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Rabbits/Baby bunny with injury

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baby rabbit
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QUESTION: Hello, my name is Rachel, and this morning I was walking my neighbor's dog when she found a rabbit's nest and got one of the babies. He has a decent sized cut extending from his right eye across his forehead. I have an antibacterial clotting agent for animals at my house, since I have a parrot and if he bleeds at all it can be life threatening, so I took the baby home and closed up his wound. It's evident that he will have either no or very little sight in that eye however, so he will most likely not be able to return to the wild. I have a friend that successfully raised 6 wild rabbits after their mother was killed, and she has agreed to take the rabbit once she returns from vacation. Until then, how should I care for the baby? She told me the basics, but I'm not in a spot where I can get kmr until at least tomorrow. Is there something else I can use to feed him until then? He is already in a very warm makeshift shoebox nest, and he seems to be doing alright. My friend said I should feed him early in the morning and late at night, what are some exact times I should be feeding him. I would bring him to the local wildlife rescue, but I know they can feed some animals to their birds of prey if they feel like they don't have a significant chance of making it, and i would really hate to see such a sweet and innocent creature die like that. My neighbor is a certified vet as well, so once he is a bit older I will take him to her to make sure he will be OK. I was also wondering if you could tell me anything about when to stimulate bowel movements. The bunny is very small, eyes were closed however the cut left one of them opened. Not sure how to tell if his ears are opened at all.
thanks and I look forward to your response!

ANSWER: Hi Rachel

The poor little bun! There really isn't anything but proper replacer you can give the bun. It may be worth calling a wildlife place and seeing if they can give you a syringe full to get the little guy through the night. Wild rabbits will only feed their babies a couple of times a day, they don't constantly suckle like cats or dogs. They are most active at dawn and dusk so early morning and evening are right by what your friend has said, no exact times really, go by sunrise and sunset times.

Other than that its a case of not fussing him too much and crossing fingers! There's always a chance that shock or unknown internal injuries may take the bun during the night. I would expect the worst and hopefully the little guy will surprise you!

Good luck with the little guy!
Cat

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

QUESTION: Thanks very much, especially for the quick response! He seems to have calmed down a bunch. When the dog got him I was very worried because he screamed and the only other time I have heard a rabbit scream was right before my neighbor's cat killed it :( He is taking a nap in my hand right now which I am thankful for because I hope it means he isn't feeling the pain as much anymore. The clotting powder has a numbing agent I believe, so i hope that helps with the pain. The dog practically skinned the poor baby right above the eye, but thankfully she only got the skin and didn't go any deeper and actually puncture the baby. My friend says she's very glad he didn't die from shock or a heart attack yet. we were more worried because he has no food in his belly from this morning, and the dog dug them up around 9. I went to check on the others and there are 5 more babies, all unfed. I put some sticks over the nest and will check back tomorrow to see if the mom is still feeding them. I hope for their sake she is, I have no idea how I would manage 6 babies. But anyway, is there a way for me to tell if the baby is in pain still? What should i do if the mom as abandoned the nest?
Thank you very much!

Answer
I hope the little guy is still trucking! With pain, its very very difficult to tell as they are prey animals and have high pain thresholds and will hide it until its unbearable. Try not to fuss the nest too much and hopefully mum will come back to those ones. I would recommend getting the hotline to the wildlife hospital, they can help if the nest has been abandoned and shouldn't be feeding living wildies to other wildlife rescues either!

Just cross everything you can!
Cat

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Expertise

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.

Experience

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.

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

Education/Credentials
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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