Are Pet Rabbit Bites Dangerous?

Like all other animals, rabbits too experience startles or threats. They also get angry and aggressive. The only way to communicate their emotions is through their activities. One such activity is biting.

A rabbit may bite its pet parent or any other stranger or children. As a pet parent, one must be aware of its behavioral changes and act as per it. But as a new parent, one must know that rabbits do bite.

Are pet rabbit bites dangerous?

The pain and bleeding incurred from the bites of a rabbit will depend on the bite’s intensity. Even if it is deep, it is not hazardous to health if treated well. A medical practitioner may prescribe tetanus. One may require antibiotics if there are chances of bacterial or parasitic infection. It will take some days to heal if the wound receives attention at the right time with the right procedure. 

Painful bites of rabbits

A rabbit bite can be painful if it indulges with full force out of aggression or threat. By opening their mouth wide, they stuck deep in the muscle. It may be excruciating for those who cannot withstand pain.

Others, who are resistant to pain or can tolerate rabbit bites, may not feel much pain. 

When rabbits bite and do not want to leave, it will hurt badly. Because of their long, sharp, and healthy teeth, they can go deep into the skin.

Deep cuts bleed heavily and require immediate first-aid. Untreated wounds usually cause infections later and take longer to heal.

Diseases from rabbit bites

Although rabbits carry various diseases, all may not pass to humans on biting. Most disease-causing microbes in rabbits cannot survive on the human body. But some may cause severe infections. It is necessary to treat a deep bite as early as possible.

Some pathogens that can pass from rabbits to humans are as follows:

Bacterial infections:

Rabbits contract and carry various bacterial infections in their oral cavity. On biting a human, there are chances to acquire the bacteria in the body. If the cut is deep, it might enter the bloodstream and cause infections. Some of them are:

Pasteurella bacteria:

If a rabbit is carrying these coccobacilli, it can cause various infections in humans. Since they reside in the rabbit’s mouth, biting transfers it to humans.

Doctors may recommend oral antimicrobials to minimize the infection. You may feel pain and swelling in the bitten area. If not treated on time, it may lead to abscesses or septic. 

Rabbit fever: 

The main causal bacteria of rabbit fever are Francisella tularensis. Being

infectious bacteria, it passes when bitten by rabbits. It attacks the skin, lungs, and lymph nodes. One may encounter swelling of lymph glands and eyes. Antibiotics like streptomycin injections in the vein minimize the pain and swelling.

Rabies: 

If you are experiencing sudden behavioral changes in your rabbit, they may have rabies infection. The bites of these rabbits may transmit the virus into the human body. Although the chances are minimal, one must not delay a doctor’s check-up after a rabbit bite.  

Parasitic and Fungal infections:

Rabbits also encounter fungal infections like ringworm. The fungus has chances of transmitting to human bodies. One may experience some itching on the damaged skin. They are lighter in the center and end on the edges.

Rabbits often graze in fields and thus tend to come in contact with parasites. On biting humans, these parasites may transfer to human blood and disrupt the functioning. Parasites affect those who have a weak immune system. One may not notice immediate signs of infections. But will affect the brain and kidneys in humans. 

The infections mentioned above are very rarely found in rabbits. Especially pet rabbits who stay in enclosures. Thus, the chances of infecting a human are significantly less. But, after a rabbit bites, make sure to consult a doctor and take necessary precautions.

Severity of wounds

Although rabbit bites are not life-threatening, immediate actions towards it may turn severe. Since their teeth usually carry the germs, biting transfers it to the human body. Most wounds are not severe and disappear soon.

If the wounds do not get proper treatment at the right time, it may turn severe and painful. It is not complicated or complex to treat a rabbit bite. Procedures in the correct form will prevent the chances of infection in the bitten area. 

Treating a wound of a Rabbit bite

Depending on the sharpness of a rabbit’s teeth and its intensity of biting, one must follow the necessary first-aid procedure:

Check the damage:

In the initial stage, one must look for the depth, location, and assess if there is any bleeding.

Stop bleeding:

Using a sterile cloth and applying pressure on the wound, the bleeding will stop. Note that bleeding will occur if the bite was deep enough.  

Clean the wound:

To remove the presence of microbes in the cut, washing the wound under clean water will be useful. For maximum removal, an antibacterial cleanser is effective. 

Apply ointment:

Applying antibiotic ointment will further reduce the chances of bacterial growth. It will also prevent the external entry of microbes. Ointments will help in reducing swelling, pain, and will heal sooner.

Dressing the wound:

A minor bite on the skin does not require any additional protection. It will get well with frequent application of ointment. But in case of severe wounds, you should not leave the cut uncovered. A dressing or a bandage will reduce bleeding.

Evaluation:

Regular monitoring of the wound will help you realize if there is an infection. Also, fresh dressing is necessary each day. If there is redness, swelling, or pus formation, it indicates that the wound has an infection.

Visit a doctor:

A severe wound will require immediate medical intervention. If there is an infection, the doctor may prescribe tetanus and some antibiotics.

Biting by rabbits indicates discomfort, aggression, or being afraid. As a pet parent, you must try to evaluate the exact reason. Although bites of pet rabbits are generally not dangerous, the infection may become severe.

People with low immunity are affected more by rabbit’s bites. Thus, its treatment is necessary to prevent a minor wound from transforming into an infection.

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