All pets should be registered with a veterinary practice, where they can go for routine check ups, vaccinations, advice and emergency treatment. All veterinary surgeons must be registered by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), you can find an accredited practice on their website.
Health and Veterinary Care - Health Checks & Signs There’s Something Wrong
Rabbits are prey animals so will often hide pain or sickness well, as in the wild, a noticeably ill rabbit is an easy target to predators 65. That’s why it’s important you do regular checks to ensure any potential issues are detected early, before it’s too late. Look for any signs of pain, illness or injury, and be aware of any changes in a rabbit’s diet, weight or behaviour, as it could be a sign of something being wrong. Always seek advice from a vet if you think there is a problem.
Diseases, Illnesses & Injuries
Rabbits are susceptible to a variety of diseases and parasites - Ask your vet about preventative treatments and what you need to watch out for. To keep them happy and healthy you will need to check your rabbits regularly, ensure vaccinations are up to date, and keep their living environment clean. Even if they’re healthy, rabbits will need to visit the vets for annual check-ups and vaccinations.
Nursing & Medicines
There may be occasions when you’ll need to help nurse your rabbit when they are unwell or recovering, but you should take advice from your vet on when this will be necessary, and what you need to do.
Importance of Neutering
Rabbits are social animals and can suffer from loneliness, so should ideally be kept in bonded pairs or groups 45. It’s advised that rabbits are neutered to prevent accidental breeding or fighting. Rabbits can become very territorial and aggressive, with males frequently spraying urine. Unneutered females can repeatedly suffer from phantom pregnancies which can be stressful and cause them to tear out their fur to make a nest. Once neutered, a rabbit is more calm, relaxed and happy, and less likely to display behavioural problems.
Is My Rabbit Overweight?
In the wild, a rabbit will be constantly running around, foraging for food or escaping danger, preventing them from becoming overweight. Whereas, well loved pet rabbits will often be indulged, safe and probably not exercise as much, which can lead to weight gain. Many owners do not even realise that their bunnies are overweight, but excess weight or obesity is a serious issue for domestic rabbits. It can put strain on the cardiovascular system and joints, and impair a rabbit’s ability to properly groom and clean themselves
It’s something no one likes to think about, but there will come a point when sadly a beloved pet will pass away or need to be put to sleep to end their suffering. As pet owners you will undoubtedly do everything you can to help and prolong the life of your rabbit, but there are times when it’s unavoidable, and you will have to face the difficult decision. Reasons may include the diagnosis of an inoperable or untreatable condition, treatment isn’t working and they’re unlikely to recover, or by prolonging the animal’s life you are just prolonging their suffering.