CPR for Rabbits
If your rabbit is a chewer, make sure you know CPR–if he or she ever chews an electrical cord and is electrocuted, it may be necessary to administer CPR. There are many stories of CPR saving a rabbit’s life after cord electrocution.
If your rabbit isn’t breathing, use these instructions.
- Position your pet rabbit on its back.
- Check to see if your pet is breathing before you begin CPR. If the rabbit is breathing, you should see the chest rising and falling as it inhales and exhales.
- Also check for a heartbeat by placing your ear close to its chest and listening for a heartbeat. If there is no breathing or heartbeat, proceed to administer CPR.
- Tilt your rabbit’s head back to open the airway. If you don’t want to put your mouth directly on that of your rabbit, put a piece of gauze over the rabbit’s nose area.
- Hold the rabbit’s mouth shut and make a seal with your mouth over the rabbit’s nose. Blow five small breaths into the rabbit, just enough to see the rabbit’s chest rise.
- Check for a heartbeat by placing your fingers on the large vein inside the rabbit’s hind legs. If you don’t feel a pulse, place your pointer finger and thumb at the highest part of the rabbit’s chest and gently squeeze once per second.
- After a minute of this, give the rabbit five more breaths, then compress the chest again; continue as needed until you reach the vet, checking each time for breathing and pulse. Should the rabbit begin to breathe or the heartbeat start, stop CPR.