9 Common Causes Of Rabbit Poisoning

1. Human Medications

You must never give medications meant for humans to your rabbit, unless you are specifically instructed by your rabbit’s vet. Never leave your medications in a place where curious rabbits can get to them to nibble on. We all know how bunnies can hop up onto impossible places, unexpectedly. Most human medications are very toxic for a bunny. Even benign over-the-counter medicines such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen can kill your rabbit. Simply don’t leave them laying around in your rabbit’s areas.

2. Insecticides

Insecticide poisoning is much more common than you might think. Almost all bug killers will also kill your rabbit, some in very small doses. Insecticides are intentionally formulated to last a very long time, so their residue can remain for many months. Never use or store insecticides around your rabbit’s abode or play areas.

3. People Food

Chocolate contains theobromine, which is toxic to rabbits. Humans have an enzyme that breaks down this toxic substance, but rabbits don’t. Too much chocolate will cause a high heart rate and seizures for your bunny. Another common toxic food is xylitol (the sugar substitute). Xylitol can cause seizures and liver failure in your pet. one very common human food that can be fatal for your rabbit is chewing gum. If they ingest gum, it can create an obstruction that will not digest. Should you discover that your rabbit has eaten any of these things, it is cause for an emergency visit to his vet.

4. Household Products

Most household detergents and cleaning products can be toxic for your bunny. Never use anything but a diluted vinegar and water solution to clean their abode areas and litter box. If you must use another type of cleaner, try and find an organic cleaner or rinse very thoroughly to remove all traces of it before allowing your rabbit into that spot.

5. Veterinary Medications

Another common toxicity problem is when rabbits receive the wrong amount or wrong medication that was prescribed by his vet. Be certain to go over dosage amounts and times with your vet BEFORE you leave his office. If in doubt, call him and clarify it before giving it to him. Medication dosages for rabbits are precisely measured according to their weight. It is very easy to give him too much, if you are not careful. Never skip dosages and never substitute medication from other pets.

6. Rat & Mice Poisons

You must be extremely careful when putting out poisonous bait for rodents, if at all. You can never let your rabbit become exposed to these deadly products. Most baits are grain based, which can be enticing for a rabbit. Just a few nibbles can result in a slow and painful death for your bunny. Best to not employ these types of rodenticides on your property if you have rabbits.

7. Plants

Most house plants are poisonous to bunnies. Rabbits have lost the ability to distinguish between good and bad foods since becoming domesticated, so rabbits will often ingest parts of a house plant if they can get to it. You should also be careful that plants do not drop or shed leaves and flowers into your rabbit’s area. When allowing your rabbit his supervised play time in the yard, you must be very careful to not allow him to ingest toxic plants that may be present there, as well. Many common backyard plants are poisonous.

8. Lawn and Garden Products

When letting your rabbits run and play on the grass, you must insure that no fertilizers or herbacides have recently been applied. Many public parks now regularly treat their grass with strong long-lasting herbacides to reduce weeds in their grass. These chemicals have been shown to be very bad for pets who eat and play on this grass.

9. Automotive Products

Poisonous anti-freeze and automotive chemicals should never be present in the areas that your rabbit lives, but that does not mean that there are not bunnies who are poisoned by these substances every year. Keep them away from curious bunnies to avoid any chance of accidental poisoning.

If you have any reason to suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please contact your rabbit veterinarian immediately.

101 thoughts on “9 Common Causes Of Rabbit Poisoning

  1. can you please tell me how soon after using soluble fertilzer on grass or milk thistle is it safe for rabbits to eat?

    • Hi Deborah
      I can give you an opinion on the matter, but I am not an expert. The rule of thumb is that we do not allow our rabbit to eat anything that we “know” or suspect has chemicals of any kind on it. Most fertilizers are water soluble and are designed to leach into the soil, but it is going depend on how much watering or rain has occurred since the fertilizer was applied. Several very heavy washings of water are going to be needed, again this will depend on how much fertilizer was used and what kind it was. So this is a very difficult question to know the exact answer.
      If it were me, I would hose down the area completely several times with lots of water. This would take several days. Then, I would allow my bunny limited access inside a pen for a short period of time (1 hour) and then observe him for 48 hours. If no signs of lethargy or loss of appetite are present within a day or two, then you might try doubling the exposure and watching again.
      Of more concern are herbicides or pesticides. These products are designed to last a long time after they are applied and are poisons by nature. Their residue can still be present many months after application.
      Most rabbit people will not use fertilizers on the areas that they know their bunnies will play. Also, do not forget that supervision is paramount when allowing a rabbit to play outside. You cannot take your eyes off them for a minute, or it is only a matter of time before they get themselves into trouble. They dig out and predators can suddenly appear within their area. My little bunny, Star only has one eye from a raccoon attack.
      Thanks for writing and hope this helps a little.
      The Bunny Guy

  2. a few days ago i started feeding my rabbits a different type of pellets from the one i was feeding them initially.at first they were reluctant to eat or ate very little two days later two of them died and twelve hours later two more have died.what could be the cause and what do you reccomend for a cure?i am encountering huge losses and i am desperate for your help.

    • Hi Philip

      I am very sorry that your bunnies have died. It sounds like you have some kind of sickness going through your warren and I think that it is time for a rabbit vet to be consulted. I am not a vet and cannot diagnose diseases in bunnies.

      If just one bunny had gotten sick and died, then I would suspect the food or some other problem, but with four dead bunnies, it is a lot more serious. I fear you may loose them all if you do not seek some kind of medical assistance, right away. It is obvious to me that a serious infection is going through your bunnies. I hope that it is not too late.

      There are medications that can help rabbits in situations like this, but they must be gotten at the vet office. Make sure that you use a vet who sees rabbits every day and not a regular dog and cat vet. There is a huge difference. To find a local rabbit vet, please visit the rabbit.org website and then locate the HRS chapter in your area. Your local House Rabbit Society website will list all the vets in your area that are experienced with rabbits.

      Hope this helps, but I would not delay another minute going to the vet. In situations like this, hours make a huge difference.

