black and white rabbitOur Northcote vet team are very experienced in rabbit medicine and surgery. We offer the best care and advice to help keep your rabbit healthy.

Northcote Animal Hospital (nOah) is very excited about the large number of rabbit patients we see! Rabbits have become such popular pets; they are delightful little characters, very inquisitive, clean, and easy to care for. Many people have their pet rabbits live inside, they are part of the extended family and so adorable to have around. Our staff at nOah understand the bond and love that people share with their pet bunnies because we love bunnies too!

Keeping your Rabbit Healthy

Vaccinations and Health Checks

Rabbits need yearly vet check-ups and vaccinations against calicivirus. When they reach older age (>6yrs), twice yearly check-ups are recommended so that any age related diseases can be detected early which then allows for better treatment options and improved comfort.

Diet

Feeding and nutrition is the most important factor in making sure your rabbit stays healthy. Grass or hay is an essential dietary component to ensure your rabbit’s health. Ideally, feed your bunny 80% hay and 15% leafy greens (except for lettuce and cabbage which can cause diarrhoea). Treats such as fruits, root veggies (carrots), capsicum and pellets can be offered in small amounts (1 – 2 tablespoons per day per rabbit). Many commercial pellets are too high in sugar and can lead to diarrhoea, we recommend Oxbow pellets as a reliable and well formulated food. Fresh water should always be available, rabbits like to drink from both a drip feed bottle and a bowl.

Desexing

Desexing male rabbits is important because it helps their temperament mellow, making them more gentle when playing with other rabbits and children. This procedure will also prevent testicular cancer.

The most common and preventable cancer we see in female rabbits is uterine cancer. For this reason, we recommend desexing your female rabbit so that this cancer will never occur.

Exercise

Rabbits should have at least two hours outside of the hutch for exercising each day.

Grooming

Daily brushing is recommended to remove tangles and garden matter. Grass seeds have a way of working their way into the skin, so be sure to check carefully for these. It is important to check your rabbit’s rear end every day to make sure it is clean and dry, rabbits can be prone to diarrhoea and if soiled they become susceptible to fly strike. Fly strike is a very debilitating disease which warrants urgent veterinary treatment.

Northcote Animal Hospital offers free nurse visits for all new bunny owners to explain all of the above in more detail. We welcome you to book an appointment with Northcote Animal Hospital (nOah) to discuss how to keep your rabbit in optimal health.

How Do I Know if My Rabbit is Sick and Needs a Vet Visit?

If your rabbit is experiencing any of the symptoms below then we recommend a visit as soon as possible.

  • Loss of appetite for more than 12 hours
  • Reluctance to move or weakness
  • Soiled bottom or diarrhoea
  • Lack of faecal pellets
  • Blood in urine or difficulty urinating
  • Excessive salivation
  • Grinding teeth constantly
  • Tilting head to the side or rolling to the side
  • Unexplained aggression
  • Lumps or skin wounds

 

Still not sure? Please call us, we would be happy to discuss your rabbit’s symptoms and help you discern if a vet visit is necessary. Or, if you live close to Northcote then you are welcome to drop in for a chat. Parking is easy to find behind the clinic.