Rabbit Care

Here at the Belmont Vet Centre, species specific care is important to us and that’s why we like to offer a range of services and products to best suit and take care of your Rabbit.

Our very own Dr. Maria Zubiria, has a very keen interest in bunnies. Because of this we do see a lot of rabbits and are very experienced in caring for a variety of bunny issues and general husbandry.

New Bunnies

When a new rabbit comes to the Belmont Vet for a check-up – we will check, teeth, weight, ears and overall health of the rabbit. All new bunnies will have a faecal test preformed so as to rule out the presence of the intestinal parasite Coccidia which can be fatal for young rabbits.

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Grooming/Dental care

Regular grooming is recommended with rabbits, as well as checking their nails and teeth.

Rabbit teeth grow continuously throughout a rabbit’s life, averaging 3mm per week.

Chewing hay will help to wear their teeth down.

Here at the Belmont Vet centre – we have the tools needed to file or burr down teeth should they become too long and create an issue.

Litter training:

Rabbits can be trained to a litter tray with minimal effort. You can use a litter tray lined with newspaper, then padded up with lots of hay.

Bunnies like to chew and poo at the same time.

They will even eat their own faeces as they digest all that fibre by passing it through twice. If your rabbit is going to be a house rabbit, we recommend at least 2 litter trays to begin with. If there are any “accidents”, try placing a tray in that particular area, then moving it inch by inch to a more socially acceptable place. Your rabbit will get the idea.

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Vaccination

Vaccinations are a vital component to pet health and protection against potentially fatal diseases. Our core vaccination protocol at the Belmont Vet Centre is as follows:

  • 1st vaccine is at 8 weeks of age. - CalciVirus
  • Then one month for 2nd vaccine.

After that we recommend that all Rabbits receive a vaccine every 6 months to protect them against all current strains of the CalciVirus Disease.

CalciVirus Disease is a life-threatening disease which can affect a rabbit within 12-18 hours of transmission. It is a virus with a high mortality rate, so we like to make sure all bunnies are as protected as possible.

Unfortunately there is no vaccination for rabbit disease Myxomatosis. As Myxomatosis is spread by mosquito bites, we cannot stress enough the importance of mosquito proof netting on your outdoor hutches and the use of “Muscaban” insect repellent.

Do not use Aerogard or other human products.

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Nutrition:

The single most important ingredient in a rabbit’s diet is hay which should make up 80 – 90% of their diet – the best of these being either good quality Timothy or Oaten Hay.

We also strongly recommend the Oxbow Rabbit pellets which is another great source of fibre for your bunny. Only one table spoon per rabbit, per day.

In addition to this, green leafy vegetables should also be given.

A rough guide would be 2 packed cups, per kg of rabbit body weight a day.

Veggies we like include:

  • broccoli
  • herbs include parsley, dandelion, coriander, basil, dill and mint.
  • cabbage,
  • celery
  • brussel sprouts
  • green peppers
  • spinach leaves
  • bok choy
  • beet and carrot tops.

Please Note: If your bunny has not eaten for over 12hrs please bring them in to the clinic as soon as possible

Treats:

These are fine, in small quantities of 1 – 2 tablespoons per rabbit daily.

Great rabbit treats include:

  • root vegetables - carrot, turnip and sweet potato
  • fruits - apples, pears and strawberries.

They would even love some celery leaves.

Dietary No-Nos

Chocolate, cereals, potato peel, rhubarb leaves, grains, nuts, seeds, corn, beans, peas, breads, biscuits, cakes and lollies should be avoided.

Pellets and rabbit mixes are also not recommended because they are too low in fibre, and packed with sugar and fat, which is the last thing your bunny needs.