MEDICINAL HERBS FOR RABBITS
Wild rabbits not only eat a healthy diet of fresh grass, but they also have access to a wide variety of wild plants which they can eat to balance out their diet and keep themselves healthy. When we keep rabbits in captivity we remove them from both their natural diet and the herbs they would naturally eat if they were feeling sick and need to self medicate. Providing rabbits with a range of herbs and greens that they can choose to eat, or refuse, gives them the opportunity to balance their own diet according to their natural instincts. Rabbit are ideal patient for herbal medicines because they are herbivores and eat their herbal medicine treats with enthusiasm!
One of the most important daily chore in your quest for raising rabbits is observation. Daily observation can easily detect illness or disease in your rabbits that can be found early and contained before all of the rabbits are affected. While you do your daily chores, simply stop, look, and listen. Stand quietly or listen carefully while you do your chores. You’re listening for sneezing, coughing, or labored breathing. A few sneezes here and there are common and normal. A rabbit that sneezes repeatedly needs closer attention. Look closely at the face and ears of your rabbits. Ears should be clean and free of mites. Mites will cause the ears to fill with yellowish nasty crust. It is very simple to treat but only if you know notice it. Noses and eyes should be clear and free of discharge. It only takes a few minutes longer doing your chores to check your rabbits daily for illness. This will also save you lots of time treating when prevention or cure is simple. The number one to keep you rabbits healthy is observation
I believe that most of the health problems rabbits have are brought on by an imbalance in their immune systems that allows the bacterial and parasitic disease to get a hold in the rabbits system. The best herb I believe for balancing the rabbits immune system is Echinacea it can be grown in any backyard and is available in most health food stores.
There are some preventive measures that will help you in your quest of raising rabbits, these will save you from many troubles. sanitation Keep cages clean, wire brush any dropping that get stuck and clean cages thoroughly between litters. Clean cages mean clean rabbits! I have never seen a rabbit die from good sanitation practices. Ventilation- air should be moving to keep fresh air to your rabbits if it smells to you it smells worse to the rabbits. Apple Cider Vinegar- Use as an additive to their daily water giving it continuously or in 3 month cycles (3on, 3off, 3on,etc.). Dosage: Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of ACV to a gallon of water. I have an earlier post in the January archives with lots of good information on Apple Cider Vinegar For Rabbits check it out. Grapefruit Seed Extract- 5 to 10 drops GSE to 1 gallon water 2 times a year for 2 weeks as a preventive wormer (I also use this when I get a new rabbit while the rabbit is in quarantine “just in case”). Echinacea- I use a few of the stems and leaves on top of their daily food as a preventive immune system booster. There are more but these are the best preventive measures I have found and use.
I know that pure breeds are more prone to suffer illness than the crossed breeds. This is mainly because of breeders trying to perfect a breed, in most cases the breeders do not take into consideration health risks, and inbreeding, to achieve the perfect rabbit. I have never have had any trouble with my crossbred meat rabbits. They seen to have a natural preventive built-in with the hybrid vigor! More on crossing rabbits to come!
Here are a few herbs and what they are recommended for. Most of these I have used on my rabbits. These are listed in order by herb name. Natural remedies work great for small ailments. I have seen the effects for treating GI problems, Nest box eye, Diarrhea, ear mites, etc. with natural means work. You should ALWAYS be feeding lots of good grass hay, tonic weeds like plantain and dandelion, raspberry, blackberry, strawberry leaves, willow twigs and leaves if they are available. These things will contribute to your rabbits’ good health, but they are not cure-alls. Just a reminder that seeds purchased for planting are not safe for rabbits. Most of them have been treated with fungicides etc. Stick to seeds purchased as feed or ones you have harvested yourself.
BIRCH – Chewing, pain relief, anti-inflammatory, diuretic.
BLACK OIL SUNFLOWER SEEDS – Coat Condition
BLACKBERRY – Used for pregnant does, summer cooling, stimulate appetite, diarrhea and safe introductory green for young kits use leaves and fruit,this is a very soothing to rabbits and can help cool rabbits in the summer heat by increasing circulation, awsome addition for pregnant does in the hot summer
BLUE COHOSH- Works in the same ways as Shepard’s Purse. It can be used if doe has a hard time birthing or kit gets stuck. It will dilate the birth canal. Do not give while pregnant, wait until doe is due. It will induce labor. Also it will help in healing once kits are born.
