How To Treat A Rabbit Eye Infection

How To Treat A Rabbit Eye Infection


Rabbits are adorable, wonderful pets to have and we love them very much. However, they are also small and at times sensitive animals, so it’s especially important to pay attention to your pet rabbit’s health and make sure he is happy and well taken care of. One thing that can go wrong is an eye infection, so if you notice your bunny with any of the following symptoms, take him straight to the vet:

The first thing you need to do is take your rabbit to the vet.

To start with, your rabbit needs to see a vet. Rabbits are prone to eye infections, and they’re more susceptible to them than cats and dogs. The reason is that rabbits have a lot of fur around their eyes, so they often rub them when they get itchy or irritated. This can cause additional irritation and infection.

If you feel comfortable doing so, you can examine the eye yourself (i.e., pop out an eyeball) and look for signs of an infection:

  • If it looks red or swollen
  • If there’s discharge coming out of the eye

But before you leave, make sure you’re able to identify the symptoms.

If you notice any of the following symptoms in your rabbit, it’s important to take them to a vet right away.

  • Bloody discharge from the eye(s)
  • Cloudiness or redness in one or both eyes
  • A bulging eyeball (usually due to an abrasion) or a swollen eyelid (also likely due to an abrasion). If you suspect that your rabbit has suffered an injury, contact your vet as soon as possible.

Is there any discharge from his eye(s)?

If there is any discharge from your rabbit’s eye(s), you may want to take him to the vet. A discharge can be a sign of an infection, and it may be clear or yellow. If the discharge is clear, it may be a sign of a blocked tear duct; if it is yellow (or green), it could mean that your rabbit has an eye infection.

Does he have any redness in or around his eye(s) or on his snout?

If your rabbit has any redness in or around his eyes or on his nose, it’s likely a sign of infection.

Redness in the eye can be a sign of conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the membrane covering the eyeball and eyelids caused by viruses or bacteria invading through mucous membranes. If your rabbit does have conjunctivitis, you will notice that he holds his head tilted down and keeps his eyes closed most of the time as he may be sensitive to light due to inflammation.

Redness on the snout can be caused by rhinitis which is an infection that affects only one side of the nose at a time (the other side will appear clear). You may also notice excessive sneezing when this happens but you won’t see any discharge from their nostrils since they don’t have mucous membranes like humans do!

Does he seem to be squinting or closing his eyes a lot?

Does he seem to be squinting or closing his eyes a lot?

The rabbit may be trying to see better, in pain, or just uncomfortable. If you notice this behavior it’s important that you consult your veterinarian immediately. The infection could have spread and become more serious.

Is he rubbing at his eyes or seeming uncomfortable?

If you notice that your rabbit is rubbing his eyes or squinting more than usual, he may have an eye infection. This is especially true if the rabbit has been inactive for a little while and then starts to rub at his face again. If this happens, consider taking him to the vet.

If so, it’s time to go see the doctor.

If your rabbit has an eye infection, it’s time to go see the doctor. Rabbits are not as easy to treat with eye ointments as cats or dogs are, so it’s always best to have a professional administer them. Ask your vet for recommendations and be sure they recommend an ointment that contains both antibiotics and steroids.

If you are applying the ointment yourself:

  • Clean the eye with a soft cloth before applying the medication
  • Remove any crusty matter from around his eyes
  • Place one drop in each eye twice daily for five days

The vet will recommend an eye ointment, most often a combination of antibiotics and steroids.

The vet will recommend an eye ointment, most often a combination of antibiotics and steroids. They sound scary, but they’re actually pretty easy to use!

Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections. They can also be used as part of a treatment plan for viral infections like herpesvirus (the virus that causes conjunctivitis), calicivirus (the virus that causes rhinitis), or myxomatosis (a viral disease affecting rabbits). Steroids reduce inflammation. Some vets will prescribe them alone if your bunny has just been diagnosed with an infection; others prefer to give both antibiotics and steroids together in order to make sure that the infection clears up quickly and completely.

It is important that your rabbit not rub the ointment all over himself like a lotion!

Rabbits are very sensitive to smells and can be allergic to just about anything. It is important that you do not apply the ointment all over your rabbit like a lotion. Instead, use it only in the infected area. If you have ointment leftover, keep it in a sealed container until you need to use it again.

Also, be aware that rabbits often lick their penises after urinating on them and may ingest some of the ointment if they do so. Don’t worry—this won’t hurt them or cause any long term health problems; however, if you notice this behavior happening frequently with your rabbit then consult with your vet about another treatment method for his eyes (such as drops).

Handling him in a way that prevents this can be tricky.

Handling him in a way that prevents this can be tricky. If you have other animals, it’s best to keep the rabbit separate from them until he is better, as they can also contract eye infections. While applying the ointment, hold your rabbit on his back with one hand while gently putting ointment into his eye with the other hand. Don’t let him lick your hands or rub his eyes on you; doing so could spread germs and bacteria to both of you. Also, don’t allow him to rub his face against anything that might contain harmful bacteria such as floors or walls (and especially not carpets).

Always take your bunny straight to the vet when you notice anything out of the ordinary!

If you notice any symptoms of infection in your rabbit’s eyes, take her straight to the vet. You should also schedule an appointment if you notice any of the following changes:

  • Lifting and rubbing her ears or head
  • Rubbing the side of his face along furniture or floors
  • Drool dripping from his mouth (this might mean there is something wrong with his teeth)
  • Loss of appetite and/or weight loss


The thing to remember is that, when in doubt, bring your bunny straight to the vet. The sooner you get him treatment for an eye infection, the better.

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