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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.

This expert accepts donations for HouseRabbit Adoption, Rescue, and Education, Inc.:      

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    K = Knowledgeability    C = Clarity of Response    P = Politeness
Kathy01/13/15101010Thank you for your help I already .....
Helana01/12/15101010waited a bit longer for a reply .....
Ann01/12/15101010Thank you for the quick response!

Recent Answers from Dana Krempels, Ph.D.

2015-01-22 prolapsed rectum:

Dear Jeanine,    Yes, E-collars are a nightmare for bunnies!  :(    I know of one person who had success by tying a little cotton "scarf" around the bunny's hips so it was like a little skirt.  Bunny could

2015-01-21 URGENT!! Bunnies Not Eating Hay:

Dear Bettye,    It's possible that the bunnies are sensing something wrong with the batches of hay you're offering.  But a more likely explanation is that they are starting to suffer from dental problems

2015-01-12 HELP! Rabbit ate burlap string!!:

Dear Ann,    Burlap is made from organic fabric, if it's natural burlap.  As such, it should be somewhat digestible.  However, I'm not sure whether all burlap made these days is 100% plant-based.    If

2015-01-11 Rabbit with head tilt having seizures:

Dear Jen,    I see the vet treated her for E. cuniculi with the fenbendazole, which is what I would have suggested.  No way to know if the parasite is the cause of the seizures, but the neurological damage

2015-01-08 Can a rabbit wear a collar?:

Dear Helana,    No, rabbits cannot safely wear a collar.  They are not even particularly safe for cats.  But rabbits do not have the large muscles found on the necks of dogs, and cats.  A collar is uncomfortable


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