BORAGE – Laxative, Increases milk flow of nursing does, helps with fevers, reduces stress, A great treat after a doe gives birth,plus you can check her litter while she is busy eating her treat
CHAMOMILE – Pain relief, calm nervous rabbit, one of the best eye wash for weepy eye Chamomile tea and honey!!!!! Just make a cup of tea, a little stronger than you would drink it and add a teaspoon of honey. I use an old syringe w/o the needle to squirt into the eye. You can also use as a compress and as a wipe for the eye. It will work wonders. Both chamomile and honey are anti-everything! microbial, fungal, and with antibiotic properties. Let the rabbit eat some before you treat for eye problems because of its pain relief and calming effects will make the rabbit easier to handle
CHICKWEED – Anti-inflammatory, healing of cuts, molt
CLEAVERS – Healing of cuts, laxative
COLTSFOOT – Respiratory expectorant
COMFREY – Healing, bone formation, ill rabbits, stressed and weak rabbits, if you have a rabbit off feed try a few leaves of comfrey this is one of my favorite herb tonic for rabbits! You can cut it down and dry it like hay to store for winter use (can be cut down up to three times here in Maine) They also love the freshly harvested leaves(I have never wilted it) . The plant has a calming effect on rabbits Comfrey is a good source of vitamin A and good for pregnant and nursing does. It is a digestive aid, helps with wool block and is used for many other things. It supports the immune system, good for the stomach, feed as a general tonic. In extreme doses, comfrey can cause diarrhea. This is its effects working too hard and if left unnoticed, the rabbit may dehydrate. When used with common sense, Comfrey is one of the best herbs for rabbits.
DANDELION – Blood purifying, respiratory ailments, anti-inflammatory, bladder infections, diarrhea, milk flow of nursing does, good treat for does after having a litter. Some rabbit respiratory problems, such as pasteurellosis, can eventually cause serious problems including head tilt, loss of balance and death. There have been tests on rabbits that were treated with dandelion’s showing that it is effective against pneumonia, bronchitis and upper respiratory infections. Use fresh leaves, flowers and dig up root, the root can be dried to make a weak tea to add to the rabbits water. Well known for its curative powers. The bitter milky sap stimulates the working of all glands, including the milk glands of lactating does. The plant has both laxative and astringent qualities and regulates constipation and diarrhea.
ECHINACEA -Immune system stimulant and broad spectrum antibiotic. In the lower doses it’s the stimulant and in higher doses acts as an antibiotic. Anti-inflammatory with anti-viral properties. It can be grown in nearly every backyard and easily available at most health food stores. Echinacea is a great preventive herb to use for your rabbits. I feed a few leaves every now a then to my rabbits daily greens mix to boost the immune system and fight infection. Research has shown that echinacea increases production of interferon in the body. It is antiseptic and antimicrobial, with properties that act to increase the number of white blood cells available to destroy bacteria and slow the spread of infection. It is also a great herb to dry and add to your winter hay blend! You can also get the capsules at heath food stores add 4 capsules of the echinacea to one gallon of water and boil and cool store in fridge and add 1/4 herb water to 3/4 water and fill water bottles, crocks, ect,
ELDER FLOWER – Respiratory expectorant, fevers
EUCALYPTUS – Dried and powdered, and sprinkled repel fleas
EYEBRIGHT – Weepy eye wash
FENNEL – Bloating, gas, milk flow of nursing does
GARLIC – Immunize against disease, antiseptic, antibiotic, bloating and gas, wormer, respiratory expectorant. This stuff works it is just hard to get a rabbit to eat it!
GINGER – Infertility in bucks
GOATS RUE – Milk flow in nursing does
GOLDEN ROD – Anti-inflammatory
GRAPEFRUIT SEED EXTRACT- As for worming rabbits, grapefruit seed extract does the job well and is all natural. 10 drops in a gallon of water for 2 weeks..or longer if there is a known bad problem. This also helps to worm them and along with raw pumpkin seeds this mix should clean out your rabbits. I regularly run grapefruit seed extract through their water at least 2 times a year with a few raw pumpkin seeds on top of their food and have never had a problem with coccidiosis. I also use it when I bring in new stock this has many uses as a bactericide, fungicide, anti viral, anti parasitic
LAMBS QUARTERS- Another good wormer for rabbits I only feed lamb’s quarters only when it is young rabbits will reject it as it gets older. In spring it is very useful because it starts early when greens are a bit limited
LAVENDER – Circulation problems, nervous stress, exhaustion, induces labor. To bring on labour or expel placental material etc. in problem kindling’s. Use with caution. sparingly. in extreme cases only. The flowers are actually a mild tranquilizer, acting upon the heart in easing blood pressure rather than acting upon the brain as an anti-stimulant. Great for stressed out rabbits.
LEMON BALM – Anti-bacterial, antiviral, bloating and gas, diarrhea, reduce stress
LICORICE – Good for gastric inflammation and coughs.
LINSEED – Laxative, helps with molting
MARIGOLD – Bruises, slowly healing wounds, ulcers, skin diseases, digestive problems
MARJORIM – Coughs, inflammation of mouth, throat. Digestive problems, uterine discomfort, calm nerves
MEADOWSWEET – Weepy eye wash
MILK THISLTE – Helps take ammonia from the blood and protects both the liver and the kidneys, increases milk flow in nursing does
MINT – Firms loose stools, decreases the milk flow of does during weaning, Good herb for treating mastitis. Safe as food for dry does and bucks DO NOT FEED to lactitating does. Used for colds, eye inflammation, liver stimulant, and used to relax the muscles of the digestive tract and stimulate bile flow so mint is useful for indigestion, gas and colic. Avoid prolonged use, it can irritate the mucous membranes. Do not give any form of mint to young babies. Should be harvested just before flowering.
