Above: Special Bunny board member Tamara having a moment with Big Cocoa Puff
Special Bunny is a house rabbit rescue, rehab, and rehoming shelter in the Seattle area…not far from where Cocoa and his family live. When Cocoa’s people found a stray bunny in their neighborhood, they rescued him, and contacted us for some help and advice, which we were delighted to provide (especially because it meant two of our board members got to visit Cocoa and his people!)
A big part of our mission is to help ALL rabbit owners with information about bunny health and behavior that is otherwise hard to find. We love and appreciate all the education and advice that Cocoa Puff (with some assistance from his humans) has spread to so many people.
You’ll see that we have a lot of information on this site about how to care for special-needs bunnies. We are proud to say this information has helped bunnies and their people all over the world…and we want to help more.
We will forever miss Cocoa, and we are grateful for all the valuable bunny-care information he shared.
Donate any amount to help Special Bunny support local bunnies in need and bunnies in homes all over the world. You can choose a one-time donation or a recurring monthly donation here. We are a registered non-profit and we will send receipts for your taxes:
How to help a choking rabbit
Recently, Cocoa had a big scare. Here’s his post about that from Instagram:
Cocoa is healthy, but we did have a BIG scare a few weeks ago where we had to take a trip to the emergency vet because of a choking incident. Watch the extended video.
The (very long) Story
When I let Cocoa Puff out of his room one morning he looked at me, peed, and bolted out of the room as if he was extremely scared. He then rolled on his side and was jerking his head back, made grunting sounds, while fluid was coming out of his nose. I raced over to him but he kept running around the house repeating this terrifying scene.
I knew I didn’t have much time. I finally was able to catch him, and not knowing what to do, I picked him up to rush him to the nearest vet. As I carried him to the car he let out the most horrific scream— a sound I have never heard before.
Half way to the vet, Cocoa finally stopped struggling and I thought he had died. When, I got to the vet he was alive, exhausted, and breathing very hard.
By the time the vet was able to see us, Cocoa Puff just had a rattling sound in his throat when he breathed. He didn’t know what had happened, so the vet set us home with instructions to keep an eye on Cocoa Puff.
Because the vet was not “rabbit-savvy,” I immediately called our friend, Tamara ( @hopperholic from @specialbunnyorg ), who FaceTimed us so she could check on him. Tamara confirmed my suspicions that Cocoa Puff has choked on something but had miraculously dislodged it on his own—she said he was very, very, VERY lucky.
Soon after, I took Cocoa Puff to an exotic vet, who confirmed that Cocoa Puff was healthy and did not need to get on antibiotics to treat possible pneumonia, which can occur after a choking incident.
Because rabbits cannot vomit they are prone to choking. I knew this fact but had no idea there is a Heimlich Maneuver you can perform on your rabbit to help them. Thank you Tamara, from @specialbunnyorg for helping BCP and making this video.