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reehsetin
23-08-2012, 10:55 AM
I've heard from vets and on here about the very very minimal training vets get on bunnies unless they specialise. I know nothing about the veterinary industry so I'm genuinely curious about a few things
If a non specialist vet has 1hr-ish training on bunnies - why they're allowed to treat bunnies (non emergencies)?
Should untrained vets tell people they're not trained and give them the opportunity to decide if they're happy for them to still treat their pet?

nessar
23-08-2012, 10:59 AM
All vets I've spoken to seem to think they are good with bunnies, even if they are not. I've only had one vet admit to me that rabbits werent his forte, and he was actually good, better than the others I've seen, although I havent seen an exotic or rabbit specialist yet.

Cari
23-08-2012, 11:00 AM
I'm not sure how it works either but I certainly think that vets should tell rabbit owners if they are not experienced.
I took my little boy to an unexperienced rabbit vet who told me he'd been neutered (he hasn't) and that there was nothing we could do for his blocked tear duct apart from just leave it (also not true).

Our proper rabbit vet told me about the treatment options for his eye, and whilst we have left it for the moment he will be having it flushed through, something which the non rabbit savvy vet didn't even suggest.

Sky-O
23-08-2012, 11:13 AM
My suspicion is that you only know how little you know when you actually start to learn. So those who know little don't realise what they don't know. Those that know more than a little will gain more awareness and then you get those who do know but likely also know a lot about bunnies is still unknown and that they are still learning.

So those that are comfortable in their knowledge are likely to be lacking, in my opinion on that very basic level. Someone who really knows will always want to know more/what they don't know.

Rupert & Tia
23-08-2012, 11:39 AM
When Tia was poorly we seen a vet who wasn't 'all that clued up' on bunnies but he did know to check temp and teeth, and tummy massage etc and gave her the right injections.

I think they should tell you that they're not trained or clued up on bunnies, because then you can make the decision to change vets. We all want the best care for our pets and so, would rather know they're being treated by a good bunny vet.

We have actually just changed vets, and one of the deciding factors was that the two main vets have done specific bunny / small animal training - and they run a 'one pet one vet' thing, which I loved - altho the old vets we went to, we did see the same vet, but we could only go on saturdays and she was a locum on some saturdays so had to choose wisely / book early (which obv is no good if you've got a poorly bunny).

It's important to have trust in your vet, and be confident in them that they are 'bunny savvy' - our old one kept bunnies from when she was a child and really knew her stuff.

We seen an emergency vet with rupes and she was amazing - she was an older lady and knew 'old' techniques, but that work (toast is good for fibre if they're not eating hay, and if you put sunflowe oil / spread on it or their food it helps unloosen fur balls if they have any, infacol for gas, etc) I wish we could see her all the time ! - altho, abit scary when she said she'd only ever seen one dutch bunny - and said to rupes 'oooh you've got lionhead in you' :lol:

GrahamL
23-08-2012, 11:41 AM
My suspicion is that you only know how little you know when you actually start to learn. So those who know little don't realise what they don't know. Those that know more than a little will gain more awareness and then you get those who do know but likely also know a lot about bunnies is still unknown and that they are still learning.

So those that are comfortable in their knowledge are likely to be lacking, in my opinion on that very basic level. Someone who really knows will always want to know more/what they don't know.

I have to agree with this.

The most important factor in my opinion, for a vet who will admit they dont know everything and who will be open to suggestions and to my own ideas/suggestions and will ask for help from other sources if necessary.

Rupert & Tia
23-08-2012, 11:46 AM
I have to agree with this.

The most important factor in my opinion, for a vet who will admit they dont know everything and who will be open to suggestions and to my own ideas/suggestions and will ask for help from other sources if necessary.

I agree with this too :)

We seen one vet with Tia when she hurt her leg, who didn't give her metacam injection, but gave us drops. She was newly qualified, so I think didn't realise she could give injection, as she had to go ask if metacam was ok (and gave us the dog one not the cat one?)

Elena
23-08-2012, 11:54 AM
I have to agree with this.

The most important factor in my opinion, for a vet who will admit they dont know everything and who will be open to suggestions and to my own ideas/suggestions and will ask for help from other sources if necessary.

This was our experience with our old vets. We'd see a different one each time and one seemed to have an idea of what he was doing (Mischa - headtilt), another seemed to have not much clue and was the one who suggested PTS, then another, when Mini dislocated her hip, admitted he didn't know what to do and got in contact with a specialist (ironically we think this was Mark!).

Rach210
23-08-2012, 12:05 PM
Surely vets should get more bunny training than that? Aren't rabbits the third most common pet after cats and dogs? You'd think this would be noticed and vet training would be changed to incorporate more rabbity stuff.