MOTHER WART – Weepy eye wash
NASTURTIUM – Strongly antiseptic.
NETTLES – Increases milk flow in nursing does
OATS – Feed sparingly in summer though. Good for digestive problems, diarrhea, kidney and bladder problems. Small kits may not be able to swallow oats and may actually choke on them.
PARSLEY – Enriches the blood, urinary problems. Roots are used for constipation and obstruction of the intestines. Good for the cure of inflammation of bladder & kidneys, digestive disorders, fertility in bucks, productivity in does
PAPAYA- When I used to raise angoras (Still have some fiber males) I would give them a papaya enzyme tablet every couple of days to help keep them from getting wool block. We always have had healthy rabbits. The enzyme helps to break down the hair in the gut, and keep things moving. I have also given them to the meat rabbits. The rabbits love them, You can get the tablets at most health food stores.
PINEAPPLE- Bromelain, the actual enzyme in the pineapple, is most abundant in the stem of the pineapple, the center part that we throw away. Fresh pineapple are best as the enzyme will be removed once frozen or processed. Bromelain is good for diarrhoea. It will reduce intestinal fluid secretion and is suggested that bromelain has mucolytic and digestive properties. So it’ll dilate the mucus coating of the GI tract as well as helping to breakdown proteins good for gut mobility and helping with hairballs good to give to rabbits during a molt
PLANTAIN – antimicrobial, antispasmodic, healing of cuts, respiratory expectorant, fevers. Great as a safe introduction of young kits to greens, works great for diarrhea. This is something I feed in my daily green feed mix. Leaves soothe urinary tract infections and irritations. Good for gastric inflammations. Juice pressed from fresh leaves is given orally for inflamed mucous membranes in cystitis, diarrhea and lung infections. Use the juice for inflammations, sores, and wounds. Plantain does not cause digestive problems. The plant regulates the function of the intestines and is generally good for the mucous membranes. Useful in the diet of weanling’s and can be harvested and dried for year round use.
PURSLANE- Purslane contains more Omega-3 fatty acids than any other leafy vegetable plant know of. There was a study where they fed Purslane to rabbits with high cholesterol and it lowered it.
RASPBERRY – Prevention and treatment of kindling problems like retained afterbirth. Improves condition during pregnancy, ensuring speedy and strong birth. Feed during the last two weeks of pregnancy as a great preventive prenatal supplement. Also wonderful cure for digestive ailments including diarrhea, infertility in bucks, fevers. and a safe introductory green for young kits
RED CLOVER – weepy eye
ROSEMARY – Lowers blood pressure, Ideal for exhaustion, weakness, and depression in rabbits. The stems and leaves invigorate the circulation, stimulate the digestion, and are good for cold conditions. Harvest fresh dry or grow inside for year-round use.
SAGE – dried and powdered, and sprinkled repel fleas, dry up does who’s kits have been weaned. Reduces lactation when weaning, digestive stimulant and a uterine stimulant. This herb should be used with caution and should be avoided during pregnancy.
SASSAFRASS – dried and powdered, and sprinkled repel fleas
SCOTCH PINE – bronchitis, sinusitis, neuralgia, rheumatism.
SHEPHERDS PURSE – Uterine disorders, A strong medicine for diarrhea. Use sparingly.
SORREL – Very cooling and soothing, it is a much cherished treat in the summer.
STRAWBERRY – Whole plant is antiseptic and cooling. Leaves are rich in iron and are supposed to prevent miscarriage. Externally used for inflamed areas, rashes and sore eyes.
THYME – Good for diarrhea The stems and leaves are ideal for a useful as a digestive remedy, warming for stomach ache, chills and associated diarrhea. Expels worms. Harvest before and during flowering in summer discard the woody stems
WILLOW – Intestinal inflammation. Willow twigs and leaves. Useful winter food, easily gathered and stored. Also a pain-reliever and possible natural coccidiostat.
If while treating your rabbits or at any other time your rabbits stools are soft and sticky, a temporary change of diet can be beneficial. Remove the pellets and grain, feed grass hay and some of the beneficial plants. These plants will aid in firming the stools but they are also part of a healthy diet and will not cause constipation. You do not want your rabbits to go from one extreme to the other. The four best plants for this are plantain, raspberry leaves, blackberry leaves and strawberry leaves. All these are useful plants for a food source as well as a medicinal. You don’t need to worry about feeding too many. These are also good plants to dry and add to your winter hay blend! A combination of any of these and the grass hay will usually solve the problem within a few days.
On the other hand, if a rabbit is exhibiting watery stools rather than merely soft, a stronger medicine may be needed. The dietary restrictions should be the same, but shepherd’s purse can be added to the greens listed above. Shepherd’s purse is an excellent medicinal plant, but it is very strong and you don’t want to feed too much. A small handful of leaves and stems twice a day for three or four days should fix things. As the rabbit is getting better, reduce the amount of shepherds purse and then stop but feed the greens listed above and grass hay for another day or two. Reintroduce grains or pellets slowly.
