Caring for a
I never gave up on
Mr. Hops and it was suggested to me 3 times by different vets.
I ended up with a
wonderful and very happy rabbit. It took a year of shots,
pills, diapers, trips to the vet, syringe feedings, etc. and
then more medications for another year. Of course, Hops
didn't feel well when I was rehabilitating him, but he enjoyed his food, the other
rabbits and affection. Most importantly Hops had over 7 years
without medications or apparent health issues. He passed away
suddenly at 9 years old with his companion bunny, Mr. Bumble by his
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 for adoption or purchase.
A three legged
rabbit gets around fine and even paralyzed bunnies have good
lives with their human and other rabbit friends. The internet
is full of wonderful stories and I have listed several links to them
from people who have cared to share their experiences. See
bottom of this page for stories and inspiration.
Find information on "bunny
rabbits who have lost the use of their back legs
Share Your Experience:
If you have a story or advice about living and caring
for a disabled rabbit, please write and I will put it on
Hopperhome and link it to this page
What you need to
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!
Get a couple
of faux lamb's wool baby size blankets or fabric or Quiet Time
Kennel pads (pictured on right) or even cheap soft towels.
By the way, I use the Quiet Time brand pads since they seem to
wash up well and last longer than others.
Be sure the litter box is accessible and see
Scoop on Litter
for one idea 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
Get bag balm ointment (in the green tin at a drug store) to use
for sore hocks, raw skin, etc. Also, vets recommend Desitin
(normally used for diaper rash). If urine scald becomes a
problem your veterinarian has more potent medicines that can be
applied. Be alert for signs of sores on the bottom of the
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.
and keep a bag of
peas in the freezer in case the rabbit has a high
temperature and needs to be cooled down. Lay the rabbit over
the bag (wrapped in a hand towel) on its stomach for a few minutes.
Keep syringes handy for feeding if necessary.
rabbit can't keep on weight, then this is the one time alfalfa
hay is okay to feed your rabbit.
Monitor intake of food and water and switch to alfalfa pellets
and hay to keep weight on. Be sure the bunny doesn't get
rabbit with grooming such as brushing with a soft brush.
Trim fur around the rabbit's bottom to help keep clean if
needed. Buy blunt nosed scissors at a pet store to trim fur.
Remember rabbit skin is fragile and tear easily so be careful.
Some vets recommend diapers. I don't use them now except
in a few cases because it keeps the urine and fecal matter close
to the skin and sometimes creates more issues.
Put the rabbit
where there is activity, but not where there is constant loud noise. Keep the rabbit out of drafts and too much
heat! They may not be able to move to a better spot
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 people who told their stories on
these links think so and I can add my testimony to theirs. I have
seen my rabbits through different illnesses and I expect when they
become geriatric bunnies I will see them through more. All the care
is worth it!
Cats & Rabbits & More in
San Diego wrote me about an online group for people with disabled rabbits. Amy
started the group when her own rabbit, Bijou, became disabled.
There are over 250 people on the list.
Anyone who has a disabled rabbit or a geriatric rabbit should join
to share knowledge and help others.
Go to this link to join
Disabled Rabbit Group at Yahoo
Stories About Disabled Rabbits
Living with a Disabled Rabbit
Very helpful information
and guide to living with a disabled rabbit. Lucky the rabbit has
partial use of one hind leg and full use of his paws.
Fuzzy's Dislocated Hips
Blow by blow description
of dealing with Fuzzy's surgery and care of this rabbit afterward.
Lots of pictures.
Rascal's Stroke and His Travels
This rabbit didn't get
left behind. A stroke left the bunny an invalid, but he had two
years good years with this wonderful couple. Very detailed with lots
How to Diaper Disabled Bunnies by Violet
Excellent instruction on
this difficult, but sometimes needed task when you have an
Quality of Life by Marinell Harriman
This is an excellent
article on the House Rabbit Society website about the "confusion
that exists in people's minds when dealing with crippled, deformed
or less than "perfect" animals. Very good advice from an expert!
Caring for the Partially Paralyzed Rabbit by
Mary's rabbit, Charles,
twisted his back and it resulted in an unhappy ending, but a month
long journey of intensive care for this rabbit. Instructions and
advice on care, keeping bunny clean and happy.