240 IDEAL HOME LIFE
Unless green food is abundant rabbits should be given water daily. In warm weather the water pans should be filled with fresh water twice each day.
A piece of rock salt kept in each hutch affords a steady supply as needed and makes it unnecessary to supply salt in the food.
Rabbits under three or four months old should be limited in the amount of green food. If allowed too much they are apt to become "pot-bellied." When a young rabbit is seen to grow big about its belly, the use of green food should be discontinued and the animal given plenty of exercise. Under such treatment it will soon recover, but if the green food is continued the disease usually terminates in convulsions and death. Old rabbits are not subject to this trouble.
Ailments of Rabbits
If properly cared for, rabbits are remarkably free from diseases. The more common ailments result from insanitary surroundings, lack of care in feeding, and improper ventilation. The hutches should be cleaned frequently so that they do not become foul. Such ailments as mange, scurf, surfeit, and the disease of the eyes known as ophthalmia are due usually to foul hutches. Cold snuffles and the like result from improper ventilation, sudden drafts of cold air in overheated buildings, and similar causes. The disorders of the digestive organs come from feeding young rabbits too freely of wet and juicy green foods or from too radically changing their diet. Most diseases are preventable, and if the cause is understood remedies will suggest themselves.