      The Bunny Guy

      • I learned the hard way that switching feed can be deathly to any rabbit. Look at the fat content when you switch food you can only change the fat content by 2% a month. And even that is fast. We put my bunnies in a fair and the food the fair fed was 6% higher then my feed. In two days I lost 38 bunnies.

        Hope this helps.

        • Oh my, that is absolutely horrible. I would be devastated beyond belief. When people keep rabbits as pets, most fail to realize how fragile and high maintenance of a pet that they truly are. Simple small things like this can result in huge medical expenses and even death.

    • Can I ask what kind of feed you switched them to? I had the EXACT same thing just happen. I lost 6 bunnies who were seemingly healthy one second and gone the next. 2 survived and will be picked up from the vet tomorrow

      • Hi Bethany
        Diet is the number one mistake that people make with their rabbits.
        I believe that it is one of the top reasons rabbits do not live as long as they could.
        Learning about this will drastically reduce vet visits and illness.
        Pellets were not designed for pet rabbits, they are made for farmers who do not expect their rabbits to live very long.
        Pet rabbits should eat mostly fresh grass hays. 80+% of their diet should be grass hay. The rest can be some fresh greens and maybe a small amount of pellets.
        Some breeds like Rex bunnies, should probably never have pellets after they are adults.
        Pellet fed rabbits have more problems with being over-weight, GI stasis, bloat, fur blockage and teeth issues than rabbits who eat mostly hay. This results in a shorter lifespan on average and more visits to the vet.
        I recommend getting a copy of my book and reading the chapter on diet. Sign up for my newsletter and you can download a highly discounted copy online (*hint*)

        The Bunny Guy

  3. hi i got 2 large female rabbits, i let them out of there hutch or a run around, and now i cant get them back in, i’m scared to pick them up, as i could do it the wrong way & they could bite me, which i don’t want!!!. They want let me near them, just run of when i go out to try!! one day or night a predator could come & get them! help!!!

    • Hi Helen

      We have a lot of things going on here and so I am not exactly sure where to start.

      It is obvious that your bunnies are not happy with their home and do not want to go back there. It is probably because their hutch is too small and probably has a wire bottom. Wire bottoms hurt delicate rabbit feet, especially for Rex and larger rabbits. It causes permanent damage to their feet. Second, most hutches are way too small and if both girls are in the same hutch and they are large like you describe, their house may not be the right size. My rabbits never mind going back to their condo because it is of generous enough size as to be comfortable.

      Before I get into the correct sizing of a rabbit house, the more important issue is the fact that these two girls live in a hutch outdoors. I know this because otherwise you would have never considered letting them run loose free outside to begin with. You mention being worried about predators and for this reason we NEVER allow our pet bunnies to play and run outdoors unsupervised, much less free running… especially in light of the fact that they are not trained to return to their safe abode.

      I recommend learning more about rabbits and finding a safe area in your home for them to live and play. If you continue to let them run and play outdoors and live in an outdoor hutch, it is only a matter of time before they eat something poisonous, are killed by a predator or escape by digging out of your yard. This is absolutely inevitable and it WILL happen if given enough time. If allowed to live safely indoors, a spayed female can live to be ten or more years old. An unspayed female living outdoors will rarely live to be past five or six at the most.

      The sad news is that a rabbit is not safe from predators inside their hutch outdoors. Raccoons can open most of them and rabbits can have heart attacks from being scared to death if a predator comes too near their cage.

      There are several ways to house a rabbit safely indoors, such as using metal dog exercise pens which you can see under link on my site about How To House A Pet Rabbit.

      Hope you decide to make your bunnies happy by giving them a safe new home for the winter.

    • You need to train them before you let them out. I give the command hutch, hutch, and my two come running back, up the ramp and go crazy waiting inside for their treat (raisin, apple, plain cheerio, etc). I only give these certain treats when they return to their hutch so they will associate this behavior with this particular treat.

      Is your hutch big enough to hold both bunnies with lots of room to “flop”? Do you let them out daily? Teach them voice commands inside a room before you release them to the “wild”. I only let my bunnies onto our unfenced front lawn once I was confident that they wouldn’t run off and that they would return when called. This took a few weeks of constant training once we brought them home.

      Try to intice them back in with carrots, apples, grapes.

      Good luck!

      • I do not advocate rabbits living in outdoor hutches. Pet rabbits live indoors and only farm rabbit live outside. There is a big difference between farm and pet rabbit in how we keep them. Please reconsider having your bunnies live in a hutch outside. An indoor x-pen or bunny condo is a much safer and healthier option and you will get to enjoy your pets actually living with you. Please obtain a copy of my book to learn more about the subject.

  4. My bunny eats everything. So, what will happen if my bunny eat something rusty? I’m kinda worry if she eat something like that…

    • Hi Meredith
      You need to “bunny-proof” the area where your bunny lives and plays. The area where he lives and spends most of his time needs to be absolutely safe for him at all time. You cannot watch him 24/7, so he needs a safe area to spend most of his time.
      He should have two or three hours a day of “run time” or play time out to run in a larger room size area. This area should be “bunny-proofed” but not necessarily to the level that his abode area is. Still, you want to have poisonous house plants and any electrical cords protected or removed.
      Rabbits have teeth that grow constantly. They grow 8-10 inches a year. They must chew in order to grind down their teeth. This is why they should have unlimited amounts of fresh grass hay and things to chew on.
      I recommend using Google to search “BUNNY-PROOFING” to learn how to protect your rabbit from chewing the wrong stuff.

  5. Re: Philip and Bethany,
    Sorry to hear what happened! I just had my two rabbits die as well. They died October 11th and 21st, with no apparent symptoms. I had just switched to Kaytee Timothy Complete a couple weeks earlier. I doubt that this was the cause though. I was thinking it was a virus. They did not get into any toxins at my house unless they were in the food or hay. Where do you guys live? I live near the Nh/MA border (US). I have contacted a few local agencies but they told me they haven’t had any reports of viruses going around. My vet didn’t know what caused their deaths. :(

  6. Hi so my bunny is pretty much an inside animal because it has a small hut i let him run around my room for a few hours while I’m watching tv or whatever anyways i cleaned my room today with dusting products for my furniture and did the sides of my windows. will this kill my bunny??

