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Rabbit Anesthesia

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Mark Burgess, DVM, of Southwest Animal Clinic discusses anesthesia in rabbits. How to handle rabbits pre-anesthesia, what to be careful of during induction, and anesthesia monitoring techniques are mentioned.

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Mark Burgess's picture
Mark Burgess


Enrolled: 06/2013

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Morgan VanFleet's picture

Thank you for this! Just did my first rabbit anesthesia in years, and now I feel far more prepared to be working with them under anesthesia.

Caroline Yeung's picture

We premed our rabbits with a mix of Ketamine, Midazolam, Torb and Ace. It usually works very well and they don't require as much gas to get down before we try and intubate. They still hate the smell of iso so they'll still hold their breath for half a minute or so before they realize they need to breath.

mary gaspar's picture

i can consistantly & reliably place endotracheal tubes in rabbits and believe anyone that does rabbit anesthesia should learn the skill and practice it just as would be done for cats and dogs. i have taught many also. there is a bit of a learning curve, but it is really not that hard once you get the feel of it and know what to listen for. in my experience, you need to do it to learn it. the process does not translate well with just words....otherwise spend the money and get laryngeal masks. rabbit anesthesia can be scary enough without having to worry about a patent airway. on a side note, always rinse the mouth out while the pet can still swallow and before intubating, as food sitting in the back of the mouth/throat can clog the tube during intubation.

Megan Brashear's picture

Thanks for your rabbit anesthesia tips everyone, I love hearing from those of you who are working with these guys on a more regular basis! Keep the info coming, we're all learning from all of you!

Monica Martinez's picture

In regards to atropine...Doesn't it not have much effect in rabbits as it is. If I recall I think they have some sort of enzyme or something that makes this so.