I have a pet house rabbit. I want to create a first aid kit, that has items specific for bunny first aid, what should it include?
The most important thing you can do to help an injured rabbit is to avoid GI stasis by ensuring that he/she keeps eating!
Thus the first aid kit should include:
- Your rabbit's hay (in-case you run out)
- Timothy pellets - these are enriched treats,like a fiber one bar for humans. It's okay to have a little every day, but no more than a 1/4 cup per 5 lbs or rabbit. They can be used as a meal in dire situations where your bun won't take hay.
- Critical care - This is a timothy hay milkshake that you force feed the rabbit if it's not eating.
- 5cc up to 25cc syringe - for dispensing the critical care with.
- A small towel - to make a "bunny burrito" with so you can keep the rabbit still and calm while force feeding
- Septic powder - to stop the bleeding in case you cut a nail too close.
You might also consider asking your vet to keep a standing prescription for a motility agent, such as metoclopramide, on file for you in case your bun is having trouble digesting.
Further, it's much better to be proactive than reactive; it's very hard to help a rabbit on your own, and almost anything besides a badly clipped nail can be extremely dangerous. Because rabbits are prey animals, they naturally do everything in their power not show they they are hurt and weak, and thus it's very hard to tell how badly hurt they really are. Any rabbit that seems to be injured really needs to be brought to a vet for a thorough examination.
In the meantime, to avoid vet visits, invest in a good set of nail clippers (I prefer ones with a backstop so you can't slip and cut too much off) so you can avoid nail problems. Plan on spending a small fortune on chew toys until you can find what your rabbit likes better than your furniture as the must wear down their teeth or risk painful molar problems. Ensure your house and especially your baseboards are lead free (I learned this one the hard way). Finally, cover all wires that the rabbit might be able to access with a hard plastic wire cover to prevent electrocution.
If you have any other questions check in with your local rabbit society as they'll have the info about where to get the best food and doctors in your area: http://rabbit.org/
virtualxtc has a great answer which I have accepted. I am also posting my own answer, with photos, and a couple of minor difference (opinion based, just different not right or wrong).
Prevention is the most important part of first aid, and grooming is the interactive part of prevention. The first image is of my traveling grooming kit.
- My "Bunny Chair" custom made, with cabinet in the back to carry all the supplies. This chair lets me sit at ground level with back support, and have a bunny in my lap for grooming.
- Extra Q-Tips in baggy (on seat)
Foreground Left > right & top > bottom
- Small brush with round tips
- Kong Brush
- Head lamp (light is always pointing where you need it)
- Small LED light (for shining toe nails to identify quick)
- Scissors (Carefully remove matted hair)
- Toe nail clippers (I have a couple styles, any cat style that you like)
- Mans comb (separate mat from skin while trimming matted hair)
- Q-Tips (for cleaning scent glands)
- Bowl (for water to wet Q-Tips)
- Ear cleaner solution
I don't own or use Septic powder, because I unless I am 100% sure I will miss the quick, I don't cut the nail. This is really easy to say and extremely difficult do, particularly with dark nails. Stuff does happen, bunnies move, etc. including Septic powder in your kit is a good idea.
I don't include a towel, because I turn bunnies on their back for nail trimming.
Specifics about each of these tools, are fodder for separate questions. So I won't go into detail here.
First Aid Kit (left > right)
- Gas Drops (Little Tummys over the counter, any brand is fine)
- Spoon for feeding gas drops
- Reglan (or whatever prescription motility drug your vet proscribes)
- 1 ml/cc syringe (for force feeding gas drops and/or motility drug)
- Squash Baby food (or pumpkin for food when sore teeth or needing force fed)
- 3 ml/cc syringe (for force feeding)
- Critical Care (dry powder to mix with water for herbivores)
Anything else required should be part of your personal first aid kit and/or disaster plan