Rabbits are totally loveable, a whole lot of fun, and an awesome family pet for most people, whether they are kept indoors or outdoors. However, just as with any pet, providing the best health care is part of your new pet parent responsibilities. Rabbits are not maintenance-free pets and will require some attention so they can be as healthy as possible and around to keep you and your family company for longer.
Rabbits do need vaccinations to avoid two common viruses, which are myxomatosis and viral haemorrhagic disease (VHD). Both of these viruses can be fatal for your pet bunny and prevention through vaccination is the most promising form of treatment. These vaccinations should be given when your bunny is about six weeks of age, or as soon as possible thereafter.
Spaying and Neutering
Having your rabbit spayed or neutered is not a requirement, but is definitely a good idea. In general, rabbits that have been spayed or neutered will be happier and healthier. Plus, this will allow you to introduce companions to your bunny without worries of them reproducing, which happens at an alarming rate. Spaying and neutering rabbits is a relatively safe medical treatment with a low level of risk involved.
Grooming is a regular part of keeping your bunny healthy overall, as proper grooming can help you avoid many serious health concerns. Some of the grooming responsibilities you will inherit when you take in a pet rabbit will include:
- nail trimming
- cleaning eyes and ears
- flea and mite control
- brushing and removing matted fur
- checking teeth for signs of overgrowth
- cleaning and de-matting feet
General Health Care for Your Bunny
It is a good idea to have your bunny examined by a veterinarian annually to monitor its health. During this visit, your vet will check the bunny well for signs of illness and disease and give you advice on any present conditions you should treat. However, it is also best to get familiar with signs and symptoms of the most common rabbit diseases and conditions, so you can alert the vet right away if you spot something wrong.
With a little knowledge and insight, you can easily ensure your pet bunny is a healthy critter. To get more detailed information about vaccinations, grooming, nail trimming, and rabbit diseases, check out the learning centre on Rabbits.ie.