Last Modified on Mar 05, 2014
Pet rabbits can be afflicted with a variety of diseases and health conditions, many of which can be safely addressed with natural home remedies. If your rabbit is suffering from constipation/wool block, eye infections, ear infections, parasites such as fleas and mange, or other illnesses and conditions please consider the user tips below for caring for your bunny.
Rabbit Care: Rabbits need plenty of water, some veggies and greens in addition to rabbit feed, and amusements to keep them stimulated and happy.
Home Remedies: For conjunctivitis and other eye issues, rabbit owners often use echinacea (dietary or as an eye drop) or chamomile drops to soothe and restore eye health. Pumpkin mash can be used to help restore digestive health in a rabbit with constipation or wool block.
Critical Care, Pumpkin
[YEA] 01/10/2009: Jessi from Fairfield, IA: "It's a serious matter if a rabbit stops eating. They need constant roughage going through them, or they'll die. If your rabbit loses its appetite and its poop pellets get small and dry or stop coming, it is a sign of wool block. Some readers here call it "constipation," but that's not what it really is.
[01/05/2009: Joyce from Arcadia, CA, USA writes: "I WILL TRY THE PUMPKIN FOR MY SAD CONSTIPATED BUNNY. I HOPE IT WORKS."]
It's actually much like hairballs in cats, only since bunnies can't vomit, the fur can get stuck inside their gut and actually kill them. You have to get the gastric track moving again as soon as you see this problem start. If your bunny stops pooping, or if her pellets are starting to look small and dry, that's a sign she's blocking up. Lack of appetite is another symptom.
My vet, who is a rabbit specialist, has me keep a product called "Critical Care" on hand for wool block emergencies. This is even better than the pumpkin treatment. I get my Critical Care from my vet but you can probably get it online or at your pet food store, especially if you ask for it. You mix a little of this stuff with water, suck it up into a big syringe (one about the size of your middle finger, being sure to remove the needle and toss it in the trash before you work with the bunny!). Then you put the plastic tip of the syringe into the side of the bunny's mouth and VERY SLOWLY squeeze out a little at a time. They will like this and swallow it, if you don't disperse it too fast. Wait a few seconds between each dispersal. Only give about a couple teaspoons for each dose, then wait about three hours and do it again.
Pumpkin can be fed the same way if your bunny has wool block. Make sure you use pure 100% canned pumpkin NOT canned pumpkin PIE filling, which has spices in it and could hurt your bun! I've found the Critical Care quickly eliminates wool block (you give it 4 to 6 times a day until they start eating and pooping normally again). I used to do the pumpkin treatment until I found the Critical Care, and pumpkin worked pretty well, but failed to work with one bunny who I almost lost to wool block on account of "pumpkin failure." I brought her to the vet in time (you've only got a couple of days to save them if they stop eating), who gave her Critical Care, and the bun was fine in just a couple of hours. Believe me, this stuff is AMAZING.
The vet said my buns get wool block because I wasn't feeding them exactly right. In my case, it was too many vegetables. Now that I'm feeding the right diet and giving them more exercise, they've been doing fine. (Exercise and plenty of water are important for maintaining intestinal motility - the constant movement through of food. So is brushing them when they're shedding.)
Right diet for a rabbit means unlimited quantities of timothy hay (or orchard grass) always available to the rabbit (you can get this at a pet store but ordering it online is much cheaper. In some parts of the country, feed stores sell timothy.) You also have to feed about a half cup of fresh vegies a day for a medium-sized rabbit (3/4 to 1 cup a day for a giant breed). Certain vegies, though, will kill bunnies if fed over time, so choose from the "safe vegie list": green pepper, collard greens, swiss chard, parsley (a little), cucumber (a little), cilantro, endive, mustard greens, lettuce (NOT iceberg), carrots (only a small slice a few times a week), broccoli (only a tiny flowerette a couple times a week), certain weeds including dandelions, chickweed and plantain (if not subject to exhaust fumes from cars). Visit www.rabbit.org for the full list of diet do's and don'ts. You can supplement this diet with a bit of daily timothy pellets, available from Oxbow (NOT alfalfa pellets - these are only for babies, and fed long enough they can kill an adult).
Make sure your bun has unlimited access to water - a crock is ideal for most bunnies, as they can then drink all they want. I put 3 drops of vinegar in my rabbits' water, and now they love drinking.
