Using Essential Oils on Your Bunny

So… we’re slowly becoming an “oily” family. We’ve been doing research on Essential Oils, the different companies, and how they work. We haven’t committed to any particular brand or theme as we go about our lives, but every night the kids get their “mellow mix” essential oil on their wrists and we use a mix of tea tree, lavender and chamomile on rabbit scratches all the time. Takes the sting out right away!


Because we’re so interested in this right now, I was super excited to see these infographics released! I have heard they need to be read carefully (for example, frankincense is allegedly poisonous to rabbits!). Here’s the upshot, this is not an endorsement of any particular essential oils company. Double check with an expert before you use any essential oils on your animals.


And… here they are! The infographics!











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30 thoughts on “Using Essential Oils on Your Bunny

  1. Nature's Ocean July 13, 2014 at 1:21 pm Reply

    Reblogged this on Nature's Ocean.


  2. Danielle Royal Titus April 5, 2015 at 7:15 pm Reply

    Any suggestions for E. Caniculi?!?? My Lionhead less than a year old has an Internal parasite that is not within his digestive tract. It was likely contracted In Utero through the eye. His behavior and eating habits are still normal but his affected eyeball is protruding worse.


    • madhatrabbits April 5, 2015 at 11:00 pm Reply

      Ugh. That is one we have never had to deal with! I did find this study when I did a search for it online:

      If you find that it’s successful, please share!


    • Francie August 31, 2016 at 6:27 pm Reply

      I just had the same thing happen to my bunny today. He exhibited a tilted head and seizure type movements. There suddenly appeared a tiny white speck in his eye. I searched frantically online and researched, then spoke to a rabbit expert by phone. She said to take him to the vet immediately and that it was apparently E. cuniculi. She said to ask the vet to administer Baytril immediately and Panacur oral suspension. Both products kill this parasite, but the Baytril is essential first. Rabbits can die from E. cuniculi. I got an emergency vet appt. same day. The vet was spot on with exactly what the rabbit expert said. The head tilt thing is strange and even stranger looking. This parasite actually starts affecting the inner ear which is why the rabbit tends to tilt the head almost to the point where it looks like a broken neck but isn’t. It throws off their equilibrium, and they start to roll like having a seizure. They are so confused and traumatized by the feeling. It exhausts the poor thing. Terrible to see, so you must do something immediately. It can be cured if you start treatment immediately. However, you really need to know what contraindications are with Baytril and Panacur being given with essential oils. I would not do both at same time. Most vets do not practice natural meds, and I would be surprised if they knew the contraindications of this. But Baytril and Panacur are meds for crisis situations. They pack a punch for immediate results which essential oils cannot give in this situation. I hope your bunny fairs well. God bless.


    • nickaloo September 4, 2016 at 10:41 pm Reply

      Sorry, but baytril is an antibiotic and doesn’t do anything for EC. If your bunny has other symptoms, then it can also be an ear infection or even an abscess. When a vet prescribes baytril it is a red flag as Baytril is much like some of our drugs, which are not effective. My rabbit suddenly had tilt, was rolling, the vet gave me panacur and baytril. The combo did nothing, I contacted Marcy Rosenfield Moore who did the study on bicillin (injectible only, never oral penicillins for rabbits) and I started giving bicillin injections with the panacur. My rabbit must have had an infection as he was normal within a week, but it must be given for at least 6 weeks to be effective. He was essentially cured. Baytril is the last antibiotic I would use. It is safe, that is why so many vets continue to prescribe and so many need to further their education about antibiotics. Here is Marcy Rosenfield Moores article and studies. She worked with the best rabbit vets in the country on this study,


  3. Kayla May 4, 2015 at 9:54 pm Reply

    Thank you for this! I recently got a bunny and he’s been scratching his ears a lot. I’m afraid it’s the early stages of ear mites. What would you suggest that I do? I diluted purification and applied to the outsides of his ears and back of the neck. is there anything you’d suggest? Have you dealt with ear mites in rabbits with EO’s?


    • madhatrabbits May 5, 2015 at 1:43 am Reply

      Hi! Thanks for your comment! I have had great luck getting rid of ear mites by dropping a mixture of lavender and tea tree oil into the ear once every three days for about two applications. You really can use any oil dropped in the ear and massaged around to cover the whole ear, but I like the smell from the lavender/tea tree, and I think both were effective for calming the itching and cleaning it up.


      • Kayla May 6, 2015 at 3:28 pm

        Thank you for your quick reply. I dropped coconut oil into my bunny’s ears two days ago. Read a lot about how putting a fatty oil in their ears will help to suffocate the mites. I will try adding lavender and melaleuca to the coconut oil for the next round. Thank you so much! He shook his head a lot when I put the coconut oil in his ears and a lot of it came out and on to his fur. I know it’s safe for him to eat, I’m just concerned that it all came out and none of it stayed in his ear long enough haha. Did your bunny scratch and shake his head and ears when you applied the oil? He doesn’t seem to like it 😦


  4. Ashley May 30, 2015 at 5:27 pm Reply

    When adding oil to there drinking water how diluted do you go?


