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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 21419
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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Not sure if my rabbit has eaten harmful plants in our

Resolved Question:

Hi
Not sure if my rabbit has eaten harmful plants in our neighbours garden,
He is very quiet and not himself, please advise,
The plant in question is possibly cherry blossom tree , or bluebell , both of these are in there garden but not ours,
Thanks Lisa
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.


Is Buck eating and drinking normally?

Is he producing normal stool (consistency and volume)?

Has he had any drooling?

Any belly discomfort if you press there?

Is he breathing faster then normal?
Any coughing, sneezing, or sounding wheezy?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi. It's hard to tell if he is eating and drinking normally, his stools seem normal , no drooling, and his belly doesn't seem to be causing discomfort when I pressed there, and no coughing or sneezing, or wheezy ,
He just seems to be laying about and occasionally shaking
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you Lisa,

While his signs are very vague, we do need to be wary. As a prey species, rabbits are notorious for following their instincts, pretending all is well, and causing us to miss that something is wrong until it is already well advanced.

So, if he is not himself, shivering (a sign of feeling generally unwell) and had access to either plant (since both are toxic and can affect the heart/blood pressure/breathing), then I do think it is worth having him seen by your local vet. They can check to make sure he doesn't have any abnormal heart rhythms, elevated heart rate, and that there is nothing else amiss.

Otherwise, you need to closely monitor his activity level and eating/drinking (since we can see secondary gastric stasis in oral intoxication cases). And further to that, you could consider administering activated charcoal at this stage. This is available over the counter from the pharmacy (ask for the high strength version, not the one for gas) and works by binding any remaining toxins in the stomach. For activated charcoal, we tend to give 1-4 grams per pound every 8 hrs. This can be mixed with veggie baby food to be fed or with water to syringe feed (do note that it stains, so keep it away from white carpets/clothes). This will just limit how much he absorbs (since we cannot induce vomiting in rabbits due to their not being designed to vomit) and reduce the intoxication risk here.

Overall, if he is shaking and not himself, I don't trust that he is telling us the whole story. I would suspect he is putting on a brave face and trying to hide how unwell he feels. Therefore, if he had access to either toxic plant, then we'd be best to have him seen. Or at the very least treat him with the activated charcoal to offset the plant toxins and keep a close eye on him to make sure he settles.

Finally, just to note in case you were keen to have him seen today, some veterinary practices in our country have office hours today. As well, I wanted to mention that most veterinary practices here do have contingency plans for emergency care for their patients even when they are not open. Therefore, it is worth ringing the practice. If they are open, you can get him seen today. If they aren't, then they will likely have a message to direct you on how to contact their out of hours service. And if you don't have a vet you can find one local to you, you can check the RCVS Register (HERE) to find your local vets or Vets Now (LINK) who are open all nights/weekends. In any case, if you wanted to get him checked out sooner then there are options to have him seen today too.


I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.

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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need as this is how I am credited for assisting you today. Thank you! : )

Dr. B. and other Vet Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your help , we have taken him to our local vet, and she has kept him in overnight, and will administer charcoal , antibiotics, and fluids, ,
Many thanks for your advice
Lisa
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
You are very welcome & thank you for the update, Lisa.

I do think that was the best choice for Buck. Hopefully, his vet can just offset any risk here, flush out and bind that plant toxin, and get him feeling more like himself.

Take care & best wishes for a speedy recovery for Buck,

Dr. B.

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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need as this is how I am credited for assisting you today. Thank you! : )