Friday, November 12, 2010

Rabbit Rx

Well, Walter’s mad at me.  After our dog-sitting experience and after five days of not being able to run around, Walter was definitely relieved to be home.  I let him have as much out-of-cage time as I possibly could on Wednesday night and then again on Thursday.  But, as with every night, eventually he had to be locked up for bedtime.  This morning, I woke up for work and wandered over to Walter’s cage with his breakfast, as usual.  Walter did not greet me with his usual nose noozle.  Instead, he proceeded to try to chew his way out of the cage – something I find hilarious to watch, but simultaneously makes me feel bad for my little bunny.

He’ll be glad when the weekend comes, though.  I promised to give him extensive out-of-cage time, though I purposefully made no mention of the medication he has to start tonight.  It’s his E. Cuniculi treatment.  Off the top of my head, I can’t remember what the medicine is called, but I do know that I have to use a syringe to squirt it into Walter’s mouth.  This is going to be a really difficult task.  I can barely get my rabbit to hold still for me to inspect his ears! How am I going to get him to let me squirt a few milligrams of liquid down his throat? (Side note: I was actually told to squirt it towards his cheek, so as not to choke the bunny.)

Fellow bunny-lovers, do you have any tips for me?  What’s the most painless way to get my rabbit to take his medicine?


  1. Here's a WikiHow with a cute little video. Hope it helps

  2. That video is pretty good but I suggest you to skip the treats (or placing applesauce/banana on the outside of the syringe), assuming the medication is already sugary. You were talking before about banana flavour vs. other flavours - this is a good sign the meds are sugary. You can also smell them - some meds I've used in the past have smelled sickly sweet. You can also ask your vet about sugar contents. Of course, treats have a psychological benefit, and you do want to ease your bunny's stress in this difficult time, but there's ways to "treat" your bun other than with food: like a very long cuddle, a supervised trip to an area of your home that's normally restricted, a new toy, etc.

    Otherwise, the administration method in the video looks fine, and if it works for you, great! What I have done is different, though. I sit with the rabbit on the floor. I actually kneel above him, wedging him slightly between my knees. With my left (non-dominant) hand, I gently hold his head on the left side, also petting him. With my right hand, I hold the syringe. I gently push the tip of the syringe between his lips and into his mouth from the right side. I depress the plunger quickly, wait to make sure he swallows the meds, and then let him go.

    The more time you take, the more time he has to struggle. You don't want to shoot the stuff into his lungs, but otherwise you want to do this as quickly and smoothly as possible.

    Good luck!

    (P.S. Is the name of the medicine not written on the bottle?)

  3. Thanks for both of your comments! We opted to give Walter a treat, since he seemed pretty traumatized by the whole ordeal. I couldn't smell the medicine myself, but Paul could smell the banana right away; I'm sure it's quite sugary.

    The medicine is Fenbendazole; just didn't have the bottle in front of me when I responded before :)