your pet with one of our vets.
Rabbits make great pets. They have character, are intelligent, enjoy the company of humans and are a great way of introducing responsible young children to pet ownership. They are quiet, clean and are easily toilet-trained. But they must be carefully looked after. While rabbits love company, they can be left alone during the day, and are therefore suitable for people who work or are away from home. A predator-proof enclosure to ensure their safety is essential.
An appropriate enclosure is a large-enough hutch that is divided into two connecting compartments, one with wire mesh top and sides to allow access to natural light and fresh air; while the other is enclosed to provide a ‘bolthole’, providing protection against threats, weather and which can be a secure sleeping place.
The floor of your rabbit’s hutch should be covered with newspaper, with a layer of bedding material like straw, grass, hay or shredded paper for warmth, comfort and to prevent pressure sores on your bunny’s hind legs. Consider extreme weather conditions and ventilation when choosing a location for your hutch.
Rabbits are extremely sensitive to the hot summer temperatures we experience in Australia and may die of heat stroke if their hutch is not in a cool, shady position; or if they are not adequately cooled in hot weather.
Rabbits should have at least four hours outside the hutch for exercising each day. Handling them will also be of benefit in keeping them tame.
Watch your rabbit’s condition. Check your rabbits rear end to make sure it’s clean and dry, because if wet or soiled, it’s prone to fly strike, which can be deadly. Using a firm brush to remove dead hairs, tangles and pieces of garden matter should form part of the routine.
Desexing is strongly advised. Female rabbits who are not de-sexed have a very high likelihood of developing uterine cancer as they age. Rabbits of both sexes may at times become aggressive if not de-sexed. And of course, rabbits can breed easily unless de-sexed. Our experienced vets handle the desexing procedure so gently that enables the smooth body functioning of your rabbit. Request an appointment prior to desexing your rabbit for a general health check routine.
Like all animals, rabbits should have regular veterinary checks, including checking their teeth and claws, as well as ensuring that they’re up-to-date with vaccination against Rabbit Calicivirus.
Rabbit Calicivirus vaccination is essential. Rabbit Calicivirus is a deadly threat. it’s always fatal. It’s spread by contact with infected rabbits, and infected food and other material, and may be spread by mosquitoes.
The virus is routinely released into the environment by some local councils as a way of controlling the feral rabbit population. This presents a clear danger to pet rabbits, who may catch the disease from mosquitoes or from other sources.
Please make sure your pet rabbit is up-to-date with the Rabbit Calicivirus vaccination every six months to ensure protection against this deadly disease.
We welcome you to book an appointment with us to check your rabbit’s health and vaccination status, and to discuss how best to look after your rabbit.