Humans often take Ibuprofen for managing pain but human medication can cause complications in rabbits. Pain is defined as an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage. The experience is subjective, as different people will respond differently to pain, but animals can’t communicate with us verbally. This makes it especially difficult to identify and classify a rabbit’s pain.
Is Your Rabbit In Pain?
A healthy rabbit is bright, alert, active, inquisitive, has a smooth coat and good body condition. Pain can be inferred from observing changes in their normal behaviour. Signs of pain can be subtle, such as an increase in respiration, reluctance to move, sudden aggression, continuously squinting the eyes, a loss of interest in the surroundings or not being able to rest or sleep normally.
Studies show people and animals often return to normal eating and drinking habits sooner when given relief from pain, so can you give your rabbit ibuprofen if you think they’re in pain? Of course you want to help your bunny, but never give medications meant for humans to your rabbit, unless you are specifically instructed by your rabbit’s vet.
The US National Institute of Health has tested the effects of ibuprofen on rabbits with endotoxic shock and reported that “Ibuprofen was found to improve respiratory rate, heart rate, and arterial pressure. However, it did not improve the negative effects of endotoxin on body temperature, haematocrit values, white blood cell count, and thrombocyte number.”.
Get The Vet!
Bunny’s have very sensitive systems and most medications meant for human are likely to cause death in a rabbit. Ibuprofen may cause them gastric irritation or ulceration so the best thing you can do if your bunny appears to need medicine is contact your vet as soon as possible.
Do not try to develop your own home remedies for pain relief. Your veterinarian should be able to diagnose what’s wrong and recommend an appropriate plan to alleviate your rabbit's pain.