    • Hi Meghan
      Many household products can make your bunny sick and so the best thing to use for cleaning areas that they come in direct contact with is a 50-50 vinegar and water mixture.
      I know how hard it is in a modern world to keep all products away from rabbits, such as fabric softeners and laundry detergents. The best strategy is to keep exposure to these things to a minimum and watch for signs of sickness.
      Rabbits hide when they don’t feel well from their owners. The only way to tell if they are not feeling well is when they will not take their usual food or treats. This is usually a sure sign. Once you notice that your bunny is not feeling right, then the clock starts ticking.
      You will need to be very proactive to make a difference, once you know that something is amiss. This is why having a rabbit specialist vet already lined up and available is critical in advance of any bunny health emergency.
      Hope this helps.
      The Bunny Guy

  7. Iv been given a male indoor rabbit…he has never been outside..hes 4 and has completely stopped eating hay.i feed him on the bags of rabbit food and diff veg and treats.is this normal??

    • Hi Debbie

      I am not sure if you mean that he will only eat his veggies and pellets but not his hay… or do you mean he has stopped eating all together.

      Rabbits typically will not eat hay if they are getting too many pellets or other stuff. Rabbits over 1 year old do not need pellets at all because they were designed for farmers to get bunnies fat quickly so you can eat them, not for pets who live ten to fifteen years.

      I highly recommend that you do some homework on how to properly feed your bunny. A diet that is not mostly hay will result in lots of vet visits and possibly a substantially shortened lifespan.

      If your rabbit has stopped eating all food, he needs to see a vet right away. It is a matter of life and death. Rabbits can die in a matter of 24 hours or less, once they stop eating. They need to eat and poop 24/7 or they are sick and need vet care immediately.

      Rabbits need to see a rabbit specialist vet, not a dog or cat vet. Dog and cat vets will simply not know how to diagnose or treat your rabbit, so please do not waste your time or risk your rabbit’s life by taking them to the wrong kind of vet. Dog and cat vets will certainly see your rabbit but they will not have the experience necessary to do anything useful and may actually harm your rabbit by giving the wrong drugs or making an improper diagnosis. If you need help locating a rabbit specialist vet, please consult the rabbit.org website which will list all the House Rabbit Society chapters and rescues in the USA. Find the one closest to you and then contact them for a list of rabbit approved vets in your area. This is important and should be done before your rabbit ever gets sick. You don’t want to be frantically searching for a vet when your rabbit is deathly sick.

      Thanks for writing
      The Bunny Guy

  8. hi, im Kelly. I have 2 female dwarf bunnies. last night one of them climbed out of their cage and got a hold of my hand cream lotion. they ate 3/4 of it and im very worried about them, I don’t know what to do. will this kill them? I feel horrible, and I keep trying to give them water but they wont drink it I don’t know what to do, do you have any advice?
    thanks

    • Hi Kelly

      This sounds like it could be a serious problem. I do not know what you can give to mitigate the likely toxins in the hand cream.

      Your first concern it make sure that she keeps eating and pooping. If you are lucky, whatever she ate may just pass through with little harm.

      Rabbits are extremely sensitive to anything they ingest, which is why they are used as lab animals. There is no way to undo what has been done because you cannot pump their stomach or make them throw up. Rabbits cannot vomit due to a highly developed cardiac sphincter.

      It sounds like you do not have a rabbit vet specialist for your girls. I always tell people that the time to be looking for a vet is NOT when your bunny is sick or dying. It would be wise to form a relationship with a rabbit vet so that you can always call or get help when necessary. Often the only rabbit vet is hours of driving away. Better to know this prior to need one, than to wait and add hours to the process by having to search for one, first.

      The hand cream may destroy the natural bacteria in the girl’s gut. So if the poisons in it are not fatal, then you will need to restore her ability to eat and drink, to get her insides moving again. Within four to six hours she should have eaten and pooped several times. If she has not, then you will need to assist her. If you do not have the proper tools and materials for this, it is best that she get into a medical situation so that the proper care be given.

      It is very likely that this bun can survive if proper medical care is given ASAP by a real rabbit vet. Do not trust a dog or cat vet to be able to assist her. They will certainly see your rabbit, but they will not have the experience to know what to do. Most of the medicines and procedures done on cats and dogs can be fatal to a rabbit. The biggest mistake you could make would be to assume that a dog or cat vet is OK.

      Rabbits are exotic animals and need an exotic vet who sees a half dozen rabbits a day, not a year.

      Good luck and I hope your little girl makes it.

      The Bunny Guy

      • Please find a REAL bunny vet. 20 years ago I got a bunny from a local pet store. A few days later he became sick. I took him to a local vet and a few days after that he died! I was so ignorant back then as well as society about the care and feeding of these exotic pets.

        I only get bunnies from HUMANE breeders now, although I’m willing to get a rescue bunny next time. As for the vet, my bunnies see a specialist at an exotic veterinary.

        One of my bunnies stopped eating and wasn’t acting his curious nosey self. Wouldn’t eat greens, hay, pellets, even TREATS! Wouldn’t even come out of his hutch. Usually, both bunnies are trying to push right through the gate. I was so worried because luckily, this has NEVER happened to me before.

        I gave him a nice long bunny tummy massage, put 1 teaspoon of infant pedialyte into their water bottle, and prayed all night. The next day he was back to normal.

        God is good. “o)

        • It is true, you must not underestimate the importance of using an exotic small animal veterinarian. Dog and cat vets will gladly let you pay them for them to practice on your pet, but unfortunately I can tell you from experience that it rarely ends well. Successful rabbit vets see five or six rabbits a day, not a year. Do you want to see your vet looking up how to treat your bunny on the internet after you bring him in for a very common problem (I have actually experienced this).

