PDA

View Full Version : Will 'Rabbit Savvy Vets' Ever Become the Norm Rather Than the Exception............



Jack's-Jane
03-11-2014, 09:30 AM
................. in Small Animal Veterinary Practices in the UK


*SIGH*...........................

Sarah1989
03-11-2014, 09:39 AM
You would think that a "small animal practice" would cover rabbits too!

Jack's-Jane
03-11-2014, 09:47 AM
They all claim to, but still there are so few who have anything but the basics about Rabbit Health, if that.

I realise it needs to be addressed in the actual syllabus for Vet Med Training, but it really is very frustrating when the situation does not seem to be getting much better. If a Practice lists Rabbits as Pets they care for then IMO the Practice has a duty of care to insure that the Vets all keep up to date with the advances in Rabbit Medicine. Otherwise be up front, dont take on Rabbits as clients and charge extortionate fees for sub standard care

Rant over :oops:

Zoobec
03-11-2014, 09:50 AM
It is ridiculous I agree. I'm so lucky that the vets I usually go to with the cat/dogs (rubbish for exotics) has another branch within a few miles where I have found that both vets are extremely rabbit savvy, and they do their own out of hours too :thumb:

Zoobec
03-11-2014, 09:51 AM
They all claim to, but still there are so few who have anything but the basics about Rabbit Health, if that.

I realise it needs to be addressed in the actual syllabus for Vet Med Training, but it really is very frustrating when the situation does not seem to be getting much better. If a Practice lists Rabbits as Pets they care for then IMO the Practice has a duty of care to insure that the Vets all keep up to date with the advances in Rabbit Medicine. Otherwise be up front, dont take on Rabbits as clients and charge extortionate fees for sub standard care
Rant over :oops:

Would you believe it's an even worse situation for Goats. The first farm vet I used for mine could have easily meant I lost one of mine, but I'll not start on that rant!

Sarah1989
03-11-2014, 09:54 AM
They all claim to, but still there are so few who have anything but the basics about Rabbit Health, if that.

I realise it needs to be addressed in the actual syllabus for Vet Med Training, but it really is very frustrating when the situation does not seem to be getting much better. If a Practice lists Rabbits as Pets they care for then IMO the Practice has a duty of care to insure that the Vets all keep up to date with the advances in Rabbit Medicine. Otherwise be up front, dont take on Rabbits as clients and charge extortionate fees for sub standard care

Rant over :oops:

I agree wholeheartedly. There's a vet very close to me who are good with rabbits, but their OOH is like playing Russian roulette so I now take a 1.5 hour round trip to get to an excellent rabbit vet with their own OOH and I'm sure Blackavar wouldn't be here anymore if it weren't for them this year :love:

Sarah1989
03-11-2014, 09:55 AM
Would you believe it's an even worse situation for Goats. The first farm vet I used for mine could have easily meant I lost one of mine, but I'll not start on that rant!

I never even thought of that! Again, you would think that a "farm vet " would cover goats as they're farm animals. Or they were the last I checked :roll::lol:

dumblepaws
03-11-2014, 09:59 AM
Totally agree with you

But think the vets are in a pretty tough position - as learning about bunnies isn't covered by their training, and most bunny owners keep their bunny in a bad environment with a bad diet and would probably rather euthanase than get an expensive MRI scan done. So not much point learning. Especially when you have long hours, intense job, family etc

So I think change can only come through pester power of owners. And hopefully a change in the syllabus at some point

Sarah1989
03-11-2014, 10:04 AM
Totally agree with you

But think the vets are in a pretty tough position - as learning about bunnies isn't covered by their training, and most bunny owners keep their bunny in a bad environment with a bad diet and would probably rather euthanase than get an expensive MRI scan done. So not much point learning. Especially when you have long hours, intense job, family etc

So I think change can only come through pester power of owners. And hopefully a change in the syllabus at some point

That's also a very good point. Even my own family told me to have Blackavar pts rather than pay for his dental surgeries & related issues :evil: I lost my temper & said I'd only have Blackavar pts when they were all pts for a bit of toothache first. That didn't go down too well especially as it was on the middle of my grandma's 80th birthday party!

