5 of the most important things to take away from Rabbit Awareness Week
At The Finchley Vet, we look after our rabbit patients with the same level of care and expertise that we look after our dog and cat patients. It was Rabbit Awareness Week at the end of June, which gives us a chance to let you know our 5 most important rabbit care tips.
1) Rabbits teeth constantly grow throughout their life, and need constant grinding from the movement of their jaw to keep them short. A rabbit should have access to plenty of hay (which encourages grinding) and only very small amounts of pelleted or 'muesli' rabbit food (which does not encourage grinding) and some fresh veg. For most rabbits, 1-2tsp per day of 'rabbit food' is more than enough.
2) Womb cancer is very, very common in older female rabbits. Therefore, all healthy female rabbits should be neutered when they are young. This involves the removal of a female rabbit's ovaries and womb and can prevent the occurence of womb cancer later in life.
3) Myxomatosis and Viral Haemmorhagic Disease are two really nasty viral diseases that can affect pet rabbits. They cause painful symptoms and death in most rabbits that they infect...but they can both be protected against with an annual vaccination.
4) Many pet rabbits end up being victims of fox attacks. All rabbits kept outdoors should be in a really secure hutch with even more reinforcing over night as this is when a lot of fox attacks occur.
5) Rabbits have amazing guts which help them to break down food like grass which can be really difficult to digest. Part of the process involves rabbits eating some of their own poos. This sounds gross, but is a vital part of a rabbit's digestion. It is another reason why they need lots of hay, grass and fibre. Without lots of fibre, their poo can taste funny to them, they do not eat it properly and this can lead to gut upsets.