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VikkiVet
15-03-2010, 08:09 PM
Hey All :wave::wave:
Noticed recently that there seems to be an increasing number of people confused or dissatisfied with their vets - diagnosis, treatment, communication, billing, etc etc

Obviously i can't provide all the answers, but i'd just like the opportunity to do something constructive! So if people feel so compelled, feel free to either ask me a question about vets - what we learn, why we do things, etc - or tell me something you wish vets knew/did/explained etc

This will be particularly helpful for me as we have just started a "small furries" clinical club at uni for students interested in rabbit and rodent medicine, so it will help to know what owners are concerned about.

Please don't abuse me, i only want to help! :oops: :D

Rexbun
15-03-2010, 10:08 PM
I am happy with my vets and the support I have had from them. They have always been helpful and kind with my bunnies and when I used to keep hamsters. Being a larger practice, there is one who I prefer to deal with.

The only time I had a bit of concern about one of them's rabbit knowledge is when I was asked by one when admiring my elderly female rexes fur if I clipped it 'as it was all the one length'. When I pointed out that it was because of her breed being a rex (whilst trying to keep a straight face) she got a bit defensive and said that she knew that - she seemed a bit embarrassed more than anything. So if I had a question it would be do they teach about breeds of rabbits and the different problems they can experience.

Really pleased about the interest being taken on rabbits by vets:)

Gem
15-03-2010, 10:14 PM
I am more than happy with my vet but I have seen another vet in our practice who was really bad with her injections.....my boy was used as a pin cushion! :roll:

So I'd like to know how much training do you get on giving injections? Not just for rabbits but any animal :wave:

Jack's-Jane
15-03-2010, 10:35 PM
My bone of contention (or should that be carrot of contention :?) is always why are so many Vets STILL not prescribing analgesia to Rabbits who clearly have a problem likely to cause pain ????????????

Becky86
15-03-2010, 10:37 PM
My bone of contention (or should that be carrot of contention :?) is always why are so many Vets STILL not prescribing analgesia to Rabbits who clearly have a problem likely to cause pain ????????????

Agree with this.

Even when ive clearly had a bun here in pain, some vets just wont prescribe pain relief :(

Your a star Vikki, im hoping you'll come and be a vet down our end :D ;) Payment for bunny sitting = you move next door to me in the empty bungalow? ;) xXx

Candiflare
15-03-2010, 10:40 PM
I know you can't speak for all vets, but I wonder if you'd have an insight into this psychology..

My excellent rabbit vets in oxfordshire, she and her husband have 30 domestic rabbits of their own freeranging in their garden, but they both hunt and shoot as their main pastime and they kill rabbits daily, and eat them several times a week.

I really don't understand the psychology of this... here she is sowing up my bunny's ear because it's got a little tear in it and saying how cute she is, and then that afternoon she's off to shoot and eat rabbits.

It's like a doctor who is also a serial killer!

Do you find that you feel a very distinct difference between wild and domesticated animals?

*Spider*
15-03-2010, 10:42 PM
Here's my question:
Will you please practice at my vets, as our very bunny savvy vet has left and I'm finding it difficult to find a new one :cry:

KB
16-03-2010, 05:46 AM
Hi Vicki
Just wondered how much of your curriculum is devoted to buns & other small furries? Would this be the same across all vet schools in the UK or do they vary? Or is the expectation that if you are interested in this area of practice that you specialise post graduation?
Just trying to gain some insight into the differences between the UK & here.
My sister in law is a vet here & has said her training here in NZ was woefully lacking when it came to the small furries (only one vet school here @ Massey Uni).
Can I just say at this point that I value your input into the forum & if you ever think of practising abroad then NZ needs good bunny vets :)

PS I don't have any moans about my bunny vet, he is older, Dutch trained & specialises in exotics & is just fab really. The buns love him which is the main thing. However when he goes on holiday I am in terror that the buns will get sick! And one day he will retire.....:(

coco1200
16-03-2010, 08:46 AM
Here's my question:
Will you please practice at my vets, as our very bunny savvy vet has left and I'm finding it difficult to find a new one :cry:

get lost, Vikki can work at my vets practice! :p ;)

Mackers
16-03-2010, 09:08 AM
What an excellent thread Vikki and thank you!

My question is the same as Jane's really. When Parsnip recently broke his leg, I was referred from my bunny-savvy vet to an orthopaedic surgeon. Clearly he knew his stuff when it came to bones but post-op, administered minimal pain relief. I was sent home with cat-strength metacam and the minimum dose for a rabbit. Fortunately, I already had dog-strength metacam at home so I administered the usual dose of that as advised by my bunny-savvy vet. But I think it's really important that new vets (and existing ones come to that) realise that bunnies need the correct pain relief if they're to start eating after a trauma of any kind. We all know that a bunny who doesn't eat is going to go downhill within hours.

VikkiVet
16-03-2010, 01:51 PM
The only time I had a bit of concern about one of them's rabbit knowledge is when I was asked by one when admiring my elderly female rexes fur if I clipped it 'as it was all the one length'. When I pointed out that it was because of her breed being a rex (whilst trying to keep a straight face) she got a bit defensive and said that she knew that - she seemed a bit embarrassed more than anything. So if I had a question it would be do they teach about breeds of rabbits and the different problems they can experience.