In case anyone reading this has a pet bunny living in a cage, please know that buns can easily be litterbox-trained and make wonderful house pets. I have house bunnies living happily alongside my two house cats. You have to introduce them to each other gradually, of course. All sorts of tips on how to make your rabbit a successful house bunny are available on www.rabbit.org, the website of the nonprofit organization called House Rabbit Society. If it weren't for them, my buns would have been dead by now. I made so many mistakes at first, having no one to show me. I have six precious buns, and I've had 5 of them for six years. Most buns only live a year as pets, studies show, because owners make mistakes with their diet or other errors with these delicate creatures. It's very easy to keep bunnies if you're taught how to do it, and very easy to lose them if you're not. Check out that website and also the chat room "Etherbun." Between those two places, you'll find all the info you need. There are some snotty people on Etherbun, though. Don't let them hurt your feelings if one of them gets nasty. Just visit there for your bunnies, learn what you can for their sake, and don't let the bullies get to you.
02/04/2011: Carolyn from Houston, Tx replies: "Can ACV be used to clean rabbits? I know it's ok for cats, dogs and horses. Also, adding 3 drops of vinegar to bunny's water - regular vinegar or acv?"
09/21/2012: Erica from South Pasadena, Ca replies: "Jessi from Fairfield, IA, Your advice saved my rabbit! You wrote this in 2009. It is the best advice I ever saw, after reading many blogs, web sites, and information on rabbits.
My rabbit stopped eatting, pooping, peeing, and drinking. I saw your advice, and made a vet appointment to get "critical care" from my vet. My vets protocol was X-rays, blood tests, & weighing my rabbit. He never looked at the poop samples, nor listened to my suggestion of using critical care. I said "no" to the X-rays, and blood test. Why spend all tha money, cause even if they found something, the survival rate of a rabbit getting operated on is not optimal.
My vet wanted me to ground up timothy hay in a blender, until it is powder, and mix with water, to feed by seringe. This sounds great in theory. But the reality is timothy does grind up into powder, with alot of tiny splinter size pieces that clog any size seringe. I even used a horse size seringe, and the timothy would clog. I went back to the vet and purchased the critical care in apple bannan flavor. The next step was getting this into my rabbit who fought like a tiger. I wrapped my rabbit in a towel, grabbed her jaw (gently) from behind her ears, so she couldn't bite me, and fed her. Once she had the seringe in her mouth she did great. With in less than 24 hrs my rabbit was peeing & pooping. And 12 hours after that her appetite came back. Also when using critical care, I offfered my rabbit water often. Critical care absorbs a lot of water. I even gave water by seringe to keep my rabbit hydrated.
I am grateful for this web site, and the good advice that saved my 3 month old rabbit.
THANK YOU JESSI
Erica from South Pasadena Ca Sept 20, 2012"
09/24/2012: Patti G from Southgate, Michigan U.s.a. replies: "This message is for Jessi, IA, what great information you have given all of us and this website is wonderful. I found it by accident, while looking for information on a possible flea problem or dry skin patches on my Newfoundland. I had two bunnies at different times years ago and never knew all that I have read here. They both passed, too young. Back then there were no computers and the vets don't always know about Bunnies. I never knew about all the neat things you could feed bunnies, just gave them Timothy Hay and the kibble for them. I don't like going to vets as they $$$$ you to death. My three dogs all died too young following their advise, and not getting enough information from them and those darn shots they push on them all at once. I prefer homeopathic even for myself. I know have my daughters two bunnies and decided to look up homeopathic for them and what to feed domestic bunnies. Your wonderful and so is this site. Wish it had been available when I had the other Bunnies. I just love animals. Right now my Daughter is staying with me, my Granddaughter and her dog and the Bunnies, I have a Newfoundland and three cats and her cats are at my Mom's house and her frog. Its a zoo, but I love it. Take care and God Bless. Love the animals, we are their voice."
12/10/2008: Nancy from Wonder Lake, IL. USA: "Recently my 9 year old rabbit has a ear infection, I took him to the vet he prescribed antibiotics.,no cure so far just started with antibiotics."Replies
12/23/2008: Jessi from Fairfield, IA replies: "Make sure you're taking your bunny to a vet who sees a lot of rabbits. Most vets are not trained in treating bunnies, and when they attempt it, they can actually hurt them. I don't know about the ear infection you mention, but I do know one of my pet buns had some kind of bugs or parasites in his ears, and my rabbit vet flushed them with something. Visit the Etherbun online forum to ask your rabbit health questions. Some of the people who write in there are pretty snotty, but it's the rabbit health forum on the web. Lots of knowledgable people, including some rabbit vets, respond to readers' questions. Another great source of rabbit health information is the archives at http://www.rabbit.org That's the website for The House Rabbit Society, a nonprofit dedicated to informing owners about proper bunny care. Excellent source for answers to questions about all kinds of things."
