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I hope that if you are reading this post you are not in need of its information at the moment. But it is likely that you are if you’re researching how to treat an abscess. Dealing with an abscess is never fun or easy.
But it is so important that you know how to treat a rabbit with an abscess so you can act quickly and confidently should the need arise.
Rabbits can get an abscess with no real warning. You can do your best to keep sharp objects out of your rabbit’s living area but you might still have issues.
So don’t feel bad if something happens. Just jump in and deal with the problem at hand.
There are some not so lovely pictures past this point so be warned if you don’t handle that sort of thing well.
Disclaimer: I am not a veterinarian nor do I claim to be. I can not guarantee that my advice will cure any animal’s illness. All info is shared purely from my own 18 years of real-life rabbit raising experience and results.)
What Is An Abscess And How To Spot A Rabbit With One
An abscess in a rabbit is simply a nasty infection that very likely showed up from an injury you didn’t even know about.
An abscess is often a very thick substance similar to dried toothpaste. Sometimes it can be softer but that is not the norm.
Here are some things to watch for in case your rabbit gets an abscess.
- Your rabbit is not eating all of the usual amount of feed.
- You notice drolling around the mouth and chin even on a cool day and the rabbit has not taken a drink.
- Unexplained large lump on the rabbits body.
The best way to find out if your rabbit has an abscess is to do regular lump checks around the areas most likely to get them.
Why Rabbits Get Abscess
Male rabbits (bucks) are most likely to get an abscess on their chin from rubbing their scent glands on things.
Rabbits can also get an abscess due to poking themselves in the mouth from squabbling with their neighbor through another cage. Or simply biting themselves on accident.
Screws that have become exposed from chewing on the wood. – This is one big reason why I like hanging wife cages best because they can handle the chewing. You are not going to get rabbits to stop chewing so you have to use supplies that can handle it.
Another place to check is their feet and legs. If they were walking around and poked themselves you may not notice an abscess until its too late.
But the face and mouth are the most common places rabbits with get them.
Should You Treat A Rabbit With An Abscess
If you are squeamish and don’t even clip your own rabbit’s nails for fear of hurting them. Then no this is not a job for you.
But if you are able to control your emotions and turn on a tough exterior then you can do it of you set your mind to following this at-home rabbit abscess treatment guide.
Supplies You Need For Rabbit Abscess Treatment
Here is what you need to have the best outcome in treating your rabbit’s abscess.
- A towel to restrain the rabbit and protect you from being badly scratched.
- Scissors or buzzers. – I have these clippers and they work great.
- Gigi Numbing Spray
- Disposable Gloves
- Paper towls
- Exacto Blades – There are 60 blades in this kit. While that might seem like a lot this will set you up for a long time if you have several rabbits. Plus you will be able to throw the blade out every time you work on the same animal.
- Lavender Oil or Poroxide
- Dried lavender (optional)
Rabbit Abscess Treatment Step By Step
I’ve got some images so if you are squeamish just FIY. But they do help get a visual.
- Place the rabbit on a table so you don’t have to stoop down.
- Clip the fur away from the affected area. The fur will grow back so more space is better. If the infection gets caught in the fur it will be very hard to get off. The area must stay sterilized.
- Take the towel and wrap the rabbit up tight like a baby if the abscess is on the rabbit’s mouth. If not you can still use the towel to wrap the rabbit up as best as possible. Just make sure the rabbit can still breathe.
- But on the disposable gloves – These will help you be willing to clean out the infection without hesitation. There can often be a lot and its hard to not get any on your hands.
- Spray the area you are going to work with the Gigi Numbing spray and wait for a minute or two.
- Take the Exacto blade and pour some peroxide on it.
- Work the abscess up to the skin surface as much as possible with your fingers. Just like you are going to pop a pimple.
- Take the Exacto blade and make an insition the width of the lump. – Rabbits skin is thicker than you think so do not hesitate. Also making an insition too small is going to cause the rabbit more pain if you are trying to work a thick lump out of a small hole. **Yes there will be blood and it might seem like a lot. But it will slow down after a bit**
- If you need to widen the insition do so. Take the numbing spray and numb the open wound. You can do so any time you feel the need.
- Work the abscess until you do not feel any more thickness or lumps. – This could take some time It has rarely been a fast process for me. You are better off making sure than waiting a day and coming back to find the pocket filled with fluid again.
- Once you feel confident that the abscess is completely drained take the lavender oil and drop several drops into the wound and surrounding area. If you do not have lavender oil then you can do it with peroxide.
- The opening should scab over by the following day. Keep an eye on it and check often.
If you have a lavender plant I personally give my rabbits 5-10 inches of fresh plant for about three days after. If you want to learn how to grow lavender from cuttings read this post.
If you do not have fresh lavender this is a great place to get dried lavender herbs from. I would put one teaspoon of herb for every 4lbs of rabbit. You can find out more about lavenders medicinal properties here.
Abscess Prevention For Rabbits
The key thing is keeping sharp objects out of the rabbit’s living area. You also have to watch bowls and toys made of plastic. They can easily be chewed and have sharp points on them.
Rabbit Abscess Treatment FAQs
Rabbit abscess symptoms? – Rabbit will likely not be eating all of the usual amount of food. Some rabbits will act differently but not all of them.
The best way to find an abscess is to feel around the rabbit’s body regularly.
Rabbit abscess treatment cost? – If you are going to take the rabbit to a vet I would estimate $150-$500 depending on the veterinarian and the severity of the abscess.
Can an abscess kill a rabbit? – Yes if left untreated the infection can go into the bloodstream and kill the rabbbit.
Other than watching closely there is not much else you can do. It doesn’t matter fi you sprayed the rabbit’s cage with Lysol every day they could still get one. That’s why you are learning rabbit abscess treatment.
I have had to deal with more than my share of abscesses over the years and my ability to push through has grown as well. If you are strong and have the courage to do it. You can treat your rabbit’s abscesses at home too.
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