    • madhatrabbits May 31, 2015 at 10:59 am Reply

      We only add apple
      Cider Vinegar to our water. I’m sorry! Can’t help!


    • Kayla May 31, 2015 at 1:17 pm Reply

      Hi Ashley,
      A couple of years back I did a TON of research on essential oils and with the information I found, my husband and I only trust and use Young Living Essential Oils. We use them for absolutely everything! And have recently got our first pet and are learning to use it for him too πŸ™‚
      Young Living is the only company that has their own farms and tests their oils from start to finish using the Seed to Seal promise that they make to their customers. I wouldn’t recommend ANY other essential oil brand because most receive their oils through third parties and are diluted or have added fillers in them that are not safe for humans or pets. If you would like more information I would definitely be able to send you more info that I’ve found over the years! πŸ™‚ Just leave you email and I can definitely get in touch with you! I would love to help!

      As far as putting oil in their water, again, I would only use Young Living Essential Oils for this because they are labeled as dietary supplements, anything else that you get in the stores will say not safe for ingestion and other types of warning labels which is a red flag.

      For dilution, I would probably start with 1 drop of say, Young Living’s Lemon essential oil in maybe 1/2 a gallon of water just to be safe. See how they do and you can always use 1 drop in less water over time. I just personally would start small and work my way up because that’s what Young Living suggests for humans as well πŸ™‚

      I hope that helps! Please leave your email and I will definitely send you over some more info πŸ™‚

      -Kayla πŸ™‚


      • Ashley May 31, 2015 at 2:38 pm

        Actually my I use young living essential oils on myself and and my family. They are the only ones I trust as well. I just know animals are much more sensitive to oils than we are and didn’t want to cause him any problems! The last couple days he’s had a wet nose. No drainage or sneezing so I just wanted to give his immune system a little boost. The weather has been darastically changing here with one day being in the 70’s the next barley 50 with rain and wind. I just want to keep him healthy as possible.


  5. sarah June 3, 2015 at 9:26 pm Reply

    I believe our rabbit has ‘snuffles’. He constantly has white snotty nose and has been to the vet and on antibiotics a few times but it just seems to keep coming back. I want to try my oils (young living, of course!) On him but not sure where to start. I’ve also noticed his poo is smaller and in clumps, reminds me of a mulberry shape. I’m thinking of diffusing the thieves around him and trying the lemon in his water. He just hasn’t been himself lately. Any other info you have found to work would be appreciated!


    • madhatrabbits June 3, 2015 at 9:50 pm Reply

      Hi! I don’t have any advice on this but would be very interested to know what you discover. I have been told there is no cure for snuffles.


  6. Amy Nicole June 18, 2015 at 12:49 pm Reply

    Will the oils help cure the Snuffles?? I’ve heard that it is not curable.


  7. Bailey July 8, 2015 at 1:44 pm Reply

    I think my bunny may have allergies. He/she always has a slightly wet nose and always rubs his/her face. The bunny is still young and I thought that maybe he could have mites or something but I don’t know? I put lavender on my hands and pet it in hopes that it may improve… Any suggestions?


    • madhatrabbits July 8, 2015 at 11:26 pm Reply

      I know for humans a combination of lavender, lemongrass, and peppermint is useful. However for a rabbit I am not certain. I always suspect snuffles when I hear wet nose and rubbing – but I also know rabbits can have allergies!

      If your rabbit has mites you will see evidence of them around the nape of the neck by the ears.


  8. Rita Burgess January 2, 2016 at 11:47 am Reply

    Just wanted to comment….we got a new rabbit that had runny nose and sneezing, it progressed into alot of nasal discharge and a sore developed around his nose due to the discharge. We thought for sure he had snuffles. We use essential oils for ourselves and our horses and dog…so we thought we would try them on the rabbit. We diffused thieves for approximately 7-10 days in a diffuser right nest to his cage. He is completely cured, he hasn’t had any more sneezing or any runny nose and that was 3 months ago. He is absolutely great and healthy now. I know the essential oil cured him.


    • Lilly June 11, 2016 at 11:29 pm Reply

      Hi Rita, which essential oil combo did you use for your rabbit, My house bun has pneumonia. I use to use peppermint and lavender but now reading so many warnings, I want to use my diffuser with water in the room where the bunnies are, but I dont want to overpower them with the essentials. How much did you use in your diffuser and the combo, please.


  9. Casey February 3, 2016 at 6:48 am Reply

    Hi! Do u know what oils should absolutely be avoided. My bunny is 8 weeks and as I turned on the diffuser this morning, containing thieves the lightbulb of, wait! Is Thus safe? We have a pet now went off.