  9. I just bought my son a juvenile Rex bunny& I was told to keep her in pellets for a year before I try to switch her feed. I was wondering if that’s the best thing to feed my little Elsa(bunny) for now anyway?
    I would also like to know in your opinion is it good to hold my bunny a lot?

    • Hi Nikki
      I typed out a long response to your post yesterday but for some reason it seems to have gotten lost, so I am reposting my reply.

      Hold your rabbit every day and as often as possible to socialize them to it. You should learn how to safely pick her up and hold her, first though. When interacting it is even better to get down on the floor. Rabbits are not born liking to be picked up because in the wild when they leave the ground they are about to die. You must work with them and teach them that it is OK. They will learn the opposite if they are dropped when you pick them up. They have great memories and remember any time they were hurt, if even by accident.

      There are several glaring issues in your short post that need to be addressed in my response.

      First is that it is always best to adopt a pet and avoid purchasing them, to reduce the demand for over-breeding. That said, you might want to consider adopting from a rescue or shelter when you go to get your next pet.

      The second thing that I notice right away is that you mentioned buying this rabbit for your son. You do not mention his age, but rabbits are truly not a good kid’s pet. If the child is too young, then it is a disaster waiting to happen because rabbits are so fragile and delicate. If the child is older (say over seven) then they might not accidentally hurt or injure the animal, but they are also not going to be responsible enough to provide the long term commitment (over ten years) and the intricate care that is necessary. This requires very close adult supervision and no child will hold their interest for ten or twelve years that the rabbit will be in your home with proper care.

      This means that the pet bunny is really YOUR pet bunny because it will fall upon you to insure his health and well-being. Also, in ten years when your son is off at college, you are still going to be caring for this bunny (if he is 7 or 8).

      How and what to feed a pet rabbit is some of the most important info that you will need to know. This is especially true for Rex bunnies. They were bred to gain weight very quickly and this translates to being extremely sensitive to being over-fed.

      Baby Rex bunnies should have pellets to help them grow and mature until they are six months old. THEN, I would wean them off of pellets so that by the time they are adults they should not be getting any pellets at all. 85% of a rabbit’s diet is grass hay. Pellets are for farmers to fatten up bunnies so that they can be eaten quickly, not for pet rabbits who live ten or more years. This means that you will need to give her fresh hay every day. She should be eating a lot of hay all the time. When rabbits stop eating for just one day, they can die.

      There is a lot more to your bunny’s diet than that. I recommend getting my book or doing a lot more reading online because if you mess up with feeding this Rex, it will drastically impact her longevity and health (read vet bills).

      Female rabbits have more than a four out of five chance of getting breast or uterine cancers and tumors if they are not spayed by the time they are four years old. You are basically sentencing your girl to a horrible death by cancer if you do not get her spayed. In order to spay a pet rabbit you must seek out an exotic pet vet. To help locate one in your area, visit rabbit.org and find the local chapter or rescue in your area for rabbits. When you visit the site for your local House Rabbit Society chapter, they will have a list of the rabbit vets for your area. You can also Google local rabbit rescues and ask them directly who to use. This is critical and is part of having a pet bunny, just like having a good dog or cat vet is part of having a dog or kitty.

      One last thing… please remember that rabbits need to see special these veterinarians, ONLY. You cannot take a rabbit to a dog or cat vet. It takes a lot of experience to treat and diagnose bunnies. Your dog and cat vet will not know how to do this and it will only end badly (trust me on this one). Of course, they will take your money and try and treat your bunny, but do not expect to bring the bunny home every time (been there and done that).

      I know I threw a lot of stuff at you, but all of that needed to be said from what you asked in your post. There is a lot to learn about keeping a pet bunny and what you don’t know WILL hurt them. You have chosen a particularly challenging breed because of their special dietary issues.

      You will learn how having a pet bunny can be very rewarding, but it will require some serious effort on your part and you will not learn it from the bunny. Expecting to learn how to care for a rabbit from a rabbit is like trying to learn how to take care of children from a two year old.

      Stephan
      The Bunny Guy

  10. Hi
    It was very hot out yesterday and I decided to put an ice bag under the grate in my rabbit’s litter box. Today I realized a corner had been nibbled off and Inside there is the gel stuff. I know that I should call my vet but until then what should I do??? Please Help!

    • Hi
      As far as I know, that gel is very toxic stuff. I would definitely call a poison control info center to find out what was in the gel and then call your vet. I sure hope it is not too late and that your bunny gets past this.
      THIS is why we NEVER use those gel cooler bags with rabbits. They will always chew them if they can get at them. Better to never use them. We use frozen water in plastic bottles, then put it inside a sock to control the sweating. The sock is not necessary, but helps with the condensation.
      Good luck
      The Bunny Guy

  11. I just got a baby bunny, who is approx 2 months old. I got a huge playpen (that’s supposed to hold a dog) and put a waterproof blanket underneath it to create a spacious home for the little guy. After having him a month, I was able to litter train him. I have been feeding him a lot of timothy hay, a half cup of pellets per day, along with a fresh salad with lots of different vegetables in it. Also, Iput a few peices of fresh fruit on the top of his salad. I get him out, and enclose him in the living area where I sit and let him play. He jumps and spins a lot and eats very well. I have done a lot of reading on how to take care of my little guy so he can live a long healthy life. He is indoor all the time unless I hold him outside to enjoy nice weather. I have grown very attached to him quickly and want him to have the best. Can you tell me, based on all that I’ve told you, if there is anything I should do different or in addition to this to better care for my baby? Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    • Hi Brittany

      I am glad that you want to do the best you can to learn about your new pet bunny. They will do the best if you learn in advance what the potential problems can be, before they arise.

      My first suggestion would be to watch the amount of pellets and fruit that he gets. While young and growing, they will not affect his health as much, but once he becomes an adult they can become a detriment to his well-being. He actually needs the alfalfa based pellets while a juvenile, but after he is six months old I would switch him to a Timothy hay based pellet. There is a big difference.