*Funny*Bunny*
03-11-2014, 10:09 AM
Not unless veterinary education is changed no, they only get taught 1-2 weeks on rabbits for their 5 year degree! I understand that they can't learn everything about every animal and that a lot of focus is on farm animals not just pets, but you'd think the third most common pet in the uk would have a bit more emphasis! Or at the very least most vets should be good in the basics of rabbit care, which from here I get the feeling they aren't!

RogerRabbit999
03-11-2014, 10:49 AM
I have discussed this at length with the RCVS, and this is why I'm always wanting people to complain about any bad service, advice, experiences, people have had, because their response was with so few rabbit related complaints made, they can only assume the training provided to veterinary students must be sufficient, which obviously we all know that it isn't.

I think it is very much a case of if you don't complain to them, they believe that the vets are looking after rabbits appropriately.

However, they did advise me that if they were to start receiving complaints about veterinary treatment given or often not given, that would then prompt them to review the training given, and the areas the vets are falling down on.

So it really is a case of start logging complaints with them, because if you don't let people know there is a problem, they don't neccesarily think there is one.

Also, if changes were to be made in the training provided, there needs to have been x number of complaints received, before the relevant people will review and ammend training modules.

parsnipbun
03-11-2014, 10:50 AM
I was about to post something very similar Jacks Jane - we seem to be getting nowhere with this from the evidence of some of the recent posts from people with sick rabbits and simply appalling vets. Why dont the vets just admit they know nothing about rabbits and send them to a vet that does? Rather than putting the rabbits at severe risk? Or are they really that stupid that they think 2 weeks training years ago qualifies them as a rabbit vet?

Surely just a quick look at some of the vet journals would convince them they know nothing?

It is so frustrating - and its the rabbits that are suffering - thousands of them.

Zoobec
03-11-2014, 10:55 AM
I was about to post something very similar Jacks Jane - we seem to be getting nowhere with this from the evidence of some of the recent posts from people with sick rabbits and simply appalling vets. Why dont the vets just admit they know nothing about rabbits and send them to a vet that does? Rather than putting the rabbits at severe risk? Or are they really that stupid that they think 2 weeks training years ago qualifies them as a rabbit vet?

Surely just a quick look at some of the vet journals would convince them they know nothing?

It is so frustrating - and its the rabbits that are suffering - thousands of them.

Very good point there. The vet at my most local branch of a fairly big veterinary group is great with dogs and cats, but fairly mediocre at best with rabbits. But not once did he recommend I go to their other branch 3 miles away where both vets are extremely rabbit savvy. Thankfully I found that out myself :thumb:

SarahP
03-11-2014, 11:04 AM
It's so much better for rabbit medicine than guinea pigs, which are nearly as popular a pet as rabbits. :( Finding a decent guinea pig vet is near impossible.

Hesperus
03-11-2014, 11:50 AM
I agree completely. I'm lucky to have a good vets but it wasn't the first practice we tried and we won't be going back to the other one it was awful! I got the feeling they thought that small animals weren't worth it.

Jack's-Jane
03-11-2014, 12:09 PM
Am I imagining it or was there not talk that the RWAF were having some conversations with the RCVS re possible changes to Vet Med Syllabus :? Or maybe it is just wishful thinking on my part.

But really it is just not acceptable that the third most popular Domestic Pet is all too often badly let down when it comes to Veterinary Care. There are of course some brilliant Rabbit Vets, but they are certainly a minority group. I just think that it is both morally wrong and professionally negligent to take on the care of a species of animal when you do not have the skills to treat him/her. This morning I was made aware of a situation whereby a Vet refused to prescribe any analgesia to a Rabbit in gut stasis as according to the Vet Rabbits do not tolerate analgesic drugs well and giving them would cause kidney failure. Thankfully the owner knew this was a load of tosh and promptly took the Rabbit to another Vet. Not before forking out almost 70.00 to the initial Vet- the charge for a consult and a shot of bloody baytril :censored:

keletkezes
03-11-2014, 12:18 PM
I think it's the same with a lot of animals: my vet friend learnt most of her other-animal-specific stuff from doing it on the job, so to speak, and by reading around the subject. I think reptiles probably get ignored too, and veterinary care for fish was even worse than for rabbits in the late 90s.

