Friday, November 16, 2018

Rabbit Topical First Aid: What to Keep in Your Kit

Barn chores are something that come with every rabbitry or any home, farm or place that keeps animals.  The proper care and keeping of the animals we raise is important to me and our barn chores here at the bowery are pretty standard for any rabbitry.  They include things like:
  • feed & water the rabbits
  • clean food and water containers
  • remove waste and clean dropping pans
  • dis-infect cages and spray them down when needed
  • weigh rabbits periodically
  • trim nails monthly
  • enjoy, hold, cuddle and appreciate all the bunnies
I am just now starting to realize just what a time commitment this is.  At first it is a couple of rabbits and it takes a couple of minutes out of day so it isn't a big deal.  These few minutes start to multiple with each rabbit that you add to your herd.  Today Clarissa and I went out at lunch time to do our weight checks and nail trimming for each of the rabbits we have.  Right now including our three kits who only needed to be weighed that makes seventeen rabbits.  Well, we took our time and slowly worked with each animal so we didn't stress them out and so they got to be held and snuggled and posed a little bit as well and by the time we were finished two hours had gone by.

Now you may think that I am complaining about how long it took, but I am not.  I enjoyed the time working with my daughter and taking care of the rabbits; and as far as fall days go it was on the warmer side so I can't even say I was cold.  No, the reason that I mention our barn chores and the time we try to take and spend with our rabbits on a regular basis is because of how important it is.

We discovered while we were weighing our buck Swift and trimming his nails that he had caught his hip on something and injured himself.  There was a nickel size patch of skin that had been torn back and the under tissue was exposed.  Now I am certainly not trying to gross anyone out so bare with me.  This injury is a first in our rabbitry.  Something that I was shocked to find since just Saturday he had been at a show in Stillwater, OK with no injuries at all.

Now I am asking myself how did this happen?  Looking closely at it it doesn't look like a bite, it looks like he got caught up on something and hurt himself trying to jerk free.  So back to the cage to investigate.  We removed the water bottle holder that had a screw and nut on the inside of the cage on the off chance that it might have been the cause.  Of this I am not certain since he would have had to be flipping and doing gymnastics to get his hip that high up in his cage, but I guess it is possible.  Nothing looks out of place and I am stumped.  So into an empty cage he goes, until I have a chance to go over every surface with my bare hands and find the sharp or poking and offending point that could have caused the injury.

But this does bring me to my topic of discussion today.  How do we treat scraps and cuts on a rabbit?  What is safe to use topically that won't harm them when them groom themselves?

My small list of topical go to's that I keep on hand in my rabbit first aid kit:
  • Bag Balm Udder Cream - treats minor cuts and sores for rabbits and other small animals.  Helps prevent infections and is a topical antimicrobial wash.
  • Vetericyn Opthalmic Gel - goes directly in the eye for irritated, and injured eyes.  It is an antimicrobial solution and helps prevent infection.
  • Vetericyn Plus Wound/Skin Spray - Treats skin abrasions lacerations minor irritations cuts and intact skin
  • Kwik Stop Styptic Powder - helps to quickly stop bleeding if a nail trim gets the nail quick.
So we cleaned the area with a damp clean cloth and sprayed it with Vetricyn Plus Wound Spray and now we watch and wait.  With daily checks to make sure Swift is healing properly and nothing gets infected.  I am of the opinion that if you don't have the time to check on each and every one of your animals everyday then you have too many animals and I am grateful that something as simple as weight checks and nail trims allowed us to catch a fresh injury so quickly before anymore damage was done or before it had a chance to get dirty or infected.  He will have rest and time to recover as he misses the next couple of shows we have planned to attend.  But I have high hopes that he will make a full recovery.

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