Oxbow Critical Care is one of the most important therapies in an unwell rabbit or guinea pig and it is an essential component in an owner’s home emergency kit.

Syringe feeding critical care is often required in a rabbit or guinea pig that is lethargic and inappetent. However, there are some risks associated with syringe feeding. The largest risk is choking and inhaling the food. This may result in aspiration pneumonia, compromising breathing and the health of an already unwell patient. It is important to feed your pet slowly a mouthful at a time and allow time for your pet to swallow. Generally a mouthful for the average sized rabbit is approximately 2ml.

There are two scenarios where you should NOT syringe feed critical care.

  1. If your pet does not have a swallow reflex due to lethargy or collapse
  2. If you suspect a gastrointestinal obstruction. This may be the case if you can feel a large stomach that feels like a small balloon in the tummy.

Remember to stay calm and patient during syringe feeding your pet and seek veterinary advice as soon as possible as to why your pet is unwell. If you are unsure of whether you should syringe feed consult a veterinarian. For more information on how to syringe feed your pet please call the Melbourne Rabbit Clinic.