November 27, 2022
Can a Rabbit Survive a Broken Back

Can a Rabbit Survive a Broken Back?

The broken back of a rabbit can make their life slightly difficult. If you are wondering, “can a Rabbit survive a broken back or not” solely depends on the type of injury. A broken back can result in severe health complications, but proper care and protection can help your rabbit live a good life. Sometimes, your rabbit’s back broke because of some basic reason such as improper handling, surprises, falling, or lack of exercise. However, sometimes it is the result of illness and surgery. Remember, a broken back can result in nerve damage or paralysis. It means that your rabbit might be unable to feed or even clean itself. In such a situation, they would need their owner more than ever. This article will discuss all “can a rabbit survive a broken back.” If you are curious to know, then stay tuned and keep reading.

About Rabbits and their Body structure

There are numerous breeds of rabbits available, and every one of them has a different appearance in respect of color, weight, and height. Rabbits are small mammals that belong to the family Leporidae, and it is one of the most common pets adopted worldwide after dogs. Their looks are adorable, and people get affection for their presence.

They are also low maintenance as their diet solely and largely includes hay and vegetables. Rabbits have a very calm and docile nature, and they are herbivores and don’t need any special diet other than whatever is present. People often get confused about hares and rabbits, but both of these are different in many ways from each other.

Rabbit Anatomy

Rabbits’ bodies have hairs that protect them from heat and cold, and it’s hair coat for various other purposes, such as hats and coats. You must have seen numerous breeds of rabbits having different sizes, weights, and colors. They have large eyes located on either side of their head, and the unusual placement of eyes helps them detect predators quickly. Every animal has a unique body structure and capabilities that help them survive. Both eyes and ears of rabbits help them to detect and avoid predators.

Rabbits don’t have cauda equina, and it means the spinal cord runs within the entire length of the spinal column. The absence of the cauda equina increases the chances of damage to the vertebrae that can cause paralysis. Unfortunately, rabbits can lose the ability to move their front and back legs. That’s why being careful while dealing with your rabbit would be helpful.

How do you know if your Rabbits have broken their back or not?

Rabbits have fragile bone structures that are likely to break if not taken care of sincerely. Many symptoms indicate whether your rabbit’s back is broken or stable. The delicate bones of rabbits may shatter when they break, making the repair process complex. The only way to prevent the broken back of your rabbit is to be cautious. If you are not aware whether your rabbit has a fractured back or not, then you should take your rabbit to the vet. Also, take a look at the symptoms mentioned below-

Symptoms of a broken back of a Rabbit


One of the visible symptoms is swelling. If your rabbit’s back is broken or fractured, then its spinal cord will swell. It may appear more significant than its usual size. Don’t press or touch it to avoid more damage when you notice it. Keep your rabbit in solitude, and don’t let any other animal or kid interact with it until you get help. The best option is to consult a veterinary doctor and know the whole situation. Your pet may experience paralysis along with swelling. Sometimes, rabbits recover from paralysis once the swelling goes down, but it rarely happens.

Dragging Legs

The broken back of rabbits makes it difficult for them to walk, and as a result, they drag their legs. When they find themselves unable to walk, they try to cope by dragging their legs. A broken back can affect your rabbit’s front and even back legs. Apparently, this condition is the result of nerve damage and partial paralysis. Rabbits with broken backs need utmost care and a safe and secure place.


Another symptom of the broken back of your rabbit is noise. Rabbits are calm and docile creatures and like to be quiet most of the time. But when they are in extreme pain, they are most likely to make noises. If you have noticed, your rabbit may have screamed or squealed when it’s back broke, and the rabbit would continue to make noise if the pain didn’t disappear.


Rabbits have a brilliant ability to hide because they are prey animals, and they are also very good at hiding pain or disabilities. If your rabbit isn’t well or injured, then you may find them hiding here and there. You must find out the reason behind such unusual behavior. Knowing early symptoms can help your rabbit’s health to get it treated as soon as possible. A broken back would hurt too much, but it will still try to hide it. If you find any unusual symptoms in your rabbit, take it to the vet.