      The amount of pellets is critical because just a little bit too much over the long term can really add up and cause problems. Mine get a teaspoon to a tablespoon a day of Timothy pellets because they get their salad each day. It is too much to get the maximum pellets and then the maximum salad and then treats and fruit on top of that, too. This will lead to obesity and very early death due to health complications.

      I enjoy giving them a varied salad, so I cut back on their pellets a lot. They get some that they eat quickly, but then I do not give them more than the small amount I mentioned. You should not regulate pellets that much while they are growing (up to six months old) quickly, because they need the extra protein and calories in order to grow.

      Once they are adults, though you need to watch their diets very closely. It is the number one reason rabbits will die young. It leads to many many health complications, most of which are irreversible once the bunny gets sick. The time to consider these problems is before they happen and diet is key.

      Lots and lots of fresh grass hay (not alfalfa after he is full grown, unless for a special treat), a daily salad of four or five different kind of greens twice the size of the bunny’s head and a VERY small amount of pellets (if any at all, since they don’t need pellets to be healthy). Make sure that your rabbit is not allergic to any of the greens that you give him. This means be extra careful when introducing new greens to your rabbit. Upset tummies can lead to gas and bloat, which is a serious problem in rabbits. I have written articles about how to introduce new foods to your bunny and you should try and read on that subject.

      Lastly, you need to seriously monitor your bunny’s fruit and treats. These are high calorie foods that usually are not part of a wild rabbit’s diet. They replace a lot of their most important food, which is hay. Just think how much hay you replace with a high calorie piece of fruit. I have also found that sugars change the chemistry inside your bunny’s gut. It can actually cause intestinal distress in rabbits who don’t get it regularly, which tells me it is bad for them. If I have to give it to them all the time in order to get their gut used to the extra sugar, then better to not get them used to getting that extra sugar at all.

      Replace that sugary food with healthy treats like a big sprig of parsley or cilantro or a timothy hay cube, you will be much better off and stay out of the veterinarians office more, too. I try and teach people to not “fall into the treat trap”, where you get your bunny used to getting these treats all the time. This is because they will beg you for them all day long, if you get them used to them. They are smart and know how to push our buttons. If they get a treat for jumping up in your lap and licking your face, prepare to have a very wet face all the time. Rabbits live for treats and will repeat behavior to get them over and over. This is why it is so easy to train pet bunnies. They literally will do almost anything for a treat.

      Good luck and let me know how things go with your new friend.
      The Bunny Guy

  12. I have questions concerning wild rabbits. About a month ago, we found 4 dead rabbits in our back yard in one weekend. 1 on Friday, 2 on Saturday , then another one on Sunday. They don’t have any sign of being attacked or injured. Then 4 days ago, we saw one stuck in a groove in the grass, trying to move but his lower half of the body seemed paralyzed. We were going to help him out, but got distracted with our babies, and by the time we remember get to him about 2 hours later, he has died.
    I have been feeling so upset and guilty for not helping the poor thing. However, more concerned about not knowing what’s going on. Is this a sign of an infectious disease or poisons? We just moved into our house over a month and the previous owner did not take care of the yard. It has a “wild”, out of control garden, which I don’t know what all the plants are. ( we plan to rip that garden out in a couple of weeks.) We also notice the next door neighbor is obsessed with his lawn, always keeping it green and clean. Maybe he put something out? As bad as it sounds, but we’re hoping that poisons were the cause rather than an infectious disease, because now we’re afraid to hang out in the back yard. What do you think and what do you suggest we do? Every morning I’m afraid to look out the back yard and see another dead rabbit.

    • Sounds more like a poison but it is definitely possible that it could be a disease. I know so little about wild rabbits and even less about their medical conditions. Wish I could be more help. The good news is that wild rabbits survive by mass producing and so they will quickly re-populate if there is not a pathogen present. Rabbits are considered pests in many communities, so it is quite likely that a neighbor or even the city is using something. Often, the local residents are not aware that this is even going on. If it continues, I would definitely report this to your local health department or city official. It is not normal for this to occur, to my knowledge.

  13. Hi friend I was having two female rabbit they were more than cute and beautiful. They were very friendly .my problem is something like LINDA(above).one fateful morning I saw one of them lying in her box and another was seems to good I pulled her out and I saw she was not moving. like paralyzed she just lie on ground neither walking nor eating but last night she was eating and she died on 21st Aug in the same day another rabbit was good but after evening she also left moving.like paralyzed she stops eating another day in morning I was getting ready to take her to hospital as soon as I put her in her box and picked the box she starts shaking her legs and opened her eyes very much and DIED in front of my eye she died yesterday on 22 Aug. Both of my children like rabbit died. I remember I had given them on 21 Aug night grass from outside from where I daily give them grass.My both children like rabbits died. I am not getting a possible reason of their death can you tell me. I cried

    • It is hard to say why your bunnies died. It is very sad and I know that I would be crying, too.

      People need to understand that rabbits are fragile and delicate pets. They are very sensitive to many things in the environment, from household cleaners to house plants. Anything like that could have poisoned your bunnies. Virtually all household cleaners and soaps are toxic for rabbits. So are most house plants and many outdoor plants. Rabbits are a domestic animal, so they do not know poisonous plants from good ones, like wild rabbits do.

      I recommend NOT getting another rabbit until you learn what hurt your bunnies, otherwise this will most likely happen again.

      The Bunny Guy

    • I know it’s almost a year later but I thought I should put this up for anyone else stopping by. If the grass you were giving them was treated recently, or if you live near some farms( runoff chemicals) the grass could have toxins on it. But the other thing is if you were giving them grass clippings( like from mowing the lawn) then that may have been it. Grass clippings no matter how small the amount, ferment and become toxic to rabbits. A friend of mine, had someone watching her rabbits and he didn’t know, so he gave all of them grass clippings trying to be helpful and sadly a lot of them died. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  14. I rescued 3 baby dwarf bunnies 3 days ago because mother sadly died. We fed them kitten formula and within 24 hours were doing great. Last night we started giving them grass an pro biotic vitamins in their water. This morning we woke up to 1 dead and the others close to death. My thoughts are 1 vitamins could’ve been to strong, 2 the grass we picked may have pesticides on it, or 3 a virus. I wanna try to get fluids in them as much as possible to hopefully push out any toxins of any. But what can I do? What can I do to help them?

