Caring for a Disabled Rabbit

Rabbits are perfectly fine pets with blindness, deafness, paralysis, amputation, etc.  Euthanasia should be a last resort when someone can give good care and attention.  Even when rabbits have a piece missing from an ear, they are sometimes considered less than perfect and passed over in a shop or shelter.

A three legged rabbit gets around fine and even paralyzed bunnies have good lives with their people and other rabbit friends.  The internet is full of wonderful stories and I have several links to them from people who have cared to share their experiences at the bottom of this page.

 

What you need to know:

  • It's a commitment of time and energy to care for a rabbit.  If you can't, then perhaps you know someone who can help or who would be willing to take on a disabled rabbit.

  • Bring the bunny in the house if it is a hutch rabbit!

  • Bedding: Get a couple of faux lamb's wool baby size blankets and cheap soft towels.

  • Litter Box: Be sure the litter box is accessible or cut down one side of a cat box.

  • Forget the Cage, if you can.  Get a good size cat or dog pillow bed (instead of a cage) that's washable.

  • Food & Water: Make sure food, hay and water are close enough to reach.

  • Buy rabbit shampoo (specifically for rabbits!)  in case you need to clean up the rabbit's rear.  Make sure there are no flies in the rabbit's area

  • Sore Hocks: Get bag balm ointment (in the green tin at a drug store) to use for sore hocks, raw skin, etc.  Be alert for signs of sores on the bottom of the rabbit's feet.

  • Get "Critical Care" prescribed from www.oxbowhay.com through your vet so you have it on hand in case the rabbit looses its appetite or isn't getting enough nutrition.  Also, baby food like Gerber's carrots, etc. can help.

  • Take the Temperature and keep a bag of peas in the freezer in case the rabbit gets a temperature and needs to be cooled down.  Lay the rabbit over the bag on its stomach for a few minutes.

  • Syringe Feed: Keep syringes handy for feeding if necessary.

  • Monitor Everything: Monitor intake of food and water and switch to alfalfa pellets and hay to keep weight on.  Be sure the bunny doesn't get dehydrated.

  • Grooming: Help the rabbit with other grooming such as brushing with a soft brush.  Trim fur around the rabbit's bottom to help keep clean if needed.

  • Activity:  Put the rabbit where there is activity, but not where there is a lot of constant loud noise. Keep the rabbit out of drafts and too much heat!  They may not be able to move to a better spot themselves.

  • Get a Companion Rabbit: Consider getting an older rabbit companion who is calm and would be good for companionship, affection and keeping the disabled bunny mentally stimulated.

Caring for a disabled rabbit can be rewarding.  All the care is worth it!

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