Do Bunnies Bite?

Well, bunnies bite, and sometimes, the prick or the chaw can hurt and even bleed. Whether a bunny bite hurts or not depends on the intensity that the rabbit uses to lock its jaws.

But, you have nothing to worry about. For the most part, these bites are usually soft and quiet (but not painless). You won’t require a lot of medical attention when your rabbit decides to lock you between its teeth.

Like many open wounds, rabbit bites can get infected. This is why you need antibiotics before the bacteria from outside eats too deep into the flesh. On top of the medication, get a tetanus shot, that is, if you haven’t gotten one in a decade.

Bunnies are cute, but, like other pets, they have dark sides. When those sides are activated, they switch to biting and thumping. Sometimes, things get a little too messy because they may lose control. Eventually, the bunnies come down.

Let’s bite into this topic more.

Rabbits And Biting Humans

Why Do They Do It?

We have already established that rabbits are not exceptional – they can bite. But, what can motivate them to do so? I mean, aren’t they the friendliest, sweetest, and cutest animals ever? Well, you’re about to find the reasons from the following info-table:

Apprehension and fearWhen you restrain, chase, or pick up a rabbit unexpectedly, it will panic and become fearful. As a prey animal, it will react by biting you.
Stress-related issuesA rabbit is a quiet animal, and its environment ought to be the same. When things are noisy, the rabbit will become stressed and prone to biting at anyone and anything.
Territorial behaviorIf your rabbit is neither neutered nor spayed, it will have a lot of hormonal activity going on. These hormones tune it to become aggressive and territorial, and biting (apart from urine spraying) is likely to be exhibited.
Illness or painA sick or pain-bearing rabbit may lash out by way of biting, especially if you move in to touch it.
Wrong foodIf your rabbit bites your finger, it may be perceiving it as food. Funny, right?

If the bunny’s bite is deliberate, you may have done something wrong – something like annoying, frightening, or hurting them.

Can A Bunny’s Bite Carry Or Spread A Disease?

This is an excellent question, seeing that rabbits can sometimes be harmful to humans or not. Rabbit bites carry various diseases, but only a few of them can be transmitted to humans. For example, Myxomatosis – the rabbit killer disease – cannot do anything while in the human body.

Let’s flip the coin on its other side and see the disease that your rabbit’s bite can bring upon you:

1. Pasteurellosis

The bacteria that cause Pasteurellosis, Pasteurella, is found in the respiratory tracts and mouths of rabbits and other animals. When you pick it from a rabbit’s bite, you could be looking at a severe infection.

2. Tularemia

While this may be an uncommon disease, it is dire when it strikes. However, you have nothing to worry about since you only need antibiotics for treatment.

3. Rabies

Firstly, rabid rabbits are not expected. But, things can get ugly when you get rabies from rabbits. Luckily, there is proper vaccination and medication for it.

4. Tetanus

You know about tetanus because it affects many wounds. And, it will only happen if you haven’t taken the shot in a long time – the bacterial toxins will settle in the wounds without a fight.

Treating A Bunny Wound

If you’re an experienced rabbit owner, you will agree that your bunnies have bitten you at some point in your life. If you’re a newbie, well, be ready because no one knows the day nor the hour. Regardless of the breed (Flemish Giant, etcetera), your rabbit will bite without apology.

When that happens, what moves should you make? Well, you’re about to go through the list:

1. First, Get The Wound Cleaned Up

This should happen after you stop bleeding – you only need to put the right amount of pressure to get things under control. Once you do, get the wound to a point with running water.

You will be cleaning the wound of the bacteria picked from the rabbits’ teeth. Remember that rabbits don’t brush, and so, live cultures are all over their teeth. To make the wash effective, get some bacterial soap to help act on the microorganisms that may still be there.

2. Then, Go For An Ointment With Antibiotic Capabilities

Once the washing is completely done, get a lint-free, dry piece of cloth to pat on it. Do things gently because any extra pressure can get the wound opened up.

Then, the ointment should come in once the wound is completely dry. I’m talking about options like Bacitracin and Neosporin. The cream will stop the bacterial efforts of eating up the wound’s flesh. Also, it will ensure that the wound remains moist for healing to happen quickly. 

3. Get The Wound Nicely Dressed

This step depends on how deep the wound is. If you’re dealing with a slight nibble that isn’t bleeding anymore, you can leave it uncovered. If the injury is significantly deep, make a point of applying a bandage or dressing. This will ensure that the wound has all the moisture it needs. By why is moisture so essential?

A quick read from JEADV’s journal indicates that a wound will heal better in a moist environment. The wetness helps with tissue regeneration and infection protection – the two things needed for the wound to become a scab and then a scar.

A covered wound will be protected at all times since the healing process will not be disrupted. If the wound were to be left open, it could be pulled apart, and bleeding can start again.

Note: the dressing you use for the wound should be more extensive and cover the bite mark adequately.

Final Words – Do I Need To Be Vaccinated Against A Rabbit’s Bite?

Well, I doubt if there are any vaccinations made explicitly for a rabbit’s bite. So, no – you don’t need to have pre-protection in case you get bitten. But let’s talk about tetanus and rabies.

Caused by Clostridium tetani, tetanus is an infection that is usually lurking whenever a wound gets infected by bacteria. Although rare, your rabbit’s bite is all that is needed for you to get the tetanus bacteria.

But you only need tetanus shots to take care of the bacteria. So, if you’ve not had it for a long time, you know what you need to do. The shot lasts for about ten years, so you can look at the dates and see if you’re past the protection window.

Rabies is another issue of concern, and a rabbit bite can carry the virus. Although records have it that bunnies rarely get it, you should be worried.

The best way of preventing a rabbit rabies bite is by getting vaccinated. And it doesn’t matter if you’re already bitten; you can get a post-vaccination that will work on treating the infection quickly.


Seeing that you’ve made it till the end, why don’t you look at any of the following rabbit-related topics:

1. Do Female Rabbits Hump?

2. Do Rabbits Have Periods?

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