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It took me too long to realise that having a bunny first aid kit can be so helpful. The problem is you only realise that you need one when it’s too late. So let this be a sign – make yourself a rabbit first aid kit.
They also make a great gift for other bunny caregivers.
Be sure to keep an eye on any products with use by dates – I’m sure a lot of rabbit rescues would be happy to take your products that are near their expiry date.
Vet phone number
As well as having your regular vet number, it can be helpful to have the number of an emergency vet. Not all vets run an out of hours service, which is not information you need to be finding out when your rabbit needs a vet at 11pm on a Sunday.
Plain simethacone, dye free.
Also known as baby gas drops. It’s helpful to have these on hand in the events of gas. I’ve never had to give them, so I’ll link to this article which as information on dosage. If in doubt, ask the vet when you call (which you should do asap if you suspect your bunny is ill) about administering simethacone.
In a pinch, pellets can be given instead – add a little warm water to make them into a paste that can be syringed into their mouth.
Like I mentioned in my article on GI stasis, I prefer to smear this around their mouth, as their instinct is to lick their face clean.
Critical care does have a use by day, so keep an eye on the dates. If you have any that’s close to the use-by date, you can always replace it and donate the older stuff to a rescue that can use it.
1cc, 3cc, and 30cc useful sizes to have. You never know when you might have to syringe feed or give your rabbit gas drops or Metacam.
I don’t buy syringes. I just seem to accumulate them, since our vets always give us a couple of sizes and spares.
Use in the event of cut and scrapes.
Because sod’s law dictates that when you need scissors to cut the gauze you won’t be able to find any. Have some specifically for your rabbit.
There’s no shame in having your vet clip your rabbit’s nails. At all. But it’s still useful to have a set of clippers at home, just in case, for example your rabbit’s nail snaps and you need to help it all the way off.
Useful to stop bleeding (for example if you accidentally cut the nail to close to the quick) and also great for giving dry bunny butt baths.
I’ve tried all the brushes out there, and I’m afraid it really depends on your rabbit’s coat as to which one does the job best. the most important thing is that you brush your rabbit regularly if required.
I always brush my rabbits when they’re heavily moulting, despite how much they hate it. I sit on the floor and brush for a few minutes, and then get a bit more the next day.
Since rabbits groom themselves by licking their fur, they can end up ingesting a lot of fur if they’re not regularly groomed. Furballs can cause GI stasis, so be extra aware of your rabbit’s behaviour when they’re moulting, make sure they’re eating a lot of hay, and don’t give them sugary treats.
This is an antibacterial ointment that can be used to treat minor skin irritations. I always run it past my vet if I think my rabbit needs it, but it can be a lot cheaper to buy neosporin to have on hand, rather than having to get an expensive prescription.
Ill bunnies can sometimes go into shock, and their temperature can plummet. A heat pad can be really helpful in these circumstances. I like to have a couple of microwaveable ones, so that I can replace them when they cool down.
I think it goes without saying that we need to avoid ones that are wired. All bunnies love a bit of spicy hay.
Make sure your bunny has their own set of tweezers, because you’re most likely to be using them to fish all manner of grossness from their ears. It’s mayb best if you’re not sharing them.
Your rabbit shouldn’t need to have their ears cleaned out often – check with a vet if there’s a lot of gunk accumulating. It can be a sign of early infection in the teeth, ears, or eyes.
Liquid ear cleaner is great to have around if your rabbit is prone to waxy ears.
I will say this: when you put the liquid in their ear, you have 0.000003 seconds before your rabbit very violently shakes their head and covers you in liquid. You can try to keep their ear closed, but cleaning rabbit’s ears with liquid takes a bit of practice. You have been warned.
I have never taken my rabbit’s temperature (they’d never forgive me), and if I’m honest, I don’t have a thermometer for mine. But it’s probably a good idea to have one, and I’m going to ask my vet to show me how to take a rabbit’s temperature the next time I have to take the girls in.
You need a prescription for metacam, so don’t try to search for it online. It also has a load of different brand names, like Meloxaid and Meloxicam.
Metacam is a painkiller and anti-inflammatory. It can be given as a painkiller, but I recommend checking with your vet first. If you give it to your rabbit regularly, it can cause long-term kidney and liver damage.
Some vets will write you a prescription to have on hand in an emergency, but they may not. It’s sometimes easiest to just take your rabbit in, rather than arguing over the phone.
Metacam is often recommended for old, arthritic bunnies to keep them more comfortable, even though it shortens their life. A shorter, more comfortable life is far preferable to a long life spent in pain.
If you can think of anything it’s good to have in a bunny first aid kit, I’d love to hear about it!
2 thoughts on “What should be in a rabbit’s first aid kit?”
There was a great article about the rabbit first aid. Your writing style is very good.