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Rabbits/Clavamox in rabbits


QUESTION: This past summer i remember you had emailed me, i had taken my bunny to a vet he gave him clavamox(MIDNITE IS FINE THANKS TO DR LAMB AND LINDA AT HOP A LONG HOLLOW THANK GOD FOR THE 2 OF THEM)( i think you know Linda)i wanted info on how to go about suing him he reported Dr. Lamb to the Dept of Health saying what she told me that night was not ethical, i am just looking for any type of statement from a from someone with knowledge of meds and bunnies, Dr Lamb will give me a statement saying what she did but seeing he reported her does not want to get into a "he said she said" type of thing as she is afraid he will try to stop her from practicing. I am suing him in Small Claims Court and just trying to be prepared. I have the burden of proof i did find a lot of rabbit sites that says this med is almost 100% deadly. But if you would be able to give a simple statement stating why its deadly to rabbits i think that would help me so much. I don't know who else to ask. Thank you so much.

ANSWER: Dear Lorraine,

I can understand your pain, and I'm really glad Midnite is fine now.  But I'm not sure how far you'll bet with a case like this.  I once drove 2.5 hours north to serve as an expert witness in a case exactly like your (except that in this one, the rabbit died).  The judge listened intently to all I had to say, even the "boring" part about how Clavamox will kill off the normal, beneficial flora of the rabbit's GI tract, which allows harmful species (e.g., Clostridium spp.) to proliferate and cause potentially fatal harm.

But in the end, it was as you say:  he said, she said.  Because there was no physical evidence, the judge was forced to rule in favor of the defendant vet, though we could all tell that the judge was truly convinced that the vet had made an error.  Still, without proper, physical evidence, you will lose this case.  I wish it were otherwise.

I think the best you can hope to do is try to educate that vet in a non-confrontational way so that he does not harm other rabbits in the future.

You can always report this incident to your state's Veterinary Oversight Board (your own vet can direct you to who this might be in your state).  If enough cases go on record, action can be taken.

I'm just glad Midnite is okay.  I know you're angry about the incident, and you have every right to be.  But I must tell you honestly that you have very little to gain by suing, which will take lots of time, energy, money...and you are very unlikely to be able to win without specific physical evidence from your bunny.



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

QUESTION: Yes i am going to report him. I just feel better doing this $90 what do i have to lose.
COuld you give me a statement just saying what effects this has in rabbits.
If he had said i am sorry i treated him wrong fine but he was beyond nasty.
Just anything saying what this does in rabbits. Thanks so much.

Hi Lorraine,

Clavamox kills off the normal, beneficial flora in the rabbit intestinal tract, but does not significantly affect Clostridium species resident in many rabbit GI tracts, such as C. perfringens, C. spiroforme.  These can then proliferate without competition from the normal GI flora.  Because most Clostridium species produce dangerous toxins, the rabbit will then suffer from liver damage, damage to the intestinal tract, and these effects are often fatal and irreversible once they have begun.



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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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