Rabbit Veterinary Care

Why do I need a vet for my rabbit?

The average lifespan of a domestic rabbit is anywhere from 7 to 10 years or more. In that time, your bunny might get sick or have an accident that needs medical care. It’s always good to have a vet relationship established when your rabbit is healthy, so if an emergency happens, you’ll know who to call.

Just like all companion animals, your rabbit will need to go to a vet sometimes. The big difference is that rabbits require a special vet – an exotics or small animal vet. Most dog and cat vets just do not have the experience needed to safely and effectively treat your rabbit.

The veterinarian you choose should be someone who is dedicated to and understands herbivores and their unique digestive systems. Their constantly growing teeth may need to be trimmed on a periodic basis by a vet who does this routinely. Rabbits react differently to medications such as antibiotics, and it takes a specialist to know what drugs are safe and when they are appropriate. For all these reasons, find a vet who knows bunnies well. Check your local phone book for a vet who specializes in exotics, or ask for a recommendation from your local rabbit rescue group.

Tips to help you choose a rabbit vet

When should I take my rabbit to the vet?

Since rabbits are prey animals, they are masters at hiding their symptoms. Parents of a rabbit need to become very intimate with their rabbit’s behavior and eating patterns. Below is a list of some symptoms that could indicate an emergency situation – immediate attention is strongly suggested.

  • Stops eating.
  • Stops pooping.
  • Panting with his/her mouth open.
  • Drooling.
  • Sneezing.
  • Limping.
  • Becomes very lethargic.
  • Develops diarrhea.
  • Head tilts to the side or is upside down.

If for no other reason, routine vet visits (once or twice per year) are essential for overall good health.

To find a local vet, see our list of rabbit-savvy veterinarians in Indiana.

For more information on rabbit health, please go to www.rabbit.org or www.morfz.com.