Rabbits/New Year



I have a small rabbit.

She is sterialized. She is 10 months old. She is of the breed Little Rex an lives inside as a house-rabbit and has a lot of space to play and jump in.

A few months ago an idiot firered some fireworks just outside my appartment and she got so scared so she actually freezed, and then I couldn't get hold of her as she was running away from me in panic, when I tried to get her inside her cave, where she feels safe.

I am looking for something I can put in her food to calm her in those 3-4 weeks there will be fireworks.

What can you recommend?

My vet doesn't know anything that I can give her.

I hope you can help me.


Charlotte Boesen.

Dear Charlotte,

Ask your vet about getting a small dose of ativan or diazepam, a gentle sedative, to help your bunny remain calm for the fireworks.  It takes about 45-60 minutes to work, and lasts about 8 hours.  If possible, put her in her "cave" before the fireworks begin, and cover with towels so she feels secure.  If you have a way to close the windows and make your place a bit more soundproof, any of those precautions would be a good idea, too.

I'm surprised your bunny was frightened by the fireworks.  All our bunnies are initially a little startled by the fireworks show that goes on every July 4th right next to our house (and these are BIG fireworks!), but then they settle down and don't really seem to care.  I hope maybe your bunny will be no more than a little upset at first, but then will realize that no harm is coming to her, and she'll settle down and be fine.

Good luck!



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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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