As a caring rabbit owner, you want to make sure your bunny receives the care they need to live a long and healthy life. In this blog, our Franklin vets share how often you should be taking your exotic pet rabbit to the vet and discuss the importance of routine exams.
When should I take my rabbit to the vet?
Bunnies generally have a life span of 7-10 years, and during that time they will normally be very healthy but your bunny may get sick or accidentally hurt and when that happens you should know if and when to take your bunny to the vet.
Just like any other pet, your bunny will need to see a vet regularly throughout its life. The only difference is your bunny will need to see a vet who specializes in small or exotic animals.
Bunnies have constantly growing teeth and they may need to be trimmed periodically by a vet. Bunnies also react differently to medications such as antibiotics, so it takes a specialist to know what drugs are safe to take and when they are appropriate.
Signs your bunny needs to see a vet now
- Becomes very lethargic
- Head tilts to the side or is upside down
- Stops eating and pooping
- Panting with their mouth open
- Drooling or sneezing
These signs could be a mild concern or constitute an emergency, so you should seek veterinary care right away.
How often should rabbits go to the vet?
There is no set time frame to see the vet like other pets but bunnies who are healthy only need to be brought to the vet for a checkup once a year.
If your bunny is elderly or has health problems, you should bring them to the vet every 6 months. And, of course, if you notice any signs of illness in your bunny, it’s important to make an appointment with your vet as soon as possible.
How to prepare for a vet visit?
If your bunny is feeling sick or unwell, write down all their symptoms to take with you; this will help your vet determine the root of the issue. Then you will need to call and book your appointment.
Some appointments, such as diagnostic tests and surgery, will require you to collect a urine sample on the morning of the appointment. But everything you need to know or do on the day of your appointment will be discussed with booking your appointment.
There are things you may need to bring with you to the appointment. To make sure your bunny is comfortable you will want to make sure you have their carrying crate, blanket/toys, and treats they may want after being treated. You will also want to bring/write down any medications your bunny may be taking.
What procedures and vaccines does a rabbit need?
When you take your bunny to the vet they will want to check your rabbit’s teeth to make sure they aren’t growing too long and are not infected. The vet will also make sure your rabbit is a healthy weight, check their breathing and heart rates, and make sure their ears and eyes look healthy.
A checkup will give your vet a baseline of your rabbit’s health so that they are familiar with your bunny so they can deal with any situation if your rabbit ever does need to be brought in because they are not feeling well.
When you first get your bunny you need to know what vaccines your bunny is going to need throughout their lives to maintain its health. While no vaccines are mandatory to have a bunny, there are a few vaccines they will require to protect against myxomatosis, Rabbit (Viral) Haemorrhagic Disease (R(V)HD), and a strain of R(V)HD - R(V)HD2 - all of which are fatal.
How much does a vet visit cost for a rabbit?
When it comes to the cost of an annual check-up for your bunny it may vary based on what needs to be done. Contact your local vet for an accurate estimate.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.