12/25/2008: June from KC, KS replies: "Try a few drops of h202 in your pet's filtered water. My cats love it."
07/27/2009: Crystal from Brownwood, Tx replies: "I have raised rabbits for about 15 years, when they get ear mites I use a medicine dropper and put about 15 drops of olive oil in each ear. You will have to hold the ear and kind of massage it down in the ear. As the oil is running down the ear, the rabbit will try to shake the oil out. Keep this up until the mites are gone."
12/23/2011: Anna Nikki from Toronto, Ont replies: "Goldenseal tincture is a homeopathic antibiotic you can use for your pets and humans it is good for upper and lower body infections such as ear, nose, urinary tract, headtilt and other illnesses where antibiotics are needed."
03/05/2014: Harold from Mae Sot, Thailand: "My name is Harold and I am the Founder and President of a foundation. ( www.therightsofthechild.org ) .
We have build a rabbit farm in Mae Sod whose sole purpose is to feed rabbit meat to the orphans on the Thai/Myanmar border. Most if not all of the orphans suffer from Protein deficiency which affects their growth and learning ability. We now have a major case of mites at the farm where we house over 3000 rabbits.
Any help and suggestions is appreciated. We need to try to take care of this situation in the barns (3) where the rabbits are raised.
Thank you so much. H."Replies
03/05/2014: Theresa from Mpls., Mn replies: "Hey Harold!
That sure is a lot of rabbits!
My first inclination is to depopulate: cull and harvest as many animals as you can - this to lighten the work load for the treatment required to clean up three barns of bunnies. Pare down to your essential breeding stock and clean those up, along with the facilities and begin anew.
Ideally, if you could reduce or consolidate the population down to 2 barns, you could then put your efforts into sterilizing the empty barn. It needs to be thoroughly cleaned and sterilized so that all parasites are destroyed and reinfection cannot occur. A fresh solution of one part chlorine bleach to 10 parts water sprayed on non-porous surfaces and allowed to sit wet for 10 minutes is effective. Another consideration is Oxine combined with Citric Acid - this can be used both as a spray or as a fogger. Once you have the facility sterilized you must clear out the infections in the rabbits before reintroduction or your work will be for naught.
There are several things you can do to clear out the infections in the rabbits; environmentally friendly ones are labor intensive and require repeated bathing of the infected animal - and require the infected animal to be in quarantine so as not to be reinfected during treatment. Injectable Vermectin/Ivermectin requires several injections and you must wait for 49 days before you can harvest that animal for food.
You don't state which kind of mite you have - ear mites may not require such drastic culling as I envision, and a simple carrier oil along with a miticide such as Vectin/ivermectin used in the ear until the mites are resolved might be the way to go.
Once you have your stock cleaned up you can introduce to the cleaned up barn and then start all over again with barn 2, and then again with barn 3. It is essential that staff handling the rabbits do not cross contaminate the barn by going from infected barn to clean barn; ideally staff would change clothing completely before entering the clean barn.
I strongly urge you to work with a local veterinarian - they can best advise with eyes on your actual set up and assist with obtaining the necessary medication in volume if needed.
Ban Nuea Veterinary Clinic Address: Inthara Khiri Rd., Mae Sot, Tak
Veterinary Clinic Address: Highway 12, Mae Sot, Tak
Mae Sot Livestock Address: Mae Sot-Mae Tao Rd., Mae Sot, Tak
Si Phanit Veterinary Clinic Address: Si Phanit Rd., Mae Sot, Tak"
03/05/2014: Theresa from Mpls., Mn replies: "Hey Harold!
MY bad - you DID state it was ear mites in your title line, and my eyes just didn't pick it up!
