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Rabbits/Broken leg on bunny urgent


Hi Dana I have a bunny with a broken right front leg. I am attaching the X-ray. I am a volunteer and board member with the New Mexico house rabbit society. I am following my rabbit vets treatment recommendations however since I work with so many rabbit savvy folks we all have different opinions on how my bun should be treated. Next to my vet I trust your opinion completely and was hoping you could give me any thoughts you have based on his X-ray. The biggest problem is the location of the break is too high up the arm which makes it difficult or impossible to cast or splint. What do you think? My boy is 10 and my vet feels that with the looks of the bone trying to repair with surgery and a pin would likely shatter the bone for sure loesing the leg. I feel like pain is under control and he lays in relaxed positions and is eating. He is on metacam and antibiotics just to be safe and prevent infection. Any advice is appreciated. Thank you so much. I listed this as urgent since every day that passes the bone is starting to heal and if you suggest something different I want to move on it before recalcification takes place.

Dear Victoria,

Yowtch.  That looks painful.  Poor boy!

I am no expert on broken bones, but if the vet thinks he sees evidence of calcification, then I'd go with that opinion.  A bunny that age is probably not the best surgical risk.  If the leg is somehow stabilized, that would be much better.

The edges of the bone are not meeting at all, so it remains to be seen whether they will knit.  An older bunny will also heal more slowly.

Do you have another vet who could give you a second opinion?  This is a really tough call, and it might need the eyes and brains of more than one good rabbit vet.

Sorry I'm not more help on this one.  I don't think there's one, single good answer here.  If only we could see into his future.  :(



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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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