Thats a weird one - i have rexes myself and as you say would expect their fur to be all one length on appearance. Can only suggest she meant as in one coat type - unlike lops for example that have an undercoat and a topcoat. This is why rexes dont like getting cold! But thats normal for rexes...

No we dont get taught anything much about specific breeds, mainly because very little research is done into breed-specific illness (hence the topic of my recent course work). Considerations for handling, drug doses, anaesthesia etc are given for both very large breeds and very small breeds in general, as is with dogs, but not breed specific.

VikkiVet
16-03-2010, 01:54 PM
So I'd like to know how much training do you get on giving injections? Not just for rabbits but any animal :wave:

We get lots of training in general on giving injections and by different routes. training varies between universities, but at the RVC we have a Clinical Skills Centre where we practice on specially made dummy animals and do mock work on real animals for various procedures (they dont actually get injected etc, we just do the handling and injection prep etc). On placement most vet students get lots of opportunity to do injections for real eg vaccinations, IV anaesthetics etc. As with all people and all professions, some people are better than others, and some patients are also better than others. As an example, Kylo my boy bun has skin on his scruff so thick he needs a higher guage needle - he bent the vax needle! That wasnt the vets fault, its just from old injuries. I guess in your case the vet in question should consider practicing their technique if they struggled - depends on what kind of injection they were doing though.

VikkiVet
16-03-2010, 02:00 PM
My bone of contention (or should that be carrot of contention :?) is always why are so many Vets STILL not prescribing analgesia to Rabbits who clearly have a problem likely to cause pain ????????????

yeah this one annoys me too. I think sadly it goes back to that old chestnut of "stoical" animals and it does "appear" to be in pain. From the recent lectures i have had when rabbits were mentioned, a lot of attention as given to calm, quiet handling techniques and perioperative analgesia and monitoring etc. But i think a lot of vets still dont prescribe analgesia to take home. As a client definately always ask for pain relief if its not offered - rarely will it be refused and if so they'll give reasons. Its in the RCVS code of ethics that pain cannot be used as a means of restraint or sedation i.e. if the animal is in pain it wont want to move, which is good for it etc. The same issue occurs in farm animals, where analgesia is rarely prescribed because animals without analgesia (historically) heal and go on to be productive so its not seen as necessary. But recent research has shown things like dairy cows having better milk yields if given analgesia for assisted calvings etc. so the trend is shifting there.
I put it on RU a while back, but when we did a problem solving on stasis in rabbits, analgesia was seen as optional or not necessarily essential :censored::censored: and i got told off for being too vociferous about what a load of :censored::censored: that was! And that was the head of exotics at the uni......so sadly its not getting through to all vets, i think particularly older practitioners. It shouldnt be the case, but if clients keep asking for it, that might actually educate vets from the bottom up to consider analgesia in all rabbits.

yvette
16-03-2010, 02:05 PM
I dont want to doubt my vet,I adore him to bits.Hes very good with my lot...and he copes with me very well.Im very happy.but this thread is good.
Well done Vikki.xxxx

VikkiVet
16-03-2010, 02:05 PM
My excellent rabbit vets in oxfordshire, she and her husband have 30 domestic rabbits of their own freeranging in their garden, but they both hunt and shoot as their main pastime and they kill rabbits daily, and eat them several times a week.

Do you find that you feel a very distinct difference between wild and domesticated animals?

I think this vet is certainly an exception to the rule, but i can only suggest that she views rabbits like livestock. I can very happily stitch a wound on a beef bullock knowing it will be going for slaughter the following week for example. Its just about mental perception of the animal. I often name lambs when they are born, and cuddle them, talk to them, get very very frustrated if they get sick or fall in a bucket of water or are roughly handled by someone else etc, but i am still totally fine with eating them when they grow up. It is a bit weird to actually have them as pets - i think thats where there should be a distinction - i will cuddle a lamb at 48 hours old, but its got 6 months of not being humanised before slaughter. If you're going to bond with an animal it seems a little bizarre to then slaughter it. My only exception is dairy cows that commonly become quite humanised simply by daily interaction over many years, but are usually ultimately slaughtered at the end of their useful life.

VikkiVet
16-03-2010, 02:10 PM
Just wondered how much of your curriculum is devoted to buns & other small furries? Would this be the same across all vet schools in the UK or do they vary? Or is the expectation that if you are interested in this area of practice that you specialise post graduation?


Sadly, very little time is dedicated solely to rabbits and rodents. The main curriculum works from "first principles" and each vet school has their own model(s). at the RVC is the dog and horse, and so we learn most things in these species, and then the differences to other species. Except where there are species-specific diseases when they are taught directly e.g. laminitis in horses. other vet schools use the pig as a base (which is interesting as its the exception to almost every rule!) In the 4th year (so next year for me), before students start their final year in clinics, there is a week of rabbit medicine teaching but it is sadly often poorly attended. Even now students dont appreciate the frequency at which they will see rabbits in practice nor the range of treatments and options available or the special considerations rabbits need. You can definately specialise - both before graduation during electives, and post graduation with CPD and working for dedicated practices. With the increase in vets going into small animal only practrices, hopefully this will also filter down to an increase in teaching on rabbits and rodents.

VikkiVet
16-03-2010, 02:13 PM
What an excellent thread Vikki and thank you!

