How to Identify Shock in Rabbits & Get Them Out of Shock

It’s awful to see a bunny in shock and not know what to do. Do you wish to know how to identify shock in rabbits & get them out of shock?

What causes shock in rabbits and are they dying? Can you prevent it and make sure your rabbit doesn’t go through shock again?

In this article, we will focus on how to identify shock in rabbits & get them out of shock safely.

How to Identify Shock in Rabbits & Get Them Out of Shock

A rabbit’s body temperature plummets to the point where organs slow down or even shut down. Identify shock by noticing the following symptoms in your rabbit:

  • Weak or limp body and not responding to touch
  • Gums are pale when you pull back the lips
  • Ears are cold
  • Pulse is weak
  • Breathing is short and rapid
  • Eyes look dull with no gleam or shine
  • In some cases hypothermia may occur where the body temperature drops to under 100ºF (38.1ºC).

Wrap a warm towel around your rabbit and place them next to a heating pad for additional comfort and heat distribution. It could take several hours or days and this condition can prove to be fatal.

How Do I Know if My Bunny Is in Shock?

Unfortunately, you may recognize that your bunny is in shock after the fact. You may see your rabbit lying on the floor and wonder what happened?

Your rabbit could be suffering from shock at a point where its pulse has become slow or faint. You might find it very difficult to detect, but you are certain that your rabbit is still breathing, but not moving.

This is the time to check your rabbit’s gums by lifting the lips to see if the color has turned. A healthy pink color is a sign of a normal functioning rabbit, but gums that turn blue or pale are an obvious giveaway that a circulatory issue is present resulting from a state of shock.

Sooner or later, you will also notice that your rabbit’s ears are getting colder. Wrap a warm towel around your rabbit as soon as possible.

How Long Does It Take for a Rabbit to Die of Shock?

It may take anywhere from several days or a matter of hours for a rabbit to possibly die of shock. Shock can suddenly occur as a result of your rabbit being frightened by loud sounds are other external stimuli.

A rabbit can go into shock when there is:

  • loud music
  • the presence of a cat
  • a dog rushing into the room
  • screaming noises coming out of the TV
  • someone yelling nearby
  • glass breaking

Death can also occur suddenly from a heart attack. Act quickly when you notice that your rabbit has fallen to the floor and is not moving. You may notice rapid breathing and dull eyes.

Your rabbit is still alive, but losing body temperature fast. Wrap a warm blanket around your rabbit and possibly use a heating pad if you have one.

The sooner you react to this potentially fatal situation, the greater the chances that your rabbit will survive a state of shock.

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Can Rabbits Get Shock?

Yes rabbits can suffer from shock instantaneously when sudden bursts of movement or noise occurs that causes intense right. Your rabbit can become:

  • Limp
  • Floppy
  • Cold

At this point, a rabbit is very sick and near death. Shock will result when a rabbit starts to breathe rapidly, but can’t move. The body will become a limp or weak. The ears could turn cold as well.

You may not even realize it if your rabbit is hunched in a corner instead of lying down motionless. You may come near your rabbit and try to pick him or her up, but you will feel that your rabbit has gone limp.

Look into your rabbit’s eyes and see if they are dull. Gently lift up the lips to inspect your rabbit’s gums. If they are not a healthy pink color and they turns pale or bluish, you can be certain that your rabbit is suffering from a state of shock and needs to be wrapped up in a warm blanket immediately.

How Can I Help My Rabbit Out of Shock?

The best thing you can do when you notice that your rabbit is in shock, is to wrap a towel around him or her. If you have a heating pad or hot water bottle place them next to your rabbit. They will help to warm your rabbit faster.

You may hold your rabbit in your arms wrapped in the blanket. Aggressive warming for 1 to 2 hours is crucial.

If you wish to know how do you treat a rabbit in shock, a vet will be able to determine the next course of action if you can make it there on time. A treatment consisting of crystalloid and colloids will most likely be administered.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Why is my rabbit not moving but still breathing?

Stress or fright could cause the rabbit to stop moving, but continue breathing. This could be a result of shock and needs your attention to warm your rabbit immediately if the ears are getting cold and the pulse is weak.

2. Can a rabbit come out of shock?

Some rabbits recover but others do not come out of this potentially fatal condition. Shock is serious and your response to warm your rabbit right away is important.

3. How do rabbits act before they die?

A rabbit may act slow, lethargic, stop moving or have difficulty breathing before it stops altogether. Body temperature plummets under 100 degrees Fahrenheit and the heart rate will weaken to under 180 bpm.

4. What would cause a rabbit to die suddenly?

A rabbit could suddenly die from many conditions including shock. Here are some more cause of rabbit death:

  • heart attacks
  • cold temperatures
  • GI Stasis
  • dehydration
  • blunt force injury
  • unsanitary conditions
  • insufficient milk production
  • parasites
  • pneumonia


Thank you for visiting for the best information to help you enjoy the life of your pocket pet companion in a fun, safe & healthy way.


My name is Anna and I work full time in my local pet shop where we sell many animals that I write about on this site. I love all animals and love writing about them.