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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 23211
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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This is a question that I hate to ask but my elderly rabbit

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This is a question that I hate to ask but my elderly rabbit today has stopped eating, stopped moving a lot and smells like a rabbit I had before that was dying. I know its time to let him go and I don't want him to suffer- I wanted to know if giving him a high dose of metacam would help him pass similar to taking him to the vets? I don't want to stress him by taking him to the vets if I can help it and want him to pass peacefully if possible at home. I have metacam at home as he has been on it daily for a while to help with arthritis. Thanks for any advice you can offer.

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

Now I am very sorry to say but Metacam would not be a good way to help your wee one pass. It is an anti-inflammatory (akin to our aspirin or ibuprofen) and would not cause sedation or a peaceful passing. Instead, a high dose would only cause stomach ulceration leading to stomach rupture and kidney/liver failure, which would all be terribly painful ways to go. And while I do appreciate that you don't want to stress him with a car trip or vet visit, there is nothing safe at home you can use to end his life. The drugs we use to put animals down are tightly regulated. As I am sure you can appreciate this is because those drugs that would end their lives could end human lives as well. So, the government would not allow anything that could be safely used for this to be available over the counter.

Therefore, in this case, I would implore you not to over dose him with Metacam. A rupturing stomach ulcer would be horrifically painful and not something we'd want to have him suffer with. So, in this case it would truly be kindest to either make that trip this morning or phone his vet for a house visit (where they will euthanize him humanely at home with you). If you need to find a vet to visit or come to you, you can check the RCVS Register (HERE).

Please take care,

Dr. B.

Dr. B. and other Vet Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Just to let you know my rabbit Lucky was taken to the vet yesterday and put to sleep peacefully. Thanks for your fast reply!
You are very welcome,

While I know it will be heart wrenching that he is gone, do take comfort knowing that Lucky was able to go peacefully. And please do remember all the good times you shared and not just this sad moment of his life.

Take care,
Dr. B.