Rabbits are becoming one of the nation’s favourite pets. No longer are they just a child’s pet, condemned to a life in a hutch at the bottom of the garden. In many households they live indoors alongside the family dog. Rabbits have many special requirements, making keeping them happy and healthy both exciting and challenging. All rabbits should be vaccinated against Myxomatosis and Rabbit haemorrhagic disease or RHD. There is now a combined vaccine available which only requires a single annual injection. Making protection against these deadly diseases so much easier. Why not book an appointment for this vaccine (Nobivac Myxo – RHD) and get a free health check and time to discuss all aspects of your rabbit’s care, including diet, neutering and exercise.
Yes rabbits should be neutered to minimise behaviour problems and to reduce the huge incidence of uterine (womb) cancer in female rabbits. Rabbits need companionship and neutered mixed groups make the best friends and best pets.
Every year we see several cases of Myxomatosis – a deadly but preventable viral disease, transmitted from wild rabbits by mosquitoes and fleas. Although RHD is less common it is also fatal if contracted by an unvaccinated rabbit.
Another common problem seen in the warmer months (April – October generally) is Fly strike. Flies will lay eggs on the rear end of any rabbit with wet dirty fur or damaged skin. These rapidly hatch into maggots which proceed to burrow into any abrasions on your rabbit and literally eat it alive.
Fly strike is extremely painful and affected rabbits rapidly go into shock and die. Even if the rabbit is presented for treatment involving painstakingly picking off the maggots, cleaning the area and providing pain relief, antibiotics and fluids, we may still be unsuccessful in saving the poor bunny.
This horrid condition is so preventable – apply Rear-guard solution at the beginning of the warm season. This will last 10 weeks. You must also check your rabbit daily – many factors make your rabbit prone to fly strike, such as obesity, arthritis, overgrown teeth or sticky bottoms due to poor diet.
More useful rabbit information can be found at www.rabbitwelfare.co.uk