When you get a pet rabbit, it’s important that you know a veterinarian in your area who specializes in the unique medical needs of rabbits. Rabbits have specific veterinary ailments, so you can’t rely on a vet who usually treats dogs and cats. It really is a matter of life or death for your rabbit, so it’s essential to find someone who knows what they’re talking about and has the right experience.
So how do you find a rabbit-savvy vet? Here are a few options:
Ask a Local Rabbit Rescue
Ask your local rabbit rescue for recommendations of vets in your area. Rabbit rescues have experience with rabbits of varying breeds and age ranges. They usually ensure the bunnies in their care who are old enough get spayed or neutered. So they would need to work with rabbit-savvy vets who are experienced in treating a range of rabbit ailments.
Consult the House Rabbit Society’s Rabbit Vet Database
The House Rabbit Society in conjunction with WabbitWiki and Rabbitors.info have compiled a database of experienced rabbit vets. Many of these recommendations are for specific vets as opposed to whole veterinary clinics, so don’t assume that just because one vet is knowledgeable about rabbits, that everyone at that clinic is.
Call your Local Vets and Ask Questions
If the above options don’t work, then another option is to call local vets and ask if they specialize in rabbits. If they say yes, ask how many rabbits they see and what conditions they have treated. Ask how many rabbits they spay or neuter each week. Ask if rabbits should fast before surgery (the answer is no). Do your due diligence. See this article from the House Rabbit Society for more screening questions.
Be Prepared to Travel
Sometimes there aren’t rabbit-savvy vets in your immediate area. Be prepared to travel an hour or more. It’s more important that you have a vet with specialized rabbit knowledge rather than settling on a vet who is simply nearby.
In conclusion, please take care to find an experienced rabbit vet. Even when you provide rabbits with a proper diet and safe housing, they can still get sick, especially as they get older. My rabbits have had bouts of GI stasis, eye infections, heart conditions and more. I was very grateful to have a rabbit-savvy vet to call.
- House Rabbit Society’s Recommended Veterinarian Database
- House Rabbit Society’s Vet Screening Questions
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