16 June 2017
But what do you need to care for your rabbits, and how often? Here’s our checklist:
- Look for fly strike. This occurs when flies lay their eggs on wet and infected areas of skin, developing into maggots which eat the damaged and infected flesh. Look for wet or damp skin, diagnose the cause and treat accordingly, with a vet check if necessary.
Fly strike can also be indicated by your rabbits appearing unwell and not eating, showing signs of pain or having a foul smell coming from their bottom. If you find that your rabbit has flystrike it is essential you take it to the vet as soon as possible as the condition quickly become serious.
- Grooming. Brush with a soft bristle brush, ensuring all excess hair is removed to ensure your rabbit (especially those with longer fur) don’t develop fur balls – which can be very dangerous
- Check for fleas, particularly around the face and ears. Contact your vet for advice if you spot any
- Look for mites. These are common in rabbits and easily treated. Do speak to your vet if you see mites however; they can indicate another problem with your rabbit
- Check your rabbits’ nails and trim carefully with sharp nail clippers suitable for rabbits when necessary. Examine feet for any red or exposed skin and seek veterinary advice if there is any
- Ears – be aware if your rabbit is head-shaking, keeping one ear flopped downwards or tilting the head. This can indicate something wrong with the ears so if you notice any of these, see your vet
- Examine your rabbits’ front teeth every week, making certain that the incisors are the correct length and that the upper and lower teeth meet normally. Wet fur around the mouth, chest or front paws may indicate a dental problem
Every six months
1. Dental check at the vet to prevent issues or address any problems early
1. Take your rabbits for a health check and vaccinations against Rabbits Haemorrhagic Disease (RHD) and Myxomatosis. Talk to your vet about vaccinating against the second form of RHD, known as RHD2, for which a new vaccination is available. Both variants of RHD and Myxomatosis are fatal diseases
Agria policies support rabbits and their owners with £25 cash back available annually towards routine health checks and vaccinations.
Of course, any time your rabbit shows sign of illness of injury, take them to see the vet. This includes not eating, in which case they need to be seen within 12 hours of stopping eating.