Keeping your rabbit healthy and hoppy

Keeping your rabbit healthy and hoppy

Keeping your rabbit healthy and hoppy

How aware are you of your bouncing bunny’s needs? 
Whether you already have some rabbits or thinking about introducing a new addition, there are several important things you’ll have to remember to keep them healthy and hopping happily!

There’s a reason for the saying “breeding like rabbits”. Bunnies can produce offspring very regularly. Their pregnancy will last approximately one month and the mother can become pregnant again after just a few days of giving birth! The average size of the litter ranges between 2 to 10 dependent on the size of breed, so before you know it you could be overrun by lots of hungry thriving rabbits, demanding for more space, more food, vaccines, nail clips and the potential for more health problems. The cost of neutering one or two rabbits will be much cheaper than having to deal with the costs of caring for many young ones.

Rabbits are often escape-artists, and there is nothing more upsetting than losing a pet. It isn’t that they don’t appreciate it; rabbits have very inquisitive natures and aren’t aware of the dangers lurking outside. We highly recommend getting them microchipped with their own unique number so that once found, they can be returned home, safe and sound.

Myxomatosis and rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD) are two fatal viral diseases which can so easily be prevented by an annual vaccine. Death from these diseases occurs far too often so make sure you are keeping up to date! We offer reminder services so you couldn’t possibly forget, because we can’t stress enough, just how crucially life-saving these vaccines are.

Fleas & Worms
None of us want to deal with these pesky pests, so it is much easier to prevent these parasites than treat a complete home infestation. Regular preventative flea and worm treatments are a must for keeping your bunnies happy and healthy. Rabbits are far smaller and more delicate than cats and dogs, so make sure you are getting rabbit specific flea and worm treatments. Also you must never use a flea collar on a rabbit, these are too powerful, will cause irritation and use of these have been known to lead to death. We offer free flea checks in all of our clinics, so don’t be afraid of popping in to see our friendly staff to ask for any help and advice.

Summer’s coming up, and with that much anticipated warmth unfortunately comes many more flies. Fly strike, or myiasis, is the occurrence of flies laying their eggs on a rabbit’s skin or fur. The maggots will then burrow into their hosts delicate skin. This should be treated as an emergency it is life threatening. Prevention is again the best way to deal with these distressing occurrences. It is best to take away the appeal, flies are attracted to damp, smelly or damaged areas. Change a rabbits bedding as frequently as necessary and regularly groom them. If wounded, keep the rabbit away from any possible contact with flies. The same goes if the rabbit is unwell, and is in any kind of unclean condition.

Teeth and Nail care
Rabbit’s teeth are always growing, by approximately 2mm every week! It is important to provide your rabbits with all sorts of foods to combat these growing teeth and not just pellets alone. Their teeth will otherwise outgrow their mouth and cause all sorts of uncomfortable problems. Hay is an essential; it provides high fibre and is naturally tough to eat, this alongside a variety of crunchy vegetables should keep your rabbits teeth in a healthy condition. We all know Bugs Bunny eats so many carrots because he is sensible when it comes to his dental regime!

Nails, just like teeth are always growing. A rabbit’s nails will need clipping fairly regularly, this will protect you from getting scratched and protect them from discomfort. In the wild rabbits wear down their own nails by digging, you could provide different hard surfaces for your rabbits to walk on and perhaps access to a digging area, a planter with some loose soil is a great idea to both entertain your rabbits and help put off those nail clippings.
Because a rabbit’s teeth and nails are so important, it is vital to get them checked regularly, no appointments needed, just hop in when it is convenient for you!