GrahamL
23-08-2012, 12:10 PM
Surely vets should get more bunny training than that? Aren't rabbits the third most common pet after cats and dogs? You'd think this would be noticed and vet training would be changed to incorporate more rabbity stuff.

Its because rabbits are classed as exotics because they are so complex :(

Bunny Buddy
23-08-2012, 12:10 PM
I certainly notice a lot more at consultations now that I'm used to rabbit vets handling my bunnies. There are things in the past that I wouldn't have liked but would have just accepted as 'the done thing' but will now speak up and ask/give my opinion.

One thing that really annoys me is when the vet is examining the rabbit but doesn't give me any feedback. ie with a stasis bunny, the intention *may* be to tell me at the end but why not as they go along? Having stuck a themometer up their bum and read it - would you mind sharing the results with me??? Did you hear gut sounds?? Were they normal? Am I going to have to ask at every stage? Tell me what drugs you're giving my rabbit - don't just stick a needle in and assume it's none of my business :evil: What's even worse is if the vet quite obviously doesn't like you having some knowledge and asking questions - I'm not questioning their judgement - I just like to understand why :? There's nothing worse than feeling awkward with the vet because you are not happy with their manner. I need to feel I can ask 'why?' without being made to feel I'm in the wrong.

One of my most upsetting experiences in this regard was when Scratty died. She was admitted with stasis and it turns out she had a respiratory infection - I wasn't told that. As there was something seriously wrong with her they were going to open her abdomen up to see if they could see what... which I consented to but I would NOT have given my consent if I knew she also had a respiratory infection. That was actually why she was in an oxygen tent but my knowledge wasn't so good then. I only found out about the respiratory infection when asking a vet for feedback the following week. Nobody even tried to give me any explanation as to why she had died.

Elena
23-08-2012, 02:22 PM
I'm so sorry Bunny Buddy, what a horrid experience. :(

Bunny Buddy
23-08-2012, 02:29 PM
I'm so sorry Bunny Buddy, what a horrid experience. :(

Thanks. Nobody acknowledged that I'd lost somebody important or tried to help me understand why she had died. When I took Artie for a health check the following week, 5 days later, I saw the vet who had rung me to tell me Scrat had passed away. When I asked about Scratty she looked blank and had to refer to the notes... like she couldn't remember her at all and I was totally devastated. It's completely different at H-B's - everybody passes on their condolences and knows you've lost an important family member, I think part of that comes from being a small team.

Sorry, I think I've gone off topic from untrained vets a little ...:oops:

Elena
23-08-2012, 03:30 PM
Thanks. Nobody acknowledged that I'd lost somebody important or tried to help me understand why she had died. When I took Artie for a health check the following week, 5 days later, I saw the vet who had rung me to tell me Scrat had passed away. When I asked about Scratty she looked blank and had to refer to the notes... like she couldn't remember her at all and I was totally devastated. It's completely different at H-B's - everybody passes on their condolences and knows you've lost an important family member, I think part of that comes from being a small team.

Sorry, I think I've gone off topic from untrained vets a little ...:oops:

Not at all OT, just shows the extra heartache they can cause when they are not only untrained but also uncaring :(

Crunchie
23-08-2012, 05:44 PM
The lack of rabbit knowledge displayed by some vets in the UK is absolutely disgusting and is something I wish could be addressed. As has been mentioned for the third most popular pet in the UK for vets to get their treatment so badly wrong is awful. There are plenty of folk on the forum who've experienced this as well so there must be a fair few out there.

reehsetin
24-08-2012, 10:33 AM
My suspicion is that you only know how little you know when you actually start to learn. So those who know little don't realise what they don't know. Those that know more than a little will gain more awareness and then you get those who do know but likely also know a lot about bunnies is still unknown and that they are still learning.

So those that are comfortable in their knowledge are likely to be lacking, in my opinion on that very basic level. Someone who really knows will always want to know more/what they don't know.

This is what confuses me, I would expect untrained vets to be told that bunnies are complex and they should not treat them until they're trained.

Pebblesetc
24-08-2012, 10:41 AM
I agree with Sky-O and GrahamL that most vets think they know about bunnies because they don't realise how much they don't know. The worst thing in my mind is this kind of vet who also is not open to suggestions or questions. We had a vet like that, when I asked something as simple as which antibiotic he was prescribing he said "I didn't realise that you're a qualified veterinary surgeon" in a really nasty tone. So we found a genuine rabbit savvy vet and couldn't be happier :D

I do think vets who haven't undergone the specialist training in exotics should be made aware of how woefully under-prepared they are for the complexities of rabbit medicine, that way we might get more vets who are willing to admit that they just don't know enough and refer to a rabbit specialist.