When Should I Take My Rabbit to the Vet?

Domesticated rabbits’ health can be sensitive. So, you must have a veterinarian take a close look at your pet rabbit.

This way, you can address health concerns as they come and prevent other issues through effective monitoring.

You can manage all of that only if you know when you should take your pet rabbit to the vet.

Some of these visits should be routine, while the others are when you notice a potential health problem in your pet.

So, here’s what you must know.

Routine Visits to the Vet for Your Rabbit

It’s best to make it a point to visit the vet at certain times in a year or a couple of years.

There are different reasons for that. These include regular checkups and vaccination visits if you reside in the UK.

Annual Checkups at the Vet

Even if your pet rabbit is healthy, you should take it at least once a year to the vet.

The purpose of this visit is to examine your pet for any signs of illness or disease.

You may need to provide a stool sample from your rabbit at every visit if it also plays outdoors.

If it only stays indoors, then the sample may only be necessary for the first here visits.

It’s best to consult your vet about this. In addition to that, ask them if you need to do anything else to prepare your pet for the vet.

Old or Sick Rabbits May Require More Frequent Visits to the Vet

If your rabbit is over five years old, it’s a good idea to take it to the vet twice a year at least.

Older rabbits are more prone to disease. Therefore, it’s best to examine their healthy frequently to prevent potential ailments.

On the other hand, consult your vet about how often you should bring your pet to them if it has a chronic health condition.

The frequency of the visits will depend on how much care your rabbit needs.

Vaccination Visits (Only for UK Residents)

There are no official vaccinations for pet rabbits in the United States.

However, residents in the UK will need to take their pet rabbits to the vet twice a year for two vaccinations.

These vaccinations are for preventing deadly diseases known as Rabbit Viral Haemorrhagic Disease and Myxomatosis.

Rabbits as young as five weeks old can have their first vaccination shot.

The vet must, however, administer these two different vaccines two weeks apart.

It’s a good idea to get your rabbit vaccinated because these diseases are often fatal to most rabbit patients.

Visits to the Vet When Your Rabbit Shows Symptoms of Illness 

In addition to having your vet examine your rabbit on routine visits, you should continuously monitor its health.

Pay close attention to any symptoms that it may show during play, feeding, or rest. 

There are some common symptoms you can look out for, as listed below.

  • Changes in the amount of water it drinks or the food it eats or stops consuming food altogether
  • Does not poop during the typical times it does or stops altogether
  • Has diarrhea
  • Sneezes frequently or shows a change in its breathing, such as quick panting with its mouth open
  • Begins drooling, which is a common symptom of dental problems
  • Has abnormal wet discharge from any part of its body, which could include crusty ear discharge, nose discharge, and bleeding
  • Has matted fur on its legs, which typically happens due to wiping nose discharge
  • Change in its movement, which includes moving less than it used to, favors a specific limb, limps, or is generally lethargic
  • Its head tilts to one side constantly,
  • Has itchy skin on its head and other areas

Take Your Pet Rabbit to the Vet Immediately if It Shows Any of the Symptoms Above

If you notice any of the symptoms above, take your pet rabbit to the vet immediately. Rabbits’ health conditions can take a turn for the worse very quickly.

So, it’s paramount that you treat any ailments as soon as possible.

Pay Close Attention Because Rabbits Tend to Hide Their Symptoms

Rabbits are good at hiding any symptoms from other creatures around them. This characteristic is possibly due to it being a prey animal.

So, you need to keep learning about changes in your pet’s behavior consistently.

Developing a strong bond with your pet can help make it easier for it to show its symptoms.

Getting your rabbit to trust you is a long and challenging process. So, it’s best to be patient and not force it to help you two grow.

Hire a Pet Sitter If You Have a Busy Schedule

If you’re not around most of the day, consider hiring a rabbit sitter. This way, you can have someone to examine your pet’s health when you can.

In addition to that, rabbits need a lot of attention.

So, having a pet sitter when you have a busy schedule is good for your pet’s wellbeing.

Visits to the Vet When Your Rabbit Needs to Be Spayed or Neutered

It’s always a good idea to have your rabbit spayed or neutered.

In addition to keeping the population in control, it’s good for rabbits’ health.

Why Spaying and Neutering Is a Good Idea

Spaying a female rabbit is especially necessary.

This is because it reduces the chances of female rabbits developing cancers in their reproductive organs.

Ovarian and uterine cancers can develop in female rabbits. That said, this process also helps reduce the risk of testicular cancer among male rabbits.

Neutering or spaying your rabbits can also help reduce any symptoms of aggression that they may show.

As a result, you may be able to develop a strong bond with your pet relatively quickly than if it wasn’t spayed or neutered.

Other benefits of spaying and neutering include helping increase your rabbit’s lifespan. Better overall health and wellbeing can allow it to live longer.

Other than that, neutering or spaying your rabbit can make it more receptive to using a litter box. As a result, you can reduce your work of cleaning up after your pet.

When You Should Take Your Pet Rabbit to the Vet for Spaying or Neutering

It’s best to take your pet rabbit to the vet for spaying or neutering as early as possible.

So, you could have a vet perform the procedure when your pet’s sexual organs start to mature.

Rabbits are between three to six months old when the female ones reach sexual maturity and the males’ testicles descend.

That said, some vets may wait until the rabbits are older, depending on their health, size, or breed.

The reason for completing the procedure when the rabbit is still young is to reduce the chances of health risks before they arise.

Last Few Words

Now that you know when to visit a vet, you should know that it’s best to prepare for the first visit.

So, note down information such as whether your rabbit is okay with being handled, whether it’s an indoor or outdoor pet, how old it is, what its living situation is, etc.

Moreover, a veterinarian plays a pivotal role in keeping your pet rabbit safe and healthy.

That is why it’s important that you only visit the best vets in your neighborhood.

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