Rabbits are friendly and inquisitive animals that make wonderful companions. They can be litter trained, just like cats, and thrive on an indoor lifestyle. They are most active during the morning and evening, so ideal if you maintain a busy lifestyle during the day.
A variety of fresh vegetables should be provided – with an ideal diet comprising 80-90% of oaten or hay, 10-20% of fresh green leafy vegetables, and 5% of treats such as carrot, green capsicum, apple, banana, strawberries, sultanas. A full list of food that is safe or harmful to rabbits can be collected from the clinic.
Rabbits need access to fresh, clean water preferably in a bowl.
Rabbits should have a health check every 6 months, which will include a check of teeth, vaccination, and a general physical examination involving eyes, ears, skin, nails and body condition.
Rabbits are susceptible to the fatal diseases, Calicivirus and Myxomatosis. They are transmitted through close contact and secretions of infected rabbits or via biting insects that have contact with the disease. If your rabbit spends time outdoors it is important to ensure that the enclosure is mosquito-proof and secure. Symptoms of calicivirus may include fever, lethargy, loss of appetite, breathing difficulties, shaking.
Symptoms of Myxomatosis may include running and/or swollen eyes, nose and mouth, redness and swelling around the genitalia, loss of appetite, fever and breathing difficulties.
Seek veterinary advice immediately if your rabbit stops eating or has reduced appetite for more than 12 hours, has lumps, weight loss, hairless patches, scabs, scratching, sores, breathing problems or nasal discharge, diarrhoea or watery eyes.
Rabbits are very good at hiding the first signs of illness, so if your rabbit is unwell, it is essential to seek rapid veterinary advice.