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Rabbits/Netherland Dwarf Rabbit


This morning me and my sister went out to feed our rabbits. When we opened the cage the rabbit just sat there; didn't move at all. So we lighting tapped on its side to try to get it to move and it rolled over and got back up and sat there and didn't move like before. I got him or of the cage and put him in he ground and he just sat there. so I put him back and put a little hay in his cage. he didn't eat very much. I came back out to check on his at around 10:30; about an hour later and he had moved in his cage but he he still was very floppy and stumbled a lot when he tried to walk. So I wondered if he was bloated. we got him or of his cage and checked. we noticed that when we put our hand on his spine you could feel around his spine like his stomach was really floppy and squishy. what could be wrong? is it a serious illness? what can I do?

Dear Kayla,

This is an extreme emergency, and you need to get your rabbit to a good rabbit vet immediately.  Please find one here:

A rabbit this unresponsive is possibly close to death, and you must get him to the vet with all speed.  In the meantime, please read this for instructions on what to do:

DO NOT take his temperature if you are not sure how, as this could injure him.  But get him to the vet NOW.



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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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