What's In Our Rabbit Medicine Chest
It's important for everyone who has animals to have a home medicine box. Here is what's in our Rabbitry's medicine box, and why it's there. Grab the printable checklist here: Rabbit Med Box.
- Rubbing Alcohol
- Disinfecting Wipes
Why: Having a way to clean and disinfect a wound is a must.
- Neosporin or Triple Antibiotic Cream
- Gauze squares of varying sizes
- Medical tape (the clear plastic kind not the white paper tape kind)
- Vet Wrap
Why: If an animal needs bandaged there are a variety of supplies available. The basic gauze and tape is a must, but don't expect rabbits to keep the gauze in place with just tape. Vetwrap stays in place better than an elastic bandage and works great on rabbits. It can even come with a bitter agent to discourage chewing. Secure if necessary with a strip of clear plastic medical tape.
- Syringes (marked oral use only - not sterile)
- Kitten bottle
Why: Oral syringes are not sterile. We mark ours with an X so that we know that 1) it's for the animals not people - very important since you'll wash them in the dishwasher with people implements, and 2) so that we know it is for oral meds and not to be used with injection meds which need to be sterile. We also keep a kitten bottle in case we need to formula feed kits though we've never had a rabbit use it successfully.
- 3mL syringes
- 22G needles
- Sharps container
Why: 22G needles are the right size for easily delivering medications to rabbits. Because rabbits require such small doses of medication (think fraction of a mL), you want a small syringe that can easily be read to the 0.1 of a mL. The sharps container is where we discard all of our needles after use. Sometimes we toss our syringes in there too depending on what was in them.
- Penicillin G Procaine
- Neosporin or Triple Antibiotic Ointment
- Ivermectin Horse Paste (Apple Flavor)
- Infant Gas Drops
- Bromelin tablets (for Angoras)
Why: Pen G is great for rabbits. We use it for mastitis and severe sore hocks. Neosporin treats cuts (though most cuts don't need it), and Ivermectin treats wool mites and ear mites. We also keep infant gas drops on hand in case of bloat. Tums are used for rabbits that are having a hard time with labor to give them a calcium boost. Bromelin tablets are used to help with wool block in Angora rabbits. Probiotics are given after antibiotics and any time the rabbit needs a boost, same with electrolytes. Probiotics and electrolytes are both used for other animals on the farm as well.
- Accurate, easy to use scale
- Tongue Depressor or popscicle sticks
- Sharp scissors (think nail scissors, hair scissors, or surgical scissors)
- Surgical Kit
Why: Having an accurate scale is a must. You can't dose rabbits without one. You also want it to be easy to use or you'll dread using it. After 5 years of using a basket on a kitchen scale, and using a hanging luggage scale, we finally went to a pediatrician/vet scale for babies/small animals and we absolutely love it. It is quick and easy to use and no problem to put the rabbits on - unlike convincing them to go in a box/basket. The popscicle sticks are used for dividing and administering Ivermec orally. Tweezers for anything you need to remove from an animal. Sharp scissors are used to cut bandages and vet wrap, and also to carefully remove fur from delicate areas. Don't forget the records and writing implements. Keeping track of what exactly you did, when, to which rabbit, and knowing what else needs done is a necessity. Good record keeping saves you time, money, and headache.