  10. valmarie April 11, 2016 at 12:35 pm Reply

    Oil and water do not mix. Scientifically they cannot mix. You cannot dilate an oil in water no matter how hard you try. Do not give an animal oils internally ever, even in water!!!!!


  11. kbrun07 May 5, 2016 at 10:38 pm Reply

    Are there any essential oils you know to be particularly harmful? Ones to avoid completely with rabbits?

    Specifically cinnamon and vetiver? We are using that to treat termites and want to be sure it’s safe.

    Thank you!


  12. Faerie Dogmother May 10, 2016 at 11:57 pm Reply

    Herbs are great for health issues with rabbits (they seek them out naturally in the wild). For medicinal purposes My favorite US company is Amber Technology – organic herbal neutraceuticals. Powerful and not expensive. They have a natural antibiotic/antiviral/anti fungal/anti parasite called Vibactra Plus and many others for specific needs. Including ones for respiratory issues (snuffles?). I’ve used VB+ with good luck for snuffles. Good for all pets – rats and geckos to cats/dogs/rabbits to giraffes and elephants. I don’t see any source or where the research came from all these oils with rabbits but their liver processes things differently and traditionally it has been cautioned not to use any oils on rabbits as many can be toxic. A good book on pets and essential oils: holistic aromatherapy for animals by Kristen Leigh Bell. There are a few oils ok in lighter use – like hydrosols – but be sure you know what you are doing before using oils on rabbits – or cats. (lavender and aloe is one of my go-tos for skin). It’s all about the livers processing capabilities and whether we will essentially poison them because they can’t eliminate the strong chemicals. As far as the Ess Oil MLMs, it’s big business and although their oils are guaranteed pure, they are over priced and professional medical aromatherapists don’t use them. I recommend books by Kurt Schnaubalt and many of my favorite reasonably priced pure oils are from Marge Clark at Natures Gift which also has some nice educational tools on line. Her business is frequently referenced by professionals. If you use theMLMs for ease, great but if you want to get equal or better quality (and more variety) try some of the places noted in professional aromatherapists publications, journals and books. There is a great aromatherapy magazine too. Three cheers for all the bunny caretakers looking for natural options! πŸ’•πŸ° go start an herb garden!


    • Lilly June 11, 2016 at 11:32 pm Reply

      hello, I have vibactra and would like to know if you give it to your bunnies diluted since it contains alcohol? I have used but put in warm water before I give. Also what dose and how many times per day? My 10 year old bunny has pneumonia. I am giving her antibiotics now, but also colloidal silver, probiotics of course, fresh oregano, and other herbs she loves.


      • madhatrabbits September 4, 2016 at 8:26 am

        I’m sorry, I don’t know. We don’t use any antibiotics so we have no familiarity with them.


  13. whimsy July 29, 2016 at 9:05 am Reply

    Gentle reminder :
    Please be careful people!!
    Experimenting on rabbits at home is not that much different to testing animals in a lab. Just you don’t really know what you’re doing… I’m not saying that all of the ideas aren’t good but stick to the ones that have some research done please Read
    I’m all for natural , like thistle weeds to assist digestion and healing, You can try things like Manuka honey cream for wounds & dermatitis

    Some essential oils that could maybe be used at correct dosage : Cedarwood Atlas, Chamomile, Eucalyptus, Ginger, Lavender, Myrrh, Ravensare, Rose, and Valerian

    some essential oils that should never be used for animals: Anise, Clove Leaf/Bud, Garlic, Horseradish, Juniper, Thyme, Wintergreen, or Yarrow, to name a few.

    rabbits are extremely sensitive that’s why we unfortunately test cosmetics & shampoo on them. Pure essential oils are thousands of times stronger than the original plants and can cause severe toxicity


  14. christina Gonzalez September 28, 2016 at 4:50 am Reply

    We have 3 rabbits with walking dandruff. We have tried everything except oils. We’ve been to the vet twice. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


    • madhatrabbits October 17, 2016 at 6:43 am Reply

      My first step would be to dust your rabbits with Dimetacious Earth (DE). If the dandruff is actually a result of some type of mite (which is normal, especially if they have been given hay as mites tend to travel with hay) the DE will take care of it.


  15. Nicholas Brown March 29, 2017 at 10:38 pm Reply

    I have used Young living for many years, they are great oils, but I have always found them to be very expensive, sure there oils are good and in many cases a little too strong, I have found that oils from Doterra are at the highest quality and fare cheaper without loosing the quality, have also found that they are a lot more nature friendly and people friendly, generous in giving back to the farmers that grow the crops. we used doterra Frankincense on our cat that had a large lump the size of a thumb, the vet said it had to be removed and for $500AUD he could remove it, we looked up oils and found that applying the Frankincense oil straight every other day for a couple of months and it was gone, if we had used the Young Living one, it could have been too strong, some times strength is not what you need.


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