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Rabbits/Urgent: Rabbit savvy vet with knowledge in abscesses


Dear Dana Krempels

Our most rabbit savvy vets in Denmark hopelessly out of date on the treatment of abscesses. They will not take a test to find out which bacterias are in the abscess. According to them the only treatment is open the abscess and flush it with fluids and give Baytril (antibiotics) orally. If this doesn't work they will recommend euthanasia. This put us in a difficult position as a layperson and costumer, because we can read that a lot of progress has been done in this area. This also means that it's up to the costumers/clients to find answers. I'm writing to you because I would like to know, who you would recommend that we contact internationally. As 'an expert' in the largest house rabbit society in Denmark I advise a lot of rabbit owners, how doesn't know how to deal with this. Without a medical degree it is impossible for me to figure out which sources on the Internet are reliable. Could you point me in a direction?
Right now at least one rabbit has been given up on by the vets! So it's critical that we find some answers soon. After a lot of debate we have convinced the vet to do a bacteria test and the answers will be expected within a few days.

Best wishes

Dear Mai-Britt

There are many vets in North America who would be trustworthy when it comes to consulting about abscesses, as well as several in the UK.  Since the UK is closer, I would suggest you start with Dr. Frances Harcourt-Browne in Harrogate, England.  You can find her contact information here:

Address: 30 Crab Ln, Harrogate HG1 3BE, United Kingdom
Phone: +44 1423 508945

She will be retiring this year, so I hope she will still be able to help.

You can find a complete listing of rabbit-savvy vets in the U.S., Canada, and internationally here:

The House Rabbit Society has relied on the expertise of Dr. Carolyn Harvey for many years, so she would be another good resource.  Our own vet here in Miami, Dr. Barbara Tomaras, is also very knowledgeable and would be a good person to consult.  Her phone number is +1 (305) 330-4429

I hope you can find someone on the list whom your vets will trust and consult to help these rabbits.  Most abscesses are quite treatable with the correct antibiotics, and I'm sure the vets know this.  I just fear that they do not take rabbits seriously as patients.  It took decades for vets to come around in the US, and I hope the ones in Europe and elsewhere will not be too far behind.

Hope this helps.



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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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