No reaction to a stimulus

As mentioned before, the broken back of your rabbit affects certain parts of its body. Along with that, it experiences extreme pain during this period. It also loses the ability to feel in several parts. To check if your rabbit reacts to the stimulus when you touch it. If they don’t respond by touching, pinch lightly and see their reaction. No reaction is an indication that it is unable to feel any contact. To be certain, touch your rabbit’s feet, and if nothing happens, then paralysis has set in.


Broken backs may affect front or back legs and other parts of a rabbit’s body. When a rabbit’s back broke, it lost the ability to move. An injured rabbit will not move certain parts of its body, such as front legs, back legs, hips, and head. When your rabbits break, they may spend most of the time sleeping and not moving from one place. Inspect your rabbit’s movement in such situations because it will try to move. Treat your rabbit gently and slowly when they are in such severe situations.

Loss of Bladder Control

Another symptom of a broken back is loss of bladder control. You need to understand that the broken back of your rabbit is extremely painful, and it also results in damage to its nervous system. Along with other things such as walking and jumping, your rabbit will struggle to pass body waste. Such activities need to use muscles, and that movement will cause extreme pain. If you see any of such symptoms in your rabbit, then it’s an early sign of having a back problem. You should take your rabbit to the vet and do whatever they suggest getting it treated.

Can Bunnies break their bones?

Rabbits aren’t predators, but they are very playful, leading them to severe health issues. Yes, your rabbit can break their bones. Rabbits are agile creatures with brittle bones, and that’s why their health is at high risk if not taken care of adequately. Apparently, they like to jump, leap, and thump.

As prey animals, rabbits can move quickly enough to escape from predators, and those quick moves and hiding tricks are most likely to break their bones. A domestic rabbit can hurt himself by bouncing here and there in the house if you are wondering how you would know if your rabbit has broken its back or not. So, you can scroll back up to look at the symptoms that would let you know if your rabbit is injured or safe.

How do Rabbits break their backs?

Rabbit’s body structure is small and fragile, and being cautious can be risky. The rabbits are playful, and that’s why they can hurt themselves. If you don’t take care of them, you can also hurt them. Unexpected things happen without knocking, but being careful can ensure maximum safety. You can supervise your rabbit whenever it plays and is in someone else’s hands. Here are numerous ways that can lead your rabbits to a broken back. You can prevent this situation by inspecting their activities.


Jumping from a high surface can break the rabbit’s back. You must have seen your rabbit jumping and hopping here and there, and it is because rabbits are playful. Apparently, rabbits’ two favorite things are playing and gnawing, and they spend their whole day doing the same. Being playful is healthy to stay fit but excessive playing and jumping over the furniture can hurt it. Limit such activities to keep your rabbit’s bones intact otherwise, and it will end up breaking it.


Being weak due to illness can also raise back issues for your rabbit. Diseases like infection of the Central Nervous System (CNS), lesions on the CNS, and other metabolic diseases can cause back problems for your rabbit. Such diseases weaken their spine, making them more prone to break. If you see any signs of such infections or disease, then you should go to the vet, and they will take an X-ray of their spinal reflexes to diagnose what’s wrong with your pet. Beware of any negligence because it can cost permanent paralysis.

Lack of Exercise

Feeding proper food and grooming indeed keep your rabbit healthy, but so is exercise. Just feeding and cleaning isn’t going to make your pets’ lives healthy. So, you need to help your rabbit to exercise regularly. Exercise keeps their body fit and energetic throughout the day, and it also keeps them away from any unwanted health conditions. Rabbits who don’t exercise daily are at several risks, such as being overweight, weak bones, and other infections that emerge due to uncleanliness.

Lack of exercise can lead your rabbit to excessive weight, which eventually affects muscle tone. It makes the bones brittle and easier to break. Unexpectedly jumping and hopping over the furniture can fracture their bones. Fixing a schedule to exercise for your rabbit will help it keep healthy and fit. You should supervise your rabbit as much as you can while playing and doing exercise.

Improper handling

Improper handling can also harm your rabbit’s back. Avoid letting your kids or strangers handle your rabbit because, in an attempt to escape from their lap, it may hurt itself. Additionally, while cuddling, moving, or picking up, it may get hurt being in an uncomfortable position. Improper or unnatural position can cause a fracture or even break the rabbit’s back. We understand it is very common, but people often forget to be gentle while handling their rabbit. Your rabbit won’t try to move recklessly if they are in a comfortable position. Firmly hold your rabbit but don’t make the grip extremely tight.