My question is the same as Jane's really. When Parsnip recently broke his leg, I was referred from my bunny-savvy vet to an orthopaedic surgeon. Clearly he knew his stuff when it came to bones but post-op, administered minimal pain relief. I was sent home with cat-strength metacam and the minimum dose for a rabbit. Fortunately, I already had dog-strength metacam at home so I administered the usual dose of that as advised by my bunny-savvy vet. But I think it's really important that new vets (and existing ones come to that) realise that bunnies need the correct pain relief if they're to start eating after a trauma of any kind. We all know that a bunny who doesn't eat is going to go downhill within hours.

Just to add to what i posted in reply to Jane's question - i would never recommend changing the drug strength or dose without previous discussion with the vet. Even with experience and knowledge, its not a good idea to go against the vet especially as it can lead to complications. Drugs are broken down differently in rabbits to other animals - different liver enzymes and gut system. I know you had the best intentions and i'm sure the outcome was fine, but if you are not happy with a drug in terms of strength, dose, duration of action etc definately discuss with the vet, even if that means going home then ringing them later once you've thought about it etc.
Some vets do now prescribe metaclop and analgesia to all sick rabbits because of the stasis/pain issue, others go on a case-basis which is actually more sensible. Remember other aspects can help to relieve pain and discomfort e.g. heat, bedding, quiet, darkness, companionship etc.

VikkiVet
16-03-2010, 02:17 PM
Sadly i cannot come and work at EVERYONE's local vet practice, whereever in the world you are! I start my first proper placement next week and i am very nervous and excited about it. I am hoping to see as many practices as possible in the next 2 and a half years before i qualify, so if anyone wants to recommend one to me please feel free.

In reply to the kind comments, i reeeeeeeeeally appreciate RUs support and advice and encouragement. As i said, rabbits dont get enough emphasis at vet school and i am fully considered "that mad rabbit student" but thats fine with me - its working out well as people even in upper years occasionally come to me with questions so if i can spread awareness of the issues then thats all a good thing.

keep the questions coming - its been really interesting and helpful so far!

yvette
16-03-2010, 02:18 PM
Sadly i cannot come and work at EVERYONE's local vet practice, whereever in the world you are! I start my first proper placement next week and i am very nervous and excited about it. I am hoping to see as many practices as possible in the next 2 and a half years before i qualify, so if anyone wants to recommend one to me please feel free.

In reply to the kind comments, i reeeeeeeeeally appreciate RUs support and advice and encouragement. As i said, rabbits dont get enough emphasis at vet school and i am fully considered "that mad rabbit student" but thats fine with me - its working out well as people even in upper years occasionally come to me with questions so if i can spread awareness of the issues then thats all a good thing.

keep the questions coming - its been really interesting and helpful so far!

Contact Ian.Hes a bunny man...Abbotskerswell, Devon.xxxx

sdf76
16-03-2010, 02:34 PM
Brilliant thread.:D

for vets in general(as ours is brill )...

Please listen. (I'm sure you do)

Thats the most important advice I can think of.

We all know our rabbits individual traits and if we say ...
we think they're in pain...
are unhappy...
would be better at home...
will drink more from a bowl...

etc.

Please tell us why you intend to do something to our rabbit or why you think our suggestion would not be a good idea. Please offer alternatives if they are of equal quality.
Please give us as much information as possible.
Please give us leaflets where available.

Please do not be grumpy if we say we have heard such and such a treatment works. If you have not heard of it please be willing to consult a more senior vet to find out more, without taking offence. Doctors regularly consult specialists without taking offence and vets should do the same.

Don't be afraid to say-"I don't know, but I will find out for you." We will respect you more for that, as we know rabbit treatments are constantly evolving.

Please think about the normal stance of a rabbit when handling. (I was dismayed when a vet(not our normal vet!!) grabbed both my bunnys back legs in the air so bunny was just balanced on 2 front paws instead of all 4, bunny's back arched backwards, while the vet took bun's temperature. So unnecessary) Gentle handling for these gentle creatures please.

You clearly care and will be an expert rabbit vet.:D -sue:wave:

If you get the chance to work with Jason Burgess -take it!

Mackers
16-03-2010, 03:07 PM
Just to add to what i posted in reply to Jane's question - i would never recommend changing the drug strength or dose without previous discussion with the vet. Even with experience and knowledge, its not a good idea to go against the vet especially as it can lead to complications. Drugs are broken down differently in rabbits to other animals - different liver enzymes and gut system. I know you had the best intentions and i'm sure the outcome was fine, but if you are not happy with a drug in terms of strength, dose, duration of action etc definately discuss with the vet, even if that means going home then ringing them later once you've thought about it etc.
Some vets do now prescribe metaclop and analgesia to all sick rabbits because of the stasis/pain issue, others go on a case-basis which is actually more sensible. Remember other aspects can help to relieve pain and discomfort e.g. heat, bedding, quiet, darkness, companionship etc.

Thank you Vikki. Just to confirm that I did speak to my bunny-savvy vet about the appropriate metacam doseage before changing it. But it's always better to be safe than sorry ;). In this particular situation, Simon felt it was better for Parsnip to be seen by a bone specialist than a bunny specialist as it was the broken bones that needed more attention.

Bluesmum
16-03-2010, 05:00 PM
Brilliant thread.:D

for vets in general(as ours is brill )...

Please listen. (I'm sure you do)

Thats the most important advice I can think of.

We all know our rabbits individual traits and if we say ...
we think they're in pain...
are unhappy...
would be better at home...
will drink more from a bowl...

etc.

