6 essential items from your rabbit-savvy Vet? You bet!

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Keeping rabbits is more than just daily care and routine maintenance. As a responsible bunny mama, you need to accept an unspoken fact: At some point in your rabbit’s lifetime, you are going to be your rabbit’s personal Vet. It’s important to realize stepping out of your comfort zone is inevitable, and often crucial to your rabbit’s health. Subcutaneous and oral fluids are often imperative administration methods, so routine handling, as well as familiarizing yourself with your rabbit’s anatomy is critical. Distinguishing the difference between an at home treatable ailment VS. an emergency trip to the vet is all part of the learning curve, however, regardless of the issue, time is of the essence as rabbits mask their symptoms for a duration of time before outwardly showing signs of sickness. This defense mechanism works well in the wild, but often fools rabbit owners who have not developed the intuition needed to catching issues in their earliest stages. Attentiveness is key. Learn your rabbit’s mannerisms, behaviors, likes/dislikes from the moment you welcome him/her into your home. It’s essential to be “in tune” with your bunny, as well as providing him/her with the utmost care, necessities, and vital nutrients they need to thrive.

While most remedies, treatments, mild-medications can be obtained over-the-counter at local farm stores, there are a few that require a prescription. The list below consists of a few treatments we acquired through our local Vet. Laws are strict in NY, so some of these items you may be able to find OTC rather than from your local Veterinarian.

Please note: This list is not finalized, these items happen to become a necessary part of our “Bunny Medicine Cabinet” throughout the years. Without these items, we would not have had the success we’ve experienced while treating our own rabbits.

Vet-prescribed medications/treatments:

-Albon (Coccidiostat – Prohibits replica of Protozoal infections)

-Metronidazole (An effective Antibiotic)

-Metacam (Pain management)

-Lactated Ringer (Means of distributing Subcutaneous Fluids)

-Needles/Syringes (Needed for Subq or Oral suspension)

-Bio-Waste Bin (Disposal of Bio-Medical waste)

In time, I’ll devote separate posts to several of these treatments, as well as a complete “Bunny Medicine Cabinet” list, and what each recommended item treats, specific dosages, preventatives, etc. For now, get friendly with your Veterinarian, and be proactive in sustaining your rabbit’s health! You can never be too prepared…Trust me!

As always, if you have any questions/concerns about your bunny – Health, diet, behavior, whatever you have a quandary about, please do not hesitate to contact me! As many already know, I love to “talk rabbit”.

Bunny Medicine Cabinet Necessity #1: Oxbow’s Critical Care – Not just a bag of green dust!

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Ah, Oxbow’s Critical Care. One essential item EVERY bunny mama should add to her Bunny Medicine Cabinet. It not only aids in increasing appetite, but also provides necessary nutrients should your rabbit go off feed (for what could be a plethora of reasons). As I’m sure many of you know, rabbits’ digestive tracts are particularly sensitive. Changing feeds can cause multiple problems, that’s why it’s extremely important to transition feed slowly. Switching feed or brands is not recommended unless it is an urgent matter – “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it!” A simple change in your hay source, an extra handful of rolled oats, or a vegetable they’ve never had before, for example, could cause a slight disruption in their GI Tract. Rabbits are routine creatures – They do best with little change in their diets (which should be high in fiber, low in “extras”, and with an appropriate percentage of protein). Our English Lops, for example, have always been on an 18% protein to maintain optimum coat condition. The ideal protein percentage for the majority of rabbits is 16%.

Oxbow’s Critical Care serves as a recovery aid for rabbits (as well as many other small animals). It consists mainly of Timothy grass meal, ensuring a concentrated formula of Protein (16%), Fat, and Fiber – Three necessities to get your rabbit back on track. Dosing is easy: 1 part Critical Care, 2 parts warm water. If your rabbit refuses to consume it from a dish, it is possible to syringe feed it also. Just feel the abdomen for signs of bloating – If your rabbit seems bloated and lethargic, you may need to go a different route medically, or contact your rabbit-savvy Veterinarian. Filling an already bloated belly is dangerous, and can cause actual ruptures in the stomach itself.

Oxbow's Critical Care Dosage Chart

Oxbow’s Critical Care Dosage Chart

We’ve had success feeding Oxbow’s Critical care. This supplement’s strong aroma attracts even the most stubborn eater – Kits go mad for it! Obviously, Critical Care should not be fed as part of your rabbit’s daily diet. It should be fed sparingly, and by Oxbow’s dosing guidelines (See Above). Being in tune to your rabbit’s digestive system, mannerisms, and likes/dislikes are vital to ensure optimum health. Remember, a healthy bun is a happy bun, and it’s our job to be dedicated to our rabbits’ care and well-being.

Critical Care can be purchased in some pet & feed stores, as well as on Amazon.com.

English Lop babies enjoying a dose of Critical Care.

English Lop babies enjoying a dose of Critical Care.