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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > HOUSE RABBIT Q & A > Rabbit Flying CARGO!!
Last Post by tanlover14 at 10/04/2012 4:41 AM (75 Replies)
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User is Offline RufusBunBun
5 posts Send Private Message
9/18/2012 11:22 AM

Hi everyone, I'm new, actually I just registered because I don't know what to do.... Two months ago me and my mom had a fight, I slammed the door of my room and locked myself for hours. I slept all afternoon. In the evening someone knocked on my door, I got up from bed and opened the door, there was this cage with a sorry note from my mom, and there he was, the most beautiful creature I had ever seen, my baby, Rufus. I love him to bits, I can't imagine my life without him. Such a curious, lazy bunny. After a week in his new home he got really sick, he almost died, he had a very painful UTI/Sludge and almost entered in gi stasis. He wouldn't eat, wouldn't drink, wouldn't move. I felt so helpless and guilty, I did all my best, researched day and night, he got so skinny, I barely slept just to make sure he was alive. Cutting the story short, he got well, he is now healthy and he has gained almost all his weight back.  Now, I'm going back home after 6 years, my flight is on the 22nd. Sadly, no matter how much it hurts me, he has to go in the cargo hold, there is no other way, I am traveling with Qatar Airways from the Philippines to Spain, it's a very very long journey, and the airline wont let me take him in the cabin, only dogs can go in the cabin and only if they are service dogs and only if the flight is from or to the states. I tried the "emotional support animal" route, but they said that it is not possible (again only dogs), he must go in the cargo hold. Leaving him behind is not an option. And i'm so scared, I just can't stop crying, I'm trying to stay positive, but I'm breaking down. I would be devastated if something happened to him, and as the days pass the more I freak out.. Sorry, I just needed to tell someone, as my friends don't really understand my love for Rufus, they think I'm paranoid and that I'm over reacting.... 


User is Offline Elizabeth Paige
Sunny Seattle
69 posts Send Private Message
9/18/2012 11:26 AM
i suggest going to the vet ad asking what to do some times they can give animals sedatives and help you make the journey a little bit more tolerable for your fuzzy little bunny friend!
Babbity Edited Babbity Rabbity Binkybunny.com

User is Offline tobyluv
South Carolina
670 posts Send Private Message
9/18/2012 12:42 PM
Is that the only airline available to you? Would it be possible to either use another airline or to use Qatar, but take a flight to a closer destination first, then switch to an airline that would allow you to hold Rufus on your lap in a carrier?

I understand how upsetting this is for you, and I hope that everything works out well.

User is Offline Kokaneeandkahlua
Edmonton, Alberta; Canada
Forum Leader
11545 posts Send Private Message
9/18/2012 6:07 PM
Welcome!!

I agree talk to your vet. Your vet could prescribe sedatives, or could suggest something else-maybe your vet could write a note that your pet is a therapy animal and than your dr. writes that you need a therapy animal?

Gosh I'm just not sure other than the other suggestions-and what you tried already-therapy animal route, other airline, sedative...

Umn what kind of carrier do you have? I would suggest maybe a bigger style one, with strong sturdy clips so it doesn't come undone. Sticker it up (live animal etc), put your contact info in the carrier, talk to the airline about providing water (i.e. can they)

To be honest, Bunnie settle right in to car rides after a length of time. So I don't see a danger, just the same dogs and cats fly cargo; as long as it's the pet side, pressurized and temperature regulated(i.e. it's a reputable airline) everything should be just fine.

I'd put in lots of hay, and a familiar blanket. Maybe even have some signs made up to go on the carrier (like 'please be gentle i'm a bunny') or something like that.

How long is the flight? Is it direct?
Please keep us posted!!!!
Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Kokanee & Chuck My Bridge Bunnies-you left paw prints on my heart

User is Offline Roberta
Wanneroo, Western Australia
3624 posts Send Private Message
9/18/2012 6:32 PM

I suppose dressing her in Booties, Bonnet and a Onesie and declaring her as a "Babe in Arms" is out of the question ?

Just looked online and flights seem to average between 14 -17 hrs.

With a good travel case and water bottles etc water supply ect shouldn't be a problem. I'm with the others, see the vet about possible pre flight sedatives or try to get a letter from your vet that may convince the airline to let her travel with you.

 photo 08990f11-285a-44a8-8afe-47ee405d6fd1_zps09e3c66f.jpg

User is Offline Elizabeth Paige
Sunny Seattle
69 posts Send Private Message
9/18/2012 8:10 PM
i also suggest carrying around a small stuffed animal for a few days before the flight (sleep with it lay with it while relxing) that way your buns has something to cuddle with and remind her of you while she is flying, it might be very comforting having your sent near by
Babbity Edited Babbity Rabbity Binkybunny.com

User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
Forum Leader
15797 posts Send Private Message
9/19/2012 3:07 AM
Is this a permanent relocation or just a trip back home? That wasn't clear in your post.
Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline RufusBunBun
5 posts Send Private Message
9/19/2012 4:20 AM

Hi thanks for replying guys!

@Elizabeth Paige  I did ask the vet, but he said it's not safe to give him sedatives, and the airline will not let any animal board under sedation. Thanks for the stuff toy thing, i'm cuddling it as of now

@Tobyluv Sadly no, there are like only two  airlines that fly to Spain from here and those are Turkish airlines and Qatar, I heard some horror stories of the animal cargo of Turkish airlines, so we chose qatar. 

@Kokaneeandkahlua  The flight is not direct. Manila to Doha 9 hours, then a 4 hour layover at Doha, then Doha to Madrid 7 hours. Carrier is airline approved, it is big enough for him to move around and small enough for him not to get hurt because of turbulation etc.

