Lapis ISSN 2398-2969

Handling - restraint

Contributor(s): Jill Pearson, Susan Brown

Introduction

General considerations
  • Rabbits have very powerful hind legs. If they kick out unrestrained, the result may be spinal   Spinal injury  , pelvic or limb fractures   Limb fracture  . This is more common in the case of hutch-housed rabbits that have poor bone quality and have very little exercise. Handlers should always remember the likelihood of this type of injury and guard against it.
  • Some rabbits are tame and well handled - but even these may panic when faced with a strange person and an unfamiliar environment.
  • Accidents also happen when pet rabbits leap from a consulting room table in an effort to escape.
  • They may also panic on slippery surfaces or when the head or mouth is touched.
  • For the novice rabbit handler it is often safer to pick up the rabbit from the floor to prevent falls or leaps out of the arms at high levels until the rabbit is securely restrained.
  • You should speak softly and if the rabbit has been exposed to the smell of ferrets or the sound of barking dogs prior to the examination they may be nearly panicked by the time you pick them up. At this point some rabbbits scream when touched. Cover them loosely with a towel and let them calm down.

Carrying

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Examination

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Hospitalization

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Syringe feeding

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Further Reading

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