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This website is devoted to the care and well-being of all rabbits, and focuses on pet rabbits kept as indoor members of the family.

Last site update: Wed Feb 25 01:52:51 EST 2015

Recommended items

For treating wounds

Stomach problems

Grooming

In case of evactuation

Other useful things

A complete, compact example

The Rabbit Emergency Kit

Check out my book on pet rabbit care and socialization, and I'm always updating it. The book is copyright-protected but available for free, though I request a $1 donation for the bunnies and for my efforts. C'mon, what's a buck?

Emergency Kit

When an emergency happens, it's too late to prepare for it

The house isn't on fire. Therefore we don't need a fire extinguisher. Right?

And let's not mince words - part of this emergency kit will be for treating any wounds you may suffer as a result of treating an injured animal. If you're going to do it, you may as well get it right. You may or may not be afforded any protection (to your hands, arms, etc.) when helping an animal that is hurt, and one of the ways they tell you they're hurt is by biting you.

An emergency kit that is already packed, or one that can be packed in a matter of seconds, is very important to have, but you must also know how to use each of the elements of the kit so that you don't make matters worse. Please consult your veterinarian for advice on what things you may wish to do or avoid with respect to treating your rabbit for common maladies. The list provided here is more like a shopping list of the basics you should have on-hand so it's there when you need it, but you must know how to use these items. Also provided are some photographs of one of our members' kits, to give you an example of what it might look like and how compactly it can be stored and ready for fast evacuation.

Click to see one of our members' emergency kit for his bunnies

PLEASE NOTE: we are not offering any kind of medical advice - in any situation in which you must administer any type of treatment to your rabbit(s), PLEASE call your vet first!!

We recommend you keep a document comspicuously near where your pets are housed, and provide the following information:

  • Contact information for all of your veterinarians (primary, secondary, emergency room, etc)
  • Contact information for all people who can temporarily care for your animals if you are unable for any reason (such as being abducted by space aliens again)
  • Descriptions of each pet, including:
  • Name, breed, sex, age, physical description
  • Feeding instructions, special foods, treats, diet restrictions
  • Handling instructions (general rabbit handling and anything specific to each individual)
  • Medical conditions/care instructions (including notes on identifying common conditions in case a vet visit is dictated)
  • Behavioral notes (likes/dislikes/keywords/etc)
  • For free-range pets, notes on where they may be hiding
  • If you can, provide photographs (ie, for identification, or to demonstrate what a proper salad or dinner looks like)

An easy way to maintain a fully prepared emergency kit is to simply use it as your main resource for caring for your buns. (This would be similar to "living out of your suitcase" while travelling). If you keep most of the things you need in there anyway (ie, medications, nail clippers, etc) then not only can you find things easily, but you won't have to do anything during an emergency but pick up the kit along with everything else. With a little thought to how you'd best like to use it, you can very easily maintain such a kit that is completely stocked and ready to go.

Many supplies that you would keep in the event of an evacuation can be kept in one carrier (like a satchell) - things like cardboard litterboxes, newspaper, blankets, anything that doesn't go stale and can be left for a long time. Another emergency kit would have the supplies you use on a daily basis except for the food and water. As for storing food and water, you should get in the habit of having a bag of food and a gallon or more of water in your evacuation kit, and as you run out of food, buy more food, put a new supply into the evacuation kit and change the water, and begin using the bag that was stored in there. This will ensure that the food and water you put aside for evacuation is as fresh as possible - always use that and replace it before anything else.

If you buy food for many rabbits in heavy bags, you should have already repackaged the original bag in3to many small one-gallon bags so as to keep the food as fresh as possible (unless your rabbits comsume the entire bag in a week or two, you don't want to keep opening the large bag with all the pellets because

The following are suggested in your emergency kit:

  • All current medications for all of your pets - this means that you have to "live out of a suitcase" in order to keep their current medications ready for an emergency
  • Syringes (for feeding and medicating)
  • Baby aspirin
  • Nail clippers (we recommend the guilltine type)
  • Tweezers
  • Small scissors
  • Small flashlight
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Contact information for all of your veterinarians (including emergency rooms)
  • Treats (ie, a very small amount of raisins, dried cranberries)
  • Rescue Remedy
  • Critical Care (order from Leith Petwerks 5 oz. packet, 1 lb. canister)
  • Hot water bottle
  • Plastic Thermometer (preferably a digital infant thermometer)
  • KY Jelly or Vaseline (to lubricate the thermometer)
  • Towels/blankets

  • For treating wounds (to buy time to get to the vet only - do not assume you are qualified to properly treat a wounded rabbit):
    • Gauze pads
    • Butterfly bandages
    • Narrow Ace bandage wrapping
    • Cotton balls
    • Pure alcohol (for sterilizing, not for you!!)
    • Q-Tips
    • Neosporin (Regular, not "Plus" - not the one with pain reliever!!) or Bacitracin (Topical antibiotics for cuts/scrapes)
    • Chlorhexiderm, or 1% Betadine solution (dillute 1:100 with distilled water) (a disinfectant)
    • Vetericyn (made specially for animals, a topical disinfectant)
    • Styptic powder (flour or cornstarch can also be used to stop bleeding)
    • Saline wound or eye wash solution
    • Note: if your rabbit is hurt, you may very well get bitten while trying to help (this is simply an animal telling you it's in pain, it isn't personal and it isn't any indication of a biting bunny) so you may also want to consider having bandaids for yourself - it also may be very helpful to have potholders to wear to protect your hands from the teeth (you'll still feel the bite pressure, but at least you won't lose a piece of your hand)

  • For stomach problems: (Note - many stomach problems can become life-threatening quickly, so make sure to observe your rabbit for warning signs of distress, and if see any, or you just aren't sure - contact your vet as soon as possible)
    • Infant anti-gas drops (active ingredient - simethicone)
    • Baby food (only fruit flavor, no preservatives)
    • Petromalt or Laxatone (for partial blockages)
    • Pedialyte (unflavored) for restoration of electrolytes

  • For grooming:
    • Brush
    • Hair dryer (Rabbits' fur should not be wet!!! - they can easily get very sick and die from being wet - if your rabbit's fur is wet, use the dryer on a low setting waving back and forth over the fur until it is dry!!)

In the event of an evacuation, you should also be prepared with:

  • Pet carrier, with your contact information on it
  • Food and bottled water - enough for 7 days, and at least two bowls
  • Hay (as compacted as you can possibly make it)
  • Small litter box (you can even use a shallow cardboard box, like for a case of soda cans, and line with newspaper and top with hay)
  • Toys
  • Blankets, towels, pee-pads, etc.

Some other things that would be very useful, but are not necessary:

  • Stethoscope
  • Otoscope
  • Heavy-duty wire cutters or small bolt-cutters (in case you need to cut through a section of cage to free a bunny's paw, and this only applies if you have a cage and either confine the bunny at times, or your bunny just likes to hang out in his/her own "room" sometimes - if a paw should get stuck, any struggling could lead to a broken bone, so these cutters may be the only way to safely free your bunny)
  • Phased plasma rifle in the 40 watt range


Recommended Reading:

Zooh Corner's recommendations for an emergency kit


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Last update: Wed Feb 25 01:52:51 EST 2015