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Rabbits/NO VET AVAILABLE -- Testicular injury


Testicular Injury
Testicular Injury  
Testicular Injury -- close up
Testicular Injury -- c  
QUESTION: I read your instructions, and I hope you will consider a response to my question.  I am living outside of the US and the vets (local) here only deal with dogs, cows, and sheep.  I cannot find anyone (incl the local vet) who even knows of a rabbit vet.

My rabbit was attacked by some puppies.  He has a few minor injuries (he is a strong and wiley rabbit -- he can handle those) and one very big one that gives me concern.  It appears that the sack of his testicle was ripped (about 1 inch long), but the organ itself was not damaged (as best I can tell).  We have cleaned the injury as best we can (and covered it with an animal antibiotic that seems to have a teensy bit of pain killer in it)and I am wondering how to proceed (closing the cut and any antibiotics that may be needed, pain killer that may be appropriate).  We have thought about closing the wound with super glue, but are worried about sealing in any infection that may be starting.

My rabbit appears to be in pain, but is dealing well (sluggish, but alert).  He is not eating, but it is the middle of a hot day, so that is neither here nor there.  His temp is normal (102.2).

I have attached 2 photos of the injury.  Please note that the odd purplish color at the bottom of the wound is left over from the antiseptic spray.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Just FYI, steps have been taken to make sure this will not happen again.  I have had rabbits for about 3.5 years and take very good care of them.  Nothing like thing like this has ever happened before.

Thank you for your time.

ANSWER: Dear Rebecca,

If the wound has not resolved, or appears to be infected, you will somehow have to find a vet to help, if the testicle needs to be removed. I wish I could tell you otherwise.

To clean and disinfect the wound, use dilute povidone iodine in clean, lukewarm water.  You can even soak the affected testicle in it by making a little "sitzbath" in a sink or bowl, and holding him in the betadine solution for 15 minutes or so, twice a day, to allow the iodine to really disinfect.

Keep the area dry between soakings.

If you can get metacam for pain, that would help him.  But you really need to find a veterinarian who can help.

I hope he will be fine soon.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you for your response.  The infomation you provided was very clear.  Unfortunately, I did not have a chance to try it out.  I took my rabbit to a vet in the neighboring town.  The vet cleaned the wound, gave the rabbit lots of injections (anesthesia, pain killers, long acting antibiotics: all without asking first), and told me the rabbit should be ok in a few days.  I think the rabbit had a bad reaction to the injections because he started having some seizures a few minutes after we left the vet and died on the way home.

Can you tell me if this is a common reaction to these sorts of drugs (I can send you a list of the drugs) or if it sounds like something else (Rabbit appeared healthy and happy before he was injured, in pain, but alert when we went to the vet).  Although I hope none of my rabbits are ever injured again, if this were to happen, I want to make sure that the treatment they receive does not end up killing them.

I appreciate your time.

Thank you.

Dear Rebecca,

I am very sorry about the loss of your bunny.  Please send a list of the drugs, and I can see if any of them are likely to cause fatal seizures or other acute problems that could be lethal (e.g., Micotil).

I am sorry for your loss.



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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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