EAR MITES-(EAR CANKER)- Any type of food grade oil may be used- olive oil, corn oil, almond oil, ect. A few drops of tea tree oil mixed in to any of the oils listed will help the healing process the oil serves 3 purposes -soothes the skin, smothers and suffocates the mites, and speeds the healing process. Put 6 or 7 drops in each ear massaging the base of the ear to saturate the inner ear completely. The rabbit will shake out the nasty stuff after a few treatments. Treat for the first 2 days than every other day for 14 days after this, 2 times a week for the next 2 weeks ear mites have a 28 day life cycle so you must treat up to the 28 days to make sure all the mites are killed. I make a mix of mineral oil with a few drops of apple cider vinegar, 5 or 6 drops of camphor oil and rosemary oil in the store bought mineral oil container and use a few drops in each ear as a preventive when I trim the rabbits nails.
EYE INFECTION / WEEPY EYES- Eye problems are not uncommon in rabbits, dirt or other debris can get lodged in a tear duct(happens more often to kits in the nestbox) and if not washed out can cause a bacterial infection wash with saline or any human eye wash(remember they have all probably been tested or rabbits at some point)take a few drop of tea tree oil and smeared it around the inflamed area tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic and is very good at curing microbial infections. See CHAMOMILE above for more info
GI PROBLEMS- Rabbits need a high fiber diet for their best intestinal health. Grass hay is great for the healthy movement in the rabbits digestive track. If a rabbit is not eating there is a problem! If their poop pellets get small and dry or none at all it is a sign of wool block or GI stasis. You have to get the gastric tract moving again. Get some 100% canned pumpkin NOT the canned pumpkin pie filling (it has spices in it the will hurt your rabbits) Suck some up in a big syringe (remove the needle). Then put the plastic tip of the syringe into the side of the rabbits mouth and very slowly squeeze some out a little at a time give about 2 teaspoons for each dose wait about 3 hours and do it again you can give it 4 to 6 times a day every day until they start eating and pooping. Slippery elm bark in its shredded bark form fed to rabbits should help with GI problems if the rabbits will not eat it grind some up as a powdered form in its water mix 1 teaspoon in the drinking water 3 to 4 time a day. I have always had good luck feeding a few comfrey leaves and in a few days they are back on the regular feed schedule
KIDNEY OR BLADDER PROBLEMS- Any diuretic that will increase urine flow is good for the urinary tract in rabbits. This helps to keep bladder sludge down(caused from high calcuim intake). Dandelion root tea in the water with cranberry treats several time a week will help with any problems.The cranberry prevents bacteria from attaching to the wall of the bladder so it get washed out with the urine.
PREGENCY TONIC- Combine the following- dried, raspberry leaf, nettle, and goats rue (Galega officinale) in equal parts, and half part Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum). All organic either grow your own or get it from a health food store
Feed: 1 Tbs. per day at feeding time, to pregnant Does beginning one week before kindling through the first month. These herbs help ease kindling, offer nutrition and support lactation. Just sprinkle 1 Tbs. over their food, once a day.
If I have missed anything let me know I would be glad to add it to this post! Some of this information I have gotten from other sources online or old rabbit books. I have used most of these herbs on my rabbits over the last 30 years, use with caution and know what you are feeding your rabbits. Hope you enjoyed this post! Check us out on Facebook for daily rabbit information! JOIN THE RABBIT REVOLUTION by subscribing to our blog feed to get the new posts as they are added! Check out the podcast section of the blog page! Will be doing more podcasts in the future lots of good information!
Posted on June 9, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged animals, ear mites, flowers, food, fruit, GI disorders, healing rabbits naturally, health, herbs, leaves, medicine, moderation, natural immune system, nature, nutrition, plants, rabbit ears, restaurants, safe, tree, twigs, vinegar treatment. Bookmark the permalink. 123 Comments.
Thanks for such amazing information! I printed all this out so I could remember it and use it for our small rabbitry! 🙂
Glad you liked it!
Wonderful information! I’ll be referencing this a lot. Thank you!
Love your blog Thanks for these great information!!
Glad you like it! I have so much more I want to do just not enough time. Stay tuned got lots of more information to post!
Thx for the info was just concerned about my angora rabbits ears, otherwise bubbles is very healthy appetite excellent. When i serve dinner i dish up for him as well, he loves homemade veg soup, stews, roast potatoes/chips, biscuits, variety of fruit. He just enjoys food and fruit. My bubblooo boy just love him to bits
Sir I noticed basil is not on your list. I have been feeding my rabbit a few leaves every couple days. Is there any negative affects from basil?
Basil needs to be pinched down frequently to keep it from going to seed. If you aren’t using the pitching’s in your own food that day, your rabbits would be glad to help you out.Basil is a good food item to add to your rabbits diet!
We have a Meat rabbit Buck with head tilt. Are there good herbal remedies to use for this condition. Vet’s normally use antibiotics. Or is this something a vet should take care of?
