MyPetonline

General health

Pet: Rabbit | Topic: General Healthcare | Published: 17.03.2014 | Updated: 20.02.2017

Just like cats and dogs, rabbits need preventative healthcare to keep them fit and well

Vaccinating pet rabbits

Your rabbit should be vaccinated routinely against Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease (RHD) and Myxomatosis. Both these viral diseases can be rapidly fatal in an unvaccinated rabbit and there are no cures once infected. The only protection you can give your rabbit is by vaccination.

Rabbit Haemorragic Disease

RHD is spread by direct contact between rabbits (both wild and domesticated) but also via indirect contact such as from people, clothing, on shoes, other objects, fleas and other parasites.

Myxomatosis

Myxomatosis is spread mainly by fleas or other biting insects and is transmitted in this way from wild to pet rabbits but can sometimes also spread via direct contact with other infected individuals. A combined Myxomatosis-RHD vaccination can be given from as early as 5 weeks of age. Boosters are given every 12 months and cover both diseases. Regular health checks for your rabbit

The best way of avoiding many medical problems in your pet rabbit is to have regular veterinary health checks. Your vet will do a full medical examination and check the teeth (particularly the back teeth) for any evidence of malocclusion which could lead to spikes and tongue ulceration. Rabbits with identified existing tooth problems should be checked at least every 6 to 8 weeks. A thorough dental check will require sedation.

Best rabbit diet and nutrition

Diet is vitally important as a means of preventing ill health and is one of the main causes of disease in rabbits. A low fibre, high carbohydrate diet (eg rabbit mix) can lead to dental disease, facial abscesses, sore eyes and conjunctivitis, obesity, intestinal upsets such as diarrhoea and furballs. It is vital to feed mainly fresh good quality hay or grass and vegetables as a source of fibre.

Insuring your pet rabbit

If your rabbit gets ill, the last thing you want to worry about is a vet bill. Insurance is now available for rabbits and if the worst happens and your rabbit does get sick, insurance means your vet can dedicate their effort into doing all that is necessary to diagnose and treat any illness, rather than worrying about doing certain tests or treatments because of the cost.