Rabbits are prey animals and frighten easily, they need specialist care from attentive and responsible adult bunny owners. Responsible ownership requires an understanding of your rabbit’s basic health needs. Rabbits can suffer from health conditions that are unique to rabbits. Not all vets specialise in rabbit health, so it is important to find a bunny savvy vet or a vet that is willing to liaise with a bunny savvy vet.
Because rabbits are prey animals and can hide illness, owners need to look for signs of altered behaviour, such as not eating or taking a favourite treat, sitting still for long periods when this is not usually your rabbit’s character, loose or mucous droppings or no droppings. These are just some of the signs which may all indicate that your rabbit is ill. Do not wait for the rabbit to recover as some conditions will get worse and your rabbit could die without vet intervention. Prevention and regular checkups with a bunny savvy vet is the best course of action.
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR RABBIT STOPS EATING?
YOU MUST get them to a bunny savvy vet immediately…
Unlike other animals, if your rabbit stops eating this is very serious and you need to get them treatment immediately. If a rabbit does not eat, their gut can stop and they will die. Conditions in rabbits can be fatal if not treated by a bunny savvy vet immediately.
What will the vet do?
The vet will check to see if the rabbit has a blockage or bloat or another condition. Depending on the diagniosis they will commence appropriate treatment which may include fluids, pain relief, gut mobility or surgery. ONLY A BUNNY SAVVY VET SHOULD DIAGNOISE AND PROVIDE APPROPRIATE TREATMENT for your rabbit. The treatment for your rabbit will vary depending on the diagnosis and it is dangerous to try to self diagniose and treat.
Please refer to our information sheets and links on this site for more detail about rabbit health. Rabbits are delicate, affectionate and lovable creatures that can bond with their owners and the right companion rabbit. They can be toilet trained and are clean, quiet animals. Their behaviour changes as they grow from babies to adults. With a quiet home away from predators, the correct diet and a regular check-up from a bunny savvy vet, indoor rabbits can live to 12 years of age.
Bunnies can get mites, but they mainly get fleas if they are in contact with a flea infected animal. Mites can manifest in the ears or elsewhere on the body, and is often referred to as walking dandruff. Never treat with mite spray from petshops. It is important to get the correct diagnosis and medication for your bunny and DO NOT self diagnose. Never give medication suggested by pet shops or on the Internet without checking with your vet. Dog and cat medication is not always suitable for rabbits.
Bunnies can be vaccinated from 10 weeks old and a booster administered within a month to protect them from the deadly calici virus. Vaccinations should then be administered annually. Unfortunately, there is no vaccination available in Australia to protect pet rabbits against the lethal myxomatosis virus.
Male bunnies can be desexed at about 12 weeks old or as soon as the testicles drop (please check with your bunny savvy vet). Female bunnies can be desexed from 5 to 8 months of age (please check with your bunny savvy vet). Desexing your bunny will prevent cancers in the females, and calm temperaments and aggressive behaviour and stop urine spraying in the males. Do not attempt to bond a bunny that is not desexed.
Important Bunny Health Dates
Calici Virus Vaccination: Can be administered from 10 weeks old, a booster within 4 weeks of the first vaccination, then followed by annual vaccinations.
Desexing: Males: 12 weeks old or as soon as the testicles drop. Females: 5 to 8 months old (check with your bunny savvy vet.)
General: Regular checkups for diet advise, nail trim, teeth check, mites and general health with your bunny savvy vet.
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