    • The babies probably needed mother’s milk and rabbits do not eat grass, especially babies. Rabbits eat Timothy hay and Orchard grass, not lawn grass which makes even adult rabbits sick if they eat too much. Unless you can find a nursing mother rabbit, I am afraid that you will most likely lose the other babies, too if they are too young to have been removed from their mommy.

    • I know it’s almost a year later but I thought I should put this up for anyone else stopping by. Rabbit’s milk is very rich and dense. Kitten formula may work but it isn’t rich enough. What I would suggest for very young rabbits is this mixture:
      2 cups of 2% milk
      2 egg yolks
      2 tbsp powdered milk
      2 tbs corn syrup
      Feed lukewarm
      They don’t need too much of this at a time but they get it twice a day. Every day. Only feed them as much as they will eat quickly. If they are still hungry they will pucker their lips out to try and get more. Good luck to anyone raising rabbits without a mother, it’s hard but if you feed them and keep them warm then they should grow up fine.

      • Dear bunny man, my bunny likes to hide behind my toilet and a plastic tube of bacitracin was on the floor and I couldn’t see it and she ate part of the tube and some of the ointment. Will it kill her?

        • If your bunny is still alive at this time, then he obviously survived. The problem with ingesting antibiotics in rabbits is that they kill all of the important bacteria inside their guts. This causes a major bloom of bad bacteria which can result in death or severe sickness. I hope that your little bunny did not have this kind of reaction, but it emphasizes the importance of only letting our pet bunnies play in areas that are totally bunny proofed and safe for them. Another common problem is fallen leaves from common house plants. Most house plants are deadly poison to bunnies, so check the floor often around where they reside or remove them altogether from the home or bunnies play areas.

  15. Hello!
    I’d just like to say, thank-you for taking your time to provide such wonderful answers and reassurance to so many bunny lovers.
    I too have a quick question, but can’t find any information on it. My grass that i pick for my bunny so he has something to nibble on during the night and rainy days, has developed rust disease problems (Little brown circular spots on the blades of grass) and i was wondering if you had any idea if it was safe for my to let him eat and walk among the affected grass (since when hes out to run i cant really pick what he’s eating), i would treat the grass, but most of the products are toxic to bunnies and i have no idea what i should do with this situation…?
    Thankyou for any help you can give, it is much appreciated,
    Jessica

    • To be honest, I would only be guessing if I gave your an answer. I tend to think that bunnies are exposed to this stuff all the time and I would think that it would not be exceptionally toxic for them, but I am just supposing.
      I hope that you are providing lots of fresh grass hays for your bunny. I order many different kinds online for my bunnies to enjoy, if it is not available freshly for your rabbits in your area. Forget about buying most of that stuff sold in pet stores. Those small bags of hay are usually very dry and powdery. My bunnies will not eat that stuff. I get my hay fresh from feed stores that sell it to people with horses.
      Then I supplement the stuff I buy at the feed stores with specialty hays that I obtain online. I try and keep at least three or four kinds of hay around all the time for my bunnies. As a result, my rabbits will eat a lot of hay, every day.
      Throughout the day, I will take a handful of their current favorite and toss it on top of their litter box. They will stop whatever they are doing to come nom on it. Right now their favorite hay is the Orchard Grass being sold at http://www.smallpetselect.com and the wonderful thing about that company is that they will ship it for free if you purchase $40 worth of products. I have not found one rabbit who does not agree. Try some of that stuff and I bet your bunny will drop everything each time you put some out for him.
      The Bunny Guy

  16. Hi,
    I want to know if my bunny has ingested mice poison pellet (around two small pellets). what course of action should be needed? I am keeping an eye on him since one hour and behaviour is normal and eating his food as usual.
    PLEASE ADVISE ASAP

    • I am sorry to say that your bunny is going to die if he ate that mouse poison. The poison is designed to go into the stomach and to destroy the inside of the animal. It takes some time to work, but almost any amount is deadly.

      It is very sad to say this, but this is why rabbits cannot be let to run loose in a place that has not been properly “bunny-proofed”. It breaks my heart to read this because it happens all the time.

    • No, rats and mice can tolerate a lot of junk in their diet that would make a bunny sick. They can eat meat and proteins that rabbits would convert to carbs. Rats can eat seeds and nuts that rabbits could not digest due to the fats in them. Never feed rat food to a bunny.

        • Rat and rodent treats are very bad for bunnies. It can cause serious health problems. Rat treats are very high in fat. Rabbits cannot digest fats and they can cause intestinal problems for the rabbit. Do not feed those to your bunny or you risk him becoming sick or dying.

    • All rabbits can die from severe fright. If you are scaring your bunny traumatically so that he is panicking, then it is possible. I have never heard of it happening before but I am sure that it can and has happened.

      • My bunny died around 5-10 minutes after I took a few photos with a flash camera. She was laying down on his belly (stretched) when I took the photos and then she curled into a fetal position. So I picked her up and brought her to bed with me, she then ran towards me stomach(as she usually did) and sat there for a few minutes . Next thing I know she is spasming. She stopped but was unable to sit and after a while started to gasp for air. I was helpless and didn’t know what to do. Then she continued to spasm until she passed away. Do you believe it was the flash that may have caused this even thought it occurred several minutes after?

  17. Hello! I have two bunnies and I keep them in a cage in my room and today my mom used some spray insecticid in my room and hers (my bunnies were in the living room, wich is far from my room) and I wanna know how much should I keep the bunnies out of my room until it’s safe for them to stay there. My mom said the insecticid is kinda low and humans don’t even feel it and it’s no harm for us, but I can’t know if it’s harmless for the bunnies too.

