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Rabbits/Bunny hurt and still should feed from mommy


Hi Dr., our lovely golden retriever just brought me a bunny that has a sore on his neck.  (not sure if he bit it, but the skin is tore), and it appears that nothing apparent else is hurt, but not sure.  He looks to be very newborn and is moving pretty well, looking for moms milk.  I am having our son buy kitten milk and I read only feed two times a day, but less is Okay too.  Over feeding kills them?  Please advise what to do?  Thank you

Dear Tracy,

Please see:

As my instructions indicate, an emergency like this is not the best time to seek help on the internet.  A baby like this should be brought to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator immediately, as you will have a very low chance of getting him to survive.  The baby must be kept very warm, with an artificial nest of dry grass and soft cotton wadding.  Nest temperature should be about 98 - 100 Farenheit, and you must monitor it with a thermometer to be sure it does not get too warm or too cool.  Temperature regulation is probably *the* most critical thing for a baby like this.

That this is a dog wound is only a little better than a cat wound.  If it was a cat, then you could pretty much start digging the grave unless you could immediately get him on injectable antibiotics from a good rabbit vet (dual-acting Penicillin G Procaine and/or ciprofloxacin).  The other problem is contamination with E. coli bacteria from our skin, which can be very deadly to a baby like this.  

If the baby is still alive, please write to me at for more instructions. But the best bet would be to get him to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator in your area without delay:

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:

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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