Please tell us why you intend to do something to our rabbit or why you think our suggestion would not be a good idea. Please offer alternatives if they are of equal quality.
Please give us as much information as possible.
Please give us leaflets where available.

Please do not be grumpy if we say we have heard such and such a treatment works. If you have not heard of it please be willing to consult a more senior vet to find out more, without taking offence. Doctors regularly consult specialists without taking offence and vets should do the same.

Don't be afraid to say-"I don't know, but I will find out for you." We will respect you more for that, as we know rabbit treatments are constantly evolving.

Please think about the normal stance of a rabbit when handling. (I was dismayed when a vet(not our normal vet!!) grabbed both my bunnys back legs in the air so bunny was just balanced on 2 front paws instead of all 4, bunny's back arched backwards, while the vet took bun's temperature. So unnecessary) Gentle handling for these gentle creatures please.

You clearly care and will be an expert rabbit vet.:D -sue:wave:

If you get the chance to work with Jason Burgess -take it!

^^^^^^^^^

Fab post.
I've been REALLY lucky with my vet, in that they are always more than happy for me to say what I think and give suggestions for possible treatments.
Our nurses are really good too, whenever one of mine have stayed over night they have always asked what their favourite treat is or what they're like generally which I think is very important too

Snowberry
16-03-2010, 05:03 PM
I love my vet. She isn't very experienced and is only just qualified but she will always listen to me. She will find out if she doesnt know and refer me to a specialist if needed. I couldnt ask for more from her.

Snouter
16-03-2010, 05:12 PM
Make sure that vets know about rabbit injections if they treat rabbits. I have heard of some vets combining myxi and VHD injections but our vet always separates them. They can't both be correct unless there are different sorts of vaccinations by different manufacturers for which double injecting at one time is correct.

Coineanach
16-03-2010, 05:16 PM
This is a great idea Vikki, well done! Luckily my vet is great, he's saidto me before that if I find any new information to bring it to him as he's interested, I'm really lucky :)

WARNING This post may be emotive so please do not read if easily upset. Please don't turn into a meat vs veggie thread as that's not the point.


I know you can't speak for all vets, but I wonder if you'd have an insight into this psychology..

My excellent rabbit vets in oxfordshire, she and her husband have 30 domestic rabbits of their own freeranging in their garden, but they both hunt and shoot as their main pastime and they kill rabbits daily, and eat them several times a week.

I really don't understand the psychology of this... here she is sowing up my bunny's ear because it's got a little tear in it and saying how cute she is, and then that afternoon she's off to shoot and eat rabbits.

It's like a doctor who is also a serial killer!

Do you find that you feel a very distinct difference between wild and domesticated animals?

I can't speak for vets, but I myself have helped farmers get rid of some of the rabbits on their land. I don't shoot, purely because I'd be worried about not killing the animal outright, we catch the rabbits in humane traps and kill by breaking their necks which is very fast. Everyone is trained before going near a live animal.

For me, there is a definite difference between a pet rabbit and one which is overbreeding and considered a pest. I feel comfortable killing rabbits knowing that they would be culled whether I was there or not, and I'd much rather kill them in this quick way than have them poisoned, or wounded by a shot and left. I also take the meat home to eat because then nothing is wasted.

I think a lot of people don't see the difference between a pet animal and a wild one and that's fine, mine is just another point of view. I could never ever eat a pet rabbit. Ever. I'd rather starve. Pets are members of my family. The same way if I had a pet cow, I couldn't eat it. I could eat cows that I had knowingly raised for meat, as long as they'd had a decent life, but the minute you make an animal into a pet I don't think there's any going back.

That's not to say you can't be nice to animals raised for meat, just not to cross the line into pets, which I think is difficult for people to see.

Sorry, essay. :oops:

Candiflare
16-03-2010, 05:32 PM
This is a great idea Vikki, well done! Luckily my vet is great, he's saidto me before that if I find any new information to bring it to him as he's interested, I'm really lucky :)

WARNING This post may be emotive so please do not read if easily upset. Please don't turn into a meat vs veggie thread as that's not the point.



I can't speak for vets, but I myself have helped farmers get rid of some of the rabbits on their land. I don't shoot, purely because I'd be worried about not killing the animal outright, we catch the rabbits in humane traps and kill by breaking their necks which is very fast. Everyone is trained before going near a live animal.

For me, there is a definite difference between a pet rabbit and one which is overbreeding and considered a pest. I feel comfortable killing rabbits knowing that they would be culled whether I was there or not, and I'd much rather kill them in this quick way than have them poisoned, or wounded by a shot and left. I also take the meat home to eat because then nothing is wasted.

I think a lot of people don't see the difference between a pet animal and a wild one and that's fine, mine is just another point of view. I could never ever eat a pet rabbit. Ever. I'd rather starve. Pets are members of my family. The same way if I had a pet cow, I couldn't eat it. I could eat cows that I had knowingly raised for meat, as long as they'd had a decent life, but the minute you make an animal into a pet I don't think there's any going back.

That's not to say you can't be nice to animals raised for meat, just not to cross the line into pets, which I think is difficult for people to see.

Sorry, essay. :oops:



For some reason, I'm really sensitive about this. Don't get me wrong, I don't think you're in the wrong or there's anything wrong with what you do, but I don't understand how people can see a difference between a domestic pet animal and a wild animal. The only difference in the two is that there has been a human connection with one and not with the other - it doesn't mean that one suffers less when it dies.