MimzMum
03-11-2014, 12:36 PM
It's even worse here. My OOH vet was researching ileus on the internet a good 15 minutes into my last visit to them! Had I not the guidance from forums like RU and my own experience and study Fiver might not have made it through a very serious stasis episode. I was prompting the nurses myself. :( When the vet finally walked in she pretty much just wrote his scripts and checked that everything the nurses did was correct.
Still fuming at having to pay $300+ for that visit. :evil: Not to mention the arguments I have with less savvy vets about pain relief for rabbits. It's like we're still working with stone knives and bear skins with some of them. :(

esupi
03-11-2014, 01:14 PM
I was about to post something very similar Jacks Jane - we seem to be getting nowhere with this from the evidence of some of the recent posts from people with sick rabbits and simply appalling vets. Why dont the vets just admit they know nothing about rabbits and send them to a vet that does? Rather than putting the rabbits at severe risk? Or are they really that stupid that they think 2 weeks training years ago qualifies them as a rabbit vet?

Surely just a quick look at some of the vet journals would convince them they know nothing?

It is so frustrating - and its the rabbits that are suffering - thousands of them.

My vets actually do this, and it's one of the main reasons I have stuck with them. Not that they know nothing about rabbits of course! They have been great for all of the day to day stuff, and seem generally pretty clued up rabbit-wise, but twice they have referred me to the specialist. The first time for a dental which apparnelty would be better done with tools they didn't have, and the second because they didn't know what was wrong with Fudge, and they knew the specialist would get to the answer more quickly than they could. I really respect them not messing me around and trying to do things they weren't comfortable with. The vet also remembered several weeks later to ask about Fudge and what the verdict had been so I feel like they are genuinely interested and do care, which counts for a lot too.

Jack's-Jane
03-11-2014, 02:16 PM
My Vets will also consult Specialists if one of my Rabbits has a problem about which my Vets have limited experience or if they want a second opinion. I have absolutely no problem about that and I respect my Vets all the more for it. What I am referring to in this thread is the situation whereby a client is mislead into thinking that a Vet they consult has sufficient knowledge about Rabbits. Some Vets seem to feel unable to admit that they do not know something and as a result a Rabbit receives inadequate care. The Vet may not even know they dont know, IYSWIM !!

I go back to my previous comment, surely if you are stating that your Practice treats Rabbits, along with other Pets, then it is reasonable for a client to assume that the Vets at said Practice will be competent to do so. A client should not be expected to know if a Vet is 'Rabbit Savvy'. How many people take their Dog to a Vet and find that the Vet hasn't got a clue about Dogs !! I am not suggesting every Vet should be a 'Rabbit Specialist'. But to be able to see beyond a bottle of Baytril to treat every Rabbit illness would be useful.

Mackers
03-11-2014, 03:02 PM
They all claim to, but still there are so few who have anything but the basics about Rabbit Health, if that.

I realise it needs to be addressed in the actual syllabus for Vet Med Training, but it really is very frustrating when the situation does not seem to be getting much better. If a Practice lists Rabbits as Pets they care for then IMO the Practice has a duty of care to insure that the Vets all keep up to date with the advances in Rabbit Medicine. Otherwise be up front, dont take on Rabbits as clients and charge extortionate fees for sub standard care

Rant over :oops:

Completely agree Jane. I'm very, very lucky to be withing travelling distance of a well respected bunny vet but in general, most vets only seem to know the basics about bunny care. It's no wonder the general public have no hope when their vet is telling them their bunny doesn't need to be neutered and will live for about 5-6 years :roll:.

catxx
03-11-2014, 03:07 PM
Rabbit Residence is doing a lot of work with the Royal Vet College in Potters Bar, going in and talking to first year vet or vet nurse students on rabbit handling days and working to get a visit to RRR a compulsory part of their course!! They've had a lot of vet students coming up and spending time with the rescue bunnies. Baby steps.