The most basic treatment of ear mites is oil in the ear - of any type. The idea being the oil smothers the mites. So flooding the ears with olive oil, mineral oil, etc. should work towards this effect. The life cycle of the mite is 21 days, so you would need to treat each animal a couple of times a week for up to 4 weeks - in addition to sterilizing the living quarters. An over the counter product campho-phenique often works with only 1 application. Honey mixed with warm water and applied twice daily for the first week, and then every two days for the next 2 weeks [so total of 21 days treatment/full life cycle of the mite] is also effective and non-toxic, although the bunnies will be very sticky around the neck with this treatment and may require bathing or cleaning up every few days if you go this route.
it must be said that any bunny who gets infected with mites of any sort is sending the message that something is not right; you may need to increase the quality of the rations you feed your rabbits to provide more vitamins, or more sunlight, and so on.
Good luck with this noble endeavor! "
[YEA] 01/06/2009: Dottie from Boca Raton, Florida: "For my Rabbits I take 4 capsules of Echinacea to one gallon of water and boil cool and refrigerator each day i put 1/4 cup in there drinking bottle water fill with fillter water boost their immune function."
11/28/2010: Carolv from West Babylon, Ny, Usa: "Just wanted to share this with everyone. My Rabbit ( Boo) had a runny eye which was red and irritated. I had ruled out that it did not have sniffles. Boo showed no signs of it. I looked on this website and read about the wonders of apple cider vinegar and put some which was diluted with water on the back of his neck. This worked wonders as Boo's temperament started to come back to his perky self. However his eye was not clearing up. So I began flushing out his eye with some warm water with baking soda and sea salt. I did this twice a day.
I then purchased "NFZ Puffer" which is made to clear eye infections in rabbits. The NFZ caused a fungal infection in the rabbits eye. I noticed a white cloudy fungus on the eye. I stopped using the NFZ Puffer and just flushed out the eye as I had been doing. I then used some "Tea Tree Oil"- one drop into a tablespoon of mineral oil and dabbed a little just under his eye which has cleared up the fungal infection along with all the redness. I do hope that this helps others who have animals with fungal infections of the eye. Better that antibiotics which can cause major problems in rabbits due to their digestive system."
04/01/2010: Wendie from Whittier, California: "I have a blind rabbit who has been getting treated by a vet for continuing on-going eye infection that hasn't been getting any better with the antibiotics, so I was wondering if there are any holistic medications that I could try to help boost his immunity.
Any help would be greatly appreciated."Replies
06/06/2010: Tina from Toledo, Ohio, Usa replies: "Try activated charcoal water in its eyes."
11/15/2011: Ashley from Storm Lake, Ia, Usa replies: "My 11-year-old miniature rex rabbit BreiiBreii has a bad eye infection, and has swelling near the eye. The vet thinks it's either glaucoma or a cyst. He gave bunny a shot to help with the swelling, and gave us some antibiotic ointment to apply near the eye, but it seems that bunny is going blind in that eye.
Anyone have a similar problem with their rabbit, and how did you treat it?
He was eating fine before he went to the vet, but now seems to be decreasing his intake. He's had blockages before, and we used the syringe technique with pumpkin puree, pineapple juice and gatorade. Would it be best to give him fruit juices (like apple and pineapple, his favorites) to get some fluids in him as he is not eating as much as he normally does?
It seems to me when rabbits stop eating it's very serious and usually means they are quite ill.
Any help would be great! Thank you."
11/22/2011: Vanillaspices from Whitman, Ma replies: "Hi I use to bred, sell, and show rabbits a long time ago. Have you tried bag balm? All the breeders out there know when their rabbits get injuried like a fly nests in their belly we all use bag balm. It has natural healing minerals and stuff in it to heal the wound and if the animal licks it they won't get sick.
Also you want to make sure that if they are not eating they are getting electrolytes. The last thing you need is for them to get dehydrated. We use to use a little gatorade mixed in the water just a teaspoon or two in a bowl of water every few hours until they were drinking normally. Also I would consider allowing the animal to have a few snacks that it likes just be aware not to over do it because it could get in the habit to refuse to go back to not eating any normal grain and too much electrolytes (from water and favorite treats) can make it have diarrhea. But a good balance is the key!"
12/14/2013: Ernie from Albion, In replies: "Tina from Ohio, I have a Rabbitry in Northern Indiana, You have a bunny who has gone off feed, try Yogurt (berry flav) and your bunny will eat like crazy, I have used this for years and it works great for me."
12/06/2012: Smeagol from Murrieta, Ca: "I am looking for anyone who may be able to suggest a natural remedy to slow or stop the growth of a fibrosarcoma that is on my rabbit's lip. I have no idea about such things, but am hoping there is an effective plant that is not toxic to my bunny's internal health in case of ingestion by "licking", but can kill off aggressive fibrosarcoma cancer cells.
