Making the Medicine Go Down

Let’s hope you never have to do it, but many bunnies will need to receive medication orally at some point in their lives. The time to prepare is now, when you’re not in a panic or emergency situation.  Many of our fosterers and volunteers have tried and true tricks for getting medicine in your bunny safely and smoothly.

  • Gather all your supplies and be ready before putting bunny on the counter. Never leave him there unattended.
  • Wrap them in a “Bunny Burrito”, which is like swaddling a baby. Lay a bath towel on a counter and place your rabbit in the center, facing away from you. Fold the bottom of the towel up over the rabbit’s bottom. Then, gently but firmly wrap one side of the towel around the rabbit, and repeat on the other side. Make sure his head is not completely covered up and that he can breathe easily.
  • If you hold your rabbit, keep them upright, and give medicines slowly so they don’t choke.
  • Rabbits have a space without teeth on the side of their mouth,called the diastema, just behind their prominent front teeth. Place the syringe in this area from the side.
  • If your rabbit objects to the taste of medicine, you can pre-load the syringe with the medicine, then draw up a little banana baby food at the end, so he tastes that first.
  • When you are done feeding or medicating, see if you can syringe a little plain water into him to help wash the food or medication down and out of their mouth. Bun would also appreciate a quick wiping with a damp cloth, please…

Finally, always give medicines under a vet’s supervision and instruction.

2 thoughts on “Making the Medicine Go Down

  1. I’ve had to give my buns meds before and did it following these directions. They worked excellently, especially the “Bunny Burrito. It works much better than the bunny french fry! I hope never to have to give my buns meds again, but if needed, I would follow these directions every time.

  2. Annie

    We had to give our Finn a daily dose of probiotics from a syringe in a gel form…. at that point he was already well enough to resist the burrito, and clearly didn’t like the taste of the meds (not even with banana!). So I tried a new trick that i’d heard worked for kitties- we smeared the appropriate dose of gel on his front paws, which he would then promptly lick clean!

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