Rabbits make great pets when handled regularly and given lots of interaction with people and other rabbits. They are becoming an increasingly popular pet in the UK and require specific care, especially when it comes to feeding. Rabbits would naturally graze all day which keeps their guts and teeth healthy. Unfortunately pet rabbits are often fed inappropriate rations leading to complications. If fed too many pellets/concentrate or fruit they spent less time chewing causing their teeth to grow abnormally long. It also affects their gut health and can cause obesity. We therefore advise that hay and grass make up at least 80% of their diet, with only a small amount of pellets and veg. Rabbits come in variety of shapes, sizes, colours and breeds and live on an up to 8 to 10 years of age.
Diseases of Rabbits
- Rabbits are at risk of becoming infected with Myxomatosis which is spread by blood sucking insects. The disease can cause swellings and skin lesions and usually results in death.
- Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (VHD) is a virus which can cause very rapid death, often without clinical signs. It can be spread by wild rabbits and also insects and on clothing etc.
- Luckily a VACCINATION is available which can protect your bunny against both of the above diseases, so please contact us to get your rabbit vaccinated today.
- Encephalitozoon Cuniculi (E. Cuniculi) is a parasite which is spread in rabbit urine. Signs of the disease can look very similar to a stroke and include - a head tilt, blindness, rolling. It can also lead to other neurological problems and urinary incontinence. Treatment is not always successful but involves a long course of the rabbit wormer Panacur and symptomatic treatment.
- Fly Strike - make sure your bunny is protected against flies during the warmer months. Blue bottles will lay eggs around your rabbit's backend especially if soiled with faeces or urine. The eggs then hatch into maggots which will start to eat away at their surroundings...including your rabbit. If caught early enough the condition can be treated successfully but sometimes it is caught too late and unfortunately your rabbit may not survive. Prevent this horrible disease with Rearguard which is applied to your rabbit and repels flies. It is also important to check your rabbit daily from head to tail for signs of eggs or soiling. Keeping the hutch/cage clean and well ventilated is also very important.
If you have any concerns at all please call to speak to one of our vets or book an appointment for your pet.