Information That Can Save Your Rabbit’s Life!!!
Is your bunny not eating, refusing a favorite treat, or hunched in a corner not moving?
TAKE THE BUNNY'S TEMPERATURE. This is something every bunny owner should know how to do BEFORE IT IS AN EMERGENCY! Use a flexible digital thermometer and lubrication. Have a bottle of liquid simethicone (baby gas medicine) as well as a plan for warming or cooling the bunny if necessary. If you are in the midst of an emergency, please watch this this how-to video by the GHRS! It shows step by step instructions and includes some must know information: Additional information and Video on how to take your bunny's temperature
Anything above 103°F is a fever!
Between 101°F to 103°F is normal.
Anything below 101°F is considered hypothermia which is more dangerous than a fever!
More instructions for taking a rabbit’s temperature can be found here: http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare/sickbun.html
If temp is above 103°F, cool them down (high temps can cause seizures and brain damage).
Suggested methods to cool down your bunny safely:
Fill a bottle with cold water and keep it against the rabbit. Make sure the bottle has a good seal.
Wet a towel with cold water, wring it out as completely as possible, shake it in the air to get it cool, and wrap it around the rabbit. Do your best not to get the bunny wet.
If temp is below 101° F , warm them up. (Your bunny is hypothermic and their systems could shut down; it also will slow down the food in their GI tract and can their absorption of medications.)
Suggested methods to warm your bunny:
Fill a bottle with hot water, wrap a small towel around it, and put it against the rabbit. Make sure the bottle has a good seal. (WARNING: As it cools, it will begin to take heat away from the rabbit, so check it every 20 minutes)
Heat a microwavable “bunny warmer” and then place it against the rabbit. (Make sure it isn't hot to the touch or you could burn your bunny.)
Heat a bath towel in a microwave, 30 seconds at a time and when it is very warm, wrap it around the rabbit. This doesn’t last long, but it gives heat all over the body. (Warning: Do not allow your rabbit to get wet! Getting wet may cause the rabbit’s body temperature to drop faster!)
Use a heating pad to cover your bun, allowing plenty of space to move away if they get too hot. The heating pad should have a soft, absorbent cover and the cord should be keep out of reach of your bunny.
At the first signs of GI STASIS, take the appropriate action after taking your bunny's temperature (as listed above) to maintain your rabbit's temperature until you can get to a rabbit savvy vet. If you rabbit is not eating, drinking, pooping, and not hopping around, you need to act immediately. Your rabbit can die from this in a matter of hours if you do not know what to do. Please read the article GI Stasis, The Silent Killer for more information on GI Stasis.
If your rabbit’s head starts to tilt to one side and stays, if they keep losing their balance or rolling, get them to the vet immediately for the appropriate medications! Getting fast medical attention can mean the difference between a short recovery with no lasting effects or a lengthy recovery and possibly permanent condition with the head tilting up to 90 degrees. Once severely tilted, you will have to give continuous care because the rabbit will not be able to eat, drink or sleep on its own. If your rabbit is struggling with head tilt, please call us for some tried and true suggestions to help your rabbit while he or she is recovering.
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