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Dear Dana,

Our rabbit was hospitalised with GI stasis which gut stimulant injection failed to overcome. Blood tests showed signs of renal dysfunction and possible E. caniculi as potential underlying problem. Gut stimulators, fluids (sub-Q then via drip) brought her round to eating and pooing again (including caecos) and she was started on Paracur just in case. She was grooming and hopping around happily enough inhospital and we brought her home two hours ago.

When we let her out of her carrycage she bolted madly around the room, knocking her head on furniture, and has since visited various corners in which she buries her head like an ostrich. She's obviously terrified and doesn't seem to recognise her home.

We've tried to leave her quiet and let her settle and have covered where she's hiding with a towel. I put some hay nearby for her to smell. We've left the lights on medium so that it's not really bright but not so dark that there are lots of scary shadows.

Please can you think of anything else that might help her settle in? I've read lots of your articles and if anyone knows I think you will. We asked our vets who have been v good with the medical treatment but I don't think any of them actually live with rabbits.

Simba doesn't have a friend, unfortunately, only us. We love her dearly and I'm worried about neurological damage as she did seem to show a bit of head tilt (and maybe can't see too well?) but it's hard to tell until she settles down and it's so hard to see her traumatised like this. We feel really bad that she's been through all this treatment and has ended up scared out of her wits.

Also we should be giving her more gut stimulant tonight and I don't know if that would be a good idea when she's in this state.

Hope you can help.

Many thanks,


Sorry this is a repeat question as I don't think I indicated the urgency previously

Dear Patricia

I'm sorry for the delay.  I had a death in the family and I'm still trying to catch up after losing 14 days.

How is she doing now?  Please write to: to give me an update.  

She should have settled in after 24 hours, and if she is still acting traumatized, it might be time for a gentle sedative from the vet, such as lorazepam.

I hope she's feeling better.



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Dana Krempels, Ph.D.


I've lived with companion rabbits for more than 35 years, and consider them members of my family. I can answer any questions about the biology and health of rabbits, from the commonplace to the unusual. But please note:

RULE #1:

Find a rabbit vet at for immediate help, and don't risk your bunny's life by spending time asking questions online! If you can't get in touch with your vet, read these Emergency Sick Bunny Instructions.

If you have found a wild baby rabbit, please read these EMERGENCY INSTRUCTIONS FOR WILD BABY RABBITS and then use this link to FIND A LOCAL WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR who can give you the right advice.

RULE #2:
Help me help you! Please make your subject line informative if you have an urgent question. then LET ME KNOW IN THE SUBJECT LINE so I can give your question highest priority over non-urgent questions. If you don't do this, then I can't guarantee timely assistance!

For all the best, most accurate rabbit health, care and behavior information, visit The House Rabbit Society.


I have been rescuing and rehabilitating domestic and wild rabbits for about 30 years. I have written articles for many rabbit rescue publications, as well as for the veterinary journal, Exotic DVM. I own EtherBun, the internet's largest listserve dedicated to health, care, and behavior of domestic rabbits.

Houserabbit Adoption, Rescue, and Education, Inc. (H.A.R.E., Inc.) president National House Rabbit Society (Board member)

Exotic DVM
Warren Peace (Journal of the House Rabbit Society of Miami)
Various newsletters of the House Rabbit Society, nationwide

Ph.D - Biology
B.S. - Biology
B.A. - English

Awards and Honors
Lightspan Academic Excellence Award for web site on rabbit health and biology

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