My sweet bunny, smeagol, just turned 3yrs old on Dec. 1, 2012. He's a mini-lop, blonde and about 7. 5 lbs. He lives indoors in my room, but not caged. In May 2012, I noticed a red bump on the outside middle tip of his upper left lip. Since rabbits upper lip is split, this is located in the "middle" of his upper lip. I took him to two different vets that told me since it didn't seem to be bothering him, it wasn't changing shape, size or color, then I didn't need to worry about it. There was no sign of abrasion, cut, bite or reason for the lump. We were living in Japan at the time, I didn't speak the language, and couldn't find a vet in our area that was very "rabbit knowledgable". Over the summer, we re-located to the U. S. , southern california. Around the end of Sept. 2012 he went to the vet for neutering surgery. We asked the vet to take a look at the red bump on his lip while he was under anesthesia. The vet inserted a needle in order to get a fluid sample. He also put him on a general antibiotic. The test came back inconclusive, but the lump seemed to get infected. After approximately two weeks we did a biopsy. It came back positive for fibrosarcoma cancer. His lip looked worse also. We took him to a different vet more specialized in rabbit care. He attempted to remove the tumor stating that there was not room to get "clean" margins because of the location of the tumor being basically against the opening of his nasal cavity. We had hoped to remove the tumor, then start radiation to kill off any remaining cancer cells understanding fibrosarcomas are extremely aggressive. But, we couldn't consider radiation until the wound healed. Well, it just isn't healing. It's been about a month and the cancer is back. It's grown quite a bit blocking much of his left nasal opening. The vet, although educated in chinese herbology, stated there is nothing more he can do for him. He expects the tumor to grow much larger within two weeks. I asked if there was an alternative medication I could give smeagol to slow the growth, or fight the cancer and he stated he didn't know of anything that would be safe if accidentally ingested from being on his lip. He said there was something, but it would have to be injected directly into the tumor, would be extremely painful and he feared the medication would not help fast enough to combat the speed at which the tumor is growing. He is currently on Baytril (antibiotic), Metacam, and buprenorphine. For the last month, the tumor will grow in size, changing appearance sometimes multiple times a day. Then, it will start bleeding, quite a bit, suddenly and the outer scab will seperate and come off. It's quite stressful for him (and us) as the blood will get in his nasal passage and cause difficulty breathing I think
. The only options I see right now are doing nothing and watching it grow, or taking him to the oncologist and asking about radiation possibilities. I am hoping that instead, there is an alternative treatment that can slow/stop the growth of the rapidly enlarging tumor and keep him comfortable. I would greatly appreciate any help. - Christina"
05/02/2009: WildHeart from Andover, MN: "Is there any home remedy for fleas that is safe for outdoor rabbits? anything I can put around the hutch or on them to keep the flease from the wild rabbits at bay? thanks."Replies
04/11/2011: Sandy from Sanford, Fl replies: "Eucalyptus is great for repelling fleas. I am not sure if you can put it directly on the rabbit, but you can sprinkle the oil outside. Be careful not to put it where he eats. And make sure you get pure oil and not just the fragrance."
09/26/2012: Tntfreedom from Ottawa, Kansas replies: "I use flea free in there water it keeps fleas, flys, tick, mosqetios and other blood sucking hungery animals off them. All flea free has over 200 hundred natural vitamins and minerals treat ear mites, ring worm and more. Hope this helps. The taylor's Family rabbit farm Ottawa, Ks"
04/10/2009: Calra from Homer, MI/USA: "Misc Remedies for Rabbits:
I have not tried any of these myself but was given the list through another rabbit website.
Okugest tablets are a homeopathic medicine for humans, which are used for, diarrhoea, bloat and for improvement of the gut motility, intoxication.
the tablets do contain the following homeopatic ingredients:
Okoubaka aubreveille D3 - prevention and treatment of poisoning, (foodpoisoning, pesticide poisonong, and self poisoning (auto toxic) diseases/ alergy .Okoubake helps the body regain control and normalizes the immune system to fight of other potential aggressors. For treatment, gastroenteritis, intestinal infections/ intoxification, and diarrhea.
Arsenicum album D12 - treatment of indigestion, anxiety, fever, pain and lots more.
