Rabbits, as you may already know, will nibble on almost everything they can get their hands on. However, unlike many other animals, rabbits cannot vomit or regurgitate; they cannot discharge poisons from their bodies.
If you own a pet rabbit, you must understand its dietary habits. You should do this, especially if your rabbits are often allowed to roam around the compound, to keep them safe from dangerous plants.
Rabbits have a frail immune system and a susceptible digestive system, which can be easily triggered when they consume unhealthy foods and can be fatal if not treated promptly. Therefore, the moment you notice or suspect your pet rabbit has been poisoned, the best thing you can do for it is to contact your vet — don’t wait and watch.
Did your rabbit eat a poisonous plant, and you are confused about how to handle the situation? This guide will show you what to do and how to avoid similar occurrences in the future:
Symptoms of Poisoning in Rabbit
Symptoms of poisoning in rabbits range from mild to severe, depending on a few things, such as how long the toxic substance has been present in the rabbit’s system, the severity of the toxicity, and, of course, the age and current health condition of the said rabbit.
If you suspect that your rabbit has eaten poison, here are some of the common symptoms to look out for:
- Mouth irritation
- Increased or low body temperature
- Difficult breathing
- Loss of appetite for food and water
- Intestinal inflammation
- External or internal bleeding
- Hunched posture
- Dull eyes
What to Do If Your Rabbit Eats Poisonous Plant
As mentioned earlier, rabbits eat just about anything, including poisonous plants, and most of the time, they don’t even know when or how to stop, which will only cause them more harm. So if you notice your bunny has eaten a poisonous plant, here’s what to do:
1. Recognize Your Rabbit is Sick
The first thing to do when your rabbit is poisoned is to understand that it is sick. If you didn’t see your rabbit eat the poisonous plant, it could take hours or even days to realize they’re sick. That way, you can find out early so their health does not deteriorate significantly.
So, how do you find out if your rabbit is sick? by being on the lookout for either of the symptoms mentioned above. For example, If you notice that your rabbit is no longer as hyperactive as it used to be, has lost its appetite, is vomiting, or has difficulty breathing, it could be a good indicator that your dear bunny is sick; you make plans to seek immediate actions.
By “take action,” we’re not suggesting that you should attempt to treat your rabbit yourself, except you’re a certified vet. Instead, you should calm down and look for clues on what might have poisoned your bunny. This will help you to have detailed information for the veterinarian.
2. Remove The Rabbit from the Source of Poison
If you were lucky enough to find your rabbit while eating the poisonous plant, carefully pick it up and take it to a safe place, then observe it for some time before contacting your vet.
To prevent future occurrences, you need to remove the poisonous plant either by uprooting it or clearing the area if it covers a large portion. If the toxic plant happens to be your house, garden plant, or ornamental flower that you cannot dispose of, try to prevent the rabbit from gaining access to that part of your home. Fencing the flowery part of your garden can help to prevent your rabbit from eating the poisonous plant.
3. Identify What the Rabbit Ate
If you didn’t catch your rabbit in the act but found out hours or days later, the next thing is to identify what exactly poisoned your rabbit – this could be a plant or even an inanimate object. So, how do you identify what your rabbit ate?
Your rabbit most likely did not finish the plant they ate, so look around to see if you can find the partially eaten plant(s). Once you discover that your bunny might have consumed it, visit your vet as soon as possible.
4. Know the Quantity Your Rabbit Ate
After you discover what your rabbit ate, you need to know the exact amount they consumed. While this may be difficult to figure out, it’s not entirely impossible. Depending on the age and size of your rabbit, they may not have health issues if they consume only a tiny amount of the poisonous plant.
However, regardless of their age or size, if they eat a large amount of the poisonous plant, they will become sick.
5. Find Your Rabbit’s Health Record
You probably know this already. However, if you don’t, it’s high time you found out. Understanding your rabbit’s health record is essential because it helps you figure out the type and species of rabbit you own.
Different rabbits have different gut anatomies, which determines how they react to toxic substances. You don’t want to lose your rabbit out of negligence, do you?
6. Feed and Keep Your Rabbit Hydrated
Keeping your sick rabbit hydrated may help to flush the poison out of their systems. If the rabbit has lost its appetite already, feed them with some applesauce or another type of soft food. This will help keep them nourished and strengthened. Doing this ultimately gives your beautiful bunny a better chance of fighting the sickness.
7. Take Your Rabbit to the Vet Immediately
If you have done everything to this point and there’s no visible improvement in your rabbit’s condition after some time, take them immediately to the vet for proper care. To get an adequate diagnosis, tell your vet where, when, and how the poisoning happened. You can also bring the poisonous plant or substance to the vet clinic. That will let the vet understand the situation better.
In some cases, it might be better to jump right to this stage, depending on the amount of toxin consumed or the rabbit’s health condition when you discover the sickness.
Common Poisonous Plants for Rabbits
While many plants are safe for rabbits to consume, several others pose a danger if eaten. Here are some poisonous plants for rabbits:
1. Pothos plants
Pothos are house plants that can cause severe harm to rabbits. Although they are usually kept around the house as decoration pieces, they contain dangerous toxins. You must put the pothos plants out of the rabbit’s reach, especially if they’re on free roam.
2. Garden plants
Garden plants and bulb-growing plants are poisonous and should be kept out of reach of your rabbits. Some examples of toxic garden plants include:
- Crocuses, and
Similarly, foxgloves, buttercups, primrose, delphiniums, larkspur, comfrey, poppy, holly, nightshade, monkshood, periwinkle, ivy, rhubarb, privet, yew, and other garden plants are toxic.
Rabbits may develop anemia and a weakened immune system after consuming onion plants and their relatives. This comprises all common onion kinds like white, green, and red onions, as well as garlic and shallots.
In general, onion plants, including their roots, leaves, and flowers.
Chrysanthemums are floral houseplants that might cause a high level of discomfort to your rabbit’s skin. To keep your rabbit from chewing on this plant, endeavor to pick up any fallen leaves or flowers.
Eucalyptus trees are not very common, but they can be extremely toxic when consumed by rabbits. They cause indigestion, which is a terrible condition for bunnies.
Tips to Keep Your Rabbit Safe from Poisoning
Here are some tips to keep your rabbit safe from poisoning:
In The Home
- Keep house plants out of reach for rabbits and ensure your rabbits stay away from the part of the toxic garden plants. Use fencing to demarcate your bunny’s playing area from the part of your home with poisonous plants. Watch out for leaves, seeds, and petals; pick them up as soon as they drop to the ground.
- Protect your rabbits from pesticides, herbicides, rat baits, plastics flea products, and other substances that could harm them.
- Keep sick rabbits away from other pets to prevent cross-contamination.
- Watch your bunnies closely, whether they are indoors or running freely in the garden.
In The Garden
- Ensure their playing and grazing areas are free from poisonous plants.
- Check your bunny’s water supply regularly to ensure they don’t get contaminated.
- Finally, ensure your rabbit’s health, in the worst-case scenario.
Rabbits, despite their tolerance to poisons, are nevertheless vulnerable to certain toxins. They must be looked after, and if they become ill, they must be treated. Bunnies can’t stop themselves. Follow the steps to assist them in regaining their health.
When they are in need, assist them. They have a natural means of eliminating pollutants, but it is not always effective and can make them quite ill. Learn about what can harm your pet bunny the most and how to best help them.