Rabbit Care Essentials

by Lucy Nowell MRCVS

by Lucy Nowell MRCVS, Station House Vets

I received my annual booster vaccination reminder for one of my bunnies this week, so I’ll pop up to the practice with both bunnies on a free day.

We are fortunate to have a combined vaccine for both Myxomatosis, RHD and RHD2. Many of us are familiar with wild rabbits being stricken with myxomatosis, a usually fatal condition caused by a virus sadly introduced by humans. Rabbit haemorrhagic diseases are less visible to us as this tends to have a rapid course and the rabbits frequently die in their burrows.

The combined vaccine is protective against both viruses which can be transmitted from wild animals but, also, insect vectors so indoor rabbits should also be vaccinated. Rabbits need a single annual booster and it’s a good opportunity for a health check. I will weigh Jessica and Alfie, trim their nails and check their teeth in addition to a physical examination.

We offer a Wellness Plan specifically tailored to rabbits at £7 per month, with a £1 reduction for each additional pet. It includes annual vaccination, free nurse consults and some great discounts. Our nurses can advise on diet and general care, check their general body condition and trim nails. We have to be careful with my lop-eared rabbit’s diet because of a bladder issue.

Though slim he frequently gets mucky wet trousers, so during the summer I apply ‘rearguard’ every 10 weeks to stop any fly eggs developing. The wellness plan offers a 20% discount on this product as well as 10% off Burgess Excel hay and food.

Rabbits are super pets and the whole family enjoy their company. Mine can’t wait to get back on to the grass but whilst our garden remains a bog we get creative in their run on the patio. As well as a thick layer of straw, a bucket of hay and a pile of twigs, the bunnies have a variety of tunnels made from cardboard boxes. Aside from hay and nuggets we forage for herbs, weeds and offer vegetable trimmings from the kitchen, tree prunings (apple tree is a favourite) and leaves and bits and bobs from around the garden. Spent hay and droppings combined with kitchen compost makes fab compost for our garden.

A truly eco pet!

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