Rabbits & You
This leaflet is designed to highlight some of the information you need to care for your rabbit. If you have any questions about the information in provided, or feel that there is anything that we may have missed, please ask a member of staff who will be more than happy to help.
Rabbits can be vaccinated against two life-threatening diseases. Both diseases can be transmitted to your rabbit via contaminated bedding, environment and vectors such as fleas, mosquitoes and other animals:
This disease is resistant to antibiotics and usually fatal. Symptoms can include facial swellings, conjunctivitis and blindness. Death occurs from 48 hours to 14 days following infection.
Rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD) or viral haemorrhagic disease (VHD)
Rabbits are very vulnerable to this virus. Most rabbits will show no symptoms and the first sign of infection is death. The disease is highly infectious and can survive in the environment for years.
Schedule of vaccination:
We now have a combination vaccine for both diseases.This only needs to be administered once a year, and can be given to rabbits from the age of 5 weeks. This will save time and money for our clients, and gives less stress for your rabbit. During the vaccination appointment your rabbit will be given a health and weight check, and you will have the opportunity to discuss any health issues with the vet.
Rabbits can get fleas too. If your rabbit goes outside or there are other pets in the house, he/she could catch fleas. Similarly to cats and dogs the most popular flea treatment for rabbits comes in a liquid spot-on preparation. This can be purchased from the practice. It kills fleas within one day and prevents re-infestation at least for one week. It can be used monthly but if the environmental risk is high weekly treatments may be necessary.
Many owners are unaware that rabbits can get worms too!
Rabbits can get tapeworms and roundworms, as well as a microscopic parasite called Encephalitozoon cuniculi. This parasite is spread between mother and babies as well as through infected urine, lasting in the environment for weeks. If left untreated E. cuniculi can be fatal, with symptoms including head tilt, weakness, and seizures.
Frequency of worming
Rabbits should be wormed a minimum of twice a year – more during high risk periods such as when you first get your rabbit, before mating, and when mixing with other rabbits. The worming paste is given once a day for a period of 9 days. If you would like your rabbit wormed, just give us a call.
Unneutered rabbits, especially the females, have the tendency to become aggressive. The bucks tend to get frisky and spray their environment and themselves.
Both male and female rabbits can be neutered, generally from 3 months of age. Neutering is recommended for health benefits just like in cats and dogs. As with cats and dogs, neutered rabbits can be prone to putting on more weight, so care needs to be taken to encourage exercise and not allow over eating.
If you would like to discuss neutering of your pet , please book an appointment at our surgery.
It is important to keep an eye on your rabbit's claws, and make sure they don't get too long.
This is something you can do at home, provided you have the right equipment and are happy with what you are doing. Information on how to clip a rabbits claws can be found online, such as exoticpets.about.com, or we would be more than happy to demonstrate for you.
However many people do not feel confident doing this themselves and prefer someone more experienced to do it instead. You will not be charged a consult fee to have your rabbit's claws clipped, only the price of the clipping itself.
To book an appointment or if you have any questions, please call the practice.