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Is Your Rabbit a Happy Bunny?

Hop-a-long for a complimentary Rabbit Health Check

Rabbit Awareness Week (RAW) 2015 begins on the 11th May this year and our surgery will be showing its support by offering complimentary rabbit health checks throughout the week!  Rabbits are now the 3rd most popular pet in the UK, but unfortunately often the least understood.

Many of the issues seen in practice can be prevented through good diet and nutrition, when rabbits are fed correctly this can improve their health, and overall decrease veterinary bills. However, it is worth considering getting your rabbits insured - just in case they ever do need medical treatment! The good news is there are a number of easy ways in which, alongside good nutrition, we can help our pet rabbits to be happier and healthier.

Vaccinations

Myxomatosis and Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease (RHD) are painful, and often fatal, diseases that can easily be prevented through vaccination. Both diseases are widespread, and endemic, in wild rabbits in the UK. Myxomatosis most widely recognised in pet rabbits but cases of RHD are also reported. The devastating nature of these diseases means that vaccination is recommended against both diseases.

Neutering

Did you know that it is ALWAYS recommended that you neuter your female rabbit? Rabbits are unfortunately prone to uterine cancer and up to 80% of unneutered does will develop it during their lifetime. Where possible rabbits should be neutered before 6 months of age to get the most benefits including preventing uterine adenocarcinoma, unwanted pregnancy, sexual aggression, false pregnancies (nest building - a sign of hormonal frustration). The main negative point is that, like any surgical procedure it can be risky for rabbits, although through advancements in anaesthetics operations today are far safer than before - so even if you have a same sex pair - you should consider neutering.

Fly strike prevention, Flea and Worming treatment

Fly strike is a common occurrence in outdoor rabbits which is caused by flies laying eggs in the dirty fur around the rear end and the resulting maggots. It is important to check your rabbit’s daily and check for any matted fur, diarrhoea or urine staining that could attract flies. Fly strike should be addressed promptly as severe cases can lead to death. You can buy fly repellents especially for rabbits to help prevent this distressing condition from occurring.

Just like cats and dogs, rabbits can catch fleas and suffer from other parasitic diseases that are often easier to prevent than treat once infestations take hold. Remember to only use treatments designed for rabbits as some medications designed for other animals can be harmful and in some cases fatal to rabbits.

Why not learn more and join us for a complimentary health check? We will be open for rabbit health checks with our nurses Monday 11th - Friday 15th May and can be contacted on 01895 233095.