Milo+Fizz
03-11-2014, 03:13 PM
I have never seen another rabbit at any vets I have visited! My vets are brilliant and have always provided excellent care but I imagine that without practise and experience vets can never learn. Rabbits can be brought for next to nothing, free even, people just don't tend to think a vet is worth it for bunnies. I see cats and dogs that's it!

SJ_R
03-11-2014, 04:45 PM
Before I came here, I had no idea about rabbit savvy vets. I just thought it was, if not equal exactly, close. Our vets have been pretty good with our dog and various hamsters, but when I brought Amy in to get spayed, they said they didn't do many spays (which I think they could have told my mum over the phone when she called for me) and actually hadn't seen any cases of uterine/ovarian cancer in rabbits there (not entirely sure why; not many owners bothering to spay, rabbits dying from cancer before they're brought in, or maybe there's something in the water). Thankfully Amy (aside from being a madam and chewing her stitches, getting herself an infection) got through it okay, and they were otherwise, if not quite excellent, then at least competent in their care.

Rosie42
03-11-2014, 05:59 PM
I think that there needs to be some sort of big overhaul of veterinary practices in this country. I too presumed that your average vet would know how to treat rabbits, and discovered that that was not the case. I think that had I had a better vet, I might still have bunnies today- instead I lost them both within 6 months of each other when they were only 2 and 2 and a half years old :(

I do not think that vets should be allowed to say that they treat 'x y and z' species when in reality they haven't got a clue. I had similar experiences when I got my chickens. Over the years, chickens have become 'fashionable' so vets will state that they treat them, when all they will really do is the same as they do with bunnies- prescribe baytril as they have no idea what is wrong and then when that doesn't help and the animal gets worse they just suggest putting them to sleep :evil::roll: I have had arguments with vets who have accused me of starving hens, when in fact they were ex-battery hens and so are just naturally lean. They have almost no fat on them even when they are healthy because their egg laying just sucks all the nutrients out of them :( I've also got in to spats with vets because I haven't agreed with their opinion and have essentially called them out and showed that they don't know what they are talking about. I learnt the hard way with both my hens and my rabbits but I think that the sad thing is that most people just take their vets' views as gospel and don't question them, so animals are allowed to suffer or be unnecessarily pts because of the sake of a vet's ego and that they will not admit that they don't know what they are doing. The whole thing is just so hideous.

Lucy-Lou
03-11-2014, 06:36 PM
This morning I was made aware of a situation whereby a Vet refused to prescribe any analgesia to a Rabbit in gut stasis as according to the Vet Rabbits do not tolerate analgesic drugs well and giving them would cause kidney failure. Thankfully the owner knew this was a load of tosh and promptly took the Rabbit to another Vet. Not before forking out almost 70.00 to the initial Vet- the charge for a consult and a shot of bloody baytril :censored:

This is just horrible - can you imagine an A&E doctor refusing to give pain relief to a patient who'd come in as an emergency? That vet shouldn't be practising :evil:

I'm glad I'm in a position now where I know enough of the basics to advocate for my rabbits, but when I first got Barney I would have trusted whatever a vet told me. I mean, they're the vet, and we're taught to listen to qualified professionals and assume they know what they're doing :?

catxx
03-11-2014, 06:57 PM
Me helping with Caroline of Rabbit Residence at RVC, with first year vet nurses, we were literally forcing every single one to get hands on with bunnies, almost all were keen anyway but some had never really handled rabbits so were a bit cautious. We soon fixed that!
https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/10659391_10152750771363114_8526923771520537994_n.j pg?oh=764cd7f500e35f3c6dd861a24279bd2e&oe=54E23BBA&__gda__=1420556972_cf6c364991d1a01118c8d42ada69d5e c

aaammmyyy
03-11-2014, 07:04 PM
Good for RU I want to train to be a rabbit savvy vet ;)

On a serious note though I find it shameful a vet will risk a rabbits life just because they dont know what they're doing - personally, id be in the job for my love of animals so couldn't let one come to harm because I didn't know - id rather admit and get them the best care!

