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  • Writer's pictureGail Petersen

A Community Language

Baseball fans, birdwatchers, car racers, antique shoppers and pet owners all have a language of their own. So does the rabbit community. It may sound unnecessarily “clubby” but it’s just shorthand talk for those of us who have walked a mile or two with our rabbit companions.


If you are visiting rabbit social media sites you probably already know the lingo. If not, here are a few translations to get you going (names were changed to protect the bunnies HIPPA rights).


Deb: Hey Tina, what happened at the exotic on Monday? Did she give sub-q’s to Theodore?


How was the exotic (rabbit -knowledgeable) vet?  Did she give Theodore some fluids under his skin to counter dehydration or bladder issues?


Tina: 50 mls and took a fecal and blood sample. We should know in a day if he needs antibiotics.

Theo got 50 milliliters of ringer’s solution under his skin.  He was fine with that.  I brought some of Theo’s recent dry droppings for analysis, and the vet took some blood to test for any parasites or bacterial infections.


Barbara: My new foster is a wild child and did a binky off the couch then took off for his new forage box we set up with different hays and healthy herbs. I think he broke the land speed rabbit record!

 No translation needed!

Deb: My little Roxy has had a dirty bottom for a few weeks. I’m getting concerned she has arthritis in her spine and can’t bend all the way to clean herself.


Most rabbits can and want to keep their bottoms clean, but some breeds have a harder time and arthritis can make it difficult for the rabbit to do what’s necessary.  When this happens, the human companion can play an important role in keeping them clean and healthy by keeping their living area clean, washing just their bottom if necessary, and using pee pee pads to keep urine from soaking into their fur.


Tina: Sometimes some pain med can help with that. And giving her a gentle massage to ease her stiff muscles and joints too. She’ll be back to normal in time for shedding!


There are safe and effective pain relief medications for rabbits, just as for us, and they should be used under the direction of a vet to help your rabbit with aging or other health issues causing pain.


While becoming proficient in “rabbit-speak” may be a plus, it is just nice to have a community where you can share your excitement, fears, questions, and other interests in one of the most important and loved parts of your life. “Rabbit people” have a great deal of knowledge to share about their experiences with rabbits. We learn from each other. We share resources with each other, and we appreciate the companion animal that we cherish so much.


If you want to learn more about the rabbit companion life, read through rabbit social media and ask questions. Like everything on the internet, there is as much misinformation as there is good information, so know your source. 


For information about rabbit-speak, visit the House Rabbit Resource Network to check out their Bunny Speak pdf.   And be sure to visit their Behavior page


Here are a couple of our suggestions for social media pages where you can learn and where you can ask questions:



Exotic Vet Corners Educational Group – You will have to join this private group. Questions are only answered by veterinarians or approved contributors.  You can post questions and media.


RHDV Information – This is a public read only page. Sharing is allowed, but to submit questions about RHDV2, head over to the North Americans RHDV2 Group page. 


Disabled Rabbits – "This group is for caretakers of disabled and special-needs rabbits to share tips on the special care required for these rabbits, veterinary treatments their rabbits are receiving, and to provide general support for one another. No one participating on this list is a veterinarian and therefore no one is qualified to give official veterinary advice. All information shared is meant to be complementary to your own veterinarian's advice and treatment plan." Taken from their page.


And of course, Safe Haven provides lots of informative links on our website Links page.  Or you can also send non-medical questions to us by using our Contact form.



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