Pater, C. S. 2013. Rabbit hypnosis as a form of mild restraint: A forgotten method. American Association for Laboratory Animal Science [AALAS] Meeting Official Program, 615 (Abstract #PS42).
Rabbit hypnosis or “trancing” was a common restraint technique used for minor procedures such as: nail clipping, tooth trimming, eye exams, and subcutaneous injections. In years past the technique was originally used on pet rabbits and then moved into the research environment. Rather than being taught in school it was passed along through on-the-job training. Among the reasons the technique was neglected was because there were anecdotal reports that fear, rather than relaxation, was the cause of the hypnosis and as the people who knew the technique left the field there were no longer people available to teach. The technique has regained popularity again due to workshops, conferences, meetings, and group communication. While there are other methods in use for minor procedures, this version allows the technician to work without anesthesia, without a restrainer, and work alone. New methods have been explored that extend the time animals are “tranced” and require less labor effort. Various pieces of equipment along with the basic technique now allow one person to do different procedures without needing another person to help hold the rabbit in place. Recovery is observed to be instantaneous without harm to the animal. This technique has been shown to work on both large and small rabbits and should be considered a viable alternative for minor procedures.