There are different treatments for head tilt depending on the cause of the head tilt(also known as torticollis or wry neck). Some causes are middle-inner ear infection, Stroke, Trauma, Cancer, Cervical muscle contraction, Encephalitozoonosis,Cerebral larva migrans, Intoxication. In the case of ear infection by the time the head tilt shows up natural remedies can not work fast enough to cure, so antibiotics should be used. For most meat rabbit breeders I recommend culling the rabbit and get a new healthy buck to improve your lines. Sorry, for your buck. But if you think he is worth saving and it is cost effective you could bring him to the vet.
I have found a combination of antibiotics and comfrey cures respiratory disease where either one alone does not.
For hair blocks, I used 1/4 tsp. meat tenderizer (unspiced) in apple sauce daily for 3 days then give a dose of cat hairball jelly. 5-6 tablets of papain can be fed twice a week. Enzymes in meat tenderizer and papain break down the mucus holding hair in a ball then the jell helps pass it. High fiber food keeps the digestive tract in shape to pass hair also.
Great info thank you!
Can I add this link to my sons website?
Yes,Just mention Rise And Shine Rabbitry
Excellent ! Exactly the information I wanted
How much Garlic would you recommend to worm a 3.5 pound rabbit? And how frequently would you give it to them?
I would use only one clove 2 times a year as a preventive
Thank you so much! This is a great list. My rabbit has been having soft stools for quite some time before he came to my care a few weeks ago. I followed your diet recommendations to stop pellets and grains, which has really helped. I could only find a strawberry and mint plant near me at this time of year. How much should I be feeding him? He weighs about 4.2 lbs.
Glad this post helped you out! It is hard for me to say “how” much to feed your rabbit, every rabbit in my rabbitry has different amounts and varing food sources of feed to keep them in good body and breeding conditions. Just keep varying the diet so they can get the different nutrients from different the foods sources, but always use new feeds slowly to see how each rabbit reacts to it. Check out the Naturally feed rabbits post that should have so good info for you thanks for reading my posts!
Do you have any suggestions for a good place to buy organic dandelion root or an online supplier? Im interested in trying it for my rabbit but I don’t have the means to grow it this time of year.
Sorry, I have never bought it, but a local heath food store may be able to help. Thanks for reading my blog!
That’s okay I’ll have to look around. Thank you for all the helpful information!
Hello! I found this post while searching for natural remedies for worms in rabbits. Can you tell me where you buy your grapefruit seed extract? I wanted to know if it is food grade extract, or if you buy it specialty for rabbits? Thank you!
I get it from the local health food store (If they do not stock it, most will order it for you). It is food grade. Hope that helps. Thanks for reading!
Do you know the concentration of GSE to other ingredients (vegetable glycerin) in the kind you use? I have two bottle of GSE, one labeled “citricidal” that’s 60% GSE, and one that is just plain liquid concentrate, 33% GSE. If I use the wrong one, I fear I will end up either doubling or halving the correct dosage!
The ACV was really helpful for my rabbits! So glad I found out about it. My young bunny has a spine injury and had a small case of fly strike after being confined in his box.
Is there any herb that would help his spine? Comfrey seems to be have something to do with healing. Would that work? There’s birch too but would be used for an injured spine?
Usually in the case of a spinal injury most rabbits are culled, If it is a pet and the rabbit is not paralyzed the best thing would be some willow branches. This helps with inflammation, Also some Comfrey, do not overfeed the comfrey great as a treat or tonic. Hope this helps you out thanks for reading.
I am amazed by your information,so impressive..you truely answerd alot of questions i have regarding the ailments of my rabbs,thank you so much for taking the time to post your knowledge. I will check you out on facebook and try to follow whatever new info that you come out with from now on. Thanks again so much sincerly cathie buttice from garden grove california……
Glad you like it! Check out the podcast section on the web page had lots of fun doing them, have Rabbit Revolution Radio in the works and more pod casts on the way.
Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have
truly enjoyed browsing your blog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again very soon!
Thanks, glad you enjoyed my posts. Trying to do more but work, and homestead chores are getting in my way! Working on a few post at this time stayed tuned!
I once used rooibos tea to treat my male rex for a weepy eye and it cleared up fine , rooibos tea is amazing for everyone also fed to pet mouse with an unknown lump under her neck (unknown as i never had to go to the vet) ,it disappeared completely and she has been fine evr since! check it out
Thank you for the helpful info. I have a nervous rabbit we adopted from the local shelter. She was someones pet but I guess thety decided they didn’t want her & through her out into the wild. She is traumatized & we are doing everything we can to help her recover. She is very sweet. We are hopeful she will settle down with time. We will try the chamomile tea. Hopefully it will help. Thank you.
In your opinion, what is the best mix of greens to give to rabbits daily? What herbs and greens should be given less often? What is a good greens feeding schedule?
I do not have a regular mix, I just gather what is growing mixing as much variety as possible I like to feed more at night when they are the most active.
Hi I have a 6 month old holland lop/lionhead mix and he is awesome. He got sick when he was 2 months old and I took him to a special vet he had a respiratory infection after treatment he was fine but now the vet says he has a double ear infection and he will need antibiotics for the rest of his life. What can I do naturally? It seems from the list that echinacea and garlic
I agree with the Echinacea use a tea in the water, or fresh leaves ( I try to add some leaves in my daily green feed ). Hopes this works for you! Good luck with your rabbit.
