What can you give a rabbit for pain

What can you give your rabbit for pain? Depending on the exact cause, you can reduce pain in pet rabbits by treating them medically or own home remedies. To treat medically, a sick rabbit is usually given narcotics (opioid drugs) or NSAIDs. And, natural pain relievers include massages to treat abdominal pain and acupuncture to control pain in a rabbit’s body.

What can you give a rabbit for pain
What can you give a rabbit for pain

Because rabbits can’t explain their sudden painful area, identifying your rabbit’s pain is difficult. However, pain perception in all animals is almost similar. Hence, early detection and treating pain is important to prolong your sick rabbits life and hopefully avoid any invasive surgery.

As rabbit owners we must know that pain is an underlying health issue that needs immediate treatment. So, identifying the main cause of pain will allow your vet to differentiate pain and make an accurate diagnosis. And, help your rabbit to relieve stress and discomfort.

So, what can you give a rabbit to treat pain? Continue reading the post to learn more.

How do I treat pain in my rabbit?

Analgesic choices are preferred by vets when treating excessive pain in a rabbit. Aspirin is the common pain medication used to relieve minor pains and aches. Also, it helps reduce fever and other types of infections. However, it depends on the exact nature of pain.

Buprenorphine is another medication that helps to relieve pain and discomfort. Vets administer this drug when your rabbit needs surgery.

While there are no specific drugs for rabbits, many pain relievers contain an effective dose for them. So, whenever you suspect your pet is hurting, immediately contact your vet.

What are signs of pain in rabbits?

What are signs of pain in rabbits?
What are signs of pain in rabbits?

You should observe changes in their usual behavior to identify the cause of pain, such as abnormal postures or sudden aggression. Certain physical manifestations such as limping, sore feet and licking an injured part are common signs of pain in rabbits. Moreover, they will decrease their food and water intake.

Also, they may have trouble breathing. Other signs include being aggressive, tooth grinding, and making little movement. And, when you start hearing audible pain manifestations, it confirms that they are in sudden pain.

Changes caused by pain

Both humans and rabbits share the same mechanisms when they experience pain and discomfort. However, rabbits can’t cry. Before knowing how to get a cure, first, you need to watch out for the changes.

The first change you notice is their inability to move freely. Also, they will not eat adequate food and water. Limping is another great change caused by pain. Moreover, tooth grinding and having trouble breathing are prominent changes.


Another great way to detect pain in your rabbit is to observe the noises they make. And, purring is a sure sign that they are in great discomfort. Purring sounds are similar to that of a cat’s purr. However, in the case of rabbits, the sound is soft.

And, the sound originates from their throat along with slight grinding of their teeth together. Keep in mind that a sharp, tooth grinding sound is a symptom of significant pain and discomfort.

Physical signs of severe pain

While rabbits can hide painful feelings, you can still find out ways to find out if your pet is experiencing severe life threatening pain. If you notice any of these below for extended periods, then veterinary care is advised asap for your bunny to resume normal behavior.

Here are the physical signs of severe pain that you need to watch out for.

  • Sudden fall in rabbit’s energy level
  • Loud tooth grinding
  • Shows signs of aggression
  • Rapid breathing
  • Open wounds or bleeding
  • A bloated abdomen
  • Scratches, rubs, and licks on specific areas
  • Inability to sleep
  • Changes in gait
  • Loss of curiosity
  • Hunched posture

7 Responses to What can I give my rabbit for arthritis?

7 Responses to What can I give my rabbit for arthritis?
7 Responses to What can I give my rabbit for arthritis?

An uneven gait in your pet indicates that it is experiencing arthritis. It is a disease that gets reflected through extreme pain and slow movement. So, what can you give your rabbit for pain? The first thing to do is contact your vet and seek medication.

Because there is no cure for arthritis, your vet will discuss ways to control and manage the symptoms. So, here is what you can give your rabbit for arthritis.

  • You need to provide proper home care to your pet
  • Work out on a weight loss regime for your pet
  • Provide the right medication needed
  • A balanced diet provides joint lubrication and increases mobility
  • Gentle massage over the affected area helps a lot
  • Take your pet to acupuncturists and physiotherapists
  • Use Meloxicam daily

List the benefits of pain control in rabbits?

Still, wondering how to treat pain in your rabbits? Before that, you should know about the benefits of pain control in rabbits.

  • Normal mobility
  • Faster recovery
  • Improved breathing functions
  • Reduced stress responses
  • Improves appetite
  • Resolves poor sleep habits
  • Decreases spread of cancer following a surgery
  • Reduce anxiety

What happens if moderate or chronic pain is left untreated?

