As soon as you’ve acquired your new rabbit then it’s best to ring us to book him in for a health check. Please bring any paperwork that you have with your bunny so that we can check the status of their vaccinations, deworming, flea/tick control, pet insurance and microchipping.
Vaccinations are against the two main fatal diseases...
- HVD - Haemorrhagic Viral Disease can cause acute bloody diarrhoea and sudden death. We have seen this disease in local rabbits
- Myxomatosis - a virus that causes acute illness and swollen eyes and lips. We see myxo every year in wild rabbits that are sometimes brought in
Baby rabbits receive just one injection for both diseases and adult rabbits need an Annual Health check and Booster vaccination every year.
This is very important if your rabbit is to remain healthy. We recommend that your rabbit is fed a diet that is based on hay in the winter and grass in the spring/summer/autumn. Grazing outside in an outside run and feeding hay in a small hay net is the best. You can also feed as many “greens” as they wish to eat - kale, beetroot/carrot tops, broccoli, lettuce/cabbage leaves, parsley, chicory, dandelions. Only feed root vegetables and fruit as a “treat” on an occasional basis.
Deworming is very important and needs to be done a few times each year against both internal worms and a parasite called E. Cuniculi. We recommend you use an oral paste every days for 28 days a few times each year. Flea control is by a monthly spot-on. There are lots of products available through supermarkets and pet shops but the most effective treatments are only available through a veterinary practice. Pop into the clinic, we will be happy to help you choose the right product.
This is important in case your bunny should escape and become lost. A microchip the size of a grain of rice is injected into the rabbit’s scruff, simply and painlessly. The chip has a unique 15 digit number that correlates with your contact details.
Pet Health Insurance is something that you should definitely consider. There are lots on the market but if you give us a call we will advise about the best plans to suit you and your rabbit. What’s more we can offer you a FREE 4 weeks of Pet Insurance when your rabbit attends for their vaccinations.
You can either keep your bunny as a “house rabbit” or they can live outside in a hutch. Most rabbits prefer the company of another rabbit rather than living alone. House rabbits will need a litter tray for their toileting and grass should be cut and brought to them inside. Rabbits living outside will really benefit from having an outside run to their hutch that lets them enjoy the sunshine and allows them to graze.
We see a variety of medical problems in rabbits ranging from bowel and bladder disorders to epilepsy and Fly strike. Dental problems are very frequently seen, especially if a poor diet has caused teeth to become “malaligned”. This can easily be remedied although a general anaesthetic is required so that the rabbit can have his teeth clipped and rasped but this may need to be done again from time to time.
Unless you want to breed from them, we recommend that both male and female rabbits are surgically neutered for behavioural reasons as un-neutered rabbits can be aggressive to both humans and to other bunnies in the group.
Rabbits become sexually active at the age of 16 weeks and the females are pregnant for 4 weeks. The normal litter size is about 6 and kits will wean at 6 weeks.