Last Updated on December 5, 2022 by Rei Garnet
If your rabbit bites you, immediately wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water. You should also apply an antibiotic cream and cover the wound with a band-aid.
Rabbit bites are not dangerous and would rarely result in any medical concern.
The most likely danger when it comes to rabbit bites is the possibility of infection if you have not cleaned the wound properly.
Now that I’ve given you the gist of the article, read on as I explain in more detail what to do if your rabbit bites you:
What to do if a rabbit bites you?
Rabbit bites would rarely cause any medical attention.
If your bunny bites your hands, they are likely just trying to nip and bite them to play with you.
To prevent infection, you should also apply some kind of antibiotic cream.
Finally, cover the bite wound with a band-aid.
If you suspect that the rabbit that bites you is sick or might be carrying some kind of disease, you should call your doctor for medical advice.
Reasons why rabbits bite.
Now that we’ve discussed what to do if your rabbit bites you, it’s time to understand why it happens in the first place. Ignoring this problem would just repeat it.
Here’s the most common reason why rabbits bite:
- Experiencing extreme pain. A change in appetite, rapid breathing, loud tooth grinding, low energy, and high-pitched noises are all signs of extreme pain in rabbits. Bring your rabbit to a veterinarian immediately if you notice any of these symptoms.
- Defending themselves. If your rabbit doesn’t trust you yet, they might try to defend themselves from you because they are prey animals. Be patient and respect their space for now.
- Protecting its food. Some rabbits can become aggressive when their food is touched. This could mean that they’ve been underfed and neglected in the past. If you notice that your rabbit is biting you when you touch their food bowl, then it is possible that your rabbit has food aggression.
- Asserting dominance. Male rabbits that are sexually mature or unneutered rabbits will become aggressive after reaching sexual maturity at 6 months old. Aggressive, dominant rabbits will bite and kick to assert dominance.
- Protecting their territory or kits. Female rabbits often become territorial and will protect their territory after giving birth. If the mother rabbit feels that you might harm her kits, she will protect it at all cost. Pregnant rabbits often become aggressive and territorial near their due date.
- Past abuse. Past abuse can make a rabbit untrusting of humans. Rabbit owners should be patient with rabbits like this. Make them feel as safe as possible without forcing it.
- Unneutered. Without neutering, sexually mature rabbits often show behavioral problems like biting. This is caused by hormones that compell the rabbit to be aggressive and territorial.
- Stressed. Rabbits that are enclosed all day could develop stress. Stress would likely make your rabbit aggressive. Rabbits are social creatures that thrive on social interaction.
Do rabbit bites cause infection?
Yes, rabbit bites could lead to infections.
Just like any other animal wound, if it’s deep enough and you didn’t clean it properly, there’s a chance that it would lead to infection.
It’s important that you properly treat the rabbit bite to prevent infection.
Here’s the step-by-step guide on how to properly clean a minor animal bite by the Mayo Clinic.
It’s also advisable that you seek medical care if one of the following is true:
- Your tetanus shots are not up to date.
- The bite is severe (bleeding excessively or a deep punctured wound).
- The bite site shows signs of infection (swelling, redness, pain, or oozing).
- You’re worried that the animal that bit you might have rabies.
Do rabbit bites hurt?
Rabbits’ teeth and jaws are made to chew soft vegetables, so their bites are not that strong compared to carnivores.
But, if your rabbit is in distress because something is scaring them, they will bite you with everything they’ve got.
These bites hurt because they’re wiggling their body while biting to cause as much pain as possible to stop what’s scaring them.
But most of the time, pet rabbits will just nip you to remind you that something is off-limits or you’re pissing them off.
These bites are often mild and do not draw blood.
Can rabbit bites cause rabies?
Rabbits rarely get rabies, and they are not known to transmit rabies to humans in the United States, according to the Humane Society.
However, if you suspect your pet bunny has been bitten by a rabid animal, consult a doctor and keep an eye on it for a few weeks to see if it dies.
Rabbits that are infected with rabies often die within a few weeks.
The same is true if the rabbit that bites you is a wild rabbit.
You might have an active infection in your area, so you should call the proper authorities to find out more.
How to prevent your rabbits from biting you?
A pet rabbit that bites is a symptom that something is wrong with them.
They may have been neglected, abused, unneutered, or stressed by their current environment.
The only way to prevent your rabbit from biting you is to find out what’s causing it in the first place.
If your rabbit is suddenly biting you out of nowhere, it’s best to call your veterinarian.
Most of the time, a sudden change in personality is caused by some kind of medical issue.
Also, consider spaying or neutering your rabbit if it is prone to biting.
Once sexually mature, unneutered rabbits often become territorial and will display aggressive behavior such as biting.
If everything about your rabbit’s health checks out, you can try spending more time with your rabbit.
It’s common for rabbits to bite those they don’t trust.
Spending time with your rabbit and caring for them is a great way to earn their trust.
If your rabbit has been neglected or abused in the past, it’s important to be patient with them.
Approach your rabbit slowly and watch their body language.
If you suspect that they are not ready to be touched based on their body language, don’t do it and try again on another day.
If your rabbit is biting due to food aggression, ensure that your rabbit always has food and water.
If you have two rabbits, separate everything. That means separate food and water bowls.
Finally, try to understand and forgive your aggressive rabbit if they bite you.
Rabbits would not intentionally bite without reason because they are prey animals. Prey animals only bite as a last ditch effort.
Rabbit bites are rarely a medical emergency. Just make sure that you immediately wash the wound with soap and water.
You should also apply some kind of antibiotic cream and cover the wound with a band-aid.
If you suspect that the rabbit that bit you might be sick or carrying some kind of disease, call your doctor for proper medical advice.
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