I really appreciate that you're there when rabbits are killed because you can make sure they're killed humanely and they don't suffer, but I'm thinking more about roadkill when I get all sensitive about it... sometimes people can leave a dying rabbit on the road for days and just drive past. If it was white or grey or black or spotty, they would probably stop and pick it up, and the only reason they would do that would be because there was a human connection there. But why does a human connection count? All animals are beings in their own right and only doing something because there is a human connection seems wrong.

Coineach or Vikki this is not specifically aimed at either of you at all, I'm so glad that you both treat animals with respect. I think this is a thread all by itself. Sorry!

Coineanach
16-03-2010, 05:54 PM
For some reason, I'm really sensitive about this. Don't get me wrong, I don't think you're in the wrong or there's anything wrong with what you do, but I don't understand how people can see a difference between a domestic pet animal and a wild animal. The only difference in the two is that there has been a human connection with one and not with the other - it doesn't mean that one suffers less when it dies.

I really appreciate that you're there when rabbits are killed because you can make sure they're killed humanely and they don't suffer, but I'm thinking more about roadkill when I get all sensitive about it... sometimes people can leave a dying rabbit on the road for days and just drive past. If it was white or grey or black or spotty, they would probably stop and pick it up, and the only reason they would do that would be because there was a human connection there. But why does a human connection count? All animals are beings in their own right and only doing something because there is a human connection seems wrong.

Coineach or Vikki this is not specifically aimed at either of you at all, I'm so glad that you both treat animals with respect. I think this is a thread all by itself. Sorry!

Interesting points, would make a good discussion. Why don't you make a thread so we're not hijacking Vikki's? ;) As long as it dosen't turn into a slagging match it would be interesting to hear other people's views. :)

Crystal butterfly
16-03-2010, 05:55 PM
I understand that vets cant learn everything about every animal and be 100% perfect at everything when they only have years to learn it at vet college.

I will hold my hand up and admit my vets werent that good when it came to rabbits but i believe that my rabbits and their illnesses have helped educate them which will hopefully help other rabbits which may come in. Im lucky because my vets will listen to me When I took Lilli-Mai down due to weight loss they couldnt feel anything wrong with her everything felt right and they probably would have sent her home but after getting advice off here to get a blood test done i was able to tell my vet to do a blood test which came back as a problem with her kidneys... further testing confirmed E.C.

my vets i feel are 100% better with rabbits now i feel they learn as they go along as life is all about learning and im sure even rabbit savvy vets will not be savvy in every single pet out there.

however i will admit i am looking for a different vet for my Chinchilla they didnt have a clue!

sillyrabbit
16-03-2010, 06:25 PM
This is a good thread, you answered mine already Vikki. Was going to say the reluctance to prescribe pain relief and ask how much time you spend learning about small animals

Something that concerns me is when some vets don't know what is wrong so just take a wild guess and don't bother trying to find the actual problem, because a course of baytril obviously sorts everything! Its not good when you need an appointment at short notice so have to just see whoever is free and then have to go back the next day and pay again to see another vet to get the correct diagnosis and meds, because you know the first vet didn't have a clue so made something up. Don't suppose there is much anyone else can do about that though, if a vet can't be bothered to learn then its just the way that person is

VikkiVet
17-03-2010, 01:35 PM
Brilliant thread.:D

for vets in general(as ours is brill )...

Please listen. (I'm sure you do)

Thats the most important advice I can think of.

We all know our rabbits individual traits and if we say ...
we think they're in pain...
are unhappy...
would be better at home...
will drink more from a bowl...

etc.

Please tell us why you intend to do something to our rabbit or why you think our suggestion would not be a good idea. Please offer alternatives if they are of equal quality.
Please give us as much information as possible.
Please give us leaflets where available.

Please do not be grumpy if we say we have heard such and such a treatment works. If you have not heard of it please be willing to consult a more senior vet to find out more, without taking offence. Doctors regularly consult specialists without taking offence and vets should do the same.

Don't be afraid to say-"I don't know, but I will find out for you." We will respect you more for that, as we know rabbit treatments are constantly evolving.

Please think about the normal stance of a rabbit when handling. (I was dismayed when a vet(not our normal vet!!) grabbed both my bunnys back legs in the air so bunny was just balanced on 2 front paws instead of all 4, bunny's back arched backwards, while the vet took bun's temperature. So unnecessary) Gentle handling for these gentle creatures please.

You clearly care and will be an expert rabbit vet.:D -sue:wave:

If you get the chance to work with Jason Burgess -take it!

:thumb::thumb::thumb::thumb::thumb::thumb::thumb:: thumb:
Except the part in bold - i know this is a contentious (sp?) issue, and in some situations you may well be right. But as we all know rabbits often hide pain/discomfort etc very well, or just become static and hunched, its difficult to distinguish a rabbit in pain from a rabbit in very severe pain externally. This makes assessing an animals stability very difficult, until the point at which they collapse etc. So even if a rabbit is looking pretty awful in the vets and therapy doesnt seem to be working, sending them home removes the ability to monitor beyond behaviour (and some will temporarily perk up just because they are home) and to treat emergencies quickly - you have to drive them back in, call the vet in if out-of-hours etc. Subtle changes can sometimes be more easily detected and treated in the hospital. Also, time being hospitalised actually allows the staff to get to know the bun so monitoring becomes easier, than say daily 10 minute visits to the clinic when they are sat on a table in a room that smells like dogs with a distressed owner affecting their behaviour, heart rate, etc etc.
Having said that, i love th "packed lunch" idea and that should be made more widespread, along with clean toys and bedding from home. Lots of practices now have separate dog and cat/rabbit/rodent wards to make in patients less stressed out. Also, a lot of people dont realise that many practices will allow you to visit inpatients - usually mid afternoon between surgery and afternoon consults, but that can be very beneficial for both the owner and the patient, and gives you opportunities to discuss treatment and progress.

