Hi Dana,
long story short, I met another bunny person who tells me that her bunny has  hypothyroidism and when i asked what his symptoms were they were the same as symptoms that my bunny has... {percolating and a gagging sound in the back of the throat}.Let me say that my vet looked for every other possible resean for the symptoms and never thought of a thyroid issue.... She said her vet scoped the bunny and saw laryngeal hemiplegia, did a T4 and discovered his thyroid was very low. Once on seloxine symptoms went away. i told my vet {who is VERY rabbit savvy} and he said we can test my girls thyroid. results came; back my vet said there is no established range for bunnies thyroid value so in extrapolating from cats, the normal range S/B 1-4. My "friend" said her vet said normal is 2.5 - 4. now i'm confused as to what to do... My vet said that if i wanted to get my girls value to 2.5 thats fine b/c its within his range of 1-4, and if her symptoms go away, great. I don't think he is convinced about any of this, by the way.. we are starting a dose of .5mg twice per day. I don't have any idea if that dose is right??
do you have an opinion on this subject?
i just want to help my girl and do the right thing.
Thanks for your time,

Dear Jeanine,

I've never heard of a rabbit being diagnosed with hypothyroidism, though I suppose it is not impossible.  I have absolutely no experience with thyroid medication in rabbits, so can't help you with dosages.  

Just as a note:  a far more common cause of gagging in rabbits is dental problems (e.g., molar spurs or dental abscess, or even a wad of food caught in the throat and hanging from fur wrapped around a back molar--yes, we've seen this!).  Please see:


Dental problems deep in the mouth are very difficult to see unless the rabbit is under anesthesia.  So if the gagging persists despite the thyroid medication, I would ask the vet about putting her under to do a really thorough exam of the pharynx and throat, including head radiographs to check the state of her molars.

I hope this helps.



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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:

...it is an EMERGENCY.

Find a rabbit vet at www.rabbit.org/vet 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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