Animals get startled by loud noises and chaotic environments. When they find themselves in such situations, they try to escape. Sudden movement or surprise doesn’t go well with any animal, and you should avoid it at any cost. Rabbits would twist their head or try to run to deal with such surprises, and those instant movements can be harmful to your rabbit’s back.

During surgery

You may find it slightly hard to believe, but sometimes, rabbits’ back breaks during surgeries. It may happen when the vet tries to put your rabbit under anesthesia. Visiting the vet always freaks out the animals, trying to resist it. While treating, the vet should hold the rabbit properly, and if not held properly, it can lead to a broken back. There is nothing wrong with supervising whatever the vet is doing and if you think something isn’t right, then speak up.

How to treat your Rabbit’s back?

We have discussed the symptoms and reasons for the broken back of your rabbit. Now, we need to understand the ways that can help your rabbit through this painful situation. Rabbits with broken backs become partially paralyzed and are unable to move. There are several treatment options for a rabbit’s broken back, and it depends on the severity of the condition. However, here are a couple of things that would help your rabbit in treatment.How to treat your Rabbit’s back


If you discover any symptom of a broken back of your rabbit, then you should immediately bring it to the vet. Your rabbit would be in a very painful situation, and the vet will prescribe some painkillers to deal with this pain. After having the painkillers, your rabbit wouldn’t suffer much while its back is getting treated. Being in such a situation can also raise the stress level of your rabbit. Staying in the same position for a long time can disrupt their digestive system. You should also ask the vet to prescribe some gastrointestinal medication to protect the rabbit from other health issues.

Limit Activity

If your rabbit is still playing or wandering around with a broken back, then stop him. You need to be more careful than ever as your rabbit is in a vulnerable situation. Keep their playful instinct in control and limit their activities. Any kind of negligence can make the situation out of control, and your rabbit is still dealing with one. It’s not possible to supervise your pet everywhere, but limiting their activities will be helpful. Complete healing may take a couple of months, so keep them in control until then.

Hand Feeding

The Broken Back of your rabbit will also affect other body parts of your rabbit. So, moving too much wouldn’t be a good idea. Regarding this situation, you will have to feed your rabbit with your hands. Along with that, you shouldn’t feed anything inappropriate, and adopting a healthy diet would be great. Place fresh pellets and hay in your hand, offer them to your rabbit. It may take some time to smell and observe it. Later, it will start munching or gnawing. If a rabbit doesn’t eat from your hands, you should consult the veterinarian.

Utmost Care

It is pretty much obvious that your rabbit wouldn’t be the same as before for a couple of months after breaking its back. During this period, you need to be more careful around your rabbit. The best thing to do is not let it move too much or at all. Groom your rabbit as moving isn’t possible in this situation. Be more attentive about their food and water. Make sure your rabbit is sitting in a correct and comfortable posture. A bed of hay under your rabbit would be good as it provides cushioning that will absorb any urine or waste. You should also stuff some hay against the sides of your rabbit. Don’t leave your rabbit alone, and supervise it as often as possible.

Help with bladder and bowels

Your rabbit’s broken back also affects their bladders and bowels issues. Don’t forget to maintain hygiene in your rabbit living area. Be careful while cleaning the space where you are keeping your rabbit. Don’t hold your rabbit surprisingly and keep its back straight. After picking up the rabbit, you should put it on a flat, stable, and clean surface while cleaning their bed.


Not only you but your rabbit would be stressed about the situations they are in right now. Owners don’t go directly for this option, but physical therapy is a great way to treat your rabbits back. Sometimes, the veterinary doctor doesn’t suggest it because of its high cost. But it’s a good way to help your rabbit recover from this vulnerable situation.

What are the things you should remember to keep your Rabbit’s back intact?

Taking precautions before is better than doing them after getting hurt. Rabbits have small and fragile bodies covered with their hair coat. Their bones are brittle, and that’s why an individual needs to be careful about it. The life of your rabbit becomes difficult after they break their back. So, you should be cautious with your rabbit while handling, feeding, or eleven grooming it.