VikkiVet
17-03-2010, 01:44 PM
Something that concerns me is when some vets don't know what is wrong so just take a wild guess and don't bother trying to find the actual problem, because a course of baytril obviously sorts everything! Its not good when you need an appointment at short notice so have to just see whoever is free and then have to go back the next day and pay again to see another vet to get the correct diagnosis and meds, because you know the first vet didn't have a clue so made something up. Don't suppose there is much anyone else can do about that though, if a vet can't be bothered to learn then its just the way that person is

Sadly this happens with all species, and there are many reasons for it. Mainly i think its like occum's razor - the mostly common answer is the most likely answer. So often its not worth an hour+ of tests and examinations, all of which cost money, to definitively diagnose a condition you suspected in the first 10 minutes and needs the same treatment. Every case should be considered individually, and vets should be looking out for the exceptions to the rule to distinguish the cases that aren't textbook, but often its cost and time pressure both to the owner and the vet. We like to think that we want every test done to find the answer etc, but actually if its likely to be a simple condition with a simple answer we dont want to pay 200 for all the tests when "trial treatment" e.g. with a course of antibiotics for a suspected infection, would cost 15. Vets should make it more clear though when they dont have a definitive answer and the reasons why and when people should return if it doesnt work.
Also, when we dont have the answer its as frustrating for us too! I just think the communication and options need to be better! I have worked with vets who do something like:
"option A will tell us definately what it is, will involve X and cost Y"
"option B will probably tell us if its one of 3 things, will involve M and cost N"
"option C we wont definately know whats wrong, but treatment F will probably work and cost G, but if its not that we'll have to do option A or B"

Then they say which they think its the best idea for the case, but lets the owner choose. Sometimes we are surprised how indepth people want to go with the investigation, and equally how pragmatic some people are that they'll start with the basic options but are prepared to look deeper if necessary.

But i confess, some vets are stumped, too proud/lazy/afraid of looking wrong and so prescribe the basics and hope/make sure if the animal comes back someone else will see it!

Buuny_Friend
17-03-2010, 02:48 PM
We are EXTREMELY lucky in that we have a FANTASTIC vet who I trust 100%.

Sadly, I cannot say the same for most of the other vets we have used or I have met.

One particular vet is so up his own a**e that he will never admit that he doesn't have a clue how to treat rabbits or small mammals. In his case, Baytril is the magic cure and lack of appetite is usually due *shock*. He never checks their teeth or even gives them a clinial examination when giving them their vaccinations.

Our vet, however, knows a hell of a lot, has her own bunnies but most importantly she is honest with us, respects our feelings and views and is not afraid to admit when she isn't sure on something. She will then research until she does know!

I think many vets need to realise that Rabbits are just as important as cats and dogs. The fact they are the 3rd most popular pet but the most neglected should tell them something. I think a lot of vets are part of this sad statistic unfortunately :(

donnamt
17-03-2010, 02:54 PM
my only question.. is how do you work such LONG hours :shock::shock::shock:

my vet phoned at 8.20 last night and i reakon i wasnt the only phone call..

areia
17-03-2010, 02:56 PM
We are EXTREMELY lucky in that we have a FANTASTIC vet who I trust 100%.

Sadly, I cannot say the same for most of the other vets we have used or I have met.

One particular vet is so up his own a**e that he will never admit that he doesn't have a clue how to treat rabbits or small mammals. In his case, Baytril is the magic cure and lack of appetite is usually due *shock*. He never checks their teeth or even gives them a clinial examination when giving them their vaccinations.

Our vet, however, knows a hell of a lot, has her own bunnies but most importantly she is honest with us, respects our feelings and views and is not afraid to admit when she isn't sure on something. She will then research until she does know!

I think many vets need to realise that Rabbits are just as important as cats and dogs. The fact they are the 3rd most popular pet but the most neglected should tell them something. I think a lot of vets are part of this sad statistic unfortunately :(



now is this just me or isit the male vets who seem very up themselves when a woman queries a problem at the vets, Ive come across 4 now who just wont listen to any concerns, first vet with linus just looked at his bum and went "oh you sure hes a boy," "ummm yes i had him neutered"," oh that makes it harder for me to determine myxi" :roll:

will say im on the hunt for my first ever vet he was a gorgous irish fella for which biggles just melted into his arms, i would of too if i had the chance :lol: but he was fab

sillyrabbit
17-03-2010, 08:36 PM
Sadly this happens with all species, and there are many reasons for it. Mainly i think its like occum's razor - the mostly common answer is the most likely answer. So often its not worth an hour+ of tests and examinations, all of which cost money, to definitively diagnose a condition you suspected in the first 10 minutes and needs the same treatment. Every case should be considered individually, and vets should be looking out for the exceptions to the rule to distinguish the cases that aren't textbook, but often its cost and time pressure both to the owner and the vet. We like to think that we want every test done to find the answer etc, but actually if its likely to be a simple condition with a simple answer we dont want to pay 200 for all the tests when "trial treatment" e.g. with a course of antibiotics for a suspected infection, would cost 15. Vets should make it more clear though when they dont have a definitive answer and the reasons why and when people should return if it doesnt work.
Also, when we dont have the answer its as frustrating for us too! I just think the communication and options need to be better! I have worked with vets who do something like:
"option A will tell us definately what it is, will involve X and cost Y"
"option B will probably tell us if its one of 3 things, will involve M and cost N"
"option C we wont definately know whats wrong, but treatment F will probably work and cost G, but if its not that we'll have to do option A or B"