I was given a list of herbs to give my rabbits for immune system boosting (echinacea), as well as for arthritis conditions (pain relief, anti-inflammation properties, etc) and bladder support; my question is: is it okay to give rabbits dried herbs rather than raw?
I’m guessing raw is best over cooked/pasturized herbs. I could only find fresh dandelion at my grocers. What about a tincture (like echinacea)? Are rabbits ok with the Glycerin base? (Someone recommended diluting the alcohol-based tinctures…that’s a new one to me.). Thank you very much.
I have always liked fresh or dried herbs.
I have a NZ white who is on her 2nd kittle but first kit to make it past the first few days. She has 9 babies. Just yesterday I noticed that she has stopped eating as much as normal. The babies are about 3 weeks old, and seem to be doing just fine. I gave her half an apple and she did munch some of that but she hasn’t touched her pellets in about 24hrs. She seemed excited when I threw in some grass as I do each afternoon, but didn’t eat any. I’m going to get some Echinacea, (as that’s the only herb I have that you’ve recommended), and see if that helps. She seems perfectly healthy otherwise. Do you have any suggestions? All my rabbit books didn’t offer any advice. Thanks.
I would use some apple cider vinegar in the water,that will increase the appitite, you have offered fresh grass that is also a good idea, If you can get some comfrey leaves or dandylion leaves that will hel also. How are her milk glands, give her a good lookover. Sounds like you are on the right track with the Echinacea. Good luck hope it all works out!
I am nursing a 4 month old Champagne d’Argent buck back from wry neck. The head tilt is gone, and I am advised to continue with Ivomec at regular intervals. His rear legs are very slowly recovering from paralysis. He drags them, more than moves them. I am treating some sores, and vent scabbing from urine burns during the worst of the illness.
Can you recommend any herbs or natural remedies to help ?
There are a few herbs that will help Comfrey, Echinacea, and Plantain. I personally would have put the rabbit down. A comfrey salve will help with the sores and scabs. Hope it all works out.
wow! I had no idea Dandelion was that healthy for animal as well. I know about the health side for humans which has been published here: http://dandelionrootteasource.com great post!
Thank you for the incredible info!!
Thank’s for reading my stuff!
Hi! I’m new to the whole herb’s for rabbits thing, I have a 6 year old bunny with EC and I will try anything to get her healthy! She’s on all types of meds but I’ve heard natural and herbal medicine may help a lot. With the dandelion, when its not in season (growing outside) do you know if there’s any place to purchase it? Or where to purchase the echanacea root? You have so much great information I would love to know where to purchcase some of them!
Thanks for such an informative and useful post!
Would it be alright to put a crushed garlic clove in each of my rabbits’ water bottles (as I do for chickens)? If so, how often should i do this, and should I perhaps only use half a clove as the bottles are considerably smaller than a chicken waterer. Basically, what ratio garlic:water would you use?
I only would do this for one week once a year as a treatment and 1/2 clove would be fine
Thanks! At what time of the year would it be best, and should I wait until they’re not pregnant?
can i add echinacea & ACV together in water bottle and everyone is asking about dandelion for me i’m in north florida and it grows on north side of house and it’s free
What an article! Great stuff. I m starting a rabbit project with about 30 does and wanted to know other herbs or tricks that may help improve litter size since my average is 6 per doe. Most of my does are newzealand white, i am in zimbabwe
Protein helps with the development and growth try upping the protein in your does
My rabbit has an inflammation in its eye and its discharging something creamy that’s running down its cheek (which is really wet) and its eye is completely closed. A couple of days its eye was just parted the a little open but it was completely white. What do you recommend i do?
First rinse the eyes with a saline eye wash to get out the white discharge, then use a Terramycin Ophthalmic Ointment to treat. You can also try rinsing the rabbits eyes with chamomile tea at room temperature
Where can I get these from? Also how to make/apply the tea? One more thing about how much time will I have to give her the treatment and how do I apply it? Sorry for all the questions but I don’t want to end up doing it wrong and hurting her more than she already is.
Sorry once again but my rabbit has opened it’s eye but it is completely white (still with a creamy discharge) do you still recommend the same treatment?
Hi there – great information. Can you please provide me with the best option for a topical treatment for a wart-like growth on our bunny’s paw? I have Oil of Oregano, Grapefruit Seed oil and also have some Raw Apple Cider Vinegar on hand. I guess what I need to know is what is a safe or appropriate amount, diluted or full strength, and what would be a good treatment protocol. 3 x a day to apply? Thanks!!! Trying to avoid having to go to the Vet.
I would go with honey.
Directly on the paw – and bandaged? To be reapplied more than once a day? I actually have some “Woundcare 18+” Active UMF Manuka Honey – it’s an ointment but is only pure Manuka honey. Thanks!
