Limping Due to Pain or Injury in Rabbits



Treatment will depend on the underlying cause and severity of the disease. If your rabbit is suffering from severe loss of appetite, tube feeding can be used to sustain nutrition until its condition has stabilized. Sedatives, or strong or mild pain relievers may be used - such as morphine or regular anti-inflammatory drugs to decrease inflammation and swelling, thereby decreasing discomfort. If infection is suspected, antibiotics may be used with caution.


Bandage or splint care may be all that is needed to correct the limb problem, but if the condition is of a more severe nature, such as joint deformities, fractures, abscesses, etc., surgery may be done to repair or remove the cause of the disability.


Living and Management


At home, you will need to provide your rabbit with a quiet spot in which to recover, with soft bedding and daily bedding changes. Removal of soiled bedding and measures to keep the fur clean and dry will be an important part of protecting your rabbit from a worsening of its condition. Activity should be restricted to protect the limb from any further injury until the symptoms have resolved.


It is important that your rabbit continue to eat during and following treatment. Encourage oral fluid intake by offering fresh water, wetting leafy vegetables, or flavoring water with vegetable juice, and offer a large selection of fresh, moistened greens such as cilantro, romaine lettuce, parsley, carrot tops, dandelion greens, spinach, collard greens, and good-quality grass hay. Also, offer your rabbit its usual pelleted diet, as the initial goal is to get the rabbit to eat and to maintain its weight and nutritional status. If your rabbit refuses these foods, you will need to syringe feed a gruel mixture until it can eat again on its own.


Unless your veterinarian has specifically advised it, do not feed your rabbit high-carbohydrate, high-fat nutritional supplements.