Then they say which they think its the best idea for the case, but lets the owner choose. Sometimes we are surprised how indepth people want to go with the investigation, and equally how pragmatic some people are that they'll start with the basic options but are prepared to look deeper if necessary.

But i confess, some vets are stumped, too proud/lazy/afraid of looking wrong and so prescribe the basics and hope/make sure if the animal comes back someone else will see it!

I am sure it does happen with all animals. I wasn't really meaning when testing is needed, that would be a good vet that goes through all the options and I understand them wanting to rule things out before going into any testing if it is likely that is what is wrong

This is an example, I have had one of my rats diagnosed correctly but then prescribed the wrong dose of the wrong medication to treat the problem. Like I understand that vets can't remember every dose of every medication for every problem in every animal :lol: So surely there is something they refer to which would tell them what to prescribe and in what dose depending on the age and weight of the animal? I can only guess the vet I saw that time didn't check and just gave me the most common dose of the most common meds for that animal because when I went back the next day and saw someone else who was willing to double check what he had been given
I was told yeah that is wrong what he was given

Things like this worry me because not everybody doubts what a vet says, if I hadn't gone back and just carried on with what the first vet gave me the problem would have gotten worse and as he was showing no obvious signs of pain I wouldn't have known he wasn't getting better until I went back three weeks later on the advice of that first vet so they could check the infection had cleared up, by that time serious damage would have been done :(

Most vets I have seen are good though, and if they don't know something have admitted it and found out. Just seen a few that have made me less trusting and I am very nervous of having to see an emergency vet with something serious

VikkiVet
30-04-2010, 03:36 PM
New Questions from Snouter:


In it, I remember you asked about things people wished vets knew about. Might I respectfully suggest the following additions to the list.

The one about not starving buns before surgery. I am not a vet so don't know all the facts. I think it came down to not doing it because:
Buns don't need it because they can't vomit.
Buns need regular feeding for their own well-being. Starving is bad for them.
People are probably being told to do it because it is appropriate for other animals and humans - but not buns.

The Cylap/Lapinject debate. As far as I can see, Lapinject has many plusses for buns re side-effects but has to be purchased and then used with a short life after opening. Hence greater cost/injection if some is unused. Cylap has the lower cost but significant side-effects. For buns, Lapinject always appears to be the preferred one due to the side-effects of Cylap.

Post-operative pain relief for buns. I guess as buns can't vocalise their pain they're always stuffed on this one whereas dogs, etc can howl for attention.


These issues keep coming up in threads, but the accurate answers do not appear to be in wide circulation.

Starving before surgery: You are indeed right, it is completely contraindicated in rabbits, you only need to take the food and water away about 1hr before surgery - rabbits can regurgitate but not vomit. As you say, people just assume that the same rules apply to rabbits as do to cats and dogs. Likewise, you dont need to starve horses before surgery, except for some types of gastric surgery. The other reason not to starve rabbits, as with horses, is that they continuously secrete hydrochloric acid in their stomachs (unlike carnivores etc that only secrete it when stimulated to do so) because they ideally are constantly grazing. So if you starve them the hydrochloric acid starts to digest their stomach lining as there is no food present to digest instead, and this leads to pain, ulcers, stasis etc. If a vet/vet nurse ever tells you to starve a rabbit ignore them, and definately question how often they are doing rabbit surgery etc as they should know this if experienced (infact, they should know it even if they're not!).

The Cylap/Lapinject question is indeed about money - wasted doses cost the practice money so many don't carry lapinject unless they see a lot of rabbits. Some will get it in if you request it, or simply charge a lot more for it to cover the cost of waste. If Lapinject did smaller bottles it would solve this issue :roll:. I'd always request lapinject as some will have both but dont realise that the client knows the difference, and again if they dont have it or wont get it i'd question how much rabbit medicine they are doing and whether they are sufficiently savvy generally.

I think i have covered the pain relief issue, but indeed rabbits show far fewer and less vocal signs of pain, although some dogs and certainly cats can hide it very well and signs are very subtle. Some of it comes down to spending time observing patients when in kennels rather than just focusing on the medical parameters.

thumps_
30-04-2010, 04:32 PM
Hi Vicky :wave:

Firstly, you are doing a fantastic job on here in several areas.
Thank you for standing in the line of fire for some of our frustrations, & easing them by promoting understanding.

Please can you tell us how to present our bun's illness to a vet because I have just used my human experience thus far?
eg. the main thing we notice wrong.
then the history of illnesss from when they were last well etc.
I assume this may help because no animal will exhibit subtle changes from normal behaviour in the surgery, but may be wrong!!

I think that a major difficulty we encounter is choosing a vet who both has exotics training AND the necessary wide experience of treating buns to care for our pets. There is word of mouth on this forum. Are there any other ways?