@Roberta, I hope so, I did try the letter thing, the airline still said that no animals other than service dogs and falcons(business class) are allowed in the cabin.

@Beka27 Sorry it wasn't clear but I'm relocating back, that's why I can't leave him because I'm moving back for good.

I'm also scare of heat stroke, weather at doha is extremely hot from what I've read, and I'm scared that he might be left on the tarmac for too long while on the layover. 


User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
Forum Leader
15797 posts Send Private Message
9/19/2012 4:56 AM
Okay. Thanks for clearing that up.

I just googled a few links, you may have seen these already, but if not...

http://en.allexperts.com/q/Rabbits-...planes.htm

http://www.wikihow.com/Transport-a-Rabbit

I like the recommendation to zip-tie or lock the carrier. In case of it being jostled or turbulence, you don't want the carrier to come unhinged. Also the suggestion of a wheeled collapsible cart is good.

During your layover, will you have access to your rabbit or does he get automatically transferred to the next plane? I wonder if you can feed and water him part way thru?
Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
Forum Leader
15797 posts Send Private Message
9/19/2012 5:00 AM
http://www.rabbit.org/journal/4-10/flying.html

Lots of labeling of the carrier seems to be the way to go.
Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline Elizabeth Paige
Sunny Seattle
69 posts Send Private Message
9/19/2012 9:28 AM
it will all be ok! im sure all of us will be sending good vibes the day of your flight! <3 good luck!!
Babbity Edited Babbity Rabbity Binkybunny.com

User is Offline LittlePuffyTail
New Brunswick, Canada
Forum Leader
11924 posts Send Private Message
9/20/2012 2:28 AM
I want to wish you luck and many (((((Safe Travel Vibes))))) to you and your bunny. Make sure to let us know how it goes.
Proud to be a Bunny Hugger and a voice for the voiceless
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User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8682 posts Send Private Message
9/20/2012 9:27 PM

i understand your concern. I would feel the same way. I am so sorry. You've gotten some good advice so far.  

Since your bunny will be peeing in the carrier, try to see if you can get a pee pad or some sort of absorbency litter options, underneath a blanket, so it could help wick away the urine.


Also, just in case the water bottle falls off, or something happens to it due to pressurizing, provide a solid veggie like a carrot as it will have hydrating qualities. Plenty of hay too of course. (be sure there is no agriculture restriction about that when flying to another country) Most bunnies won't want to eat during stress, but it's always best to have it there just in case. 

Along with the note that says "Live Animal" on the carrier, you could add "Animal Sensitive to high temperatures", maybe that would give the extra nudge to pay attention when you get where it's hot.  


During the layover, will you be allowed to check on your bunny?

I will keep the 22nd in mind and send positive thoughts. Though with the time zone difference, I will have to start sending positive thoughts and vibes on the evening of the 21st here. When you get settled in, please be sure to come back to the forum and let us know how it went. 


User is Offline Roberta
Wanneroo, Western Australia
3624 posts Send Private Message
9/20/2012 10:53 PM
I would recommend an ice pack in the carrier too. I am not sure how you would provide fresh ones in between but maybe they would be able to provide something at the stop over. How does the drop off work, do you leave them at the luggage check in or do you (like we do here) take them personally down to the live cargo area ? You may be able to speak to the people there and they could arrange ice packs to be waiting at Doha.
 photo 08990f11-285a-44a8-8afe-47ee405d6fd1_zps09e3c66f.jpg

User is Offline Roberta
Wanneroo, Western Australia
3624 posts Send Private Message
9/20/2012 11:12 PM
There are instant cold packs, but you would need to put them inside something so she couldn't chew them. But they would probably do the job for the stop over, put one in when you land and replace it before you depart. http://www.amazon.com/Ace-Instant-C...B001AM455S Just trying to find out if any particular one stays colder longer than the others. The only other ice pack that would stay cold for lomg periods would involve dry ice and that could be risky as it is frozen carbon dioxide and direct contact can cause chill burns.
 photo 08990f11-285a-44a8-8afe-47ee405d6fd1_zps09e3c66f.jpg

User is Offline RufusBunBun
5 posts Send Private Message
9/21/2012 9:47 AM
Hello everyone!! Thank you sooo much for all the support and the advice, I will give him carrots and some cucumber (which he loves)... about the ice packs, i thought about that, the problem is that the philippines is a tropical country so it's hot as hell here, so it would just melt by the time i get to the airport. Since my baby is going in the animal cargo I do have to drop him at the cargo place, but they old me to go at 10 am to fix the documentation etc etc etc, and the cargo guys also said that Rufus can tag along with me till the loading time at 2pm my flight is at 6pm. I will ask them about the ice thing for the layover, sadly I don't have any time left to look for instant cold packs, my flight is tomorrow, and I WILL REQUEST THEM TO LET ME SEE HIM A THE LAYOVER. Again, thank you guys!!!!! WISH ME THE BEST OF LUCK!

User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
Forum Leader
15797 posts Send Private Message
9/21/2012 11:34 AM
Good luck and safe travels!!!
Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline Kokaneeandkahlua
Edmonton, Alberta; Canada
Forum Leader
11545 posts Send Private Message
9/21/2012 5:01 PM
Good luck good luck!! Please tell us how everything goes!
Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Kokanee & Chuck My Bridge Bunnies-you left paw prints on my heart

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8682 posts Send Private Message
9/21/2012 9:17 PM
Good luck!!!!! Safe Travels for you and your bunny!

User is Offline Stitchntwinks
207 posts Send Private Message
9/22/2012 12:51 AM
Good luckkkk
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