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What is Poisoning ?

Unlike most other animals, rabbits are unable to regurgitate or vomit. Therefore, rabbits are not able to rid their bodies of poison. In addition,  rabbits can also recycle poison and toxic compounds through their digestive systems because they're caecotrophic. 

Exposure to inappropriate foods (such as garlic, onions, chocolate, and grapes), dangerous household products (cleaning supplies, antifreeze, detergents), plants, and medications may allow for your pet to accidentally ingest, inhale or have contact with a harmful substance. Mild to severe symptoms may result due to poisoning; signs of toxicity may not be immediately apparent. If you suspect your pet has experienced a toxic exposure, a veterinarian visit is essential.

Poisoning in rabbits can occur when your pet is exposed to toxic compounds such as those found in insecticides, flea collars, household cleaners, and medications.

Poisoning Average Cost

From 293 quotes ranging from $300 - $2,000

Average Cost

$850

Symptoms of Poisoning in Rabbits

Depending on how long the poisonous compound has been present in your rabbit’s system, the severity of the symptoms, and the present age and health condition of your rabbit, the resulting toxicity will range from mild to severe.

  • Abdominal tenderness
  • Bleeding externally or internally
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Difficult or labored breathing
  • Elevated or low body temperature
  • Hunched posture
  • Intestinal inflammation
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Lack of appetite for food or water
  • Lethargy
  • Mouth irritation
  • Pain
  • Seizures
  • Weakness
  • Death
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Causes of Poisoning in Rabbits

Application 

  • Flea control products
  • Highly concentrated ointments and sprays
  • Indoor and outdoor insecticides and pesticides

Ingestion

  • Anticoagulant mice and rat poisons
  • Automotive products
  • Household products
  • Herbicides
  • Human food
  • Human medicine
  • Metal
  • Plants
  • Veterinary medicine

Inhalation of certain products may be a cause for toxicity also.

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Diagnosis of Poisoning in Rabbits

Once at the veterinarian clinic, let the veterinary team know what symptoms are present as well as whether you have knowledge of exposure to a potential poison or irritant. If you are aware of the product, plant, or medicine for example, that your rabbit companion may have been exposed to, be certain to bring the packaging, medication bottle or plant sample to the clinic in order to aid the veterinary team in the diagnosis.

A physical examination that will allow the veterinarian to rule out other conditions that may present similarly to poisoning. In addition, certain clinical signs may point to poisoning (plant remnants in the mouth or household cleaning product residue on the fur). The veterinarian will also conduct blood tests to see if there are any abnormalities or underlying health conditions, and may perform x-rays to locate any substances or masses in your rabbit's gastrointestinal tract.

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Treatment of Poisoning in Rabbits

Many poisoning cases are reversible if they are treated in an aggressive and prompt manner. Treatment will be based on the type of poison affecting your rabbit. Prognosis and recovery ultimately depend on the cause, the severity of your rabbit's condition, and how quickly you responded to your rabbit's symptoms. Your veterinarian will choose to treat your rabbit with one or more of the following treatment options:

  • Activated charcoal will bind poisons in the stomach
  • Artificial respiration will be used if your pet’s breathing is labored
  • Blood transfusions can be required with rodent poison exposure
  • Body temperature regulation
  • Hydration therapy if your rabbit is dehydrated due to vomiting and diarrhea
  • Pain management for stomach ulceration
  • Gastric lavage to eliminate poison
  • Vitamin K in the case of certain toxicities
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Recovery of Poisoning in Rabbits

Once your rabbit is cleared to go home from the clinic, he will require at-home monitoring. A quiet place for recovery, and plenty of water must be available. The veterinarian will advise on the recommended diet for the next few days. Some rabbits will need medication if there are lingering gastrointestinal issues.

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Poisoning Average Cost

From 293 quotes ranging from $300 - $2,000

Average Cost

$850

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Poisoning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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Mini Lop

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Seven Months

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Nothing Yet

My rabbit may have eaten a bit of rat poison (Tomcat)

Aug. 6, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Gina U. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Hello Tomcat rat bait is definitely toxic so I recommend that you take your rabbit to a veterinarian as soon as possible. He may need to have lab work and be monitored for a certain period of time. Good luck.

Aug. 6, 2020

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Rabbit

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Nine Years

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Unknown severity

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1 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Not Eating

Bunny ate avacado 48 hours ago and pooped a lot. In the past day she won't eat

July 28, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Rabbits need a lot of fiber, and avocado may not be the best diet for them. If she will eat Timothy Hay and get things moving again, she may be okay. If she is not eating, she is in danger of having her intestines stop moving, and she needs to see a veterinarian as soon as possible. I hope that she is okay.

