A number of antibiotics is reported dangerous in rabbits. While they help fight a bacterial infection, they bring about secondary effects like nephrotoxicity or gastrointestinal troubles that can have a fatal issue.
Dysbiosis is often observed; the enteric bacterial flora, that is naturally present in the cecum and the intestines of the rabbit, is disrupted.
This situation enables pathogenic bacteria, such as Clostridium spp, to grow in the GI tract and to produce dangerous toxins.
Here is a list of antibiotics that have been reported dangerous for use or fatal for rabbits. Please print it and store it in a safe place, show it to your vet in case he wants to give your rabbit antibiotics.
Name of antibiotic Effect
Ampicillin 40 to 100% fatal enteritis,
dependent on dosage
Amoxicillin Diarrhea after oral administration.
Cephalexin Diarrhea after oral administration.
Injection of cephalosporin has proven safe.
Clindamycin 50 to 100% fatal enteritis, dependent
Lincomycin 33 to 100% fatal enteritis, dependent
Minocycline Reduction of growth rate
Penicillin Acute and/or chronic enteritis (diarrhea)
after oral administration. Injection
of cephalosporin has proven safe.
Tilmicosin Fatal adverse reaction has been
observed. The reaction seems
rabbit dependent and it is advised
to do a test dose of 5 mg/kg
before doubling dosage.
Vancomycin Acute toxicity with 100% mortality
From: T. H. Morris: Antibiotic Therapeutics in Laboratory Animals. Laboratory Animals 29: 16-36.