VikkiVet
30-04-2010, 04:48 PM
Hi Vicky :wave:

Firstly, you are doing a fantastic job on here in several areas.
Thank you for standing in the line of fire for some of our frustrations, & easing them by promoting understanding.

Please can you tell us how to present our bun's illness to a vet because I have just used my human experience thus far?
eg. the main thing we notice wrong.
then the history of illnesss from when they were last well etc.
I assume this may help because no animal will exhibit subtle changes from normal behaviour in the surgery, but may be wrong!!

I think that a major difficulty we encounter is choosing a vet who both has exotics training AND the necessary wide experience of treating buns to care for our pets. There is word of mouth on this forum. Are there any other ways?

Hi :wave: How a vet gains the required information to make an accurate diagnosis and select the correct treatment options is a major topic of interest both during training and among practicing vets. We do quite a lot of traning in communication skills and how to ask the right, open-ended questions so clients feel they can explain the situation in their own language.

Firstly, a vet should allow you to "tell your story" i.e. start with an open question like 'what can i do for you today?' and let the client explain however they like. Sadly we often get impatient or (usually wrongly) assume that the client is rambling on or telling us unimportant details, so they interrupt. This is probably really annoying for the client as they feel they're not being listened to, especially when the vet then asks questions that they would have answered if they'd been allowed to finish!

From a client perspective, if you havent seen this particular vet either ever or for an on-going problem, a brief background is really helpful e.g. i got Fluffy from the RSPCA 3 years ago, he's 5 years old and neutered and fully vaccinated, lives outside with my other neutered vaccinated female bunny Snuffles. This gives us a huuuuuuuuge amount of essential info which helps in adding in or knocking off possible diagnoses.

Then a run-down of the current problem, whether its new or on-going. Dont feel you have to use scientific or veterinary language, explain it however you feel comfortable. Try to include when you noticed the problem, what changes it has caused - eating, drinking, peeing, pooing, behaviour etc - and anything you have already tried to solve it e.g. tempting with food, using a heatpad, cleaning with saline etc. Like you say, changes in demeanor and normal behaviour at home are really important, because animals behave totally differently at the vets, and prey animals often perk up and act normal!

The vet should ask you specific but open questions, so you dont feel they're trying to get to you give a specific answer. Its REAAALLLLY important to be honest, and say if you made a mistake e.g. i gave him a bit too much metacam, i went inside to answer the phone and wasnt watching him for 10 minutes, etc. We're not here to judge or lay blame, but if you hide stuff it makes it so much harder to find an answer and can really make a difference in how successful therapies are.

Make sure you ask ALL questions you have - you're paying for their time and its important that you feel confident of whats happening and what to do. There are NO STUPID QUESTIONS and sometimes all you need is a recap. get them to write things down or print off a summary if its complicated or confusing. Ask the "what if" questions too - what if he gets worse, wont take his medicine, something else happens.

Hope that helps! :D

thumps_
30-04-2010, 09:56 PM
Thank you Vicki, that helps a lot, especially that "introduction line".
Are there any other ways we can help the vets to help our buns, apart from the standard of trying to avoid antisocial hours as best we can?

Princessrabbit
30-04-2010, 10:15 PM
aww thanks so much for doing this thread its such a good idea


luckily for me I havent had much experience witj a vet

we went to one for mange and she was great with her kept her calm etc, but then when asked about veggies she said not to give her them, so of course I didnt, all I can assume is it was maybe as she werent english, they didnt give rabbits veggies over there

then when I was worried with the nesting (didnt know she was nesting at the time lol) the nurse gave her a great look over, checked everything and was lovely and gentle with her

I think the main thing I wanted to ask is-how will I know if my vet/nurse is rabbit savvy? I assume she is as she was doing the free rabbit health check but also does this all the time, she listened to what I said, looked at her front teeth, tried to look at the back and as she couldnt she got the vet to look, she felt her tummy etc, weighed her, and (which princess wont do for me) she carried her from one room to the next without princess even moving! she constantly stroked her and kept her calm, and sort of did a lot of checking without princess knowing, she certainly seemed rabbit savvy with how she handled her

georgie_f
30-04-2010, 10:39 PM
One particular vet is so up his own a**e that he will never admit that he doesn't have a clue how to treat rabbits or small mammals. In his case, Baytril is the magic cure and lack of appetite is usually due *shock*. He never checks their teeth or even gives them a clinial examination when giving them their vaccinations.


^^^ This is a perfect discription of my vet! :lol:

I have a slightly random question.... do some vets get paid on commission? I feel like I get charged for things I really don't want sometimes. Daphne had her front teeth out at the beginning of the year and I asked the vet to clip a little knot off of her chin whilst she was knocked out. She'd dribbled and this little knot had got really tight and she wouldn't let me touch it. They charged me 30 for 'clipping matts'. :shock: Where as a different vet at the same practice often charges me hamster prices for the buns - I think he realises I struggle with my vet bills sometimes. :oops: Funnily enough, I like that vet much more! :lol:

HoppingBinky
30-04-2010, 10:55 PM
Hi, i don't want to hyjack this thread:oops: but I was just wondering Vikki if you could give me some advise on how to become a veterinary nurse. I've sent my CV off to all our local vets wich they will keep on file but i just wondered if the home study course i've found would be a good starting point to give me a little knowledge. What do you think?:D