    • I am sorry to say that the insecticide DOES hurt rabbits and they are designed to last a long time, even when you wash them away. It is definitely not harmless and can have an effect even when you think it is gone. The manufacturers put an oil into them so that they are long lasting but this means that they are difficult to remove and will be there a while. For this reason, we never use these around our bunnies or places that they will ever be.

  18. Hi my rabbit is clearly very weak n not her self. took her to vets n check her over and said she was nice but ad mites which i got the treatment for. Since iv been home she as ad a nose bleed n her eyes keep rolling in her head, i dont know what it is. Could it be posining as they r outside rabbits and should i split her up from the boy incase he catches it?
    thanks

    • Oh my word. This bunny is clearly dying. Sounds like poison or some kind of serious condition such as myxomatosis. I a sorry but your vet must not know anything about rabbits. Never take a rabbit to a dog or cat vet because what you are describing will be the result every time. They cannot diagnose or treat anything for a bunny and you have just wasted precious time. I fear it may already be too late. You MUST locate a rabbit vet and take your bunny there. Depending on where you live, it may be a couple hours drive to a competent rabbit vet. In order to locate the nearest rabbit specialist vet, visit rabbit.org and then click the link on the left side of the page for the nearest location to you. Once on the site for the nearest House Rabbit Society chapter, they will maintain a list of competent rabbit vets for that area. You must get this bunny to a vet ASAP if it is not already too late.

      • She sadly pass away this morning was horrible to see her like that and was amazed the vet cleared her. My other one seems fine so think its something she has eaten. No more running free in the garden got big run he will have to stay in. im worried bout him now being by his self as they were both together as babies. If i got a new female rabbit would he expect her he quite plasive nature. I might leave it month make surr he okay n so he can finishes his treatment of the mites iv got for him

        • I did what u said about looking up specalist vets and the top on was where i took my rabbit so defintily wont be goin there again

  19. hi,, my bunny is not eating properly,, she got infected by cold,, and vet suggested her amoxcillin ,,,then also she never ate anything and feeling tired too,,,, she is not urinating properly,,, what are the solutions for this,,, shall i give her milk,, she is one year old

    • Bunnies should not have milk or antibiotics from a non-rabbit vet. Most antibiotics will kill your rabbit. Your vet is obviously not familiar with rabbits because I am pretty sure that giving your bunny amoxicillin will be fatal. You need to find a rabbit vet specialist to help this rabbit. Dog and cat vets will not know anything about the bunny or how to help her. This is very important.

  20. I let my bunny in the play in the grass and she ate some of it their was poison in it that I just found out could that kill her?

    • Of course it can kill her. You will need to watch her for any change in appetite or behavior and if she appears off, such as refusing her regular food or does not want to move, then she will need to see a rabbit specialist vet right away.

  21. Hi I think I know the answer to this question and am kicking myself badly for this but just want to make sure i am right. i have had 2 of my rabbits die in the past week and the only thing i recently changed in their diets was giving them banana peel and apple peels and hay. (not sure if its Timothy Hay) I am thinking I am I either gave them to much Hay or To much fruit treats or maybe a combination of both can you please email me and answer my question thank you for your time

    • Rabbits should not eat banana peels. Apple peels are not toxic but the seeds of an apple contain poison. In order to not hurt your rabbits, you need to study about them and learn how to properly feed and care for them. IF you do not know how to feed them, I bet you also do not know a lot of other things like that they cannot tolerate heat or should not be outdoors so that predators can get them.

  22. I sprinkled baby powder in my rabbit cage after I cleaned it, will that hurt him ? I’m scared he’s going to break out in a rash or hurt him in any way? Help Please!!

    • Baby powder is bad for rabbits because their noses are low to the ground so when they breathe, they inhale the powder. This can cause severe respiratory problems, so do not put baby powder in any areas where your rabbit lives or plays.

  23. My bunnies ate grass and lader I found out that it had fertilizer but they only had a little I gave them it once a day it was only two days but this furtlizer kill all are fish in the pond are they going to die if so how can I save them

    • Fertilizer kills fish because it removes all the oxygen from the water, not because it is a deadly toxin. Still, it is probably not good for a rabbit, but at this point, I doubt that the bunny will be harmed. Just make sure that he does not eat any more of it. Beware when allowing your rabbit to eat grass outdoors because many people use herbacides and weedkillers which ARE deadly toxins and WILL kill a bunny.

  24. Is it true that bunnies live longer when the are fixed cause one of my rabbits is not fixed and he is turning 14 this month

  25. Also some reason my youngest dose not eat to much and he is getting verry moody he is 5 months old one time I reached in the cage to get him and he tried to scratch me he stood on his hind legs and scratched me and my oldest bunny is always making a weird noies when I pick him up or pet him it’s like a girding teeth but it sometimes sounds like heavy breathing

  26. Hi. Whenever I take a bath I let my bunny roam around the bathroom with me. She usually likes to hide beside the toilet. Today I forgot to check and make sure that area was safe for her to be in and after I put her in her cage, I went back in the bathroom to make sure it was all cleaned up, I noticed a red pill beside the toilet that was half way gone. It is a pill for urinary pain. I’m really scared my bunny will die. She’s acting fine now it’s been about 15 minutes since I saw the pill.

    • I sure hope that your bunny is OK. All medications and even vitamins can cause fatal reactions in a rabbit. I am hoping that you were lucky and that this worked out fine. I am always worried about exact problem at my house because an errant pill or vitamin that is eaten by a rabbit is very serious.

  27. Please help somebody! My 10 month old little bunny ate mint bubble gum. My brother said he wanted to play with my little bunny, but he fed it 3 pieces of trident bubble gum. I tried to get it out of its mouth but it bit me every time I tried to touch it. My bunny is never like this, he has always been sweet and cuddly, and has never bitten anyone before. I don’t know what to do. :,( I am very scared.

    • Gum is indigestible. Hopefully it will pass through the bunny without a problem but if it does not, then it can cause a serious obstruction. Obstructions in rabbits are expensive to try and fix and the success rate is about 1 in 10. I hope for your bunny’s sake that this does not cause this problem. This is why rabbits ARE NOT a suitable pet for children. Have you told your parents that he did this to your bunny? They need to be informed and your brother needs to have a conversation with your parents about not harming him again. Reading this post makes me very very sad.

