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You & Your Rabbit

Rabbit First-Aid Kit

Misty Rose

What to Have in Your Bunny First Aid Kit

When your bunny gets sick, there are some remedies you might try at home before rushing her to the vet. You may already have some of these items in your home that you use for yourself. Others can be purchased in pet supply stores, drug stores, grocery stores, or department stores (like Target, Wal-Mart, or K-Mart).

Keep in mind, however, that this information is not intended to replace expert veterinary care and should not be used to make a "do-it-yourself" diagnosis. Only a qualified, rabbit-knowledgeable vet can determine exactly what your bunny's illness is and can recommend treatments for you.

Necessary Items

Listed below are products every rabbit home should have on hand.

Product Common Uses
Styptic Powder styptic powder, like Kwik Stop (baking flour or corn starch will also do the job) stops the bleeding of nails cut too close to the quick (not to be used on skin)
Diaper Ointment A&D original or plain Desitin diaper ointment Used in the treatment of sore hocks or other sore areas on the rabbit's skin. Be sure to use only original A&D and plain Desitin - not a variety with zinc, aloe, or other additions. These additives can cause harm to rabbits, in some cases.
Simethicone infant simethicone (gas relief drops) relieves minor gas symptoms
Hot Water Bottle heating pad or hot water bottle for shock or hypothermia - be sure to wrap the bottle in a towel
Oral Syringe eye dropper/oral syringe to administer liquids, medication, or foods that have been liquefied in the event bunny stops eating (3cc for medication, 40cc for hand feeding)
Baby Food small jars of plain baby food with no additives or preservatives for giving tablet medications or as calorie supplement for rabbits who are not eating (use apple sauce or fruit/apple sauce mixes, pear, carrot, squash, or even canned pumpkin - not pumpkin pie filling)
Cotton Swabs cotton swabs, cotton balls to clean scent glands; to clean wounds
Hydrogen Peroxide Betadine or hydrogen peroxide for cleaning surface wounds and abscesses (use hydrogen peroxide diluted)
Bandage gauze bandages, butterfly bandages, bandaging pads have a variety of bandages on hand to dress wounds
Antibiotic Cream triple antiobiotic, like Neosporin or similar generic brand used to treat wounds (do NOT use Neosporin Plus) consult your vet before treating a wound since a wound can lead to abscesses

Optional Items

Listed below are products that you might want to have on hand to help treat your bunny's specific ailment.

Product Common Uses
Baby Cornstarch Powder baby cornstarch powder (NOT baby powder, containing talc) used for a "dry bath" to clean a messy bottom due to runny stool or urine leakage (preferred method over a wet bath)
Flea Comb flea comb safest way to get rid of a mild case of fleas - after each combing, rinse the comb by dipping it in warm, soapy water to kill the fleas
Rescue Remedy Rescue Remedy can be used to minimize anxiety caused by stressful situations (can be found in nutrition stores or at www.feelbach.com and other online retailers)
Petromalt Petromalt (original flavor) during high-shed seasons, can be used as a preventative treatment to move hair through the digestive system (do not use on a daily basis or once GI stasis has developed)
Infant Thermometer digital infant thermometer to take temperature (apply lubricant and insert gently into rectum; normal rabbit temperature is 101-103 degrees Fahrenheit); ask your vet to show you how
Petroleum Jelly petroleum jelly or KY jelly a lubricant to use with the thermometer
Saline Eye Wash saline eye wash to flush foreign matter out of eyes
Stethoscope stethoscope for listening to gut sounds (inexpensive versions can be found at medical supply stores)
Otoscope Box otoscope to check inside the ears (inexpensive versions can be found at medical supply stores)

For detailed information, please consult "Rabbit Health in the 21st Century", 2nd Edition by Kathy Smith.

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