July 28, 2020

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Oscar

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Lop Eared

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1 Year

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Fair severity

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pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Lethargy

I think my rabbit might have licked some of the flea treatment off one of my dogs hes not really pooping or eating and hes not really moving around much I'm going to give him some activated charcoal but I'm not sure how much to give him

Aug. 12, 2018

Oscar's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

It really depends on which product you applied to your dogs as some are toxic to rabbits and cause neurological symptoms; in this instance you should check the product with your Veterinarian to determine whether it is rabbit friendly and ensure that Oscar receives fluids and supportive care. However, if fipronil or another toxic medication was ingested you may need aggressive treatment from your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM http://veterinarymedicine.dvm360.com/fipronil-toxicosis-rabbits

Aug. 13, 2018

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Cooks

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mixed

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16 Weeks

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Critical severity

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Critical severity

Has Symptoms

Loss Of Balance
Floppy

My rabbit died suddenly. She was only 16 weeks old. She was very quiet all day and then fell and ran into a wall. To add to this we think she ate about a 10cm section of tomato vine about 2 hours before she died but once she was already ill. Could this have contributed?

Aug. 10, 2018

Cooks' Owner

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3320 Recommendations

Tomato vines contain a toxin but I doubt there would have been enough to cause any significant symptoms; without performing a necropsy I cannot say what the cause of death was. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Aug. 11, 2018

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NANDU

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Indian

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3 Years

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Mild severity

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0 found helpful

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Fever , Less Urination And Stool,

My bunny was uneasy from past two days, we went to vet he said,food poisoning,symptoms are,less urination,fever 104 fnht Lethargic movement, less stool.vet gave antibiotic for five days. I want to know weather treatment going right or not.

Aug. 7, 2018

NANDU's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

Without seeing Nandu, I have a hard time commenting on whether the treatment is appropriate, unfortunately. If he improves, you may feel better about the treatment. If he does not, it may be a good idea to discuss that with your veterinarian, or seek a second opinion to make sure.

Aug. 7, 2018

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Enoki

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Lionhead Bunny

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12 Weeks

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Fair severity

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Fair severity

Has Symptoms

None, As Of A Few Hours.

2 lionhead bunnies escaped pen last night and ate quite a bit of our philodendron/pothos plants. We don't know how long it's been exactly but so far they haven't been showing symptoms. What can we do to ensure they stay okay? Is there anything we can give them to help clear the toxins out of their mouths and tracts?

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Bella

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Flemish Giant

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16 Months

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Critical severity

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0 found helpful

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Critical severity

Has Symptoms

Limp
Bleeding From Mouth
Lack Of Appetite
Bleeding From Nose
Lathargi

A few days ago we found our Flemish laying in her bed. She couldn’t lift her head without it falling over, she couldn’t move her body and had blood coming from her nose and mouth. We wrapped her in a blanket to make sure she was warm (living in Florida so this shouldn’t be the issue). I had to hold her head so she could drink water and she was licking our hands. The night before she was fine. I watched our cameras and it was within an hour and a half of us leaving her room (she was very spoiled) that she jumped up and did a quick hop and then laid in her bed where she stayed til we found her the following morning. We had a pest guy come spray around our fence line but that was a month ago and her appetite and activity was fine. By the time we made it to the vet she barely had a heart beat, wasn’t responsive and was screaming so we just made the traumatizing decision to euthanize her to stop her pain. The vet said it sounded like encephalitozoonosis but all the research I’ve done doesn’t say anything about them bleeding like she was. The only thing was her being limp and her head tilted but it was tilted because she couldn’t move as if she was paralyzed. After the research I’ve done it sounds more likely to be poisoning but it could just be me wanting to understand the unexplained. It literally came out of no where. She was only a year and a half.. perfectly happy and healthy girl. She has a pedigree and I’ve checked to make sure all the way up through her great grandparents weren’t bred together (Incase this was an issue). She did come close with a wild rabbit that came into our yard but they never actually touched. We do have two other rabbits that didn’t interact with our Bella and we had looking into getting another Flemish so we just want to make sure our yard and house is safe for our babies.

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regie

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Brown

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5 Months

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Mild severity

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Spiting Out Food And Shaking

hi everybody my rabbit regie love to run around the house and go under my sofa. a few days ago i noticed that he was not eating as much as before and i just thought that he was full or something. but today when he went beck in his cage i noticed that he was laying down and shaking. i gave him a pellets and he love them but he spat it out. i knew somthing was wrong but i dont know if he is food poisoned r something please tell me what is going on with my bundell of joy as i will do what ever i can for him

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Stitch

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Lop Eared

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8 Months

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Dehydrated
Sleepiness
No Movement
Little Appertite

so i haven my bunny some cucumber last night and i forgot to wash it, he has been drinking and eating a little but hasn't moved from the same spot all day, even if he does he does he just goes back into the huntched position. he has bearly moved all day and i'm concerned for his health

dog-name-icon

Pickle

dog-breed-icon

Wild

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1 Year

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

None

My bunny just ate a tiny piece of a eucalyptus plant, will he be ok? He didn’t eat very much but should I take him to the vet or give him charcoal or just wait and see? I’m just worried I know it’s a very poisonous plant.

Poisoning Average Cost

From 293 quotes ranging from $300 - $2,000

Average Cost

$850

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