time period by providing adequate space so that it does not feel closed in and give it plenty of time to rest and relax. Once your little bunny is able to run around a bit you can start playing with them as well!

Should I Open The Eyes Of My Baby Bunny?

A common question among new pet owners is if they should help a baby rabbit open its eyes by using a washcloth or something of the sort.

This practice can actually cause more harm than good and it’s really best to just leave the baby’s eyes alone until they open naturally. The only thing you should do is keep them warm and dry until their eyes are open on their own – then you can start your bonding time with your new rabbit! There are some signs that will tell you when it’s safe to open them, so look out for these warning signals:

  • their eyes will glow in the dark (such as under a flashlight)
  • their ears perk up straight when any noise is heard
  • they start to grow more teeth
  • they begin feeling around for their littermates with their front feet

Some breeds of rabbits open their eyes sooner than others, and some can take as long as 3 weeks before these signs happen. If you think your baby is not doing well, be sure to talk to a veterinarian right away. Even if it’s just a case of sniffles, proper medical attention will ensure that you have many happy rabbit years together!

Why Won’t My Baby Rabbit Open His Eyes? – Eye infection and Treatments

There are three common problems that affect baby rabbits’ eyes.

1) Conjunctivitis

Symptoms of conjunctivitis include redness and swelling around the eye, runny nose, and irritated eyes with crusty eyelids. If you notice any of these symptoms in your pet, it may have a case of pink eye and should be taken to the vet immediately for treatment.

2) An Eye Infection

An infection can be caused by an injury or by something else such as bacteria or viruses. This problem can cause your rabbit’s eye to become red and swollen, tear excessively and produce pus. In some cases, the eye will also stay shut when it should open because foreign bodies such as dirt or fur have gotten underneath the eyelids. Take your rabbit to a vet as soon as possible because infected eyes can lead to other more serious problems such as blindness.

3) Genetics

In some cases, rabbits are born with an eye that is not well developed and may never open on its own no matter what you do for it. If one of the eyes appears smaller than the other then this is a sign that your pet may be experiencing congenital eye problems. Veterinarians will check newborns’ eyes, but if you notice this in an older bunny make sure to take them to the vet right away since these issues can cause serious complications down the road such as glaucoma.

Treatments for Baby Rabbit Eye Infection

The first step is proper veterinary care, which will involve diagnostic testing to determine what type of infection it is and then prescribe the right medications. The eyes may be irrigated with saline solution to flush out any dirt or debris that has gotten into them. If there are ulcers on your bunny’s cornea, they might recommend using ophthalmic antibiotic drops or ointment until you can bring your pet back in for a follow-up appointment. Keep checking for any discharge coming from their eyes so you can tell if the treatment is working.

If congenital eye problems run in your family, try not to breed rabbits too often since this trait tends to be hereditary. When the time comes that you want to breed your pet, talk to a veterinarian first about the safest way to do this. They can guide you on how to go about it as well as tests that should be performed beforehand so you can make sure both of your bunnies’ eyes are healthy and will continue to stay that way.

If you notice any problems with your pet’s eyes, schedule an appointment for them right away since these might lead to more serious conditions if left untreated. If one eye has shut and they have not opened within 3 weeks, then it’s definitely time you bring them in for an exam!

Ways to improve a congenital problem in rabbits

The best way is to try and do some research on the breed. For example, if it’s a white American Chinchilla rabbit, make sure you keep the eyes clean and get it to an adult as soon as possible if one eye has shut and not opened within 1 month. Hopefully, this will be enough time for them to get treatment before it turns into something worse.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do you do when a baby rabbit’s eyes are closed?

The best thing to do is wait until the normal age for a rabbit’s eyes to open. If this doesn’t happen, you can take your pet to an adult and they will be able to tell you if there is anything wrong with it.

When do baby rabbits open their eyes?

The best way is to check and see when the breed of rabbits starts opening their eyes. So for instance, American Chinchilla rabbits start opening their eyes around 12-16 days old. White Flemish Giants around 13-15 days old.

What causes a baby rabbit’s eye not to open?

A congenital problem which means that it was born that way, or an infection that would need veterinary attention/treatment before further symptoms happen such as blindness


In conclusion, a rabbit’s eye will stay shut when it should open because there is something wrong with either genetics or an infection.

If it doesn’t open within 3 weeks then you need to take your pet to a veterinarian before this causes even more problems. In some cases, rabbits are born with an eye that is not well developed and making sure they aren’t suffering from congenital looks so you can breed them responsibly.

When caring for a bunny it is important to remember their health comes first which means getting regular checkups with a veterinarian and proper treatment if something seems off about their eyes!

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