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Rabbits/Expert Profile

Dana Krempels, Ph.D.


I've lived with companion rabbits for more than 35 years, and consider them members of my family. I can answer any questions about the biology and health of rabbits, from the commonplace to the unusual. But please note:

RULE #1:

  • If your rabbits is LETHARGIC
  • If your rabbit is NOT EATING
  • If your rabbit is PHYSICALLY INJURED (including broken bones)
  • If your baby rabbit has DIARRHEA is an EMERGENCY.

Find a rabbit vet at for immediate help, and don't risk your bunny's life by spending time asking questions online! If you can't get in touch with your vet, read these Emergency Sick Bunny Instructions.

If you have found a wild baby rabbit, please read these EMERGENCY INSTRUCTIONS FOR WILD BABY RABBITS and then use this link to FIND A LOCAL WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR who can give you the right advice.

RULE #2:
Help me help you! Please make your subject line informative if you have an urgent question.
  • If you already have been to the vet and still need help
  • if you can't find an available vet with the resources above
then LET ME KNOW IN THE SUBJECT LINE so I can give your question highest priority over non-urgent questions. If you don't do this, then I can't guarantee timely assistance!

For all the best, most accurate rabbit health, care and behavior information, visit The House Rabbit Society.

Experience in the area

I have been rescuing and rehabilitating domestic and wild rabbits for about 30 years. I have written articles for many rabbit rescue publications, as well as for the veterinary journal, Exotic DVM. I own EtherBun, the internet's largest listserve dedicated to health, care, and behavior of domestic rabbits.


Houserabbit Adoption, Rescue, and Education, Inc. (H.A.R.E., Inc.) president National House Rabbit Society (Board member)


Exotic DVM
Warren Peace (Journal of the House Rabbit Society of Miami)
Various newsletters of the House Rabbit Society, nationwide


Ph.D - Biology
B.S. - Biology
B.A. - English

Awards and Honors

Lightspan Academic Excellence Award for web site on rabbit health and biology

What do you like about this subject?

Rabbits are wonderful, intelligent creatures. I want to help them and their caregivers.

What do you still hope to achieve/learn in this field?

Greater public awareness of rabbits as companion animals. They do not belong in an outdoor hutch. They belong inside, with the other members of the family. I am opposed to the breeding of rabbits for any reason.

Something interesting about this subject that others may not know:

Rabbits are intelligent, interactive companions, as loyal and loving to a family as a dog or cat. The caregiver must learn the language of an herbivore/prey animal whose psyche and evolutionary history are different from that of a dog or cat. To win the trust of a rabbit is to win that of a wild spirit who will teach you many amazing things.

Something controversial or provocative about this subject

A rabbit should be treated as a member of the family. Rabbits are NOT "low maintenance" pets! A huge number of rabbits are abandoned each year by people who purchased them without realizing the commitment necessary to live with a creature so complex, sensitive, and intelligent. I hope that by educating people about rabbit nature and proper care, I might help stem this tragic tide.

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Maria02/04/17101010Thank you, Dr. Krempels. The vet and .....
Tei08/07/16101010Thank you Dr. Krempels for your quick .....
Kristin07/20/16101010Thank you for taking the time to .....

Recent Answers from Dana Krempels, Ph.D.

2017-01-23 Hysterectomy v's Ovariohysterectomy:

Hi, Kate    Nothing published yet, but I must say I love the results of the simple hysterectomy.  The girls who have their ovaries are better at social interactions and much easier to bond to other rabbits

2017-01-22 Flesh Dying/Falling Off-vet unsure-pictures in post:

Dear Allira,    I am so sorry about the loss of your friends to the horrific, unethical, and cruel methods of the Australian government.  They have no shame, and they are exposing the entire world to the

2017-01-19 Loud gurgling tummy:

Dear Caroline,    Yes, an intestine can be hypermotile for various reasons.  But generally it won't make noise unless there is a lot of *gas* in the lumen of the intestine.  It could be that the sugary

2017-01-12 Broken pelvic bone:

Dear Honey    It's good that he's eating.  That means the pain is not so much that he can't manage it.  But I would recommend you get a second opinion and at least get something like Tramadol for pain

2017-01-03 Charlie Rabbits and Health (non-urgent):

Dear Amber,    Rabbits (and other mammals) with the "charlie" markings--pigmented ears, eye rings, dorsal stripe, and variable numbers of spots on their sides--can sometimes express a condition sometimes


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