Carbo vegetabilis D6 - treatment, bloat/gas, Abdominal distention with cramping pains, worse lying down,
Croton tiglium D6 - treatment acute and chronic diarrea, upset stomach, gas,
Veratum album D12 - treatment, sudden collapse, painful cramping followed by great weakness and exhaustion, diarrhea or constipation"
11/28/2009: Dorothy from Colorado Springs, Co: "I have house rabbits that picked up mange mites possibly from a pair of guinea pigs we took in. Anyway, I've been searching for a way to treat them that is not Ivermectin or Revolution or Advantage or any other of those heavy chemicals that may cause other problems down the road. Anyway, I read up on borax, and it is NOT a safe product to be using. Even the box carries a warning. And it has been known for a long time that hydrogen peroxide causes cell damage. So I'm wondering about the information on this site. I'm also wondering if anyone has a treatment that isn't dangerous that might work on my rabbits. Ointments are useless. Bathing is extrememly stressful for bunnies. I've started using diatamaceous earth, but it is very drying to their fur and doesn't seem to do anything very fast. They have a great diet (better and fresher than most people) with fresh items and quality hay."Replies
12/23/2011: Anna Nikki from Toronto, Ont replies: "Cedar oil is good for getting rid of parasites, fleas, mites and bedbugs and is harmless to animals and humans. You can find it at the health store or online."
06/21/2012: Jennifer from Austin, Texas replies: "Please don't give your bunny cedar oil because it's poisonous to them just like using pine or cedar wood shaving for bedding is poisonous."
01/05/2009: Joyce from Arcadia, CA, USA: "I WILL TRY THE PUMPKIN FOR MY SAD CONSTIPATED BUNNY. I HOPE IT WORKS."
04/16/2011: Carol from Pontefract, England: "Please please help my bunny has swollen eyes and slightly swollen genitals. I took her to the vets on Thursday 14th April the vet checked her chest and took her temperature and said these were both fine. she said its unlikely to be the big [M] and gave her some antibiotic medicine. Please please please help me I dont want to lose her and I cant stand to see her suffer."Replies
04/25/2011: Sarah from Trowbridge, England replies: "Hi, It sounds like your rabbit has syphilis."
05/04/2012: Teresa from Piney Flats, Tennessee: "Does anyone know if it is ok to use Castor Oil on a breast lump and to give Tumeric internally to a rabbit for this condition? And how much tumeric to give internally.... I am assuming that you just rub the Castor Oil on the lump."
04/09/2012: Teresa from Piney Flats, Tennessee: "The vet found a lump close to our female rabbit's breast. She doesn't know if it's benign or cancer. Can we use remedies on her (rabbit) that are suggested here for dogs and cats???Please let me know your thoughts....
Thank you! Teresa"Replies
03/07/2013: Yeli from Indonesia, Bali replies: "Mites. Prob solution is rub or make the infection area with iodine first if open wound and next days is just vinegar and water. Very good result. Good luck!"
Wry Neck Remedies
12/12/2013: Forloveford from Lethbridge, Ab, Canada: "I have been researching wry neck in rabbits and have found sources stating a very low dose of ivomec administered biweekly will kill the spores of EC (encephalitazoon cuniculi) the protozoa that attacks the kidneys and results in the horrible symptoms of wry neck. I would like to find out if there are any known natural methods of eliminating and even preventing the parasite from becoming opportunistic and attacking the kidneys and brain?
Here is some info about our rabbits:
We feed ACV to our rabbits by means of adding 1/2 tsp to their bottle of water. The rabbit with wry neck was previously fed a diet of hay and pellet food, the other rabbit has been converted to a raw diet consisting of veggies, fruit, seeds and hay. Since the onset of the wry neck I have administered a low dose of ivomec- 1/10 cc per lb of weight- to each rabbit and fed grated carrot mixed with seaweed and ground dandelion root to aid immune function. I have also been feeding the unaffected rabbit small amounts of bee pollen, which he loves, but the effected rabbit will not eat these things. In my opinion, the effected rabbit is not be used to the diet that our older rabbit is, it took him about a month to completely convert his diet. I wish to stay away from feeding pellets to the effected rabbit because pelleted food can become contaminated and cause the wry neck problem. Hopefully this will not stress the effected rabbit in a way that will cause her immunity to become even more compromised. She has been eating the hay and baby greens and drinking allot of water, since the dose was administered (Dec 12/2013) they have become more lethargic than usual, which in my understanding is normal behavior for the next 24 hours.