  28. Hi,
    One of our mini rex’s – an unfixed 5.5 yr old pedigree buck – suffered the
    following before his death a few days ago. I am wondering if you can comment
    1) did the antibiotic and/or the metacam kill him
    2) why did he scream so much. He never made a sound before
    3) And what should we do with the mate who lives in the pen next to his
    – does she know he died – she seems to be waiting by his pen a lot. Thanks.
    (we removed the buck right after death but she was there when he screamed).

    symptoms before death:
    – ingested anemone
    – pain in the lower abdomen
    – losing weight from 2.54lb to 1.8lb in 2-3 months despite voracious
    appetite till before death
    – drank normal amount of water, peeing fine
    – normal poop, in between tarry mushy poop. At the end tiny ill-shaped poop bits
    – weakness in hind legs
    – both eyes got conjunctivis but were healing a bit
    – right foot lost strength and knee buckled inwards under abdomen
    about few days before death
    – went to the vet 2 days before death
    – got ofloxacin eye drop (and I dropped 2-3 drops by mistake instead
    of one drop) from the vet, used twice in 24 hours per instruction
    – gave metacam once per instruction
    – refused to drink water for 24 hours before death

    During death:
    – screamed 4 long screams and went quiet
    – tears welled up (I wiped them off several times and he blinked 2-3 times)
    – spasm’d
    – gasped twice

    • This rabbit was in terrible pain and died a horrible painful death. Did your vet not tell you this? It makes me wonder if the vet that you saw was even a rabbit vet? Rabbits do not see dog and cat vets, they must see a specialist. The medicines used for cats and dogs can be deadly for bunnies and it takes experience with rabbits to know the proper medications and procedures to save a sick rabbit’s life. This is a very sad story to read and I cried for your bunny. I wish you would ask a person whose job it is to help sick bunnies these questions. I am not a vet and do not know very much about sick bunnies. There is no way for me to know or even guess what horrible tragedy befell this poor bunny.

      • Thank you for your comments.

        I drove 30 mins to a vet that has experience with bunnies but when I got there, he just left the clinic. Then I drove back to another clinic and the vet was not a bunny vet but had seen bunnies before. He did one thing good which was to give the bunny sub-q fluids. The bunny perked up and
        his condition improved and was active and then after those eye drops and metacam, he went into death, all within 24-36 hours.

        • It is hard to understand how fragile and high maintenance bunnies truly are until you lose one like this. Your story really broke my heart. I think because I have gone through these things myself and often there is not a lot that can be done. This is why I preach a proper diet and regular vet care so that hopefully some of these episodes can be prevented. So sorry for your loss and hope you find it in your heart to give another bunny a good home.

  29. My rabbit had a very bad olser (don’t no how to spell it ) to the point they had to take out his eye he was fife for two years tell the same thing happened but we saved it in time but his vet gave him antibiotics witch gave his the worst diarrhea but his eye still won’t get better -he is a male lion head who is 14 years old- but he won’t lose his good attitude do u no any thing that could help my baby I have another rabbit who is also a male lionhead but is 7 months how much time do u think he has left I take the best of care for him and my other one and I need to no how much time he might have left

    • Is he seeing a rabbit specialist vet and not a dog and cat vet, right? Do not expect a dog and cat vet to be of much help with your older pet boy rabbit. Most dog and cat vets have never seen a 14 year old rabbit, much less know how to treat one. I recommend finding the BEST rabbit specialist you can find in your area and asking him these questions. I am very bad at rabbit medical advice and would hate to give you advice that would end up hurting your precious little boy. Good luck. If you need help locating a rabbit specialist vet, let me know.

  30. I admire your ability to say, ” I don’t know.” Most people on the internet can’t get themselves to admit they don’t know everything! I especially laughed when you said you don’t really know what is in Hermit Crab Food. ha ha I didn’t even know there was such a thing as Hermit Crab Food! Thanks for your information about rabbits. Best wishes to you and your friends.

  31. My baby bunny was a rescue. Wild, she was in my yard and I saved her from the neighborhood cats. I had her just over 2 months. She seemed healthy. Very playful. Until today, in a matter of minutes she seemed to act weird. She kept stretching out and rolling to her side. She did poop add well. But when the episode started she wouldn’t eat. She normally ate fresh veggies and greens. I let her rest for not even 20 minutes, checked on her and she was laying on her side, unresponsive. I lost my baby and I can’t stop crying over her. Any idea what happened?

    • Sounds like this bunny had some kind of problem such as bloat that killed her. This could be due to feeding her all those veggies and greens. 80% of a rabbit’s diet should be grass hays, not veggies. Too many veggies can cause this kind of problem, especially in babies. So sorry for the little bunny.

  32. Hi im only 13 but i love my bunnies very much. My bunny is a girl her name is pepper. My brothers is a boy he is called albi. Pepper has only had 1 litter of babies and about to have her 2nd. She is biting the hay into little bits. Should i be concerned or is she just making a new nest cause thats what she did last time? Pls reply.
    Cody.

    • All of my pet bunnies have been spayed and neutered. I know absolutely nothing about breeding rabbits because I do not believe in breeding pets when so many are in the shelters needing a home. So I am not able to give you any advice.

  33. Hi, my bunny has recently learned how to use the things around him to get up into high places and one of the high places is my bed. I chew a lot of gum and there are always gum packs lying around. He tries to eat the gum packet to get to the gum, but before he can do much harm I always catch him. Recently he has also been very fund of the trash can. I found him in there the other day and saw that he was jumping in to find my gum that I had chewed and thrown away. I tried to pull it out of his mouth but he was determined to eat the rest and kept biting me. He’s also gotten into big peace lilies that we have around the house and about two bubbles of chocolate. My mom is telling me that it’s too late if those things are fatal to him. I would like to know if it is. Thanks.

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