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.
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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
- Difficult or labored breathing
- Elevated or low body temperature
- Hunched posture
- Intestinal inflammation
- Irregular heartbeat
- Lack of appetite for food or water
- Mouth irritation
Causes of Poisoning in Rabbits
- Flea control products
- Highly concentrated ointments and sprays
- Indoor and outdoor insecticides and pesticides
- Anticoagulant mice and rat poisons
- Automotive products
- Household products
- Human food
- Human medicine
- Veterinary medicine
Inhalation of certain products may be a cause for toxicity also.
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.
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
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.
Poisoning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals
Hi my bunny cookie passed away after esscaping into the garden she had no signs of poisioning i am worried about her compaion lettuce my lionhead could she be at risk also she is eating drinking playing normally .
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