Amoxicillin (Antibiotics) For Rabbits: Risks, Problems & Best Practices

Amoxicillin For Rabbits

Health is important when you are taking care of a pet rabbit. Like other species, there are known diseases and illnesses that can affect this animal. And sometimes, it can cause bacterial infection in their body. One way to treat common infections is by using antibiotics. However, remember that treatment of such infection needs a proper assessment from your pet’s veterinarian first. 

One known antibiotic that most pet owners use is amoxicillin. But the question is, is it safe for your rabbit too? The Atlantic Coast Veterinary report stated that amoxicillin is harmful to rabbits. 

Although for some pet animals like cats and dogs, using this antibiotic is safe. That is because rabbits’ bodies work differently from other species. Different type of infection also requires different treatment. You must ask your rabbit’s doctor for the best antibiotic for your pet. If you want to know the dangers of amoxicillin in Rabbits, read this article. 

Choosing Antibiotics in Rabbits 

Different types of bacteria can enter rabbits. That is why infection can affect and happen in any part of the body. According to Atlantic Coast, antibiotics will depend much on the particular infection. This is why it is not ideal to self-diagnose your rabbit if they are sick

One important thing you should do in case of a disease in your pet brings them to their vet. The doctor is the one who will assess and diagnose the root cause of the disease. They will also prescribe the right treatment and antibiotic to be used. 

The doctor will collect a sample from the rabbit to know what type of infection your rabbit has. The suspected infected tissue will undergo testing to help assess the diagnosis. For instance, a small part of the abscess or lump must be sent to a laboratory for sensitivity and bacterial testing. There must be an anaerobic and aerobic bacterial test to perform. This will determine the medications that can be deemed so effective.   

The infection will most likely occur in a place that is difficult to access. This may include the urinary tract, the interior part of the digestive tract, the interior eye, and the intestinal bone or tract.   

Risk of Using Amoxicillin in Rabbits

House Rabbit Society wrote in their article that antibiotics is a risk to rabbits. Since rabbits have different digestive systems, most of the things they consume affect their other body parts. In addition, the rabbit’s digestive system is also inhabited by many microorganisms working together to digest food. So, if rabbits consume antibiotics without a prescription, it will lead to more complications.  

However, it does not mean that antibiotics are entirely bad for rabbits. Antibiotic medication helps kill bacterial properties and allows residential pathogenic bacteria to thrive. That is why it is commonly used in bacterial infection.  

For example, your rabbit is infested with parasites in their stomach. This parasite can cause grave risks to their health and snatch the important nutrients inside their body. And in the end, they cause infections such as lumps and abscesses. 

When it comes to Amoxicillin, most veterinarians do not prescribe it because it contains a compound that is unsuitable for small animals. It can cause enterotoxemia in rabbits, which is a severe case of diarrhea in rabbits, according to the MSD Veterinary Manual article.  

Antibiotics that belong to the penicillin family, like Amoxicillin, lincomycin, ampicillin, clindamycin, and vancomycin, are known to bring fatal reactions and digestive upset. 

Moreover, this antibiotic and other harmful medicines can cause an overgrowth of Clostridia bacteria. The Clostridial species only creates toxins that can be life-threatening. And these are then absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract or enterotoxemia.

To guide you better, here are some health issues that can occur in your pet if you use amoxicillin as their treatment medicine. 

Gastrointestinal Stasis

One of the common problems that many rabbit owners experience with their pets is gastrointestinal statis or GI. Stasis. GI stasis is the process of the passageway of food to the digestive tract in rabbits. That is why some people mistake risk in GI statis as the physical obstruction inside their pet’s stomach. But according to the Veterinary Center of America (VCA), the primary reason it occurs in rabbits is the sudden change in GI bacteria.  

For example, a sudden change in the diet of rabbits can result in minimal GI statis problems. Rabbits are typically grass and hay-eaters because of their fiber content. But if other nourishment like carbohydrates, sugar, and starch start coming into their digestion, then the bacterial formation also changes. In that scenario, the GI statis will be triggered and lead to more digestive-related health complications in your pet. 

Now, if you give them amoxicillin, which is harmful to your pet, this can also trigger GI statis in your rabbits. Instead of helping your pet and treating their infection, you will make it worse for them because of the unfamiliar substances that came from the antibiotic.    


Another health issue that can occur in your rabbit is diarrhea. Diarrhea is an illness that can happen in rabbits because of several reasons. One of them is consuming unsuitable compounds or toxins like amoxicillin antibiotics. Since there is a disruption inside the rabbit’s stomach, their pooping activity is also affected. VCA stated that it could be life-threatening to rabbits if not treated earlike. 

One of the risks of diarrhea is dehydration. That is because when rabbits experience this illness, there are changes in their bowel movement, and the fluid inside their body decreases. You must remember that water is important inside your pet because two-thirds of its body is made up of it. So if they have diarrhea, it can be painful and weaken their body.   

Common signs of diarrhea in rabbits are a watery stool and constant pooping. Immediately visit your rabbit’s doctor if you notice it in them after consuming amoxicillin. 

Read More: Definitive Guide to Your Rabbit’s Health

Things To Do After Rabbit Used Amoxicillin

Keep an Eye for Adverse Effects

Although there are claims that using amoxicillin in rabbits does not harm their pet, it is still best to keep an eye on your rabbit after using this antibiotic. Take note that every rabbit is different from one other. It can be safe for others but can be harmful to your pet. 

Bring the Rabbit To The Vet Immediately

If you think your rabbit has started to show changes in their behaviors or clinical signs of upset stomachs, bring them to their vet immediately. Do not make it more complicated and expose your pet to risk.  

Ensure that you provide the doctor’s accurate information and background, like the last meal they ate, the antibiotic they consume, and symptoms you have noticed upon exposure to the toxic material. This will help you, your pet, and the doctor to provide the best treatment.   

Key Takeaways

  • Antibiotics are one of the prescribed medicines veterinarians give to their animal patients to treat bacterial infections. It helps kill bacterial properties and allows residential pathogenic bacteria to thrive.
  • Some pet animals, like dogs and cats, can safely use amoxicillin with the advice of a doctor. But rabbits are not on the list because they can cause harm to their digestive system.
  • Different types of bacterial infections can occur in rabbits. That is why it’s not recommended to self-diagnose them and provide your treatment. Each infection has its medical treatment, so visit the rabbit’s doctor for the right diagnosis and treatment. 
  • Amoxicillin can cause moderate to severe complications in rabbits, depending on the amount of exposure. Here are some of the health risks that can happen to rabbits; gastrointestinal statis and diarrhea.
  • Always keep an eye on your rabbit if you offer them amoxicillin. If there are adverse effects, kindly bring them to your pet’s vet immediately to treat the toxicity early.

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