You should treat chronic pain regardless of whether it is severe or moderate. If left untreated, life-threatening conditions may develop having adverse effects. Here are the conditions that you need to be aware of.

  • A sudden drop in body temperature
  • Development of stomach ulcers
  • Disease in heart muscles
  • Low blood supply to the kidneys resulting in kidney problems
  • Prominent changes in gastrointestinal flora

Drugs that will help reduce pain

Drugs that will help reduce pain
Drugs that will help reduce pain

Certain drugs such as meglumine, flunixin, carprofen, aspirin, and meloxicam help in reducing excessive pain to a great extent. However, it depends on the exact drug, dosage, and type of pain that your rabbit is experiencing. And, only your vet can find out that after a thorough diagnosis. Contact your vet immediately and get immediate assistance.


It is another common drug for rabbits, especially if the pain is from arthritis. Meloxicam is an anti-inflammatory drug that has effective results. Moreover, it is easy to administer because it comes in liquid form. The effective dosage for rabbits is about 1mg per kg. If you give less than that to your pet, the effectiveness of the drug is almost zero. Again, you should consult your vet for the right dosage. Failing to do so might result in severe consequences.


Buprenorphine is one of the commonly used analgesics to assist in pain management. Early tests conducted on rabbits have shown positive results. The rabbits found it easy to handle the drug. And, they were clinically healthy as well. It is a great pain reliever for rabbits. The recommended dosage for rabbits is 0.01 to 0.05 mg per kg. However, your vet will give you the right dosage according to the intensity of the pain.

List the pain relief drugs for rabbits?

  • Aspirin
  • Carprofen
  • Ibuprofen
  • Ketoprofen
  • Flurbiprofen
  • Paracetamol
  • Meloxicam
  • Piroxicam
  • Tramadol
  • Fentanyl patches
  • Flunixin
  • Buprenorphine
  • Morphine
  • Nabulphine
  • Hydromorphone
  • Butorphanol
  • Pethidine
  • Oxymorphone
  • Pentazocine
  • Meperidine

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

Some of the common pain relief drugs such as NSAIDs include meloxicam, carprofen, aspirin, and ibuprofen. These drugs are useful in treating swelling and chronic conditions in rabbits. NSAIDs are common pain relievers that deliver effective results if your rabbit is having moderate pain.

However, approach with caution if you intend to use NSAIDs for a prolonged time for your pet. It might hurt your rabbit’s gastrointestinal tract and cause kidney damage. Sometimes, your pet may need NSAIDs for chronic pain like arthritis. On such occasions, your vet will examine your pet’s blood to make sure if its organs are healthy.

Epidural Anesthesia

This kind of anesthesia is conducted by injecting it into the spinal fluid. As such, the rabbit remains sedated. Epidural anesthesia aims to numb the area of injection around the spine. In general, it is used when women are giving birth. However, in rabbits, it relieves post-surgical pain after an abdominal procedure like GI surgery. It is short-term anesthesia applied only in a vet clinic.


Narcotics are the strongest analgesic drugs for pain treatment in rabbits. These are used in surgical pain management and bone pain. Narcotics are commonly administered through injection.

However, some of them require to be administered orally. Whereas, others work by having a patch on the skin. Apart from that, the FDA controls most of the narcotics. They are rarely prescribed for rabbits.

Anesthetic Locals

Local anesthetics are administered in rabbits by injecting them into the skin directly. Or, used as topical creams or drops. In general, vets use local anesthetics before skin procedures. These include ophthalmic procedures, catheter placement, skin biopsies, small tumor removal, or nasophageal tube placement. However, anesthetic locals aren’t used as long-term pain relievers. That’s because the duration of action is for a little time.

Note of caution

It is wise never to develop a treatment plan or make your own remedies to provide relief for your rabbit. Keep in mind that each medication has its side effects and can damage your rabbit’s health. Also, you need to make sure that your pet doesn’t experience significant changes in gastrointestinal mobility. This becomes important when they are stressed.

Related Questions:

Can you give ibuprofen to rabbits?

It is unwise to give Ibuprofen to your bunny unless your vet tells you to do. Humans take Ibuprofen to manage pain. However, human medication can cause complications in rabbits. So, it is good never to give any kind of medications meant for humans to rabbits. But if your vet prescribes Ibuprofen, you can give it to your pet.

Final thoughts

Rabbits cannot convey a message regarding their pain. Hence as rabbit owners, you should observe for any signs that relate to pain. Your vet will provide you with the right medication needed for your rabbit after a thorough diagnosis.