It is generally accepted rabbit anaesthesia can be challenging, but we do a lot of rabbit neutering as part of our work for an animal charity and use a protocol that has proved very safe and effective.
We also use yellow gauge catheters placed into an ear vein for IV administration.
Vetergesic (buprenorphine) 0.07ml/kg
Hypnovel (midazolam) 0.2ml/kg
- Combine these drugs in one syringe and inject subcutaneously 20 minutes before procedure.
- Rabbit will become quiet and relaxed.
- Ketamine 0.2ml/kg diluted with 1:10 saline (that is, 0.2ml ketamine in 2ml saline).
- Give this slow IV to effect.
- Most rabbits use half a syringe, but occasionally I have had to use the whole syringe. If it is not having an effect, flush the catheter, and mask with isoflurane if required.
- Rabbit will react if it goes extravascular;
- once induced, spray Intubeaze and intubate – listen to breath sounds; there is usually no cough.
- Rabbit can usually be maintained on 2% isoflurane.
- Slower to wake up, but eating.
- Hypnovel must be discarded within 24 hours, so better to try to book in all rabbits on the same day.
- Premed can be used for x-rays; incisor trimming.