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How to find a good rabbit vet.


Wise Old Thumper
A basic guide.

This should be done ASAP and before an emergency arises.
  1. Phone all the vets in your area and ask if they have anyone who specialises in rabbits. Or if they have anyone they refer rabbits to for more specialised care.
  2. Speak to the recommended vet in person. Either ask that the vet rings you back and leave a couple of numbers or ask if you can bring your rabbits in to meet them for a check up.
When you speak to the vet there are various screening questions you can use to determine how good they are with rabbits.
  • How many rabbits do they treat on average?
  • How many rabbits have they spayed or neutered in the last year?
  • Do they recommend that a rabbit is fasted before an operation? The answer should be no. Rabbits need to eat constantly to keep their digestive tract moving. They also cannot vomit.
  • Ask about the best diet for a rabbit. The answer should be along the lines of 80% of their diet should be hay with a small amount of pellets (not muesli!) and some fresh green leafy veg. If they don't put emphasis on hay or grass then walk away.
  • Ask about what sort of cases they've treated. You want someone who has experience with dental problems of all varieties and with rabbits who have had gut stasis. These seem to be the most common health problems unfortunately.
  • Ask if they recommend spaying and neutering and why. If they don't recommend either, walk away. They should say that females should be done as 80% of unspayed females get cancer. Males should be done so that they can happily live in pairs/groups with other rabbits and also to prevent cancer.
  • Ask them about what sort of antibiotics they use for rabbits and which ones are dangerous. Penicillin drugs can be fatal if given orally but the 'safe' antibiotic baytril is often not strong enough to combat some infections and other, stronger antibiotics can be given by injection.
  • Ask if they recommend vaccinating rabbits. They should say yes, for myxomatosis and VHD and these should be done at least yearly.
If you don't feel comfortable with the vet then don't see them. Don't feel embarrassed asking questions, it concerns your pets life! Rabbits are classed as exotic pets so not every vet knows how to treat them.

Spaying and neutering questions covered here on the forum: http://forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/showthread.php?t=84269

Reference: http://www.rabbit.org/
Great post. :thumb: Perhaps this could go in the rabbit care reference section too - would be good to look back on and be able to refer people to. :D
Thanks. I know it's hard for people who are new to rabbits to work out if a vet is good. After all it's a vet who we should really go to in order to learn about the needs of our pet. It's a shame that they can still give out bad advice.
Thanks - I'm saving this to my favourites as I needed all this information last week but had to type up 'Questions To Ask Vets' from memory :oops:
One of my first questions for my vet was, Do you use cylap or lapinject? Answer: lapinject = one happy owner !

Luckily my vet scores very highly on all the above questions.