So I hope there may be someone out there who has had some knowledge and understanding of this parasite and its effects. For the best source I found for information on this disease here is the link (if its not against the rules of EC) sorry if it is. Barbi has been researching this disease for over 25 years, although methods are not natural they seem to be the only alternative to the veterinarian so far. Also if anyone is wondering why we haven't taken the rabbit to the vet, it is because there are no rabbit vets in this area, most vets will not even touch the subject of small mammal care here and I know the cost of the tests necessary to diagnose EC parasites would be more than I could afford. As an example it cost us $900.00 to have our cat euthanized after a blood test.
12/13/2013: Theresa from Mpls., Mn replies: "Hey Forloveford!
Some ideas for you:
About the Ivomec - not a big fan but it does have its place in certain situations. Ivomec is an immune depressant. The sluggish behavior after dosing is very likely a Herx reaction; the Ivomec causes the parasites to die off enmasse which makes bun not feel so good for a few days as the toxins caused by the parasite die off work their way out of his system.
I like the ACV in the water bottle - be sure to use the raw, unpasturized unfiltered kind with the active cultures/"mother". Another thought would be to alkalize with baking soda; you might consider hanging two bottles and letting the bun decide for himself which one [ACV/baking soda] he needs.
Read up on alkalizing remedies on EC here:
Read up on remedies for parasites on EC: http://earthclinic.com/CURES/parasites.html
Consider adding food grade diatomaceous earth [DE] to your buns food, or making a slurry of the DE and dose it orally [mix try DE with water until it forms an easy flowing gruel and dose 1cc am and pm to start].
Consider dosing tinct of Black Walnut; tinct straight out of the bottle likely will be unpalatable to a bun, so add a few drops to a little water and get out the turkey baster/eye dropper/what have you and admnister orally to the bun.
Consider a nutritional approach with foods that are natural remedies for protazoans:
Blueberries - 1 tablespoon twice a day for 5 days
Broccoli - 4 flowerets twice daily for 5 days
Carrots - 2 baby raw organic carrots twice a day for 8 days
Celery - 1 raw stick twice a day for 7 days
Green Pepper - 1 half-dollar sized piece twice a day for 2 days
Lemon Juice - 1/2 teaspoon twice a day for 5 days
Pumpkin Seeds - 1 tablespoon twice a day for 8 days
Spinach - 1 tablespoon twice a day for 5 days
Sunflower Seeds - 1 tablespoon twice a day for 8 days
Any or none of the above may apply; hold your bun in your lap and read down the list, the right ones will just seem right.
Now, if you are good at dosing nasty tasting oral meds down your buns craw, some herbs may apply. Which ones you choose are up to you, so several or none may seem right. I mix them up with a little water and dose with a medicine dropper:
Astragulus - 1 capsule twice a day for 5 days
Bilberry - 1 capsule twice a day for 5 days
Cat's Claw - 1 capsule twice a day for 5 days
Dandelion Root - 1 capsule twice a day for5 days
Garlic -1 capsule twice a day for 5 days
Kelp - 1 capsule twice a day for 5 days
Licorice - 1 capsule twice a day for 5 days
Milk Thistle - 1 capsule twice a day for 5 days
Olive Leaf Extract - 1 capsule twice a day for 5 days
Oregano Oil - 1 pill or 1/4 teaspoon twice a day for 5 days
Oregon Grape Root - 1 capsule twice a day for 5 days
Pau D'Arco - 1 capsule twice a day for 3 days
Schizandra - 1 capsule twice a day for 5 days
Turmeric - 1 capsule twice a day for 5 days
Yellow Dock - 1 capsule twice a day for 5 days
After banging that all out on my keyboard, the Milk Thistle struck me as indicated - read up on EC about it here:
Good luck with your bun, and report back with an update please!"
12/14/2013: Forloveford from Lethbridge Ab Canada replies: "Thank you, that's a great couple of lists and I will definitely be trying some, dandelion root has already been used so I'm going to keep that one up. Any thoughts on coconut oil? There are little to no studies done on the effectiveness of coconut oil on rabbits other than to test cholesterol levels. I give it to my old dog for his anal glands, he chews on them so even though they are healed he keeps opening them up, works like magic and he will be healed in a week.
