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Rabbits

Advice and services ensuring the best of care for your rabbit

Advice and Services for Rabbits

Diet

Rabbits are fibrevores, meaning that the best diet mimics their natural outdoor diet, which is mainly grass. Therefore, your rabbit should always have access to grass (fresh or dried) and/or hay. Weeds from the garden are a good source of fresh food, for example dandelion leaves.

Fresh vegetables are also important, for example carrot, broccoli and cabbage.

A restricted amount of dry food should be available daily for your rabbit. As a general rule, 25g per kg bodyweight per day.

We recommend pelleted food as many rabbits are selective eaters and will only eat certain components of mixed feeds. This results in an unbalanced diet. If your pet won't eat pelleted foods, then you must leave the mix until they have eaten the whole bowl, ensuring a balanced intake. Specific foods are available for baby rabbits, overweight rabbits and dwarf breeds.

Fresh water should be available at all times, generally from a drinking bottle. Please ensure that bottles are checked daily for freezing in wintertime if your rabbits are kept outdoor.

Dental Health

Rabbits have teeth which grow continuously and should wear evenly with appropriate diet. Unfortunately, most of the problems we see in the surgery are related to teeth. Overgrowth of incisors or uneven wear of molar teeth needs veterinary attention and may need treatment under general anaesthetic. We have a dental room within the practice and specialist equipment to enable us to treat your rabbit including incubator and rabbit dental equipment.

Correct feeding is essential to help prevent teeth problems. Dental checks are carried out as routine at your rabbits' vaccination appointment. The illustrations below can give you an idea what to look for.

 
 

Neutering

Rabbits can be neutered from six months of age and it is recommended for both health and social reasons.

Males can exhibit undesirable hormonal behaviour such as aggression, which castration helps to decrease.

80% of female rabbits over five years old develop uterine cancer and for this reason, we recommend spaying female rabbits from six months old.

Parasites

We stock Advantage, which is a spot on preparation for the treatment of flea infestations. It prevents further flea infestation for up to one week. This can be used from 10 weeks of age.

We also stock a range of products for mites and fly strike prevention products. These sometimes need an appointment with the vet to prescribe. Please call to discuss individual requirements with one of our nurses.

Encephalitozoon cuniculi is a microscopic parasite that can cause disease in rabbits, including a head tilt, fits and blindness. The parasite is spread by infected urine or from mother to babies and it can live in the environment for several weeks. Wormers for this parasite are available in the practice and we recommend worming when you acquire a new animal. Then two to four times per year, depending on exposure.

Vaccinations

We offer a two-in-one vaccination and we recommend this is given from five weeks of age. Yearly boosters are needed and we do this along with an annual health and dental check.

What do we vaccinate against?

Myxomatosis: A viral disease causing puffy fluid filled swellings around the head and face. The disease is usually fatal. Myxomatosis is spread by blood sucking insects, such as fleas and mosquitoes. Wild rabbits can bring the disease into your garden and house rabbits may be at risk even if they are mostly indoors.

Viral Haemorrhagic Disease: This virus was first reported in the UK in 1992 and is highly contagious. Transmission can occur by direct contact with infected rabbits, including wild rabbits, or indirect contact via environmental contamination, e.g., urine or faeces from infected rabbits. The disease is usually fatal and house rabbits can be at risk as the virus can get carried in on footwear or clothing.

Practice information

Kilmarnock Surgery

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  • Mon
    9:00am - 7:00pm
  • Tue
    9:00am - 7:00pm
  • Wed
    9:00am - 7:00pm
  • Thu
    9:00am - 7:00pm
  • Fri
    9:00am - 7:00pm
  • Sat
    9:00am - 2:00pm
  • Sun
    Closed
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Find us here:

21 Hill Street Kilmarnock Ayrshire KA3 1HF
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Mauchline Surgery

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  • Mon
    8:30am - 7:00pm*
  • Tue
    8:30am - 7:00pm*
  • Wed
    8:30am - 7:00pm*
  • Thu
    8:30am - 7:00pm*
  • Fri
    8:30am - 7:00pm*
  • Sat
    8:30am - 1:00pm*
  • Sun
    Closed
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Find us here:

16 Kilmarnock Road Mauchline Ayrshire KA5 5DE
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Beith Surgery

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  • Mon
    9:00am - 6:30pm
  • Tue
    9:00am - 6:30pm
  • Wed
    9:00am - 6:30pm
  • Thu
    9:00am - 6:30pm
  • Fri
    9:00am - 6:30pm
  • Sat
    9:00am - 12:00pm
  • Sun
    Closed
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Find us here:

26 Kings Road Beith Ayrshire KA15 2BQ
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