Rabbits/Injured Rabbit


QUESTION: Due to a wounded ear, I have been keeping my mini rex buck on my screened in porch so I could keep the wound treated and make sure there was no infection. He has been sleeping on the first level of the kitty condo with my cat and baby goat for two weeks now. They snuggle together in the bottom level of the kitty condo. My bunny was getting into the cat's food so I put the cat bowl up on my deep freezer, but he continued to get up there. He was also eating his own hay and food pellets and he most likely got into the goats pellets as well.

We came home yesterday to find him lying lifeless in between the kitty condo & deep freezer. He had used the bathroom all over himself. I gave him some pedialite and oats which he gladly consumed. This morning he is more alert, ears perked up but he still is lying there. He did scoot off his blanket once due to the kids rustling around getting ready. I confined him to a small cage to where he does not have to scoot around to get to his water bottle or food and elevated him to where when he goes potty, the mess will not stay on him but will fall into the cage. He seems to be able to move the right rear leg a little and maybe twitch the other. He is definitely more alert this morning but still cannot stand up, walk or hop.

Could this be some toxicity from eating the goat’s pellets or cat food or am I looking at a back injury? He is not shaking or grinding his teeth and does not show any signs of pain. Back end is just lifeless when you pick him up. Any advice is appreciated.

ANSWER: Dear Lesley,

Sorry for the delay.  I was at a conference with no access to email.  As my instructions note, the internet is not a good place to seek emergency help, and this certainly sounds like an emergency.

Please get the bunny to a rabbit-savvy vet immediately:


It's possible the goat or cat may have accidentally injured the bunny, and medical attention is vital in a case like this.  The internet is not the place to seek information when a bunny is this sick.

I hope he will be fine.


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injured mini rex
injured mini rex  

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QUESTION: Once I got home he was just laying there and coukd only hold up his head. He did not appear to be in any pain and I knew if it was spinal, there was nothing a get could do. He didn't have diarrhea and was not grinding his teeth which kind of ruled out the GI stasis. And we checked the cord to his heat lamp which appeared to he fine. I gave him pedialite from a stunted and when placed oats in his mouth he began to eat. By the next morning he was holding his head better and ears were no longer laid back, but erect. I fixed him up in a small cage to where he could reach his food and water bottle with little to no effort. He was on a folded blanket so when he pottied it would roll off and he would not have to lay in it. When I got home, he was up on all fours and would move his front feet and toss his food bowl but not hop around. Within hours he was moving from one end of the cage to the other. He appears to be back to normal. He is back on the porch but the goat and goat food is back in the barn. I am thinking the goat feed may have triggered something or he bit through the cord and we just can't find the hole. I tried to keep it out of his reach but its possible the goat or cat moved it when climbing around. I appreciate your response and would like to know if you have ever heard of a rabbit getting shocked or maybe mineral poisoning? Just still don't know exactly what caused his temporary paralisis. Thank you.

Dear Lesley,

Wow.  That is a strange mystery.  I think your idea about him getting shocked could be on the mark, but it's hard to see how that could happen if the wire is intact.  Could there have been a short somewhere, with something metal he could touch becoming electrified?  Might want to check that.  But the signs you describe really do sound like the after effects of a really good (bad) shock.

If it was a toxic event, bloodwork might reveal elevated liver enzymes or kidney values that are "off".  You can find a rabbit vet to help you here:


I hope he'll continue to recover and be his old self soon.



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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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