How to care for a sick rabbit?

Know how to administer medication correctly

When the veterinarian prescribes medicine for our rabbitwe have to make sure we understand how to manage it and that we can do it right, perhaps by asking a veterinarian to show us how.

Very important strictly follow his instructions and notify him immediately if we find that we cannot follow the prescribed treatment.

If, for example, we cannot administer the medicine to the animal by mouth, the veterinarian can replace it with another medicine. injectiona modality that the rabbit seems to “prefer”.

Giving medicine to a rabbit by mouth

For oral administration medicine in liquid form it is expedient to use syringe without needle or a drip. Some sweet medicines are accepted by animals without difficulty. If this is not the case, you can mask their taste by mixing them with a little honey, jam, or fruit juice.

Depending on the temperament of the rabbit, it may be more convenient to administer the medicine by placing the animal (so it feels safer and calmer) on your lap or on a table.

If the rabbit is especially unresponsive, it can be wrapped in a towel to immobilize it.

The drug should be administered in back of the mouthso that he doesn’t spit it out. The syringe is cut in the corner of the lip, directing the tip to the throat.

After the operation is completed, you can reward the animal with a small treat whom he loves very much.


Tablets can be administered in the same way. Just crush them thoroughly and mix with a little water.

You can also mix the resulting powder with especially appetizing foodeg some mashed banana, yogurt or jam (always in small quantities). On the other hand, a very small pill can be hidden in a raisin.

Force feeding a rabbit

If for any reason the rabbit is not eating, the veterinarian will probably provide us with all the indications for carrying out force-feeding. It consists in introducing food into the mouth of the animal using a syringe without a needle. Indeed, starvation is especially harmful to these animals, and force-feeding is sometimes as important as medicine.

The feed used is usually good quality pellets dissolved in hot water and mixed, or baby vegetable jars always diluted in a small amount of water. The consistency of the food should be thin enough to pass through the tip of the syringe, but not so thin that the nutritional value of the food is significantly reduced.

The injection technique is the same as for liquid drugs, except that the volume is larger. Depending on the size of the rabbit and the type of problem, we usually give 10-20 ml each time (this also depends on the degree of cooperation of the rabbit), in repeat the operation several times a day.

Feed should be introduced in small portions into the mouth, patiently, giving the animal time to swallow. At the end of the operation, the mouth and hair around it are wiped with a damp cloth to remove food debris.

Cleaning the genitals of an obese rabbit

AT obese animal or if you have health problems (diarrhea, cystitis, joint or spinal lesions), the genital area may be contaminated with feces or urine, which can have serious consequences such as dermatitis, infection, or skin necrosis.

To clear this area, keep the rabbit in vertical position, support the back of his body with one hand and place his crotch under warm tap water. You can use chlorhexidine shampoo, which has a disinfectant effect, after rinsing thoroughly and gently drying the affected area with a towel.

If the hind legs are also very dirty, you should wash the entire back half of the body by immersing it in lukewarm water. After abundant rinsing, the hair is dried with a towel and a hair dryer.

Sensitivity to antibiotics

We shouldn’t never give an antibiotic to a rabbit (not even medicine) without a prescription from a specialized veterinarian. There are many antibiotics that are safe for dogs and cats but can be deadly for rabbits.

Certain susceptibility of the intestinal bacterial flora of rabbits can indeed be altered by the wrong antibiotic, allowing the development of dangerous microbes such as clostridia. Changes in gut flora are more likely to occur if the diet is low in fiber and high in carbohydrates.

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