How to deal with Emergencies – Rabbits

You may be faced with a sudden rabbit emergency. For many vets, sick rabbits leads to treating for gut stasis with enrofloxacin and meloxicam. However, read on because you want to be the best exotics vet that you can.

As you know, rabbits can be sick for many reasons, your first step is to assess and stabilise your patient.

1. Assess

Perform a thorough examination on your patient, checking for situations that may endanger your patient. These are:

  • Hypothermia / Pyrexia
  • Ileus / Gut stasis
  • Anaemia / Pallor
  • Pain
  • Wounds
  • Cardiac or Respiratory distress

Your rabbit examination guide can be found here:
Rabbit Examination

2. Stabilize

This is were you should stall and aim to correct any abnormalities that you find:

  • Heat up your patient / Cool them down
  • Provide oral syringe fed food to stimulate gut motility – Prokinetics
  • Provide subcutaneous or IV fluids
  • Provide pain relief – Analgesia
  • Clean and bandage wounds
  • Provide oxygen and other stress free care

3. Diagnose

Once you have minimized the risk to your rabbit, you can begin to rule out differentials and diagnose your patient

  • PCV/TP/Blood glucose
  • Xrays
  • +/- Comprehensive blood tests – Haematology and CBC

You need a plan so when emergencies arrive, you know how to help!

Hop to it!

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