When I took Skye (hamster) to the vets, they used her for an experiment without telling me :shock:
They put her on a human antibiotics which gave her a 50/50 chance of pulling through when a previous hamster had different abxs and didnt have the risk..&they worked perfectly well
It was in Skyes best interest to have a different type of abxs but they didnt make me aware of that...they then joked that if it all goes horribly wrong the box for the antis is big enough to bury her in, which I didnt appreciate
I haven't been back there!

catxx
03-11-2014, 07:11 PM
We also had a final year vet student come to Rabbit Residence for advice on good vets to do their placement in, so we were able to point them in the direction of known bunny-savvy vets. Rabbit Residence mainly uses the Woolpack in Buntingford and the Cambridge Vet Group for bigger ops (they're pricey but willing to try anything to save bunnies lives, including complicated molar extraction, eye removal, all sorts). I use Nine Lives in Redbourn who are bunny savvy too, Ruth of Agatha's Annex (no longer rescues) travels over an hour now she's moved to still use Nine Lives for her remaining bunnies. There are good vets out there, Rabbit Residence is hoping to work hard with RVC and colleges in Cambridge at least to encourage vet students to come and volunteer at the rescue.

We have behaviour students and lecturers spending time at the rescue too, they're writing papers on bunny health and behaviour (including why they need to be kept in pairs and not alone!)

parsnipbun
03-11-2014, 07:41 PM
Its true its the same with hens (and particularly anything out of the ordinary henwise - like fancy bantams). My local RURAL vet who is surrounded by people who have hens couldnt even crop feed a bird I took in and had no medicines for it.

Lucy-Lou
03-11-2014, 08:03 PM
When I took Skye (hamster) to the vets, they used her for an experiment without telling me :shock:
They put her on a human antibiotics which gave her a 50/50 chance of pulling through when a previous hamster had different abxs and didnt have the risk..&they worked perfectly well
It was in Skyes best interest to have a different type of abxs but they didnt make me aware of that...they then joked that if it all goes horribly wrong the box for the antis is big enough to bury her in, which I didnt appreciate
I haven't been back there!

:shock: That's so unprofessional of them. What an awful thing to say :(

aaammmyyy
03-11-2014, 08:11 PM
:shock: That's so unprofessional of them. What an awful thing to say :(
She made a full recovery thank god and I phoned up to complain, she lived happily and ended up getting pts at a new vets who im really happy with

If they dont really care about the recovery of the animal I dont have a clue why they're in the job!

Sarah1989
03-11-2014, 09:22 PM
She made a full recovery thank god and I phoned up to complain, she lived happily and ended up getting pts at a new vets who im really happy with

If they dont really care about the recovery of the animal I dont have a clue why they're in the job!

I don't understand it either. It's not easy to become a vet, it takes several years at uni to qualify. If you don't like animals/don't care, why would you (generally not anyone specifically) go through all that? It doesn't make sense :?

Jack's-Jane
03-11-2014, 09:35 PM
This Vet came all the way over from Australia to update her Rabbit knowledge. She spent a lot of time talking with FHB

http://therabbitdoctor.com.au/

If a Vet from a country where Rabbit's are seen as 'Vermin' can travel halfway around the world to improve her Rabbit Medicine knowledge I dont see why it seems to be so hard for so many UK based Vets to attend a few CPD courses.

