Question I have a rabbit about 5 years old. we came back home yesterday and there was a squirrel in her cage outside. The squirrel was desperately trying to get out while my rabbit was laying down panting and seemed in shock. When we picked up our rabbit she was lethargic and making no movement. After awhile she moved a little and didn't eat or drink.but at the end of the day she looked a little better.Today when we woke up we gave her a small cup of water since she wouldn't drink out of the water dispenser and she drank out of the cup.But she has not eaten. Is this something I should be concerned about? Is she in shock? How long can they be shock for?
Answer Dear Vickie,
Please bring your rabbit inside where it's cool and you can keep her under observation. A moderate temperature, quiet bathroom with a very clean floor is good, and supply her with towels and a blanket.
It would be wise to take her temperature, as a shocky rabbit can become hypothermic, and this can lead to a downward spiral. Please read this for instructions:
It is possible that the stress of the squirrel encounter was enough to elicit ileus, which means that the movement of her intestines has stopped. Even a slowdown can be dangerous. For full information on this, please read:
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: THE INTERNET IS NOT THE PLACE TO SEEK HELP IN AN EMERGENCY.
If your rabbits is LETHARGIC
If your rabbit is NOT EATING
If your rabbit is PHYSICALLY INJURED (including broken bones)
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.
Organizations Houserabbit Adoption, Rescue, and Education, Inc. (H.A.R.E., Inc.) president
National House Rabbit Society (Board member)
Publications Exotic DVM
Warren Peace (Journal of the House Rabbit Society of Miami)
Various newsletters of the House Rabbit Society, nationwide
Education/Credentials Ph.D - Biology
B.S. - Biology
B.A. - English
Awards and Honors Lightspan Academic Excellence Award for web site on rabbit health and biology