I am seeing some effects of the ivomec on my small rabbit, diarrhea, off his food, not drinking and sluggish since last night. Im wondering if giving him a tiny bit of activated charcoal would help his diarrhea, although I dont want to stress him any more than needed and I wonder if I should just let it run its course."
12/14/2013: Theresa from Mpls., Mn replies: ""Hey Forloveford!
"dandelion root has already been used so I'm going to keep that one up."
Did you feel it was working? My suspicion is that it wasn't providing the results you wanted to see, hence your initial post. My experience with these remedies is that, if they work - they work fairly quickly and its obvious they are working. IMHO if its not working, try something else - again JMHO.
"Any thoughts on coconut oil?"
I think it would be much easier to get a bun to eat carrots or spinach or green pepper even than coconut oil, but if it came to you then you should give it a whirl. If this were my bun, I would put out each of the fresh remedies including the coconut oil in a small dish and let the bun have at it; he will know, perhaps better than anyone, just what he needs to ingest to heal himself. Again, JMHO!
How often are you dosing the ivomec? Are you sure of your doses? The AC might help with the loose stools, however since you know why the loose stools are present [dosing ivomec/system detoxing] it seems contraindicated to me - ie let it run its course.
That said, its your bun and I advise anyone to go with their gut as I am only tossing out advice from my side of the keyboard and you are with your bun real time.
I would watch to make sure your bun doesn't dehydrate - if anything I might err on the side of caution and use a dropper to make sure he is getting sufficient water. If the diarrhea is severe, then home made pedialyte is in order.
4 cups of water (boiled or bottled drinking water)
1/2 teaspoon Morton lite salt (because it has potassium in it as well as sodium chloride) Can use regular table salt if you have to.
2 Tablespoons sugar
If you want to add the AC start with 1 cup of electrolyte solution in a small jar with a lid; add 2 heaping tablespoons of AC and then put the lid on and shke to blend. This goes into a syringe well and then can be placed into your bun's mouth; tip the head back and gently depress the plunger to allow him to drink it slowly.
Take a peek at this thread - the remedies certainly could apply to your bun:
12/14/2013: Forloveford from Lethbridge Ab Canada replies: "I have only tried the dandielion root for two days now, not sure how its working because his system is really in up-heaval right now. He just looks so sick its sad. I gave him coconut oil and he ate it so fast I figured he must have needed it, now he seems sicker than ever though.
As for dosage, the rabbit that was initaly efected got a larger dose and she is allot better I noticed, it is my small bun that seems to be going through a shock, I literally gave him 1 tiny drop of a syringe, less than recommended. I think he is adjusting to the different herbs and meds he has been given in such a short time.
To ensure he stays hydrated I have been syringe feeding/watering him with a solution I made thanks to your recommendation. I made a very diluted dandelion root/raspberry leaf tea with mineral water, added about 1/2 a tsp of turbinado sugar and a few grains of sea salt (all I had). Ive also ground up swiss chard and spinach leaves, mixed them with water to make a juice and syringe fed him that. He will not eat on his own even when offered his favorites like apple and carrot nor will he drink from his bottle.
It has been a few hours since he was at his worse, he is moving around his cage a little more (actually changing positions) and his breathing is not so shallow.
He must have been more sensitive to the medication because of his size which is amazing to me since the dose was so small compared to what I was supposed to give him. I hope he pulls through and thank you so much for your advice and recommendations."
12/18/2013: Forloveford from Alberta, Canada replies: "Just an update:
Our little bunny died in the night after trying everything we could. I think his size really accounted for his sensitivity. Poor thing, we loved him so much, it's a shame to lose him. The other bun, the carrier of the disease, is still alive her symptoms have gotten worse but she is getting through. We pray she makes it until Thursday for her next dose of ivomec. She is no longer in our care and is in fact with the original owner so hopefully she makes it through to be a very special bunny. Results are supposed to be more apparent after the second dose.
As for all the natural remedies I can only say that despite our trying we still have no idea what would have worked or not. We will not be having anymore rabbits so there is no way for us to test this out, nor would we want to, it is such a heart breaking thing to see and go through.
In the mean time we have bleached everything in the house to ensure the cats do not suffer from this disease (very rare to find it in felines, only very sick ones)."
12/20/2013: Theresa from Mpls., Mn replies: "My condolences, Forloveford, for the loss of your bunny.
You fought the good fight and tried so hard - how sad the bun lost his fight with this parasite.
Thank you for sharing your journey."