I will stop moaning now :oops:

aaammmyyy
03-11-2014, 10:19 PM
I don't understand it either. It's not easy to become a vet, it takes several years at uni to qualify. If you don't like animals/don't care, why would you (generally not anyone specifically) go through all that? It doesn't make sense :?

&the cost of uni!

I wouldn't wanna get into a job ive not got my heart and passion into!

Sarah1989
03-11-2014, 11:47 PM
&the cost of uni!

I wouldn't wanna get into a job ive not got my heart and passion into!

Exactly! I mean how many vets do you see on the annual rich lists so they can't even be "oh I'll do that coz I'll earn a ton of money!" I have a friend on fb who trained to be a vet and she shared an article about common misconceptions & the reality. I couldn't be a vet if I didn't love animals & wanted to save them, it's too hard & stressful for very little gain otherwise by the sounds of it. :?

Tamsin
04-11-2014, 01:15 AM
I wonder if it's partly a case of not knowing they don't know. I feel like from the descriptions people give it's not that the vet is unsure what they are doing but they are are doing something wrong with the apparent confidence it's the right thing.

I can't believe people still aren't promoted to get vaccinations or are told house rabbits don't need them.

Jack's-Jane
04-11-2014, 07:17 AM
I wonder if it's partly a case of not knowing they don't know. I feel like from the descriptions people give it's not that the vet is unsure what they are doing but they are are doing something wrong with the apparent confidence it's the right thing.

I can't believe people still aren't promoted to get vaccinations or are told house rabbits don't need them.

A dangerous situation which takes us back to the fact that the problem needs to be addressed in the training. How it can be deemed appropriate to give just a few hours of lectures to cover Rabbit Health issues when Rabbits are now such popular Pets I dont know. To me it smacks of the 'it's only a Rabbit' mindset. Not from the Student Vets necessarily, but from those who set the Vet Med Syllubus and are obviously still stuck back in the last Century as far as the 'status' of the Pet Rabbit is concerned..................

I really will stop moaning now................. :oops:

catxx
04-11-2014, 02:48 PM
Vet nurses learning about bunnies

https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xap1/v/t1.0-9/10645196_10152750772013114_3990579534207198745_n.j pg?oh=c391eb66caff5253ed2c6964e7cce96f&oe=54DA3345&__gda__=1423980048_275aa95dc22ed5458e66d04e334f305 4

cpayne
04-11-2014, 03:07 PM
I feel so lucky to have someone who I know knows so much about rabbits. Took me a while to find him but once you find a great specialist cling on tightly :D

Sarah1991
04-11-2014, 03:15 PM
I think its really difficult to know if a vet is ''rabbit savvy'' without getting a recommendation or asking them directly. A lot of people just get told that they are professionals with all animals which is rarely true.

Mine are always saying about how many rabbits they treat (A lot apparently) but I've never seen another bunny in there yet I don't think! I remember not being happy when the vet put Finn on his back to check for gender, at the time I was too inexperienced to say anything but now I think I would simply take him myself and hold him how I think he should be held. He was being a git but I don't think that's the point?

Tamsin
04-11-2014, 03:25 PM
I think what the RR is doing is brilliant, working with students like that is the sort of thing that makes a massive difference - just think how many hundreds/thousands of rabbit owners they'll come into contact with to pass on good welfare advice.

SJ_R
04-11-2014, 05:35 PM
I wonder if it's partly a case of not knowing they don't know. I feel like from the descriptions people give it's not that the vet is unsure what they are doing but they are are doing something wrong with the apparent confidence it's the right thing.

I can't believe people still aren't promoted to get vaccinations or are told house rabbits don't need them.

Ah, the old 'idiots don't know they're idiots' fallacy, huh? Stupid and/or ignorant people think that they are smart and know everything there is to know about something and are dangerously overconfident; meanwhile, actual intelligent people are aware that they cannot possibly know absolutely everything, and so are on a constant pursuit of new knowledge.

I'd rather have a vet that knows they know little about rabbits, and either recommend a better vet or try to learn more, than a vet whom knows little about rabbits but doesn't know it.