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Rabbits/15 years old rabbit


Hi, I am asking for a japanese friend. She lives with her 15 years old rabbit, Oimo. He can not move so much anymore and lately, after he falls down, he is not able to stand up anymore alone. Because my friend has to work everyday, he sometimes lays for hours in this position. She arranged her home as good as she can for him and put soft towels and plankets everywhere. But he developed some urine burns (see picture).
We only have limited options here in Japan, but a friend will send a vetbed and Soother Plus from Canada. He has a good vet. Do you have any advice what else we can do to help him. Is there any supplement we can give him for joint support? Someone mentioned 'Synoquin for Cats'.

Thanks a lot and best wishes from Japan,


Hi Andreas

I actually follow Oimo on Instagram and have seen pictures of his poor little hind end.

Does he get any painkillers? At the rescue we have a very large giant rabbit who came in and after many scans and checks by the vet it has been discovered he has old fractures in his spine meaning he's always in pain and is developing arthritis there now. He has to have daily doses of Metacam (in liquid form and apparently tastes of banana so he yums it up!) to keep the pain under control and able to still move around. Poor little Oimo must be in similar pain with age so I would be seeing what painkiller options there are for him.

With joint supplements its tricky, especially with poor Oimo now being so old. Many of them may only really work with the bun moving around which Oimo won't without painkillers. I'm not a vet and don't have experience with particular supplements, I would always be wary with anything that isn't made for bunnies. Maybe Oimo's Instagram community will have more experience or be able to ask their vets?

With the burns, definitely make sure he gets bum washes twice a day and if he does have a vet maybe make sure he hasn't developed a urinary tract infection or similar which would make him unable to control his pee? With him not moving much this will have secondary effects on his gut. Movement is important for rabbits as it helps them digest their food and keep that gut moving.

So yes, my first recommendation is to seek out painkiller options. With his grand age though I would break to your friend she will have to start considering the inevitable, even though it is a massive heartbreaking option no bunny owner wants to consider.

Good luck Oimo!


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I can answer questions around the welfare of pet rabbits, basic health queries including gut stasis, diet worries, bonding questions and the proper welfare standards around housing rabbits (i.e. no wire floors, no small cages and they should be kept in properly bonded de-sexed pairs in very large enclosures). I cannot answer showing questions nor complex breeding issues as I do not agree with either, seeing the other end of the story in the world of rabbit rescue.


I have two 7 year old rescue rabbits and volunteer for a well established rabbit rescue here in the UK, both physically doing cleaning out etc and I am also their events and awareness co-oordinator, helping educate the general public on proper rabbit keeping, this means I have to ensure all information I give is correct and matches current welfare standards.

I belong to the RWAF (Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund) and volunteer for a major rabbit rescue.

I have no formal education on this subject, however read everything I can to keep up to date with current welfare standards and health problems. Both my rabbits have sensitive guts and constantly keep me on my toes.

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