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Your bunny needs regular check-ups with a bunn-savvy vet.  The catch is, many vets don't treat bunnies and some that do really don't have the knowledge to do it properly.

The best advice I can give is get a vet before you need one.  Bunnies are very fragile because they are basically prey animals.  When they get ill they can go downhill very quickly.  Your best defense is a good offence.  At the first sign of symptoms, call your bunny-savvy vet and find out what you need to do.

Unfortunately, bunnies don't always plan their illnesses outside of statutory holidays and weekends so in addition to having access to a 24/7 emergency vet which will cost an awful lot, you can prepare yourself with some supplies.  Most are available in the baby aisle at any drugstore:

  • Ovol in the liquid form (it will say for colicky babies).  This is a cure for gas which your bunny may have if they seem tense and uncomfortable and won't eat.  Using the 40mg/ml strength, a bunnies dose is 100mg/kg every 2-8 hours.

  • Pedialyte.  This gets much needed fluids into a sick bunny and keeps them hydrated.

  • Babyfood.  Carrots, blueberries, apple and banana are a good way to get some nutrients into a bunny that is not eating because of illness.  Make sure they don't have sugar in them, just the main food ingredient and water.

  • Syringes can be requested from the pharmacy and help to administer the above items.  Try to get a larger one if you're using the baby food.

  • Critical Care.  This is an aromatic hay and herb powder you mix with water into a paste.  Its available from any vet.  Also make sure you get a very large syringe because you will likely need to force feed if your rabbit is refusing to eat.

  • Ever notice your bunny moving their head slowly back and forth when they look at you?  This is called scanning or tracking and is common in red-eyed bunnies, like New Zealands.  Don't worry, there is nothing wrong with your rabbit.  Rabbits are farsighted and have monocular vision meaning they process sight from each eye separately.  This enables them to see movement all around them and very far away.  It is a feature of prey animals.  Humans and other predators have binocular vision, using information from both eyes together enabling us to judge distance and see objects three dimensionally.  If you notice your bunny has just started this, never having done it before, it can be indicative of a health problem and should be referred to a vet.

    By far, the hardest thing a pet owner will ever do is make the decision of whether to end their pet's suffering.  A good vet can help explain to you what your pet is feeling in terms of pain and quality of life.  However, the decision is ultimately your own as much as everyone wishes it were not.  Here are some things to consider:

    Qualitative Considerations

    • Does your pet still like to eat?

    • Does your pet still show affection to anyone including its mate?

    • Does your pet still show interest in its environment by watching, sniffing and listening?

    • Does your pet take care of themselves by grooming?

    If you can answer yes to these questions most of the time but still doubt your rabbit's quality of life,
    think quantitatively. Do the good days outnumber the bad days?



    Bunn-Savvy Vet just West of Toronto.  If you need to drive a bit, its still a good idea because they are very knowledgeable about rabbits and very reasonably priced.  This is the vet we use.

    www.VetRatingz. com rates vets all across North America

    Other Vets in the Southern Ontario Region

    Dosage Calculator - this is a handy way to determine how much to give your rabbit.  It includes some meds you will get to know well if you have a rabbit such as Baytril and Pedialyte.

    Vets - this site contains a list of vets in several countries.


    Everything you ever wanted to know about rabbits but were afraid to ask ...