Handle your Bunny carefully

Improper handling can hurt your rabbit’s back. While handling your rabbit, make sure it is in a comfortable position. If it isn’t comfortable, it will try to escape, and it may get hurt in that attempt.

Encourage plenty of exercises

Avoid excessive feeding and allow your rabbit to do plenty of exercises. You can schedule a diet plan to keep your rabbit fit. Along with that, you should also encourage your pet to do exercise.

Check signs of injury and illness

Rabbits are good at hiding their injury and pain. You should often check your rabbit if they are suffering from any kind of illness or injury. On the other hand, if you cannot recognize any of such things, you can take your rabbit to the veterinary hospital. Let them know the symptoms you’ve seen previously and adhere to their suggestions.

Guard your Rabbit against Predators

If you have a rabbit, you would have seen how calm, docile, and quiet a pet they are. Rabbits are prey animals and need to be safe from other predators, and you should keep your rabbit away from any kind of danger.

How to handle your Rabbit if it breaks its back?

Your rabbit’s health is at stake, and improper care can make the situation vulnerable. Rabbits have a docile yet playful nature, and they like to jump and hop around. But when your rabbit treatment is in process, they need to avoid any kind of movement. We have earlier discussed the reasons that can hurt your rabbit’s back. Keep all those reasons in mind while bringing your rabbit home after their treatment. The best you can do is be gentle and attentive for the first couple of months. Here are some other points that you need to consider if your rabbit has broken its back.

Don’t let your Rabbit move too much.

A broken back also limits the movement of your rabbit, along with the extreme pain. The vet would prescribe painkillers, but you shouldn’t let it run, walk, twist, or even turn. Limiting movement as much as possible; otherwise, your rabbit will have another injury with the pain of a broken back. Assist your rabbit with most of their daily activities like feeding and grooming. If your rabbit is ready for hand feeding, it would be great.

Approach it Calmly

Your rabbit isn’t ready for any kind of surprise in this state, and leaving it alone wouldn’t be a good idea either. You should approach your rabbit calmly and, if possible, don’t hold it for some time. Improper holding can hurt your pet, and limiting the movements would be helpful.

Visit the vet regularly

Regular veterinary visits are necessary because any unwanted changes in health are harmful. Regular body checkups keep you updated about their health. Let the veterinary doctor know how the rabbit is doing, as it will help them know the improvement your rabbit is making so far. Being in this condition can be stressful for your rabbit, so it would be good to give him company.

Take your Rabbit out often

Going out and playing isn’t possible in this condition for your rabbit, but you can help him. With the vet’s consent, you can take your rabbit out for a while, and it will surely lighten him up and freshen his mood. Being sick and staying in one place for the whole time isn’t something anyone likes, so you should do something about it. Avoid playing any heavy games or jumping while cheering them up.

Can a Rabbit recover from a broken back?

Yes, rabbits can recover from a broken back, but only if they are taken care of properly. We have earlier discussed the various ways that you can find helpful. The first and foremost thing you should do is take your rabbit straight to the vet. If you notice any symptoms indicating a broken back of the rabbit, then don’t wait for a surety and consult the vet.

Why shouldn’t you put a Bunny on its back?

Putting your rabbit on its back can injure their backs. Injury isn’t the only concern here, but your rabbit may find it annoying or scary as well. Your attempt to flip your bunny on its back can make them panic and injure them. As mentioned earlier, rabbits have fragile bone structures, and doing something like that can break their back easily. Along with that, rabbits are also prone to heart problems, and putting them on their back can increase the risk. Avoid any such activities to keep your rabbit away from stress.

Final Words

That was all about can a rabbit survived a broken back or not. Several symptoms would tell you if your rabbit has a broken back or not. We have also discussed reasons and treatment tips for the broken back of a rabbit. I hope you found this article helpful, and if you have anything to add, feel free to drop it in the comment section. Your suggestive words help us to do better. It would be delighted to hear from our fellow readers.

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Peyton Taylor

Hey readers! My name is Peyton Taylor, and I help others to have a great experience with their pets. Nothing compares to the happiness of having a healthy and affectionate pet. My sole purpose is to assist newbies and experienced pet owners to learn more and more about the behavior and character of their pets.

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