Rabbit Health Protocol
Rabbits make wonderful pets, and are becoming much more popular. They are easy to keep, extremely cute, cleverer than you may think, and a lot of fun!
Our vets and nurses are all skilled and experienced in their handling and knowledge of rabbits, so you can feel confident that we will take great care of your bunny.
Myxomatosis and Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (VHD) are two devastating diseases seen in pet rabbits, which when contracted, are usually fatal.
Myxomatosis is spread by fleas from the wild rabbit population. Even indoor-kept rabbits are susceptible to the disease, as people and other pets can bring the fleas indoors.
VHD is spread through bird droppings and other environmental sources, and generally leads to a rapid death.
Both of these diseases can be avoided by annual vaccination of healthy bunnies over 5 weeks old, protecting against both diseases in one dose.
Simply phone for an appointment and one of our vets will perform a full clinical health check before administering the vaccine.
Spaying and Castration of male and female pet rabbits is very important. Unless you are intending to breed, spaying will prevent uterine cancer which is seen very commonly in females (“does”), as well as preventing unwanted pregnancies, and reducing fighting with companions. Castration of males (“bucks”) helps to control social problems such as inappropriate urination and fighting.
We recommend neutering Does and Bucks from 5 months old.
Rabbit’s teeth are different from human teeth in that they are growing constantly! Diet is extremely important in keeping rabbit teeth healthy (see below for feeding advice). Your rabbit may show signs of dental problems such as: Not eating / becoming ‘picky’ about food, drooling from the sides of the mouth, weight loss, and watery eyes.
If you notice any of these signs, please bring your bunny in for a consultation – dental problems are much better treated as early as possible.
A good diet is vitally important to keep your bunny healthy and happy – protecting their teeth, bowels, and preventing against obesity. Follow these tips for the ideal menu!
- Do not make any sudden changes to your rabbit’s diet – all new foods must be introduced gradually.
- Fresh drinking water must be available at all times.
- MOST IMPORTANTLY : Fresh grass or chopped dried grass (Readigrass can be obtained from a large pet store i.e Titmus) are most effective for controlling dental problems. Although good quality hay should be available as well.
- Green vegetables are a great source of vitamins and should be fed regularly if possible e.g. celery leaves, carrot tops, broccoli, cabbage, and parsley etc. Take care to wash all foods before feeding, and introduce these foods gradually to very young rabbits to avoid an upset stomach.
- If the above components are provided, commercial rabbit food is not actually required. However, if you do wish do give this to your bunny, we recommend a small amount of the pellet form rather than the museli-type mix, to prevent them picking out just the bits they fancy!
- Fruit and root vegetables such as carrots should be given only occasionally as a treat, as they are high in sugars
- ‘Treats’ such as nuts, seeds, chocolate, cereals, commercial treats, bread etc., should be avoided to prevent obesity and digestive upsets.
FREE New Pet Health Check
If you have acquired a new pet rabbit, phone to book your FREE healthcheck with one of our Vets. They will perform a full clinical examination, and you will have the chance to ask any questions you may have.
For general husbandry advice, book an appointment with our Qualified Veterinary Nurse, where you will be able to discuss all areas of caring for your bunny.
Looking for Pet Insurance
You can learn more about pet insurance by visiting this page.