Common Reasons That Rabbits Visit Our Clinic!
Tim Klein, DVM
All Pets Medicine, Surgery, and Rehabilitation Clinic
Rabbits hop in to see us regularly and for a variety of reasons. Here are some of the more common things that families who have rabbits should keep in mind.
Rabbits benefit from being spayed or neutered just like other pets. Your rabbit should be at least 4 months old before his or her big surgery day, and there is no upper limit on age.
Rabbits in the USA typically do not require vaccinations, but often benefit from worming. Other parasites to watch for include ear mites, fleas, and lice. If your rabbit is scratching, losing weight, or has abnormal stools … let us know!
Keeping your rabbit’s toenails trimmed will help keep a happy smile on his or her face!
Speaking of smiles, the most common issue that we find in rabbits who are losing weight is that their front (incisor) teeth get too long. In rabbits these teeth continue growing throughout their life. The top and bottom front teeth should touch other but should not overlap. If they overlap they should be trimmed. This is not very difficult but many of our clients bring their rabbits in for us to do the trimming. Check your rabbit’s incisor teeth monthly.
The most common reason that we see digestive problems in rabbits is … too many pellets in their diet. It is crucial that rabbits get at least 85% or more of their daily intake in the form of good quality timothy hay (available at most pet stores). That means that only 10% to 15% of their diet should be pellets. Rabbits enjoy pellets about like we enjoy ice crème, and if you pile the amount of pellets that your rabbit needs for the day in your hand it makes a sadly small looking pile! So the tendency is for rabbit families to feed way too many pellets and too little hay, which is not healthy at all.
Runny nose … run to the phone and give us a call. Snuffles is a fairly common respiratory infection that rabbits can get. We will need to take a look and get your bunny on the right medications.
Take the same approach if you notice sores anywhere on your bunny’s body. Call us. Sores on the feet are often caused moist bedding. Rabbits are like other pets – they have the best quality of life when their environment is dry, draft free, with proper access to food and water. Also, rabbits tend to settle their disagreements with each other fairly directly, and the fights that result from those disagreements can cause wounds that are significant and hard to find under their hair.
A final thought. I have listened and laughed as clients share stories about how much they enjoy interacting with their rabbits, watching them run around the house, and even spending time outside (they are leash trained)! The time outside is especially fun for everyone. Just remember that the area that has the grass that your bunny likes the best also has the grass that wild bunnies like…and so there is risk of wild bunny worm eggs, fleas, ear mites, etc. Also, rabbits on leashes + dogs on leashes too often leads to a sad ending…place your rabbit in a location where predators of any kind can’t get close enough to scare your bunny or worse. Don’t let that keep you from the fun of bringing him or her outside, just be selective about location and predators.
That hits the biggies!! Remember, if you have any questions just give us a call and we will sure do our best to help you out!
Post Tagged with Christy Stone DVM, dental disease, Dr. Tim Klein, DVM, Jennifer Heesen, neuter, pet behavior problems, pet dental cleaning, pet diarrhea, pet food, pet health, rabbit, rabbit health, spay, vaccinations