This is fab information, thank you so much! Would I be right in giving my rabbits echinacea every day or just now and again? Would this help with a chronic snuffler? Or is there something else I should try, she has been on every medication known for the snuffles and nothing has worked! thanks 🙂
Most herbs are a preventive, Echinacea added to their daily greens a few times a week should be beneficial.
there is no cure for snuffles every one says to cull. I do not but you can give dandelion and Echinacea it helps a lot. the Echinacea I use the capsules from the store. 2 capsules to 1/2 gallon boiling water 3min. let cool. add 1/4 herb water to 3/4 water I do this 1 every 3 mouths the dandelion 1 a week or 1 day on 1day off if you grow dandelion
Thank you so much for this information! I was wondering about Mullein. In humans we use it for respiratory issues. Is this safe for rabbits?
Hi there. This is great information, thsnk you! Do you happen to have any natural recommendations for ringworm, pododermatitis and general skin conditions please?
My female bunny had cloudy urine. She has been on antibiotics. Not sure its clearing it up. Calling the vet in the morning to see if I can bring her in and maybe put on a different medicine. I see Dandelion is good for urinary infections, but its winter and there are none around. Anything you would suggest that I could get at Whole Foods?
Thank you for all the information, this is all so helpful!!!! One question, is organic hemp seeds safe and beneficial for rabbits?
Great blog, I have two bucks that were diagnosed with pasturella/snuffles a couple of years ago, at the time they were put on a big long course of several different antibiotics, that never seem to quite clear it up. The rabbits are in good health apart from the very occasional occurance of discharge from their noses, normally when the temperature changes and its goes a bit damper. Is there any herbs I cantry that would either help clear this up or prevent it flaring up?
As I am a meat breeder I would cull rabbits that show signs of snuffles. As your rabbits are pets I would try ACV in the water and feed Echinacea leaves or a tea in the water, use only one treatment in the water at a time. Hope all is well with your rabbits.
Hi there seems to be different types of dandelions, there are ones that have a milky stem, are these ok for a rabbit?
could the treatment for ear mites also be used for fur mites?
Hi, just started raising rabbits, your website is an invaluable resource for beginners.
appreciate the time you’ve taken to make this site up and thank you for making it available.
I didn’t find anything ‘specifically’ for rabbit VD, which is what I was seeking. I found chamomile tea and echinacea (dried root and tea) and garlic cloves as antibiotic.. ? Will that be sufficient to save them as the bucks are dying and the does miscarrying.
The only treatment for this that I am aware of is Penicillin injections. I would not breed until you get this under control
What would you recommend for a very sick mini lop male, diagnosed 3 days ago with a URI? He is on 2x/day antibiotics, nose drops and more. I just bought grapefruit seed extract, drops, and gave him a drop mixed with water. He’s not eating, so I am supplementing with cooked, puréed veggies, even bought organic baby food to give him today. The more he is handled, the more stressed he becomes and then the breathing gets worse, he is on a cool mist humidifier, and has fresh food and water in taste he decides to eat.
I would go with what the vet has you using, you do not want to give multiple treatments at the same time may cause other problems.
I have a Mini Rex that is always sneezing. Sometimes she has a thick white discharge come out after a sneezing bout and sometimes she gets a nose bleed. Any ideas or suggestions. She is also getting a film on her eyes that, when I clean it out looks almost stiff and grey. She is a very sweet girl and none of the other rabbits around her have the same problems. Thank you. I love your site.
I know this is an old post, but what a wealth of information!!!! Thanks so much! Spring is coming, and I am picking the few sparse blackberry leaves that survived the winter to treat a case of diarrhea, but I know to dry lots for the next winter!
Did anyone mention Moringa as fodder? Loves heat, drought resistant when established, grows quickly.
Thanks so much. Jasper had a nasty reaction to his sawdust and ended up with a really poorly eye. I was bathing it with saline solution and then moved onto camomile tea. It was so mattered up his fur started to come away from his skin and looked really sore. Being a weekend I looked for help and found you. Camomile and honey have done the trick his eye, although now furless is much cleaner and not inflamed. All the mattered stuff has come away and on your advice to give them a drop to drink, he loves it. I will be keeping this site in my favourite box. Again many thanks. Now all I Ned is a cure for over growing teeth.😀crans
Hi! my rabbit has a cold or pneumonia, all i know is he is coughing and sneezing everyday. were planning on visiting a vet very soon. here’s just a few questions for you: i didn’t notice any radish or mushrooms in the list. Can you feed them that? and if you can, what are they good for? since my rabbit might have pneumonia, i want to feed him some dandelions. but how much of dandelions should i feed him each day? P.S. he’s only 3 1/2 months old, should i take his pellet treats out? I’m not sure because the treats are for young rabbits.
thanks for the info!
If a rabbit is ill, sometimes changing their diet is not a good thing (unless diet is the problem!). By adding a few dandelion and plantain leaves. ACV treatment is a good idea. I would also quarantine this rabbit from any others in your herd.
No other website gave me this much good information. the dandelions and plantain leaves, he absolutely loves them! thanks!
Thanks so much for this article. This will be very useful to my rabbits.
This is really great information. I think it would be really nice if you could include an image by each of the herbs. It might take a bit of editing of the site but maybe when you have a ton of free time….Thanks for an awesome website!
