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    Rabbit Health and First Aid

    Rabbits can be social animals that respond well to handling, but they are quite fragile and must be handled with care. Rabbits are fragile animals whose bones are so delicate that the muscles in their powerful hind legs can easily overcome the strength of their skeletons. As a result and if not properly restrained, struggling rabbits can break their own spines. To pick up your rabbit, place one hand underneath the front of the rabbit and the other hand underneath his back side, lifting him carefully with both hands and bringing him against your body. Never let a rabbit’s body hang free, and never lift a rabbit by the stomach or by the ears. Children should always be supervised when handling rabbits.

    Bunny Bathrooms

    Just like cats, rabbits can easily learn to use a litter box. Place a litter box in the cage to encourage this behavior. If your rabbit roams freely through multiple rooms of your home, it’s a good idea to have litter boxes in several places. Many rabbits enjoy spending time relaxing in their litter box, so make sure that it is of ample size. For bedding (litter), stay away from wood shavings, especially cedar and pine, which may cause liver damage or trigger allergic reactions in rabbits. Also avoid clumping or dusty kitty litters, which can cause serious health problems if eaten. Instead, stick with organic litters made of paper, wood pulp, or citrus. Newspaper can work too, but may not be as absorbent as you need it to be. Be sure to put fresh hay in the litter box daily, as many rabbits like to have a snack while sitting in their litter box.

    Rabbit Digestion

    If your rabbit stops eating or develops digestive issues such as diarrhea, reduce the amount of pellet food and increase the amount of long-stem grass hay. This will provide your rabbit with an extra dose of fiber that is digested more slowly, stabilizing the microbial fermentation in the cecum, or part of the large intestine that receives waste material from the rabbit's small intestine.

    If the problem persists, contact your veterinarian.

    Spaying and Neutering Rabbits

    Spaying or neutering your rabbit is very important, unless you are embarking on a special project to breed rabbits for a 4-H or FFA project or other agricultural purposes. Aside from preventing unwanted litters of baby rabbits, spaying or neutering has health and behavior benefits to rabbits. Neutering male rabbits eliminates the risk of testicular cancer and can reduce aggression and territory-marking behaviors. Female rabbits have extremely high rates of reproductive cancers as they get older, but spaying them can eliminate those potential problems.

    Rabbit Stress

    Extremes in temperature, quick changes in the diet, and environmental conditions such as wind, rain, and sun can all cause stress to your rabbit. Also, predator animals such as dogs and cats within visible range can also cause your rabbit to become tense and irritable. Stress can lead to digestive upset and diarrhea, which is one of the top causes of death in rabbits.

    How to Put Together a First Aid Kit for Rabbits

    Here are some supplies you should keep on hand for rabbit care:

    PRODUCT PURPOSE

     Safety Glasses

     Eye protection while cleaning rabbit cage or hutch

     Face Mask

     Nose and mouth protection while cleaning rabbit cage or hutch

     Rubber Gloves

     Safe handling of fecal matter, injured or sick rabbits

     Rubbing Alcohol

     Sterilization of surfaces that have some into contact with feces, urine or other bio-hazard materials

     Hydrogen Peroxide

     Treat cuts and open wounds on a rabbit

     Gauze

     Treat cuts and open wounds on a rabbit

     Wound Antiseptic

     Treat cuts and open wounds on a rabbit

     Band-Aids

     Treat cuts and open wounds on a rabbit

     Antibiotic Ointment

     Treat cuts and open wounds on a rabbit

     Medical Tape

     Treat cuts and open wounds on a rabbit

     Surgical Blade

     Lancing

     Anti-bacterial cloths

     Sanitation for hands

     Nail Clippers

     Trim rabbit's nails

     Wire Cutters

     Trim teeth

     Spray Bottles

     Apply liquids

     Cotton Balls

     Apply liquids

     Tweezers

     Apply liquids

     Terramycin Ointment

     Weepy or watery eyes on a rabbit

     Neosporin Ointment

     Sore hocks

     Mineral Oil

     Rabbit ear mites or hair ball

     Papaya Tablets

     Hairball treatment

     Syringes

     Mineral oil dosages

     Q-Tips

     Swab rabbit's ears or nose

     Blue Star Ointment

     Ringworm

     Instant Cold Packs

     Prevent rabbit from overheating