With this list alone, you have absolutely MADE MY DAY!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!! Somehow I just found the version with the pictures on it too! What a God-send this info is – and for ‘people’ too! Purslane? Who knew?! I remember it being such an annoying weed when I was a kid and had to help with the weeding, although, it was definitely one of the easier ones to pull! I’m going to research it for ME to use!
Anyway, I have the greatest majority of these ‘weeds’ growing in my garden, of which I have REFUSED to pull (until I knew what they were). We have meat rabbits, and I have English Angoras! This is a great resource! Now to check out the rest of your site!! (I found this through Pinterest, fyi) 😉 and who knows, I’ve likely been here before. Thank you for your amazing work!
I have recently purchased 4 NZ rabbits 8 wks old, they haven’t really settled in to well as they don’t want to eat & I have noticed that two of them aren’t drinking a lot either.
I know these rabbits were healthy when they left their original home as they came from a reputable breeder, most likely caused due to stress from being transported for 2 days and the feed change. The owner did send some Transition food with the rabbits but the courier fed all the food to the other rabbits he was transporting (wasn’t happy).
Does anyone have any suggestions on how to encourage the rabbits to eat again?..
Try feeding some hay, a few comfrey or dandelion leaves.
Please help me. My rabbit is acting normal but when he goes to the litter box he makes little squeaks. He is producing stool and it looks normal. But he has been squeaking when going toilet for days. Any recommendations? He means the world to me and I don’t know what to do. The only vet that does rabbits here didn’t seem to know anything
Is the urine a dark orange color, try adding ACV to there water. https://riseandshinerabbitry.com/2012/01/26/apple-cider-vinegar-for-rabbits/
There seem to be a lot of mosquitoes around my rabbits. Is this normal or dangerous and what should I do about it. Thanks.
I would love to use this on my website. People ask me all the time what to give their little ones for upset stomach, eye problems etc. May I have your permission to use this on my website quoting you (your site)? Thank you regardless I love this useful information ❤
Please link to us if you can, glad you liked it!
When feeding comfrey leaves, do you feed the older big leaves or the smaller young leaves?
I feed both
This is great! Thank you so much for sharing!
Do you have any tips for does who are not wanting to lift to be bred? Ive found information about temperature, hours of daylight and such but I also would love to know if there are any supplements I can feed them to help. Thank you!
My rabbit recently gave birth to 5 babies all of which were stillborn. She’s very depressed now. Doesn’t eat much and has lost a lot of weight. Is there anything I could give her to perhaps make her happy and also to make her weight gain faster?
Please email me if possible 🙂
Thanks in advance 🙂
A few comfrey leaves has always work for me to get my rabbits eating again.
Thanks a lot! I’m extremely grateful 🙂 This site will be very useful
What kind of golden rod? is it any golden rod?
If I want to do ACV and echinacea capsules in their water can they go together? Or should they be separate bottles?
Also for the other things like dandelion root tea and chamomile tea can it be mixed with ACV?
Thanks so much!
I only use one additive at a time to their water. If you want to use multiple herbs or ACV just alternate the treatment. You can use different days or weeks at a time for each treatments’.
Thank you for the info!
Reblogged this on and commented:
MEDICINAL HERBS FOR RABBITS
Thanks for sharing!
Thank you. So pleased that I came across you and this information. I have instinctively used many of the plants that you mentioned didn’t have the information to back up the why’s and wherefores ! This would also save me a fortune in vet bills as I have two house rabbits but have a disability my arm that means that I cannot now give the medication so I have to stay in the vets! I am very fortunate that I am able to observe them a lot
Came upon this as my bunny sneezed a few times, amazing info, off to the store now, thanks.
I really appreciate this information about natural remedies for rabbits. It’s helped me provide better care of my pets since I found it a few years ago. I have a few questions. Is echinaeca best used in powder form from a health food store or liquid form for rabbits? Are most of the herbs safe to use in powder form if fresh is not available? Should they be administered by sprinkling a bit on food or mixing with apple sauce to feed by mouth for those appropriate herbs?
I have only used what I have growing on the homestead either fresh or dried.
Thanks. I live in the suburbs and don’t have access to farm fresh materials/products. I will try to do what I can with what is available in my area. The ACV in water, chamomile tea with honey and Tea Tree oil has been helpful to my bunny.
Nice site 😀
Omg your a meat breeder, just disgusting, thought you cared for these little souls, how disturbing.
You should have pics of the herbs so we can see what they look like in case we don’t know.
Click to access medicinal-herbs-for-rabbits.pdf
I really like that there’s natural remedy’s for rabbits .
Our Holland Lop scratches a lot as if he has fleas, but I’ve never seen a flea. “EUCALYPTUS – Dried and powdered, and sprinkled repel fleas” is that sprinkled in his food or around in his area? Thanks so much for all of this helpful information.
Around his area.
Do you mind if I use some of this on my page?
Some one did it for me. https://riseandshinerabbitry.com/2014/07/27/medicinal-herbs-for-rabbits-with-pictures/
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